Post-hardcore veterans Silverstein have long been stalwarts in the alternative scene, so it’s always a pleasure when they decide to pop in down under for a run of shows. Ahead of their tour with teen-revered Pierce The Veil, aggressive Americans Beartooth and Aussie legends Storm The Sky, we had a chat with guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau about why Silverstein like our country so much, the transition between headlining and supporting and new music in the near future.
You guys were here relatively recently, what made you want to return with such a short gap in between tours?
Were we there recently? I don’t remember the last time. You know what, I honestly can’t remember when we were there last. Why do we come back to Australia? It’s the best. We will go back literally every opportunity we can. I mean, really, why not go back?
It was last year for the anniversary of ‘Discovering the Waterfront’! It’s cliché to ask this, but what is it actually about Australia that makes you say that?
This is gonna sound a bit cliché but I guess the question is too. I mean, the people are so great. I think Canadians and Australians have a special bond, that maybe other nations don’t, and I don’t know what that is. Maybe it’s because England fucked with both of us. But I don’t know, I just get along so well with all Australians. Not to mention all the crazy animals and the snakes that are trying to kill me. The whole country is so beautiful, and there’s so much to explore.
It’s always a good time when a snake is trying to kill you.
Yeah! It’s my favourite.
Do you always check out the artists on the tours you’re on who you don’t already know, like on this tour, there’s an Aussie band supporting called Storm The Sky?
I have not had the chance. I might just wait, and hopefully it’s gonna be a pleasant surprise on the first day [laughs].
You are mates with Beartooth though, right?
Yeah, we’ve toured with Beartooth, we’ve spent a lot of time with them.
Do you prefer to already have relationships with the artists on the line-up?
I don’t necessarily prefer it, but it definitely is nice. Like for this tour, were also good friends with Pierce The Veil, so I’m excited to see them because I don’t see them very often. So that’s nice. I’m not that friendly a person typically speaking, so if I don’t know the band and they don’t seem really cool I typically don’t even bother hanging out with them. I know that seems bad, but I don’t know, I just do my own thing.
But you said “nice to meet you” when we first started the interview!
The thing is when I said “nice to meet you”, I actually meant “it is terrible to meet you”.
Wow, fair enough. Phone interviews can be pretty brutal so I mean, I get it. I guess we’ll just move on to your tour life at the moment – has it changed over the years? A lot of artists say that they’re super active partiers early on and then, a few years in, they pretty much go straight to bed.
The short answer is no, not really. I think maybe before I joined the band they were a little crazier. I also think that it’s maybe not so much the time that you have been touring, more so that when you’re touring you’re also not playing an hour every night. You know what I mean? You just get a lot more tired doing a longer show. Like when you first start touring, you don’t have to fly in every day, you don’t have to do all this other crazy shit. But we still hang out quite a lot. We’re very much looking forward to a lot of the bars in Australia. We get our drink on for sure. We’re not really partiers, but we drink a lot.
Obviously it’s a great time to travel the world playing music, but most artists do complain about the downsides. What are those, specifically, for you?
It’s difficult to maintain relationships at home – I’m sure everybody says that but it’s true. There’s really only one bad thing, and that is, I feel like an idiot every time I send my landlord rent money and I haven’t been home for a month.
Like when you have a gym membership that you don’t use, but you don’t cancel it either?
Exactly like that! And you know what, to add to that, I’ve always wanted to get a gym membership. But I think wisely not to do it because I know I won’t be home to use it.
Wandering around the world isn’t enough exercise?
You would be surprised.
For this tour, you guys are supporting, but you have done headliners here before. Is that a weird transition? There is a thing that I’ve heard bands say, which is that they never want to feel “too big to support” another artist as a point of integrity.
That’s a really nice way of putting it. Like we don’t have egos about who should play where in the bill. I guess from a ticket sales standpoint, we kind of know where we stand. And if it makes sense to support, then we’re happy to do it, especially when the headliner is someone that we respect so much, being Pierce The Veil. So it was an easy decision. We don’t feel weird about it at all, we feel very excited. And supporting, I might add, is a lot easier, because you don’t have to soundcheck and your set is shorter.
That’s true! But does the payoff of being the headliner counter that consideration?
Absolutely, it’s always great to headline. But it’s like, the grass is always greener, I think. Like we did a bunch of support touring in 2014 and all year, we were just like “I can’t wait to headline again, it’s gonna be so great”! And then we did a bunch of headlining shows and we were like “yeah, it’s gonna be so good when we support”. So it’s nice to change it up, it keeps it fresh.
Understandable. Silverstein have accomplished so much, are there still items on your bucket list you need to cross off?
With every new item crossed off our bucket list, a new and better item comes into its place. So no, I think that we’re obviously happy to be where we are, but never satisfied, exactly. We’re not just gonna stop trying to do more things. We, I think, all wanna own super big mega yachts. So there’s a lot of work to be done.
Clearly! Does that include new music plans?
Yes, totally. But I can’t tell you about them.
Can you give me an approximation? Like “in the next two years…”?
Um! Sometime before we do.
That’s super helpful. Lastly, I just wanted to give you the opportunity to point out anything in the scene that you feel like is worth discussing. For example, there are issues like equality for women in music, and then there’s the other side of the spectrum, with problems like streaming.
I think those are vastly different, but important things to be talking about. I’ve personally not seen it, and I have a keen eye for this, but I do know that there’s misogyny in the scene that needs to be addressed, I know that there’s homophobia in the scene that needs to be addressed. I’m not interested in violence and I don’t like when bands promote that sort of thing. I think that all of the artists in the scene have a responsibility to use their platform to advance society and not ruin it further. And so yeah, I do think there are some people that need to get their heads out of their asses.
You can catch Silverstein on tour with Pierce The Veil, Beartooth and Storm The Sky this week. Nab some tickets here.
PIERCE THE VEIL AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:
EATONS HILL, BRISBANE
TUESDAY AUGUST 16 – All Ages
BIG TOP AT LUNA PARK, SYDNEY
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17 – All Ages
THE BARTON THEATRE, ADELAIDE
THURSDAY AUGUST 18 – All Ages
170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY AUGUST 20 – All Ages
170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE
SUNDAY AUGUST 21 sold out! (18+)
*MONDAY AUGUST 22 new show! (18+)