Paul Koehler from Silverstein Interview

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What have you guys been up to in the lead to your European tour?

We just got home from a North American tour following the release of the new album; um and now we are having some time off to prepare for our tour in Europe which yeah, will lead into Australia.

What are you looking forward to about Australia and do you have any little Australian stories you’d like to tell?

Um yeah, we are really looking forward to Lord of the Fries in Melbourne and just hanging out in the warmer weather because it’s really cold in Canada. I mean we’ve been there so often that it’s  a nice familiar place. I think we are looking forward to coming back and playing some good shows and promote this new album which is still fresh and current.

I have been listening to your latest album a lot. When you guys write your concept albums, do you still write them about personal experience or do you really revolve them  around just the concept?

The really big decision that has to be made is whether or not to make a concept record . That changes the process of it all because that is the link that everything revolves around. So at that point we discuss it and really think about what we wanna  do. The decision really changes the direction to something personal or something more creative. We could write a bunch of songs or Shane could write a bunch of lyrics that are creative but sort of revolve around him. But the thing about this record is that we are creating a story here and we can draw from anything or anywhere. We start creating lyrics and then the musical .It’s like a musical novel and we all have a hand in it. It allows all of us to spark creatively and add on patches to the story apposed to just one author. It’s pretty much all of us bring it towards different directions, that’s where an album like this really takes shape. From when we started to when we finished, things are constantly evolving and it’s cool. We’re really stoked on it.

What Influenced the concept for This is How the Wind Shifts?It reminded me a lot of the Butterfly Effect or a Donny Darko.

I think those references are very contemporary and often called in. I think it’s really human nature to look to look at a scenario and to look at the polar opposite of it and evaluate decisions. Like things are going to happen but “what if it didn’t? what if it did?”  We went to great lengths break it up  to avoid a literal linear story.  We created a Ship Wreck in the Sand which did kind of that but the story is very linear from the beginning to end. For this one, we didn’t wanna do that. It really allowed us to do different things. For example we have the two tracks called This is How and The Wind Shifts when which put together produce the third song. We were able to play into this overall concept when creating it.

I thought your last album sounded more like Discovering the Waterfront than your other albums since then despite Paul taking over on guitar. Did it take him long to learn the songs and how big an influence was he in the writing process?

First of all he has been around with us for a while. On previous tours he’s teched for us… he’s been around several other times before he even joined the band. Uh, he’s definitely familiar with the songs so I think he knew the songs, it was more of a matter of just playin’ them. He picked them up relatively quick. He had to learn a pretty big set right when he jumped in and he picked that up really quick, which I think is a good thing because he got to think on the same grain as what we do with our songs. Immediately after that tour we came home and really focused on writing the record and you know, focusing all our time on that. He refreshed our old songs, found out where we were coming from, than started creating himself. The first song he came in with was Stand Amidst the Roar, and he came in with that song complete. We didn’t even need to change anything, we thought “man this is different for us, but it works”. I think it works because he wrote it like a Silverstein song and I think that’s really cool that he did that. He really pushed us in a new direction and we wrote the record from there.

I think your sound has fluctuated a bit between punk  and post hardcore, was this a conscious thing or did it just happen?

I don’t think this was intentional except for the fact that when we did Short Songs it was meant to be a bit more punk influenced. Overall we have never been very focused on picking one genre or anything like that. I like to think our sound has diversity, like in anyone record we might have a ballad or a really heavy song, and we would get bored if every song had the same vibe. It’s really something natural that inspires us or our genre but it’s definitely not intentional to say the least.

Many post-hardcore bands are starting to put ore electronic instruments into their music to add a new element, have you guys considered experimenting with this more in the future?

Um, I mean not so much. It’s seems to be a trend, especially in the last several years and certainly now there are keyboard guys and backing tracks all electronic backing tracks. It’s not something we feel our sound needs, we take the more organic approach. Everything is sorta a raw so

und. Many bands program the drums or program the bass and it’s really not what we are after, we have string players and things like that. We like being natural and the ability to play live without any backing tracks.

If you have read this far, view the rest @the59thsound 

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