Sneaking in with our Hobgoblin and Jaeger bands, Silas are playing the SOPHIE stage at Bloodstock this week (on the Friday). We managed to get a quick word with them before the four day festival kicked off, so they could concentrate on preparing a blinder of a set!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
South East London.
How did you meet?
3 of us were school mates; but we met Dave (our vocalist) at a raging house party, at Jason Smith’s (frontman from Stoneghost) flat at the time!
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Nearly 7 years.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Whilst sat in the old school library, all of us discussing possible names, James – our vocalist from a previous incarnation of the band – noticed the book ‘Silas Marner’…. ‘What about Silas?’ He said… It was unanimous! We just liked the sound of it, and the look of the word written down. No deep meaning as such behind the choice – although we later found out it apparently means ‘of the forest’ – which we like very much!!
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
We all grew up with rock and metal of course – bands like Pantera, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, ZZ Top… In terms of current stuff, Gojira, Devin Townsend and Kamchatka (a rising Swedish power trio) are right up there as favourites. But we also explore other genres in a very big way – we have a deep love for funk, jazz, blues, reggae, soul, classical, world music – the list is really long… We are open minded about music and it feeds into our own writing a lot.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
It’s kind of a stir fry of all our many and varied influences, but filtered through a rock and metal sieve! We’re very much a rock/metal band, but all these different influences seem to work their way into our riff making and melodies of their own accord – e.g a heavy riff flecked with the kind of chords/harmony you more commonly hear in jazz or funk. Groove is always at the heart of it, but also variation – each song is different – the live set can switch from upbeat and rocky to downright dirty and disgusting in a moment!! Our goal is always to write honest music. The more original and interesting the better – we don’t succeed with every song – but we play what we feel and strive to avoid cliches along the way. The new album we’re working on is shaping up to be more of a successful ‘blend’ than ever before!
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We just put as much energy as we can into our live shows. If we’re not having fun, the audience aren’t having fun. We want everybody to have a blast and feel positive and we encourage the crowd as much as possible! We always go for it no matter how many people are there or how stuck in they get – but when they give us energy back, it’s 100 times more intense; they feed us!! We also have a trick up our sleeves – the ‘switch’. Tom and Mike both play guitar and drums in the band, and so they switch roles depending on the song, both live and during recording. Them being twins sometimes leads to confused audience members, who ask ‘are you the guitarist or the drummer?’ … Well, both! How many shows? Way too many to count and we’ll keep going!!
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
Dave was given the message one evening and promptly tried to phone everyone. I (Tom) was in the cinema at the time. At the end of the film I looked at my phone to see a text saying ‘…WE ARE PLAYING BLOODSTOCK.’ Needless to say that was one of the best cinema trips I’ve ever had and I will not forget that film!! Naturally, much excitement, and probably some beer, ensued…
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We’ll be playing some well known songs from our last release World of Colour, plus two brand new songs from the forthcoming album! It’s going to be eclectic as always, ranging from our heaviest territory to our funkiest, and plenty of everything else in between.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
I’d say Opeth and/or Black Label Society. However, we’re on the Friday; they’re on the Sat/Sun, so we’re sorted!!!
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re working on a new album right now, our first full length in fact. It will be out in 2016 but currently doesn’t have a title or a confirmed release date. Keep your eyes and ears out!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
I guess one of the wildest things I’ve seen would be so much human poo in one toilet that it literally formed a mountain, which jutted out beyond the seat!! Sadly, I had to add a peak to the mountain myself, as I had nowhere else to go… Maybe not ‘wild’ so much as gag-inducing! Apart from that, we had a lot of fun one night trying to set fire to Matt’s (bass) socks whilst he slept in a hotel in Manchester. Pouring beer from pitchers into an eager audience’s mouths is also up there. The fun goes on!
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
WORK DAMN HARD!! Do it for the love of it – there’s no point otherwise – but also accept that if you want to do it seriously, you have to treat it like a business at times, too. Build a network of contacts – other bands, promoters etc. No one is going to give you all you want, so you’ll have to go out and take it; but treat people well, always be polite and professional.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
Tough one!! We’d be beside ourselves with joy if we could support Devin Townsend, man… In terms of the other band, we recently met an awesome Doom band from Canterbury called Famyne – they are excellent and fully deserve your attention! Really top guys, too.