INTERVIEW: SILVERTUNG Posted by RockRevoltMagazine.com
Silvertung’s one of those bands that seem to be just one song away from breaking into the big leagues. These guys have been paying their dues and battling it out in the rock and roll trenches all while delivering their high octane brand of rock to the masses. Their kick-ass 2013 album Devil’s in the Details showed tremendous growth in the band as well as a lot of promise for the future. The band decided to head back into the studio with Grammy Award winning producer David Ivory to re-record their song “Never Too Late.” Could that song be the one to propel the band to the next level? The response so far has been very favorable and the guys are definitely on a musical high right now. If you know these guys, then you know it’s never a dull moment when they’re in your presence. I got the chance to talk to the band before a show recently and we discussed the new single as well as everything from whiskey to ice fishing.
Interview With Silvertung
By: Johnny Price, Lead Senior Journalist
Ok, let’s give the readers a little background on how the band was formed.
Skoot: Speed had been in a few bands before with different people doing different types of stuff, but nothing really worked out. He was disgruntled and pissed off and ready to give up on music. I don’t even remember now how we met, but we started talking and I told him that we could do this. We just needed to surround ourselves with the right people. We had a heart to heart convo and became best friends. He was ready to say screw it and do a 9 to 5 white collar job. I talked him out of it and he’s been bitter and pissed at me ever since (laughs).
KISS has the KISS Army and Silvertung has its own army that goes by the name of the Tung Nation. Who coined that phrase?
Speed: We had so many fans that kept coming to our shows and they started to become friends. Well, they got together and decided to call themselves the Tung Nation and they contacted us to ask if it was cool for them to do so. We told them to go for it because we were very humbled by it. They even started up a Facebook page, but it was shut down because they said it was being operated like a business. They thought they could get rid of them, but they’re back.
So, one of the things that’s happened since I last saw you guys is that you have a new bandmate. So, where did you find Codey?
Skoot: When our old guitar player decided that he needed to leave for personal reasons, he was good enough to hang on with us until we found somebody and we had a lot of applicants. We weeded them down through interviews to about 30 and then we did actual auditions and then call backs.
Codey: I’ve played with these guys with my previous band. I saw them several years back at Ram’s Head and then I ran into them again at the Uproar Tour and gave them my card. It’s been a really great experience and I couldn’t be more thankful to be with these guys. So, for what’s new to them is extremely new to me. It’s like going from being a freshman in high school to playing football.
Skoot: No, now you’re hanging with the cool kids (laughs).
Silvertung – Never Too Late (Official Music Video)
One of my favorite songs on Devil’s in the Details is “Never Too Late” and you guys decided to go back in and re-record it. What made you do that?
Speed: Our publicist was our on tour and he ran into a good friend of his David Ivory, who is a very well-known producer, and they started catching up on what was going on. Our publicist told him that he was trying to break this band that he was working with. David told him to send some of our music to him, which he did, and David called him the very next day. He asked if he could get us in there so that he could talk to us about one of the songs on the album. We went and had a nice little business meeting with him and he told us that he wanted to re-do and re-mix “Never Too Late.” Well, being who he is and the fact that you don’t usually get these types of opportunities thrown your way, we had to jump all over it.
Skoot: We spent the next four months talking about it and working on it. We looked at what made sense to change on it and what to leave alone.
Danno: Not to cut you off, but I don’t think I’ve ever told the guys this before. It felt really cool for us to go up there and kick ideas around left and right; it made the song feel really fresh. The way it’s recorded now is not the way that we had fucked around with it.
Codey: Dave threw around his ideas as well and it was really fun to have him do that. When you’re working with someone outside of the band, you may be a bit hesitant to try stuff, but you’ll end up trying things anyway and sometimes they will work and sometimes they won’t. Yet, at the same time, David will bust your balls if it’s not right because he pushes you.
Skoot: David pushed us to try things differently and I don’t know if we would have ever tried it at first. Just like Speed’s point was, when a Grammy Award winning producer tells you that he wants you to try something, you try it. I mean, we tried a lot of new stuff, but we ended up coming up with this new version of “Never Too Late” and it’s different, but we really like it. It’s cool and it’s got a lot of feel and a lot of heart, but it turned out great. It was painful because David’s tough in the studio; he’s funny, but he’s tough and he’s going to bring the best out in you.
In just about all the cases that I’ve heard where a producer comes in and pushes an artist out of their comfort zone and even to the point of making them feel uncomfortable, it ends up being a very good thing and a learning experience.
Speed: It was our first time with what I would call a real hard-nosed producer. They were good at what they did, but they weren’t screaming in your face kind of like a wrestling guy. He told us in the beginning of all of this that he heard so much more in the song. He told us that we were really good songwriters and he wasn’t going to take that away from us. When you have someone on the outside looking in, then they can sometimes hear something that we can’t and that’s what he was doing.
Codey: Being pushed in that kind of way causes us to be more open minded to different ideas and when you take those ideas and what you’ve learned and use them, it just makes your songwriting even that much better.
Danno: When he told us that he could make the song even better, I didn’t want to sound arrogant, but I thought “Never Too Late” was already one of our better songs.
Skoot: I still think it was, but it’s even better now than it was.
Speed: David really taught us how to look at things in a different way and at the same time how to write in a different way. We’re really excited because we have new material and we’re starting to experiment with what we’ve learned.
Well, the results of all that pushing really speaks for itself because the song is in the Billboard Top 40, so congrats on that achievement.
Skoot: Yeah, we weren’t really expecting that for our first swing at a single, but it is kind of cool.
With all of the changes in the music industry, it kind of blows my mind to think that people can still make a difference at radio by calling up and requesting a song.
Skoot: Oh yeah, because it’s mostly big record labels pressuring stations to play the songs, but we’re unsigned; we’re an unsigned band. Go team Silvertung because without you guys, we’re zero.
Danno: You look at the singles chart and next to Slipknot it says Road Runner Record, then next to another artist it says Atlantic and next to us it says Tung Nation. You can’t help but giggle because you know people are looking at it and wondering where that record label is from.
Speed: A lot of people were saying that it was really odd for an unsigned band to be in the Top 40 hanging with the big boys, so I guess that’s saying something.
What made you decide to go the route of an EP and not just a new single on iTunes?
Speed: That was the idea of our manager David Snowden. We had some specialties that we did in the studio and we decided to use the material and not waste it because the diehards are going to want it.
Skoot: You kind of want a hard copy of your new single to sell and a lot of people want digital downloads, but there are still those who want a real CD.
Danno: We like to do stuff like this for our fans and make them feel as much like family and a part of this as we can. I think that’s one thing that sets us aside from other bands.
Skoot: Plus, it looks great on the merch table (laughs).
How did the appearance on the syndicated Bubba the Love Sponge Show happen?
Speed: It’s kind of ironic how that turned out. A fan sent in the single and told them that they needed to check us out. If you listen to the whole radio segment of how he did it, he was so done with listening to all of the local stuff that he had.
Skoot: I guess like once a week, he listens to five songs that were sent in by fans or whatever and he basically rips them to shreds. He got our song and he was like, ‘Ok, then kind of doesn’t suck!’ and all of a sudden, he decides that he wants to hear it live, so we went to Florida to be on his show.
Are there any upcoming plans that you can mention?
Skoot: It looks like we’re going to Alaska soon.
Speed: Yeah, there’s a radio station there that’s playing “Never Too Late” somewhere around 55 times a week.
Danno: We’re actually going out there to do some ice fishing and make some money, but we’re doing it under the disguise of going out there to play a show.
Skoot: We going on Deadliest catch; we’re going to try that shit out and make some money.
What’s been the toughest part of your journey so far?
Skoot: I can tell you that the top five are money, money, money, money and money. We might a couple of hundreddollars on gas to drive to a show and we end up playing to about twenty people. You have to keep going and grind it out and hope to grow what you’re doing. You play that show in front of those twenty people and after the show, they might buy twenty CDs. Then, all twenty will hopefully go on Facebook and tell all of their friends how much they liked our show and get them interested. You have to keep building that audience one fan at a time, one show at a time or hopefully more than one fan (laughs).
I know you guys have to go get ready, so do you have anything that you’d like to close with?
Danno: Yeah, we hope everyone will check out the video for “Never Too Late” on YouTube; we’re around 15,000 for a video that we’ve only had up around five weeks.
Skoot: Check it out on YouTube or the website or wherever and if you like it, then call your local FM rock station and request and we will love you forever.
Skoot: Forever ever (laughs).
Speed: You can go to iTunes and get the single “Never Too Late” and just keep pushing it; let’s take it to #10.