Interview ~ Silvertung Posted by www.ImMusicMag.com
Today’s music industry seems to have way too many flavors of the week, lacking staying power and relying too much on smoke and mirrors to get a fast, immediate return. They rush to the bank to cash that check without really thinking about the impact that is having on their careers. Then, along comes a band like Silvertung that reminds you why you fell in love with music in the first place. The band gladly accepts that rock and roll torch being passed on to them that’s been handed down from decade to decade from legendary artists to bands on the rise. The obligations that come with it are not to be taken lightly and Silvertung has held that torch high in the air ever since receiving it and has done the gods of rock proud. The band’s come a long way since the release of The Pawn in 2005 and they have really come into their own. Their work ethic, live performances and respect for their fans has set the bar for many bands to try and follow. It’s never a dull or quiet moment when you get these guys together and probably a good thing that we don’t attempt to conduct interviews in a library. I sat down with Speed, Skoot, Danno and Codey, collectively known as Silvertung, after their performance at The Shindig Music Festival in Baltimore, Maryland recently and cracked open a few cold ones and discussed everything from new music to wrestling and even masturbation.
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).
You had another guitarist up until late 2014 and that’s when Codey entered the picture?
Skoot: Yeah, 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.
You guys achieved a pretty impressive feat earlier this year when you cracked the Billboard Top 40 with your song “Never Too Late.” If you look at the charts, you have all of these major labels and here’s this independent label right up there in the mix.
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.
For some people who may be new to the Tungnation, that song is on your 2013 release Devil’s in the Details, but you went in and re-recorded it and released it on an EP earlier this year with a few other tracks. What was the reasoning behind 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.
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.
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.
It definitely seems to have been a smart move because you charted on Billboard and you’re bringing new fans into the fold. Now, we’re hearing rumblings that you guys are in the studio recording new material. Can you address that rumor?
Speed: Yes we are, but we can’t say too much right now. We’ll start with an EP and see what happens. Right now, were on the edge of pushing two brand-new singles because they are coming out that good, but we can’t tell you the titles just yet. We weren’t expecting them to be as good as they are, not to say that we weren’t expecting put out good stuff, but we just weren’t expecting both of them to be that strong. Once we got into the studio, we recorded what we thought was going to be “the one” and then we recorded another song and went ‘oh wait a minute.’ Even the producer told us to hold on and backup because even he didn’t know which one would end up being the single because they were both that strong.
Wow, I bet a lot of bands would love to have a dilemma like that.
Danno: During the playback of the recording, I think that’s where it really kind of told us that that the second song was actually just as good as the primary song. We wrote the first song and thought this is exactly what radio needs because radio has become so mundane with the same formula. The stuff that we just finished up was very effortless and it’s pretty amazing stuff. For the first time, I left the studio and knew that I could not have done a better job. With the re-recorded songs, Devil’s In The Details and The Pawn, I thought to myself ‘I could’ve done this roll, or we could have done that differently.’ I was really blown away when we left the studio this time; I put everything I wanted to into this and I couldn’t be more proud of where the songs are coming from. I’m really proud to be a part of this band right now.
Speed: I’m really excited about this new material that we are writing; we are really pushing hard and it’s really good stuff. We went in with the intention of writing just one song and we ended up doing two that are really great.
Danno: We’re also working with a new producer and he has a clear vision of what he is thinking and I have to agree with him.
Skoot: The producer that we are working with is Stephen Wright from Baltimore.
Codey: With the re-recording of “Never Too Late”, I was just coming into the band and working with material that had already been written. With this new stuff, this is material that we are all writing together. I brought solo ideas and melody ideas to the table and the guys, including Stephen Wright, were like ‘oh, I dig this’ or ‘oh, I like that.’ Now, there were some things that were changed, but for me, it was a big accomplishment and a giant honor to have that happen.
Skoot: Our little Cody is growing up (a collective “awww” echoes through the press tent).
Do we have a release date yet that we are shooting for?
Speed: January will be the release and what we are thinking about releasing is………….. to be continued (laughs).
Okay, if we’re you are going to have to wait for the conclusion to this story than I guess we’ll play, if you’re game, a round of five questions with Silvertung. Question number one is what was the first concert you ever went to?
Danno: Def Leppard and Ugly Kid Joe at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Speed: I was actually seven years old, so I had to go with my aunt and I saw KISS. They had just put the makeup back on and I have never seen a show like that before.
Skoot: It was Aerosmith and Motley Crue and I love both bands, but Aerosmith live is seriously bad ass.
Codey: My first concert was in 2008 and it was also Aerosmith and they were pretty cool.
Question number two is what was the first album that you bought?
Danno: Metallica ….And Justice For All
Speed: Well, mine was Metallica Kill ‘Em All and my mom actually took it away.
Skoot: Aqualung by Jethro Tull.
Codey: Kill ‘Em All because I heard “Whiplash” on a video game; it was on Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 and I fell in love with that song. The album that I actually bought was a tribute album and Lemmy from Motorhead was singing “Whiplash.”
Question number three is if music was over with today and you went into professional wrestling, what would your name be?
Danno: Mine would probably be quarter digit because I have tiny hands.
Skoot: Can I wrestle girls? If I can, then it will be a different answer.
Danno: What? Tampon? (laughter)
Skoot: It would be Porn Star, but if I was wrestling dude’s it would definitely not be Porn Star.
Speed: I guess I would use my name and the band’s name and call myself Quicksilver.
Skoot: He didn’t say describe your sex life (laughs).
Danno: I know what Cody’s would be; it would be Kicking Wing from Joe Dirt (laughter).
Codey: I grew up watching a lot of WWF, which is now WWE, so I watched a lot of The Rock and Brock Lesnar.
Skoot: So, what he’s saying is he’d be Tonto. There, I save you a lot of blah, blah, blah (laughs).
Codey: No way, I thought about this a lot.
Skoot: A lot? He just asked you five minutes ago; you need to stop thinking and practice more (laughs).
Codey: When I was younger and I was watching wrestling, I always wondered what my wrestling name would be and I thought I would be cool to be Cody the Kid. How cool would it be to be Cody the Kid and come out and take on the Undertaker?
Danno: Instead of the piledriver, you could have the tomahawk (laughs).
Question number four is do you have any hobbies in your spare time?
Danno: I like to collect old coins.
Codey: For the longest time, it was doing video game Let’s Play, but once I joined the band then I didn’t have time for it.
Speed: I do have a hobby; every Thursday from 6:45 to 7:45 I jerk off (laughter).
At this point, the interview got a bit out of control as fans swarmed the press tent to get pictures with the guys and everything from CDs to pants to body parts autographed. So, our session of 5 Questions With Silvertung turned into either 4½ Questions With Silvertung or as Speed mentioned regarding the names of the new songs……..to be continued.