AXS Exclusive Interview: Getting to know Speed from Silvertung
Known for high-octane music with tons of attitude, Silvertung has been taking the rock world by storm. Lead singer and guitarist Speed, lead guitarist Codey (Code Red), bassist Skoot and drummer Danno have created a tremendous local buzz throughout their home state of Maryland. Their album Out Of The Box has been tearing up the charts with hard-hitting melodic metal. Their most recent single, “Devil’s Advocate” made Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Radio Most Added list the first week it was released. Previous releases from their album, “Never Too Late” and “Face The Music” each hit the Top 40 on Billboard’s BDS Rock Radio chart. Silvertung will take to the road for their first North American tour in November. The tour kicks off at Angel’s Rock Bar in Baltimore on Nov. 4, 2016. Recently, singer Speed spoke with AXS about the tour, giving the TungNation the opportunity to get to know the guys a bit better.
AXS: Big things going on for Silvertung, getting ready for the tour?
Speed: Well, it starts on Nov 4, and we are so excited. It took a lot to get that done. We had to move dates around and all. We wanted to start off in Baltimore. This is our first North American tour. We’ve gone South before, but this is the first North American tour. We decided to start it off here in Baltimore and have a nice big hometown kick-off party.
AXS: Let’s talk about the Ft. Howard Haunted Dungeon event.
S: It is this Fri, Oct 22. We are not playing. We were talking with Rock Rage Radio, all their stations are spinning our single “Devil’s Advocate.” They do all kinds of promotions with us. They are really a great bunch of people. They are mainly an internet radio station, but they are all over the United States, Japan and in other countries now. The Ft. Howard promotion we are doing with them is we pick a fan and they and a friend get to spend the night with us at the haunted attraction.
AXS: So you will be going through a haunted house with a fan and their friend?
S: Exactly! It took us a while to come up with a clever question, but we do have a winner and will be announcing that maybe tonight. It is actually going to be done live on Facebook. I’m sure it is going to be great!
AXS: It sounds fun! Can’t wait to see the Facebook live-feed, it should be great! You are going to play at the Kix or Treat Halloween 80s Halloween Bash, will you guys be in costumes on stage?
S: Ha! Well, I think we already wear costumes on stage. The dress up is more for the fans at that show, it has an 80s theme. None of us were lucky enough to enjoy the 80s, we all grew up in the 90s. We’ve played with Kix many times though. It was funny. We got a call from the promoter asking if we had ever played with Kix before and we said yeah a few times. They said, “How did it work? You guys are kinda heavy. Kix is 80s and you guys are today.” We said trust us, it works. Fans get the new breed coming up in Baltimore, you know, us, and they get the legendary. They have been around for years. I hope we get to where Kix is right now. It would be phenomenal to get to play that long. I watch videos of those guys from the 80s and they are good, but it seems like they might even be better now than they were then.
AXS: Congrats on winning two Maryland Music Awards and all the success with Out Of The Box. Have you noticed while playing live there is a fan favorite off the album where everyone is singing along?
S: No, actually there are favorites, which is great for us. “Never Too Late” and “Face The Music” are really popular. They both hit the Billboard Top 40 chart. We decided to try something different with “Devil’s Advocate.” The hardest time to blow up a single is in the summertime. We have big ball and said why not try it. So we did. It was on the top five singles for Billboard radio. We were listed alongside Disturbed and Sixx:AM-and we are huge fans of both of them. To see our name next to theirs on Billboard Radio was just like “Wow!”
AXS: We opened up tonight’s questions to some fans on your Facebook fanpage. They want to know what do you do in your spare time and if you listen to a lot of music in your spare time.
S: Yes, I listen to a ton of music. I like to educate myself. I like to know where it all came from and I like to get some of that feel for when we write. I listen to up and coming stuff as well as older stuff.
AXS: Inspiration can come from anywhere.
S: Exactly! And it does. I really does for this band. We all bring different stuff. Scoot, our bass player, is really into Motown. He loves the old stuff. He, like myself, is also a huge fan of Alice in Chains and Godsmack, all the newer stuff. Well, actually that isn’t that new anymore, ha, ha, ha! We’re the new breed now. I listen to anything that is up and coming and I listen to friends. I’m into Pop Evil, we’re friends with those guys and I listen to their stuff a lot. We get influeces from every angle of music. I do listen to tons of music. Old country, new country, hip hop. I am into everything. EDM. I listen to everything because I don’t want to cheat myself or our fans out of something creative.
AXS: Listening to all kinds of music must help from getting tunnel vision and stuck in one sound.
S: Exactly, exactly. That’s why this album has been so great for us, because we didn’t hold back. We tried new things. We tried whatever we wanted to. If it didn’t work, it didn’t work and we changed it. So we had a lot of different tools on this album. The next album could be a little more crazy. We’ve already started writing for that. We don’t want to slow down. We’re in a hot moment. Figured we just keep pushing and pushing. Strike while the irons hot. There are a couple of tunes we are working on right now and I can’t wait to start recording these things. First we have to do this tour. You know, make some new fans and introduce them to the old fans. We have such a great fan base right now. We have the best fans in the world. We really seemed to have found a special connection with them.
AXS: It has got to be an awesome to get positive reinforcement like that and know people really love what you do.
S: When you are writing, you don’t really know if people will like it. You are writing for yourself, but in the back of your mind you are also writing for the fans. First and foremost you have to write for yourself to get it out correct. Once an album comes out you have no idea what to expect. The great response to the album made us feel that it is going to be ok for us to go out on tour.
I know we sort of got off the subject of what we do in our spare time. Myself-I do a lot of different things. I am very, very health conscious. I try to take care of myself. I’m into bike riding. We’re so busy, working out this year has been a little crazy. Not much free time. We also just purchased a tour bus and we don’t have the money to send it out to someone and say customize this for us. So we got our hands dirty. We went in there, tore the seats out, put in new floor, made it ready because we knew this tour was coming. It came out very, very well. We have a few more things to take on. Hopefully sometime soon we can get it wrapped or painted. We’re not looking for handouts, but if someone could help us out a bit on that we’d appreciate it.
Normally we all do different things. Skoot is a hunter. He likes to take some time and go hunting or just shooting. He has targets and a bow. Codey is an Indian native, so he likes to dig into his history and do those kinds of things. And me, I’m into ghost hunting and all that. I love to do those kind of things. We are all into space. We have a lot of conversations about outer space and stuff like that. We’re kind of a good motley crew. I get into what Skoot’s doing, not that they all get into stuff with me. Cody likes all that ghost stuff and Danno is into it. Scoot’s kinda like, “Whatever, there’s no ghost.” We like to do crazy things. When we get bigger we’d like to take times where we go out on excursions to do crazy stuff and take two or three fans out with us. Just to do fun stuff with us and not always just come to shows. To do stupid stuff because we like to do stupid stuff sometimes.
AXS: Another fan question was what are your favorite songs to play live? Original and cover.
S: Oh wow. I have many original ones that I love to play live. Right now it is a song off the new album called “Taunted.” I like “Ain’t That A Bitch,” it is so up-tempo and kind of in your face. Same with “Devil’s Advocate,” though it is a little different than what the other songs are. “Déjà vu” is always going to be a favorite of mine to play live. I think everybody in the band feels the same way about that song. Cover tunes are weird. I’ve never really been a big cover tunes person. What we like to do is we like to play songs of bands we’ve shared a stage and played with. So it is kind of out of respect if we play a cover tune. Collectively, as a band, I’d have to say one of our favorites is probably “Walk” by Pantera. Not that we ever shared the stage with them, that one we do out of respect for Dimebag. There are also songs like “Dragula” by Rob Zombie-cover tunes strange. Godsmack is always good or Disturbed. We like to play “Down With The Sickness” and “Stupify.” Those songs are fun to do. We were out with Godsmack and Disturbed when they toured together. That was a great tour for us to go on. At that time, In This Moment were the big act on the stage and being with them was very cool. That was a great experience for us.
AXS: Let’s go back in time a few years. If you could speak to yourself a few years ago what advice would you tell yourself? Is there anything you’d do differently?
S: Yes. There are a few things I’d do differently. First I would tell myself to stop being so scared. Just put it out there. I’ve always been nervous about putting my heart on my sleeve and putting it out there for everybody in the songs and lyrics. I was like man, I can’t tell people that this is what I did or this was an experience that I had. That was dumb. Now I realize we are all human and everyone makes mistakes. Everyone does things we shouldn’t do. But today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow. Never be afraid because everyone else is going through it too. The good and bad. That is where a lot of our writing has come from. Our experiences, other people’s experiences. We write about other people too. One thing I would have definitely told myself is to not be afraid and to take chances. We’ve all been afraid to do things, there were things we were concerned about. Is this going to hurt the band, are we going to survive through this? Should we put out a song about not committing suicide? You know, one of us was there. Did we really want to put that out there? But everyone has a strong side and a weak side. I think everyone kid of goes through those things in life. Suicide included. Battles with alcohol. We’ve gone through that as well.
AXS: You said you were working on new material?
S: Absolutely. New songs are in the works as well as a new video. Our game plan is, if we can afford it, to put out a video for every single song. Whether they are high–grade videos like the one Spencer did or if they are more low-grade ones we do ourselves. Because, you know, we can. It just goes back to not being scared to put it out there. It might not be top quality video, but it will be a damn good video. We’re not going to put out anything that is trash. We’re are thinking at the moment why not put it out there and have fun with it?
For more information on Silvertung, their music and upcoming tour dates visit the Silvertung website.