Interview ~ Speed of Silvertung
There are some bands whose rise to the top is short lived because of the problem of more style than substance. Today’s society seems to love their “flavors of the week” when it comes to music, but a career in music is a marathon and not a sprint. Bands and artists have to develop over time and they also have to pay their dues. Smoke and mirror effects are ok and they may get you to the top of the mountain, but it will be a short lived trip before you plummet back to the bottom. Then, you get a band like Silvertung who has been battling it out in the musical trenches for almost a decade and earning any and all accolades that get thrown their way.
2016 has been one hell of a year for the guys in Silvertung. The band signed with Pavement Entertainment, released a kick-ass album entitled Out of the Box, won two Maryland Music Awards and returned to the Billboard Top 40 Mainstream Rock Chart with their song “Face The Music.” Now, they’re about to hit the road on the Hit the Pavement Tour with VIA and Vajra. KISS has the KISS Army and Silvertung has the Tung Nation, which has grown tremendously over the last couple of years because fans love and appreciate what these guys are doing. We sat down recently with Silvetung’s ringleader Speed to talk about this upcoming tour as well as some of the other awesome events of this year.
A lot has happened since we last talked, so let’s jump right into this! Congrats on the Hit the Pavement Tour with VIA and Vajra which kicks off on 11/4 in Baltimore, Maryland. It looks like you’re packing as much as you can into those dates.
Speed/Silvertung: We’re trying to work it so that it’s non-stop playing; if we’re going to go out then let’s go out and do it. This is what we’ve been gearing up for over the last eight years. We started doing originals and covers back then and we were doing three hour sets. I remember Skoot and Danno would ask me why we were doing these long sets. It was so that when we did go out on tour and had a 45 minute set, it would be a piece of cake. Now, we’re gearing up for the tour and making changes to the set list. We want to take our strongest 45 minutes of material and go out there with it. We’ll have to play certain songs like “Never Too Late” which is always a good crowd pleaser. “Devil’s Advocate” is also high on the list in addition to songs on the new record like “Taunted” and “Ain’t That a Bitch” which have become big crowd pleasures as well. We have some old favorites that we like to play like “Coming Alive,” “Justify” and “Déjà Vu.”
Even though you guys have been doing this for quite a while, it sounds like this tour might just be a learning experience.
Every tour is tough, but this is the first time we are going out with two other bands that a lot of people may not know. This is going to be one of those tours where we learn a lot more than what we think we know already. We’re seasoned to a degree, but to a point where most of the shows that we did were successful. You might hit a few sporadic shows over the last eight years where they may be 20 people in the bar. You can look at it as not successful or you can look at your outcome after you’re done. If you kept those 20 people in the bar, then I would say it was successful.
It looks like you guys are venturing into some new markets on this tour that you haven’t played before.
There are new markets on this tour that we have not played before and that’s really exciting. The first four shows are in our area and I think that’s great. We’ll headline those shows and then when we get out into these other markets in the Midwest where VIA is bigger, then they will close and the same goes for Vajra. We just want to go out there and lay some more groundwork and that’s what I think is really great about this tour for us.
I’m sure that winning two Maryland Music Awards certainly helped garner the band some much deserved attention.
The media kind of came out of nowhere on that one and it’s still going on. It’s great and it’s a reward recognizing all of the hard work that the band has done and that’s how we look at it. A couple of shows after that, we all were on the bus looking at each other and asked what we do we do from this point? I remember saying ‘you work harder’ which was exactly what everyone else was thinking. Accolades are great, but for us it says ‘ok, but now you have to get even better.’
What was that night like for you guys?
I have to say that it was one of the most awesome nights for us as a band. We were excited to help The Nicole Van Horn Trust Fund and to have been asked to play there. We’ve looked up to a lot of these guys in our music scene as we’ve been growing up and now they’re recognizing who we are. It was cool to get nominated for two awards, but there were a lot of great bands on those lists. We didn’t expect to win anything. Our thought was, ‘Let’s just go out and support everybody.’ We got there and did our soundcheck and then hung out backstage talking to the artists who were there from all different genres. We were watching how the crews would change everybody out and we were getting excited watching the bands play live. The first award came up for Best Heavy Metal Artist of 2016 and we were taking bets backstage on who was going to win. Suddenly, they called our name as the winner and we were like ‘what?’
You guys probably thought someone pulled a Steve Harvey on you and called out the wrong name!
That would have been so wrong! We’ve never been given an award like this, so we didn’t write any kind of speech because we didn’t think we were going to win. We just said what came to mind, which was to thank our fans. Then, they made this big to do to call out the Breakout Artist of 2016 and we were making bets again on who was going to win. When they said Silvertung, we were all a bit speechless; this was a big thing to us. The people who we looked up to in the scene were now noticing who we were and what we were doing.
Are you guys noticing attention from different areas in the U.S. that maybe you weren’t getting before?
Yes and I think it has more to do with the new album; this new album really shows who Silvertung is. There was nothing wrong with the albums before, but it just wasn’t exactly where we were trying to go. We took our time with this one and with the new tools that we had. Also, working with Steven Wright was a huge plus for us. I think there’s a big difference in album growth and what we’ve gone out and learned over the last few years is that it’s ok to go out and put your heart on your sleeve. We were a little protective before, but this album really tells you who Silvertung really is. It’s kind of tough when you’re looking over a wall and you don’t really see the whole thing. We’re starting to knock that wall down and that’s where we’re at. We’re taking it down brick by brick and realizing in the past that we were stupid, but now we’re getting there.
You’ve had two videos from the album so far, but is there any talk of possible going for a third given the strong response to some of these songs?
Yes and we’re trying to get ahead of the game whether people want it or don’t want it. It may just be something that we put on our YouTube page just for the fans.
On this tour, will you guys be making radio appearances as well?
Yes, we’re going to do as much radio as we can and we’ll probably be doing some acoustic songs on those stops. We’re trying to figure out which songs will sound the best acoustically. I don’t know how something like “Devil’s Advocate” would sound acoustically or do we just stick with something like “Never Too Late?” We’re still figuring all of that stuff out and rehearsing for it.
I know I have seen first-hand the growth in the Tung Nation over the last several years and I can only imagine how that makes you guys feel when you see it as well.
The Tung nation has grown so much over the last few years and the thing that I love about it most is that it’s everybody from eight to sixty eight! It blows my mind because there’s country or hip hop fans that turn out to see us and they end up loving us. They’re at our merch table spending their money to get shirts and CDs and to thank us even though they don’t usually listen to our style of music.
Dude, I think that fans of any genre get tired of hearing and seeing bullshit being thrown their way and it’s very refreshing to see and hear you guys doing what you do. It’s very real and it’s full of passion and people like and appreciate that, regardless of whatever genre they typically listen to.
I appreciate that and that’s the kind of thing that we’re not always told. Hearing that kind of stuff helps us out; we actually critique ourselves after every single show to see what went right or didn’t go right.
I know you have to get back to rehearsals, so I guess I will start to wrap his one up. As always, it’s been a pleasure catching up with you. Best of luck on this tour and hopefully you guys will be posting lots of on the road updates on your social media!
Thank you for your continued support of Silvertung; you’re family to us and we really appreciate all that you do. The tour kicks off on November 4 and we hope to see a bunch of you out there. Make sure to come over to our merch table and say hi to us because that’s a huge part of this tour, meeting our fans and making that connection.