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 PERSONAL STORIES

Silverstein’s Shane Told, speaks to Francesca, Youth Correspondent for mym about the ups and downs of touring and more….

 

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mym: There used to be a time when only a handful of Canadian Artists would make it pass the border and become known outside of Canada. Now it seems that Canadian talent is embraced internationally on a regular basis. How did that happen for you guys? Were you surprised?
Shane: Well we’re different than a lot of bands from around here because we signed on to an American label out of Chicago and Victory Records doesn’t have huge distribution in Canada. It got to the point on our last record that we sold 130,000 in the US and only 8,000 in Canada so its quite a difference. And now what’s happened is that we have better distribution through Universal and now our new record has already surpassed our old one in just five weeks. So things are going great and being around Canada we obviously played a lot around here and we have a following which is really cool. I’d rather be well known in other countries then just in our home country.

mym: And it exposes others to Canadian talent and lets them now what we are all about.
Shane: Yeah, we’ve done things like made our intro song Blame Canada, the South Park song. Everyone knows that we come from Canada and that we’re proud of that.

mym: How much do online communities like myspace.com contribute to building the support of international and local fans?
Shane: I think its great. We have thousands of friends on myspace and when there are shows coming up you can just blast it and everyone knows. Its amazing too that we can put up a new picture on Friday and by Saturday there are 130 comments- its crazy. You can really work internet promotion and a lot of bands can do it on their own.

mym: On Discovering the Waterfront there are a number of themes, about coping with change, negative relationships, self determination. Even in your artwork on the album there is a story being told. What do you think is the common thread or message?
Shane: We don’t want to call the record a concept record but in a lot of ways there are recurring themes. One thing that we wanted to do in this record that we really didn’t do in the last one is convey a message of hope. Because our last record was really dark and more speaking from the times when your admist the bad. But now its more about looking back. I want people to know that I’m a happy person and that I’ve gotten through these times and I feel like I’m blessed and successful- we want people to relate to that and let them know that I got through it and so can they.

mym: How did you come up with your name?
Shane: Well, we used to play in Josh’s old basement you know the kind with old green shag carpeting, really seventies, and they had all these old books and there were National Geographic magazines and I didn’t have any lyrics written and I would just pull stuff out and create vocal melodies. And then one day I saw that Josh and his little brother had Shel Silverstein’s books and I had read his books growing up. Then later we had our first show and we all decided that this would be a good name. It worked.

mym: Are there more ups than downs in touring?
Shane: I cant think of a band that tours more than we do. The hardest part is being away from family and friends and girlfriends and little things like long drives, being sick on the road and I’m a vegan so its hard to eat right. Sometimes its great but the real only up is meeting people all over the world. That one ‘up’ makes up for all the downs.

mym: What do you do for fun when you tour?
Shane: A common misconception is that bands are out partying and meeting chicks all the time and I’m not going to say it doesn’t happen. But for us the only night that we really let loose on this tour was last night. But we typically like to see movies, play poker, or I like to try and find really good vegetarian restaraunts.

mym: Have you had that moment yet where you’ve said to yourself, “we made it, we are credible musicians who have a right to be here”? When was that moment?
Shane: Its been so weird with our band because everything has been so gradual. I remember our ultimate goal was to play a show and put out a record. And when we got our first CD its was amazing and then we went on our first tour and finally we got signed and then had our first video and now we play to clubs all over the world. I don’t know if we feel like we really made it except that I know I’m really happy with what we’ve accomplished and as long as I’m having a good time and excited about everything I feel like I’ve made it.

 
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