pastepunk: Alright, I’ll get the boring stuff out of the way first. Who’s in the band? What do they Play? What is the story of Silent Majority? When and how did the band start?
The band is; rich – guitar, ryan – guitar, ben – drums, nick – bass, and tommy -vocals. Sm started out as a joke band that practiced in tommy’s basement after school. We had our first practice on December 26, 1990 (the day after we got our instruments). Since then, there have been a few changes in band members. But for the most part, it’s the same group of guys practicing in one of their basements.
pastepunk: The biggest news among Silent Majority fans right now has to be about the recent signing to Initial Records, and the ep that is soon to follow. Can SM please elaborate some more about their hooking up with Initial and the new ep? Also, why did SM leave Wreck-Age?
This is just a bad subject.
pastepunk: Silent Majority played Krazy Fest II, how was that? Who else was there that totally amazed you?
I didn’t think it would be possible to top the first krazy fest, but having played both of them, I can say, without hesitation, that krazy fest II was not only bigger, better and more fun than the first, but it entered a new sphere of “fests”. It was beyond the borders of a 3 day show run by a record label. this was a city wide effort to create an event that I couldn’t fathom occurring in new york, or almost anywhere else. On top of the bands that are always fantastic (sick of it all, fastbreak, snapcase) I got to see bands that I had never seen or heard before. Zao was a band I had only heard of, and most of what I had heard was about the religious overtones in their music. Well I flat out didn’t give a shit, because they were amazing. Jejune was a band I had heard almost nothing about and they were the best surprise of the day. I just sat on a bench and watched them for the entire set.
pastepunk: Many people on Long Island regard Silent Majority as one the bands that really started off the whole “Strong Island” thing. I know this band has a historical connection to the late great PWAC, and the Common Ground. Those were where I attended my first shows. Can SM please talk in depth about the punk/hc scene on Long Island in the past 5 years, and what they think the future will hold for it.
I don’t want to seem like I’m dismissing your questions, but I don’t think anyone wants to read me harken back to the good old days of lihc. The pwac is a church now, and most of the common ground collective are too busy trying to keep their heads above water. Shortly after the closing of 54 park avenue, it would have been easy for someone to come along and open a place to do all ages shows. Sadly, this did not occur for a long time. While I don’t think that the long island scene is stagnant, I do not feel that it is the breeding ground for great bands that it once was. Maybe this is a good thing, for only the truly talented and deserving bands will be able to transcend the microcosm of long island hardcore. The downside, is that bands have to be good bands right from the start. No one is waiting around to see if they’ll “get good”. And in my opinion, that eliminates a lot of the fun that comes in starting a band. Getting better, becomes a hard thing to do when everyone expects you to start out great.
pastepunk: Tom’s brother was in INSIDE, who recently broke up and will be sorely missed. Silent Majority played the last INSIDE show, and it was by far one of the best I have ever been to, especially with Deja One sold out with 900 people! What was it like for SM to play such an emotional show for not only INSIDE, but for many of the audience?
Being a decrepit remnant of lihc, it is sad to say that I’ve become used to seeing great bands call it quits. The worst part is that the demise of a great band always seems to fall on the coattails of a great album. In inside’s case, this is especially true. They could have potentially exploded, had they toured on “my funeral”. And it’s a real shame they couldn’t have had just a little more time to play those songs for people.
pastepunk: Okay, a short question…outside of the band, what do the other members consume their time in. Does anyone go to school? Have jobs? Collect anything obsessively?
Ben, ryan and nick are in school. Nick works at Abercrombie. Tommy works in a tattoo studio. Rich works in a hardware store.
pastepunk: Every song seems to carry an important message, especially on the album “Life as a Spectator.” How does SM go about choosing a song set with so many of their songs being lyrically loaded?
A set is usually chosen for the following reasons: 1) it is easy to transfer from one song to another (tuning) 2) we try to make the series of songs make sense (energy) 3) we play the ones we practiced.
pastepunk: How does SM like touring? I know the band just recently completed their “Mini-Me” tour with another awesome Long Island band, KILL YOUR IDOLS, how did that go? Where are the band’s favorite places to play, and with whom? Has the band been to Europe yet? If not, would they like to go?
I have enjoyed every sm tour on some level. Some on more auspicious levels, than others. The KYI tour was great, but too damn short. As we accumulate more and more out of state shows, it becomes harder to say where our favorite places to play, are. I will say that lousiville Kentucky, Virginia beach and greensborough north Carolina have been exceedingly hospitable and enjoyable places to play. We haven’t made it to Europe yet, but that idea is always looming in the background whenever we start to make touring plans.
pastepunk: It used to be that punk/hc was a threat, now it seems that it is entertainment with a message. Does SM think that punk/hc could ever been a threat again?
I think that as time goes on, and pop-music continues to adopt bands that reside on the fringe of hardcore and punk rock, the notion of this type of music as a threat, will seem even less probable.
pastepunk: Has anyone in the band ever done a zine, written for a zine, etc…? The song “popular opinion” reflects on rumors spread viciously in a zine. Can SM expand more on that?
I can only speak for myself and say that I have done a zine and would hope to be able to do one again. Since I can only speak for myself, I can say that “popular opinion” is a personal song that tommy wrote, and I would be hard pressed to describe the meaning of the song beyond the obvious intent of the lyrics.
pastepunk: How would Silent Majority describe their sound being that it is my opinion totally original to someone who has never heard them before?
We sound like you favorite band, only better.
pastepunk: Silent Majority played on one of the record release shows for H20, if I am correct. That must have been awesome. How much does SM want to become a national fixture, as it is obvious that able to do so, with Initial now there home?
I would only want as much notoriety as would be necessary to keep us constantly touring and able to put out records. Being a rockstar seems like it would be great, but I don’t have that ego and sm doesn’t have the pop sensibilities. I might be naïve, but being interesting and good seems more fulfilling than being accepted and bad.
pastepunk: Okay, I’ll try to wrap this up here with just a few more questions. Did anyone in the band eat paste when they were younger? How is Silent Majority going to conquer the world? And does the band have anything else to say?
Only degenerate weirdos ate paste when they were little. Sm will never conquer the world. But with any luck, we’ll be around to watch it all end. Please buy our records and help us feel good about ourselves. For a good time, go to: www.initialrecords.com/silentmajority
-thanx goes to Rich for doing this, Silent Majority, and the nice people who took these pretty pictures. Look for the new ep out this November!
Interview by : Pastepunk (www.pastepunk.com)