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Silverstein Explain the Inspiration Behind Their New Album, Band Name

Chris Fulcher

“Most people might associate a ‘short song’, with a fast punk rock vibe, but that’s not always the case,” explained Silverstein drummer Paul Koehler recently about the follow-up to their critically acclaimed album ‘Rescue.’ “There will still be a ballad, a breakdown, and some singalongs, all amidst these quick songs. The idea is to give the listeners a mini-Silverstein album, and take them through all of the peaks and valleys they could expect from any of our original albums.”

The appropriately titled ‘Short Songs’ (all the songs are under 90 seconds) was recently released by Hopeless Records and it’s a brilliantly realized concept by the Canadian post-hardcore band.

Recently, before a sold out show at the House of Blues in Hollywood, Calif., Koehler and guitarist/vocalist Shane Told visited with Noisecreep backstage to talk about the new record – and the origin of their band name.

Your band name comes from the popular author, Shel Silverstein.

Told: Right. My favorite story of his was ‘The Giving Tree.’ It’s such a beautiful story – it just resonates so incredibly no matter how old you are. He must have been a very interesting person. When we were in Japan, I actually a copy of ‘The Giving Tree’ in Japanese.

Koehler: When we formed, so many bands were picking quote unquote cool names – you know, three words, either violent, dramatic. We liked one word- a single word – that had some meaning behind it. And since we all liked Shel Silverstein a lot it made sense.

Charles Epting

The new album is really a brilliant concept.

Koehler: Thanks. ‘Short Songs’ is just what is says 11 originals and 11 covers – all under 90 seconds.

How did the idea come about?

Told: We did three covers last year to try and fit on to one side of a 7 inch record. It was fun, it was pretty easy, and it worked well live. So it started out as a small project, a little EP, but as we started writing we got more and more into it and the vision expanded.

Watch Silverstein’s Shane Told Perform ‘Sleep Around’

How did you choose the cover songs?

Koehler: We chose all the covers from the time before our band existed – we formed in 2000, so it was a chance to honor our influences and throw back a little. But it was hard to choose them – there were so many good ideas tossed around – then learning them and making it all fit was a challenge, too. It was all very super organic – covering so many things – different styles – we were writing different styles – people have been really excited about it.

Told: The song ‘Short Songs’ was crucial to the idea – that’s the Dead Kennedys song cover – because that really set the tone. And we wanted the collection to be really diverse – short songs, but not just short punk songs. That’s why we do an acoustic Green Day song, an Orchid song – you get the idea. One of my favorite bands was NOFX, they helped me understand the history of punk, and so we had to do one of their songs

Have you gotten any feedback from any of the original artists?

Told: Fat Mike from NOFX tweeted about what we did – he thought it was awesome – and that blew us away.

Silverstein’s ‘Short Songs’ is available now via Hopeless Records.

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