BestFan blogger Sharon Bhella sat down to chat with Sean Silverman of This Century while on The Long and Winding Roadshow acoustic tour. They talked about the upcoming album, Joel’s recovery from vocal surgery, and tour life. Check it out below!
Sharon Bhella: Thanks for meeting with me Sean! This Century released Sound of Fire in 2011 and then Biography of Heartbreak in 2013. When do you think we can expect your next album?
Sean Silverman: The plan is to release it in the spring of 2015, and that hopefully will be the case. We’ve been working on the record since March, but we kind of took a hiatus for a while. Joel had been a bit under the weather with his voice and so we’re gonna finish it up and then hopefully be able to release it in the spring.
SB: “Talk to Talk” was just released, is that sound the direction you guys are going in with the new record?
SS: A bit, yeah. The big thing with the new record versus the old stuff is that I think we’ve matured a lot as writers and also as people. I think it was time for us to kind of evolve musically and go back to what we did with our first record, but didn’t get to fully realize with the first record.
SB: As you mentioned before, Joel had to go for vocal surgery earlier this year and this is the first time out on tour since then. How did that affect the band?
SS: It was kind of a weird situation. It had been going on for like the last five years, and then it kind of came ahead when we were recording this new record. We were forced to be on a bit of a hiatus for a little while and kind of figure out how life would be without being a band. That was a weird process, in a way it was a blessing in disguise because we were able to explore other things that we had always wanted to. Joel got more into stuff with his church, and I got more into songwriting. I had been writing for other artists for a while, so I got to dedicate time to that and work on some of my own stuff. It was also a chance to learn to appreciate everything you do have.
SB: Yeah definitely. Well I’m glad that you guys are back! I heard that you guys are also really popular in South East Asia and they’ve played some of your songs on the radio before…that’s so cool! You guys have been to the Philippines before too, how was that different from the shows you’ve done in the US?
SS: I think it’s that they have such an appreciation for music. There’s such an over-saturation of music in the United States that people have so much to choose from. And when you take the time to go over to a country like the Philippines, they are so appreciative that you take the time to do that. The people are so kind, and there’s this special bond that exists there. It elevates the shows to a different level and it’s very emotional. For us, the first time we went over there, it was almost surreal because we had only known of what happened on the Internet. Then we got there and didn’t know what to expect. Next, we are playing in front of 4000 people, and they know the songs, and they appreciate the songs on a level that we never thought they did. It felt very special and it was just so authentic.
SB: I kind of asked you a little about this earlier, but if you were doing something other than music what would do you think that would be?
SS: I had gone to college for a long time, and was actually going to go to law school. I went to school for five years.
SB: Before This Century?
SS: Yeah, I was one semester away from going to law school. I took school very seriously, and then one day I stopped, and I said that I couldn’t live without music in my life. So I probably would have done law school, but if I wasn’t doing This Century, I would still be doing music in some capacity because it’s just part of who I am. I think This Century started as kind of a gateway for me to learn how to song write, and it expanded into something really beautiful and awesome. Exploring some of the other things that we’ve done or I’ve done has helped a lot in appreciating what This Century does have.
SB: That’s cool, definitely didn’t know that about you! So, you guys switched from being on a label to being independent, kind of like Nick Santino. What were some of the best parts and some of the hardest parts of that transition for the band?
SS: The best part was that it felt like, everything that happens in the movies, you know. You get to go to all the cool parties, and have all these cool friends. You get to meet all of the people you’ve always wanted to meet, and you get to write with all of these amazingly talented individuals. And then to know that it can kind of all go away in just a blink of an eye, just because of certain circumstances out of your control. And learning that some of that is very transient and doesn’t really exist in the real sense. Also, learning to appreciate what you do have.
At the end of the day, I think we were so young that I don’t think we really knew what we did have, and what we were doing. We made some decisions early on that were based solely upon on the excitement of the idea of what music is supposed to be and not what we wanted it to be. And so there’s that unrealistic expectation, and then you realize it was such a fleeting moment. If you want to have a career in music and you want to continue with it, you have to expand bigger than just the idea of working with a record label.
I was actually talking about this the other day with someone, and basically they said that the career is the new art form. Being able to be diverse in your interests and expanding your knowledge of the idea of what you do is so much more important than just writing a song. I love that because for me, it’s hard to just do one thing, so the idea of being able to write songs for other people, or write songs for This Century, or help younger artists understand what they’re about to encounter. That means more to me than anything.
SB: Do you think you guys are going to be doing any other collaborations with Austin Gibbs? I loved the song “Someone For Everyone.”
SS: Actually, since we’re going to be home for a little bit, Austin is going to be coming to Arizona for a few days. I think were gonna track some songs just for fun. Him and I go a while back, and it would just be fun. He’s so freaking talented and so much fun to write with. He explores this space of writing that I don’t really do, and it’s nice to transport to something that you’re unfamiliar with because it feels so exciting. So yeah, I hope so!
SB: So, you probably already know that BestFan is a Toronto based blog. What would you say is your favourite memory of Toronto?
SS: My favourite memory of Toronto would probably be from our show that we did on our Young and Useless Tour. We played at a venue called Sneaky Dee’s. I loved that show because we had just come off from doing a lot of tours where we were the opening band for a lot of bands. And it was this weird experience where it felt like we didn’t really have a sense of who even listened to us, or who was just sort of there because of the other bands that were there. It was such a great outpouring of support at that show, and I can just remember being in that little weird corner of Sneaky Dee’s, like in that little backstage nook that’s really just meant for gear, and then you’re just sitting there waiting to go on and feeling like the energy of people wanting to listen to you perform. That was a great show.
Carter Hulsey was on that tour, he was so cool, and I remember Carter playing a set and being like, “This is gonna be a really special set” and I remember getting on stage and feeling legitimately nervous to play because it was so exciting to me. I don’t know, Toronto always has that. I think it’s like that every time we come to Canada. It turns it a little bit up, and everyone’s a little bit more excited, just because it feels like you might not be there again, you never know when you’re gonna come back. And so you know that at least if you leave it all on the table the day that you get there, then you’ve done your job. That’s what I hope to do every time we come to Toronto.
SB: My last question for you is our traditional BestFan question, and that is what are you a “Best Fan” of?
SS: Oh man, I have so many best fan’s of!
SB: It can be more than one!
SS: Okay, music wise I am a huge Nine Inch Nails fan. Love that band. And then completely outside of that is that I love crafting stuff. I know that’s really weird to say.
SB: What does that mean exactly?
SS: [Laughs] Making things, creating anything. Just like making things out of nothing. Right now we’re working on a shed in our backyard. Or like working on any project, like working on something that I’m not good at. I like doing something that I’m really terrible at, and then feeling like I kind of understand it. I like to know how things work.
SB: Well thanks so much for meeting with me! Looking forward to the show!
SS: Awesome, thank you!
Be sure to check out the band’s newest song “Talk to Talk!”