silverstein 2021 bankrupt video
[Photo by: Juan Angel]

Silverstein are back with an explosive new track “Bankrupt.” Following their latest full-length A Beautiful Place To Drown and back catalog revamps on Redux II last year, “Bankrupt” marks their first new song of 2021.

The post-hardcore staples aren’t holding back with an energetic new video for the rage-fueled track that serves as a commentary on the state of the world.

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Just days into their 20th anniversary run, Silverstein cut their initial touring plans short amid the coronavirus pandemic like many bands in March 2020. Watching world events unfold over the next few months, the group felt angry that some people in power were using their platform to kick the world while it’s down.

Channeling that emotion, the band—vocalist Shane Told, bassist Billy Hamilton, drummer Paul Koehler and guitarists Paul Marc Rousseau and Josh Bradford—began writing new music while at home. As the first song from those sessions, “Bankrupt” is a fiery culmination of a rage that while a total kick in the teeth sonically also gives a poignant perspective on expecting more from our leaders.

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I don’t know how to feel anything but rage anymore,” Rousseau says of the track in a statement. “The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer. Wages are stagnant, tuition costs are rising, jobs are being automated [or] off-shored [and] costs of a home are laughable in most major cities.

“The walls feel like they’re closing in, and escape is starting to feel impossible. Two-faced leaders and greedy elected officials line their pockets while stripping funding for the programs that we actually need. What are we supposed to do now? Looking out for one another on a community level is good, but changing a crooked system is better.”

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When it came to constructing the visuals for the powerful single, the band teamed back up with director and editor Wyatt Clough. The filmmaker opted to capture much of the “Bankrupt” video on Kodak black-and-white 16mm film. Contrasting with the vibrancy of the pyrotechnics-filled performance, the grainy juxtaposition sets the mood for the aggressive track.

“‘Bankrupt,’ it’s gritty and ugly and dripping with maximalism and excess,” Rousseau exclusively tells Alternative Press. “It’s fire with fire on fire. Of course, the video needed to be straight to the point. The song says enough. [There’s] no need to muddy the waters with some flimsy narrative. Using a film camera gave us the feel and grime we wanted. Blowing things up was cathartic and the only fair physical representation of how we felt.”

“Bankrupt” is available to stream here via UNFD, and the high-energy video can be watched below.

In recent years, “Bankrupt” director Clough has worked with bands such as Beartooth on Disease track “Afterall” and their latest single “The Past Is Dead” off upcoming full-length Below. The creator’s resume also features credits with the Elwins (“Hung Up,” “Take Me All The Way”), Safe To Say (“Tangerine”) and Bearings (“Sway”).

However, this also isn’t the first time the director has crossed paths with Silverstein, teaming up with the band for a live music video for I Am Alive In Everything I Touch track “Heaven, Hell And Purgatory” on Warped Tour in 2015. Shortly after, Clough worked on “Lost Positives” and “Whiplash” from Dead Reflection and captured and edited a short documentary about the 2017 album.

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Since then, they also worked together through the A Beautiful Place To Drown era, which kicked off in 2019 with the band’s UNFD signing announcement and the release of “Burn It Down” featuring Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo. Clough directed and edited the purple-hued neon video for the follow-up singleInfinite,” which features Underoath’s Aaron Gillespie. The matchup continued on the equally vibrant video for Aaron Marshall (Intervals) collab “Bad Habits,” and the videographer also contributed footage of jellyfish to the Machine That Eats-directed visual for “Madness” featuring Princess Nokia.

Outside of the compelling visuals, Silverstein’s A Beautiful Place To Drown is nominated for Rock Album of the Year at the Juno Awards. They’re being recognized alongside Crown Landsself-titledJJ Wilde’s RuthlessNeil Young & Crazy Horse’s Colorado and Sam Roberts Bands All Of Us. This marks the band’s second nomination following a nod for New Group of the Year in 2006. The 2021 show will air May 16 at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST on CBC TV.

Read more: Silverstein, PUP and Dizzy are among the 2021 JUNO Awards nominees

Following a postponement last year, Silverstein will resume their 20th anniversary tour beginning at Cleveland’s House of Blues this November. Tickets and more information are available here, and a full list of dates and the lyrics to “Bankrupt” are available below.

Tour dates:

11/04 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
11/05 – Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Hall
11/07 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
11/09 – Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
11/11 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
11/13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/15 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
11/16 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
11/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency
11/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Belasco
11/20 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
11/21 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
11/23 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee
11/24 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine
11/26 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar and Grill
11/27 – San Antonio, TX @ Vibes
11/28 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
11/30 – St Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
12/03 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
12/12 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall

Silverstein “Bankrupt” lyrics

Blow it up
Hail to the king of vanity
Praise to the lord of hostility
Hallelujah! Bless the bottom line
New day, same con
Works every time

Take it all ’til there’s nothing left
Never believed a word that you said
Destroyer you are become death
Sell out, cash in, but you’ll always be
Bankrupt

I’m waiting for an answer
Life is a disaster we’re going through
Time keeps on moving backwards
The world is a cancer coming for you

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Hail to the king
Well, who’s the fucking king?
I won’t be bowing to power I’ll never kiss the ring
Fake fortunes on the backs of the unfortunate
Stock options only offset the loneliness

Money talks but time’s going deaf
Can’t buy back the life that you spent
Destroyer you are become death
Sell out, cash in, but you’ll always be
Bankrupt

I’m waiting for an answer
Life is a disaster we’re going through
Time keeps on moving backwards
The world is a cancer coming for you

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Everybody’s got a knife to their neck
If they’re coming for them, they’re gonna come for you next
Nobody’s life is worth as much as the check
They’re gonna sign it in blood with the tip of the bayonet

Oh fuck, blow it up
The deck is stacked
The game is rigged
The only rope they give
Chokes us when they pull the strings

I’m waiting for an answer
Life is a disaster we’re going through
(Take it all ’til there’s nothing left)
Time keeps on moving backwards
The world is a cancer coming for you

Everybody’s got a knife to their neck, everybody, everyone