Silverstein push past sonic boundaries on ‘A Beautiful Place To Drown’
Post-hardcore staples Silverstein showed no fear when it came to the structure, writing and recording of their ninth album, A Beautiful Place To Drown. Adding in a tinge of dark pop and securing several sick collaborations, Silverstein have effortlessly managed to blend genres while staying true to their heavy roots.
Frontman Shane Told and guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau exclusively took us through A Beautiful Place To Drown. So while you’ve got the group’s latest release piercing through your speakers, dive into the breakdowns, collabs and more below.
1. “Bad Habits” (feat. Intervals)
SHANE TOLD: We wanted this record to start off with a bang, and I love that we kicked it off with this track. The dirty bass and vocals into the riff, a slamming chorus and breakdown—it just got me so excited. Then we thought, "What could really put this thing over the top?" So we got Aaron [Marshall] of Intervals to rip an insane solo over the top of it. Lyrically, it’s about those demons everyone has that you can’t seem to shake, and sometimes you just end up embracing them. It also makes a bunch of self-references to our old albums. This track is so much fun.
2. “Burn It Down” (feat. Caleb Shomo)
TOLD: This was the first song we had for this album, and I knew it had potential, but originally, it didn’t have a bridge. I thought putting a real emphasis on that part was important, so we asked our friend Caleb Shomo of Beartooth to see what he could come up with over top of it. Literally, we sent the track over, and 30 minutes later, he sent it back with exactly what you hear. The man’s a genius, but you already knew that.
3. “Where Are You”
PAUL MARC ROUSSEAU: Josh [Bradford, guitarist] and I were in a session, and he pulled out this really cool, ugly, sludgy riff. We started building the track, got it mostly finished and realized the original riff didn’t fit the vibe anymore. It’s funny that you can start with this really strong idea and end up totally forgetting why you liked it in the first place. I love how this tune turned out. It feels like a night drive to me—glossy and slick and always moving. Lyrically, I got this flashback to that horrible feeling you get the first night after a breakup where you’re alone in bed staring at the ceiling wondering what your ex is doing. Your mind going crazy with all the possibilities, your stomach in knots. Those nights are brutal, and I think we captured that longing. One of my favorites we’ve ever done.
4. “Infinite” (feat. Aaron Gillespie)
TOLD: People struggling with mental health issues is a bigger problem than ever before. The feelings of anxiety and depression that millions of people face are real, and we wanted people to know they’re not alone. The truth is things do get better, but that hopeless feeling when it feels like it will never end is so horrible. This song to me is one of our proudest moments as a band. To be able to put together a song that is sonically very different but at its core is a Silverstein song with its message and delivery was really special for us.
5. “Shape Shift”
TOLD: Politics in 2020 are a mess, and so many people are believing lies and misinformation on social media. The leaders are lying right in our faces, and even though we know it’s happening, we can’t seem to do anything about it. We’ve never been a political band exactly, but it’s getting scarier and scarier, and at some point, we all have to take a stand. In terms of the vibe of this song, I love the rhythmic, almost disjointed vibe of the chorus melody. It feels like the political climate out there right now. This is definitely one of my favorites on the album.
6. “All On Me”
ROUSSEAU: I had been using Juno keyboard sounds for texture on a bunch of songs for this album, but I was curious to see how far we could push things. This song relies almost entirely on that synth sound. I was in L.A. writing with Blake Harnage, sunny afternoon, [and] he just started playing this progression, and I was like, “Damn dude, keep playing. I think I have something.” The general idea took almost no time to put together, but the actual arrangement and production took forever to get right. Saxophone, minimal guitars, a really soft and vulnerable performance from Shane. I’m really proud of how it came out.
7. “Madness” (feat. Princess Nokia)
ROUSSEAU: This was the first track I wrote for the album. That riff felt really cyclical to me—almost like you could get lost in it without realizing it’s started over again. That musical vibe reminded me of a toxic relationship, so I kept the riff rolling through the verses and went to work on lyrics that reflected that feeling. I wanted the chorus to hit hard, like that cold-light-of-day realization that everything is broken and you have to act. From the start, I wanted to have a [woman rapping] over that bridge section. I thought it would be cool to tell a two-sided story, and I was really enamored with the contrast of a breathy, softer voice over a thrashy breakdown. Princess Nokia wrote her part, and it was exactly what I was hoping for—lyrically reinforced the theme and sounds totally badass.
8. “Say Yes!”
ROUSSEAU: Feel good vibe! I was experimenting with this double-delay pedal technique and got this cool choppy guitar part working. It felt like it needed something bouncy and upbeat to carry it, so we built some jumpy drums and quick lyrical pacing. I had been thinking about time and timing, about how often we fall victim to circumstance, how things could be different if they just happened at another point in life, and the lyrics just fell out of the pen. It’s a cheery-sounding song, but I think it can be looked at in a sadder way. The operative word is “if” because it provides no guarantees. We could stay here for a long time, but we might not.
ROUSSEAU: This one went through so many different mutations before we figured it out. I love how pushed the whole song feels—almost like it’s running away from itself, then the bridge hits, and everything sinks into this super slo-mo groove. Like, the song drowns. It’s a pretty wild song, but it has some of my favorite moments on the album. It was a fun puzzle, and I’m super stoked on it.
10. “September 14th”
TOLD: In 1969, the Vietnam draft lottery happened. Live on TV, government officials filled a bowl with 366 capsules, each containing a day of the year. They used this to determine who would be drafted to go to war in Vietnam. The first date called was Sept. 14, so anyone born on that day had to go. It’s crazy to think something like this happened just a decade before I was born. So many people had their lives completely uprooted, and many people were killed because of this. The clip at the beginning is an actual recording of that announcement. Underneath it is some very unique instrumentation for us—organ, piano and strings... Then it kicks in with a ton of energy, anger and sadness I can imagine those people born on that day must have felt.
11. “Coming Down”
ROUSSEAU: I actually wrote these vocals for a different song, scrapped all the original music and rewrote it under the existing vocal tracks. It was a cool experiment, and I’d definitely try it again. The original song was an EDM track, so instead of a chorus, there was a drop. I kept that structure and tried to make it feel super hype without it being a fake dubstep breakdown or something.
It was cool to get out of my comfort zone and write to a different kind of arc. I had been listening to a lot of ’90s rock, and that chord progression in the chorus just felt really right to me. We doubled all the heavy guitars with a baritone and a [six-string] bass. Ridiculous. Lyrically, the song is a snapshot of visions of falling. Nothing to grab on to, just a permanent downward spiral. A sort of desperate cry for help that gets lost in the void.
12. “Take What You Give” (feat. Simple Plan)
TOLD: Pierre [Bouvier] from Simple Plan has been a good friend of mine for almost 15 years, and I’ve always admired him so much as a singer and songwriter. We had this bridge, where everything just calms down for a second, and I could hear his voice sounding so perfect in that spot. So I texted him, and he was so psyched to do it, and he came up with such a cool melody for the part. This song is a great closer that speaks the truth—you can only control the things you do [and] the way you act, and you can’t expect to be given the same gratitude.
A Beautiful Place To Drown is now available on all streaming platforms. Silverstein will be on tour with support from Hawthorne Heights, Four Year Strong, the Devil Wears Prada, Motionless In White and more throughout the year.
03/06 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall * (SOLD OUT)
03/07 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom *
03/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore *
03/10 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live! *
03/11 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground *
03/13 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade *
03/14 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live *
03/15 – New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre *
03/16 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse *
03/19 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live *
03/20 – San Antonio, TX @ Vibes *
03/21 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom *
03/22 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine *
03/24 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl *
03/25 – Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee *
03/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Belasco *
03/28 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues * (SOLD OUT)
03/29 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom *
03/31 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *
04/01 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox *
04/03 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot *
04/04 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre *
04/05 – Kansas City, MO @ Truman *
04/07 – Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall *
04/08 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts *
04/09 – Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre *
04/10 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues *
04/11 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall * (SOLD OUT)
06/18 – Dessel, BE @ Graspop Metal Meeting
06/19 – Koblenz, DE @ Circus Maximus %
06/20 – Bischofsmais, DE @ Rock the Hill Festival
06/21 – Aschaffenburg, DE @ Colos Saal +
06/22 – Aarau, CH @ Kiff Saal +
06/23 – Milan, IT @ Circolo Magnolia +
06/24 – Lyon, FR @ Ninkasi Kao ^
06/26 – Usselsteljn, NL @ Jera On Air
06/27 – Munster, DE @ Vainstream
06/28 – Ferropolis, DE @ Full Force Festival
06/30 – Poznan, PL @ Klub Pod Minoga %
07/01 – Rostock, DE @ Peter Weiss Hause %
07/03 – Stockholm, SE @ High 5ive Festival
07/05 – Bremen, DE @ Tower
07/07 – Dover, UK @ The Booking Hall ~
07/08 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store ~
07/09 – London, UK @ New Cross Inn ~
07/10 – Cheltenham, UK @ 2000 Trees Festival
# with Hawthorne Heights
* with Four Year Strong and I The Mighty
% with Loathe
+ with the Devil Wears Prada, Counterparts, Loathe
^ with While She Sleeps, Motionless In White, SHVPES
~ with Modern Error