Silence Of September

author PP date 21/05/10

After a short cigarette break, the Silence Of September guys were ready for another twenty five minutes of interviewing, also known as grilling here at staff. If you remember from a the first part of this interview, the guys talked about how the band got together, how they got signed to warner, and background stuff like that, whereas the second part focuses especially on their debut album and how people react to the band. Enjoy the read, and remember to support your local bands! As far as I've understood, the lyrics are pretty important for you guys. Tell me a little bit about what the record is all about lyrically?
Nikola: I can do it like this, maybe just go through the tracks, a couple of sentences per song. The first real track except for the intro is "I Have A Dream". It's anti-racist song. It's about trying to make people take their head out of their asses. It sounds really corny but we are all human and we're all from the same planed, and I just don't see the point of hating somebody because of your skin colour. It's a bit of a protest and a reinterpretation of Martin Luther King's speech.

"Make A Scene" - it's about not being afraid to forget who you were, and just 'making a scene', not having any boundaries in what you feel and what you do. Just do it, fuck it, just do it if it feels right.

"You" - a lot of people think it's a love song, but actually it's not. It also sounds a bit corny, but it's actually a song to nature. The lyrics say "so this is how it feels to be guilty of a crime", it's not a secret that we're actually polluting our planet and really fucking it up all the way through. The chorus is like "I know that I'm nothing except that pain in your spine, why aren't you saying something, why do I feel so alive". It's a song to planet earth, to say it like that; I'm sorry we fucked you up, but that's what we do. A lot of people think it's for a girl or whatever, but it's not, because it's realizing what we've done in the last 50 years.

"Take Back The Words" - in a way a personal song of getting disappointed of people you know. Take back the words, just saying something you will regret later, and realizing your own faults, and something you fucked up and just reconsider afterwards instead of just "I don't give a shit" or whatever. Just taking consideration to each other.

"Forever" - it's a really twisted love song. It's a love song about a guy that's not well. In a way, he's sick. It's not biographic [laughs]. It's about a guy who's obsessed with a girl. He sings...[everyone laughs], no I sing. He says "I will smell your hair again from a distance you can't feel. I will hide under your bed, watch me, feel me". Trying to get close to somebody without them knowing it, practically just being obsessed with somebody that doesn't necessarily want you. It's a bit skizophrenic because he's singing, if you could imagine like "ohhh I love you I love you I love you", it's the boundary between love and madness, it's really really small. It's actually the story of when you have a girlfriend that dumps you, and you have that feeling "if I'm not gonna be with her nobody's gonna be with her", and it's just taking it a step further: nobody's EVER going to be with her. It's like stalking. It's of course a story, a fantasy in a way. It's something that everybody thinks at some point without actually hiding under the girl's bed [laughs]

"Down The Drain" - it's about being let down from one of the persons that you trust most in the world, but you keep on trying. That's why the chorus is "But I tried and I tried and tried". Just keep on saying the same word all the time, because you keep trying and you keep trying, but everything just goes down the drain anyways.

"Sleep Of Reason" - for me, it's the most personal song of the record. Without going into details, it's about trying to get a relationship up and running, and you think everything is good, but all of a sudden from one day to another, the other person's feelings aren't even close to what you feel for them. It's like feeling something but not getting the same thing back. In a way, it's really ironic, because you write off love, in a way. You put it in a distance so that it's a good thing not to love. That's why the lyrics say in the chorus, "cause if love is like dying, I'll live forever". I like the irony in it, because in a way it's a classic love song, but there's a twist in it, because it's actually about doing the opposite thing of what normally classic love songs are about.

"January 8th" is a really political song. It's an anti-war song, not just the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, but what's the point of going into war. For me, it's one of the songs with the lyrics that I'm most proud of writing, because I really like some parts of it, such as "take a bullet, build a coffin for your father to carry you to your grave, don't you think it's fun to see your own children go to waste". The same thing as with "I Have A Dream", what's the point? You can't stop a war by going there with guns. We're still the same people and all those people that died, they are our own brothers and sisters, and they're actually killed by their own kind. The main theme is war is fucked, don't do it. That's it. There's no reason for doing it.

"Second Chance" - it's the most classic lyric on the CD; really pure and sad love song, just with a twist.

"Silence Of September" is also realizing that something's just don't work even if you want them to work. I like it a lot because it describes a lot of stuff that everybody feels sometime, somewhere. The funny thing is that it sums up the whole album in a way. The last line in the song is "just close the door when you leave" and the city opens with a man opening the door and getting comfortable in a chair, lighting a cigarette, and turning on what's going to happen next. This is like the closure for the whole album because whatever you heard, whatever you feel, and whatever you do, just close the door when you're done, and that's it. But in a way it's a classic love song, where you realize that, as I said before, sometimes thing's don't work even though you want them to work. Sometimes things happen that you just can't control one hundred percent.

The themes that go through the album are mostly stuff that everybody feels sometimes, somewhere. I just like putting my view of it, I can't talk for nobody else, I can just talk about how I see it. And of course, some soldiers out there in war would think like "what the fuck are you talking about, you haven't tried it yourself". But that's respectful. It's fair enough, if that's how they feel. But it's not what I feel, I don't see a point of going into war. It's hard to define because every song is a bit its own, because there are some classical themes going through the album, but still with a twist.

Kenneth: I think that's also the funny thing about lyrics. When I joined the band, the lyrics were already written, and the songs were done, so I kinda got my own opinion about what the songs mean to me. I have many times wanted to ask Nikola: what about that line? what about that? But I think it's funnier to have your own point of view on the lines. So he said something now about a song, I see it in a totally different way, you know, for me the song means something totally different. But that's the nice thing about it.

Nikola: Of course there are some obvious themes, but I like the thought of people using the songs for what they wanna use it for. Not saying that some psycho out there should take it as a compliment or whatever, but a lot of the stuff that's said in between the lyrics in the different songs are stuff that everybody thinks of sometimes, but nobody says it out loud. As I said before, if I'm not gonna be with you, nobody else is gonna be with you. But you never say that, everybody feels it when you get dumped, but you never say it out loud. For me, I could just hide a bit behind the lyrics and just say it without meaning it 100%. That came out wrong! Of course I mean it 100%, but that doesn't necessarily make it true because you can get into different states of mind when you write a lyric.

Kenneth: If you say one thing to yourself enough times, then you start believing it.

Mirza: So don't sing it too many times, we have too many shows right now, he's going crazy [laughs]

Nikola: We have to be a bit crazy to be interesting. A lot has been said about the hard rock style that you guys are playing on the debut album and obviously on the demo as well. Some people are saying that the genre is somewhat dated, and I'm sure that you've heard and/or read some of the criticism. So what would be your reply to the question of "what can Silence Of September offer in 2010 with a sound that's referencing a much older sound that's not so popular anymore?"
Nikola: Good songs.

Mirza: That's the thing.

Nikola: For me, it doesn't matter which genre people play. If you listen to this whole new wave of pop music in the last two years, a lot of it sounds like music from the 60s and the 70s, if you take an artist like Duffy for example. It's impossible today to make something that hasn't been heard before. If you wanna do that, you're out in those extremes where you maybe even can't call it music anymore because it's noise or whatever it is. What is music? Is it banging on a casserolle, or is it playing the guitar, or violin? For me, I don't want to date the music. Of course, it sounds lke something that we listened to when we first started playing music.

Kenneth: I also think that, nevermind the question, but people who ask you "what are you gonna offer". Music isn't about offering anything, it's about doing what you like, and if you also like the music, then great, buy the CD or listen to the songs. People who say that... it's kind of a modern thing to say "what can you do for the new century", you know?

Nikola: It's the same thing as with "Some Kind Of Monster", the documentary about Metallica, the scene where they discuss solos, where Kirk Hammet says "if we don't do any solos, we're gonna date it to this period that is now". For us it's like: if it sounds good, we'll keep it. If it's a saxophone from the 80s, or if it's a classic violin, or if it's a nu-metal riff, or speed metal riff, or thrash metal riff, or acoustic ballad. It doesn't matter, as long as it's a good song. The first priority for us all the way through was just writing good songs. What they sound like per date or what you can connect them to, a certain period of time or whatever, we didn't think about it once actually. At all. We didn't wanna make an album that was like "oh we have to make the modern sound" or "we wanted to sound like something that's 20 years old or 50 years old" or whatever. We just said "oh this sounds good lets keep it", and that's it. Just concentrated on making good songs. Of course, some of the greatest songs of all time are four chords. "Summer of '69", "Leaving On A Jet Plane". Today, they're corny songs, but they're some of the best songs ever written, the craft work in them. Four chords and a good melody, and that's what makes a good song. I think that's why our songs are going to work acoustically as well because they're good songs. If you play them with full instrumental stuff on it or just with an acoustic guitar, it still sounds right.

Kenneth: And of course there are going to be people who say "but I don't think it's a good song", and that's a question of personal opinion.

Nikola: You can't satisfy everybody.

Mirza: We don't want to offer anything special. We just want to offer what we've made, and that's it. Take it or leave it. It's not like we wanted to satisfy or bring something new to the world, because we can't. Everything has been done. It's new for somebody, I don't know. It's different.

Nikola: It's the same like the concert review that you guys made from Rust. It was 4½ out of 10? Actually I wasn't mad or "ohh it's unfair", or whatever. I was just really sorry that he didn't get the same experience that everybody else had that night. And I'm not saying that we had 10/10 stars, I think 6 or 7 would probably have been fair, but the thing is that I'm just really really sorry that he didn't have a good experience. Because our main priority when we play live concerts is to make sure that our audience gets a good vibe and a good feeling. And if that means that we have to get them to clap a long 50 times during a concert, I mean if they do it, it works.

Mirza: The thing is, for this community we are in... this may be a little too personal, I don't know how I should say it. But maybe we just stand alone in some way, because we do it really in our own way. We combine the metal stuff and the hard rock and the screams on a CD, maybe with some elements that normally a hard rock band or a metal band would never use. And that's why I feel like sometimes we stand alone in the community in Denmark, where we are now. And I see it as a good thing, because we're not afraid to stand there and fight for ourselves. We wanted to make some partnerships with other bands, but if it means that we have to work our ass off alone, we're gonna do it, as long as there's an audience at concerts and people listen to our CD. Just listen to it, I don't give shit about your opinion, because you have your opinion. We did what we did, and now it's your turn to decide what you wanna do with it.

Nikola: We don't wanna make music for other opinions' sake. We make the music because we like it. If you like it, it's awesome, thank you very much, it's a compliment, and we're glad that you like it, it's always nice to get a compliment. But if you don't like it, if it's not suiting you in any way, it's okay. To say it in a bad way, I don't give a shit, but still. We respect their opinion. You're never gonna hear us say "yeah but how can you not like it because everybody else", I mean if you don't like it, it's fair. There's a lot of bands out there that I don't like. I respect them a lot, but it's just not my cup of tea.

Mirza: To go back to your question of how we would respond to the criticism that we are out dated, it's like: "yeah". It was nice to read that somebody had actually any opinion, that's the good thing. If you give opinion and say something about it, then you've actually made an interest to listen to it.

Kenneth: The thing about it is that some people say outdated, I call it a classic. It's a matter of opinion again.

Mirza: If you heard the latest Metallica album, that's goddamn outdated, because they made the album like going back in time, taking the first steps.

Nikola: A lot of bands go back and the thing is, I don't get how sometimes it's cool to go back and do something old school. I mean, is there a formula? Does it have to be older than 15 years? What's wrong about just going a couple of years back? Does it have to be 20 or 30 years? Because either it's outdated or it's really really retro and cool. What's the difference? Do you have to pass a 20 year mark to make it cool? No doubt that there's a lot of similarities in our music to the whole wave that came around '99-2000-2001 and a couple of years ahead, like Linkin Park and stuff like that. But of course, that's the music we listened to back then when we started playing music ten years ago. Of course it's going to make an influence. A lot of bands have other influences. If you listen to Rise Against, nobody can ever say that they never listened to Bad Religion. You make what you listen to yourself. You get your influences from other bands and of course it's going to affect the way you write yourself. We listened to a lot of those bands that people think we sound a like, so I think it makes sense.

Kenneth: Yeah, it's like when you're a little boy and the first time you say that you wanna be a rock star, you say "I wanna be like THAT guy, he plays that kind of music". Now you can finally play that kind of music, so go do it man, you know?

Mirza: That's a long answer to a really short question! [laughs] That's fine, I only have one more question left. Tour-wise, you guys still haven't played that many shows. Is there a future tour in plans where you go around Denmark or maybe even Europe?
Nikola: The thing is for us, we're not known enough for a booking label to sign us in and make a tour for us. We're not known enough in the whole Copenhagen scene to make our own gigs. We don't have any phone numbers, we don't have any emails. It's really hard to get out there and play a gig if you don't know anybody. And of course, after we've been in the studio for two years, we don't know anybody at all. So we've just started. Of course, we're working on getting a booking label, but all of them are saying the same, that we don't have a name, so they can't work with us now. And of course we want to get out there and play a bunch of gigs, but it's hard when you don't have the contacts.

Mirza: We're gonna see what's gonna happen now. We're gonna release our second single in a short while, and we're gonna see what's gonna happen afterwards, because we're putting a lot of effort on that single, and see what it's gonna bring with it. There are a lot of plans, and as I said before, when we point something that we want, we go for it, and we have planned a lot of stuff for this single. We don't know what it's gonna bring, maybe nothing, maybe everything, so we're just gonna see.

Kenneth: The thing about it is that a tour costs a lot of money, and would you go see a band for $30 or whatever if you don't know them? It's a risk you have to take.

Nikola: Nobody knows us and of course we can't make a tour right now because nobody will show up. So we have to first make a name for ourselves, and the only way to do it is just to get out there and take it one day at a time. Just promote yourself as good as you can, until somebody comes and gives you a hand with it.

Kenneth: So if there's anybody out there who has a 100k and wants donate, then please feel free [laughs]

Mirza: But we're gonna see what's gonna happen next. Maybe we're gonna have some doors open. We don't have any schedules or anything. That's about it then. Do you have anything else to add to the interview, to the fans, to the readers, to the haters?
Kenneth: We love you all!

Nikola: My own personal opinion is that if you don't like our music, it's fair. If you just say stuff because you don't have anything else to say and it's negative stuff, then you got a big problem [chuckles] towards anything, because I don't see a point of putting somebody down just because you don't have anything else to say. And of course, a lot of people think that maybe some other bands deserved this chance more than we do. I don't agree, we worked for four years non stop besides our full time jobs. We spent 80 hours a week on this. If anybody deserves this, it's us, definitely, because we worked our fucking asses off. We've ended up in the hospital, we've gone down mentally and physically, burned out, but we worked for it. And I don't think anybody has the right to say that we don't deserve this, because we really fucking do, and we worked hard for it. Nobody did us any favours and nobody gave us something we didn't deserve, we just have a goal, and we're not stopping until we're gonna be there. And for everybody who has supported us, and has come to the shows and liked the CD, thank you, really, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Kenneth: Buy the record! [all laugh]

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