With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to SILVER TALON. Answered by Bryce VanHoosen, guitarist. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
-It seems like all the good band names are taken! Luckily I didn’t have to do much in the way of coming up with this one. Our previous bassist, Gabriel Franco, advocated for Silver Talon fairly aggressively. Apparently he got it from Dan Cleary from Striker. I wasn’t super into it at the time, but agreed. Gabe would subsequently leave to front Idle Hands full time, leaving us with the band name. Overall I don’t think band names are that important – they tend to become synonymous with the music after a bit. When you head Iron Maiden, I at least don’t necessarily think of the medieval torture device. I think of the red logo with a white outline, I think of Eddie, twin guitars and Bruce Dickinson. So too will it be the same with Silver Talon.
What was it that made you want to be in a band in the first place?
-Randy Rhoads. Seeing that picture of him being lifted up by Ozzy by the leg was pretty much all I needed. He looked so cool, and there was so much passion and energy in their faces. I wanted to experience that. But more than that, I’m an artist to the core, so the act of just creating something is what really brings me joy. Pulling sounds out of the air and building a song from it note by note is an amazing experience. It’s almost like becoming one with the universe.
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
-I’m not sure how it works for others, but I don’t really feel like I create anything. I feel more like it comes to me from somewhere. I guess as far as influences go, when you hear a sound, it sort of replays in your brain; from there, whatever sticks with you throughout your day tends to find its way into your playing. The more you know about music theory, the more you can break down what’s happening. But these are all just steps to open yourself up to receive whatever is given to you from the muses.
When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
-Sometimes – I guess when on tour, playing festivals, that sort of thing. But a lot of the time it can feel somewhat isolated – you’re sort of just doing your own thing, and working on what resonates with you. A lot of the time I’m not even sure how our work will be received. It’s almost like an afterthought if I’m being honest. The real drive is to get this thing that’s inside of you out – to create your art. If people enjoy it, that’s great.
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
-It’s definitely important! The visual side of things has always been important to me. I mean, I saw a photo of Randy and Ozzy and decided to become a musician. I suppose if they were a couple of guys in sweatpants, it wouldn’t have had the same effect on me. So yeah, looking the part is important, and I think anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves. The look of a band tells a story, and it’s important that that story is something artisting and separate from everyday life.
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
-Our singer Wyatt writes the majority of the lyrics, and on Becoming A Demon he was inspired by science fiction, horror, fantasy, etc. Basically just telling stories and having some fun. The latest album, Decadence and Decay, has taken a bit of a somber turn. I guess given the state of the world and the band’s experiences over the last year, that was inevitable. The sci-fi and fantasy stuff is still there (it is only heavy metal after all), but we’re looking through a more world in decline sort of lens. Themes like nihilism, duty beyond one’s own self, trying to escape predestined fate, and pondering the cosmic realities of existence and life beyond our own every day existence played a large role in the lyrics this time around.
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-Of course it isn’t as relevant – we’re a half century removed from the 1970s, and musicians and artists have a shitload of other ways to reach their fans other than just releasing albums. Digital is one of those, but there’s also video, social media, and the live experience (whenever that comes back around). I love vinyl and listening to albums, but I tend to disagree with the framing of the question. It’s like asking if radio killed the player piano in the 1920s. The medium is the message, and as technology inevitably progresses, so too will the way people consume it. Everything is transitory in life, and nothing lasts forever. Something else will come along that will kill digital streaming as well, and I’m sure the folks who grew up living for algorithmically curated playlists will bemoan that in 50 years.
Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
-In all honesty, so long as we’re not sent back to the dark ages (which is looking more and more possible every day), it likely won’t. Something will come along and kill digital just like everything else. I don’t know what it will be yet, but I’d be extremely surprised if we just sort of came to the end of the road. “Well, there’s Spotify now – seems like we’ve gone as far as we can with this whole music technology thing.” Since music is a very personal thing, I see it getting more and more personal as time progresses. Maybe the future of music consumption is some sort virtual reality adventure where you’re actually in the fucking band playing to massive crowds – I don’t know. But the experience will shift again, and platforms like Spotify will be relics of the past.
How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experience with you like?
-I love touring, and we definitely hope to do more of it. Since we’re a fairly new band, we’ve only been out in the states a handful of times. Once on our own at the tail end of 2018, once with Exmortus doing a regional thing, and again last year with Savage Master. We had a few festivals lined up this year, Hyperspace 2020 in Canada and Legions of Metal in Chicago, but it looks that’s on hold until after summer due to the current pandemic. Hoping to hit the ground running in 2021, but have to let the current global situation iron itself out before then.
What lies in the future?
-We’re currently wrapping up recording on our debut full length album, Decadence and Decay, due out this year on M-Theory Audio. We started working on it in December, and had planned to wrap up recording vocals in March – then COVID 19 hit and everything shut down. As of now, we’re scheduled to finish up in June, and then sort of hanging tough for a bit. Hoping we can make it over to you guys sometime in 2021! In the meantime, stay tuned for new music from Silver Talon!