INTERVIEW: The Silent Boys

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been feeling pretty good lately. In the past we have shunned publicity and chosen to fly under the radar, going from one album to the next with our heads down, so the recent interest and positive reaction to our music is both gratifying and encouraging.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Last Time?”

Readying for the upcoming Tilt-A-Whirl recording sessions, I realized there were too many songs. I was in the midst of making cuts when one morning I received a text from lead guitarist John Suchocki with a song attached. “Listen to this one, Wallace. Maybe you can write lyrics, and we can record it on the new album.”

Yeah, sure thing, John.

Since reforming in 1999, John has lived in Hawaii, then Burlington,VT then Boulder,CO and I have been the sole singer-songwriter for the Silent Boys. Sometimes in the mad rush to get all songs for an album recorded at the studio in a finite amount of time, I have had to shut down collaboration.

So basically, I set John’s new song aside and forgot all about it– that is until bassist Michael Click, who silently commandeered the song, wrote new lyrics and created a new version on his acoustic guitar. And it was good, really good— good enough to be a featured song on the new Tilt-A-Whirl album.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

When Click “hijacked” this song, he kept one phrase that connected with him and inspired him: “This is the last time I say goodbye to you.” According to Click, “That line reminded me of a series of relationships that I could not get past the 30-day hump. No matter how many good times were accumulated, things always, frustratingly, seemed to stall and sputter.”

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The Silent Boys drummer, John Morand, is our video producer. This is our second video and I didn’t think he’d be able to outdo what he did for our first video single “Tilt-A-Whirl” with all of its spinning amusement park elements. We were looking for a retro 80s feel with a little industrial moodiness, and unlike the first video, we wanted to include some Richmond, VA footage. We also wanted to cast our bass player, who looks like John Favreau, as the lead character in the video, but he threw his back out and was unable to participate. To fill out the band for the video, a friend assisting in the video shoot invited her husband to substitute as a bass player. When he showed up, my eyes popped out of their sockets- he was a “spitting image” of our lead guitarist and thus is John Suchocki’s stand-in in the video. Our goal is to one day have all the genuine band members in a Silent Boys video.

How was the recording and writing process?

Drummer John Morand recorded and produced our previous two albums (Roadside Flowers, By The Light Of The Moon). For this album, John Suchocki became the designated engineer. That meant recording all drums and my rhythm guitar parts at Sound Of Music Studios in Richmond and then flying out to Boulder, Colorado to sing and orchestrate the lead guitar. Michael Click recorded his bass tracks at home and sent the digital files to Suchocki to add to the mix.

What made you guys go for a 80s vibe with this song?

Well the funny thing is, we are an 80s band so the sound comes naturally for us. All settings are locked in to where they were when we recorded songs in mid to late 80s.

What role does Virginia play in your music?

The environment around me definitely informs my songwriting. Our new Tilt-A-Whirl album includes an REM-ish tune about the fineness of being at Buckroe Beach in late September, a quiet and contemplative song about my neighborhood surroundings in Northside Richmond, and a stinging Neil Young-ish rocker about toppling the Confederate statues that line Monument Avenue in the center of the city here in Richmond, VA.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along? Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The next single/video, “Lawrence Of Arabia” is set for release on April 17. The album titled Tilt-A-Whirl is scheduled for release on May 25.

Any plans to hit the road?

I am constantly badgering John Suchocki to abandon his family and business in Boulder to play some shows. His video stand-in figured out the chords and riffs to “Last Time” pretty readily, so we may have to go that direction as everyone is eager to perform these songs live.

What else is happening next in The Silent Boys’ world?

I have written the next Silent Boys album and plan to start production in the summer. We had so much fun making the video that we are planning more videos for Tilt-A-Whirl songs. It’s also in the works to lock Suchocki and Click in the same room so they can write another cool song like “Last Time.”


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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