Silent Lions are a band not to miss live. Thick, creamy sound often described as “chill punk” and “Hall and Oates Stoner Rock”. Silent Lions’ upcoming Sophomore EP, The Compartments, is a deeper exploration into genre manipulation. From Hip-Hop to Stoner Rock, Silent Lions create moments of lo-fi chaos out of hi-fi clarity.
I was able to track down the two-some of Silent Lions prior to the show Friday!
The video for “Terrible Days” is pretty badass. What was the inspiration behind the video and song?
(Matt) As soon as we finished The Parliaments we knew Terrible Days was going to be a single and needed a video to match the song's atmosphere. Something black and white, grainy, and a bit creepy. The idea to cut in old public domain horror movies came up, Night of the Living Dead being the most famous, and ended up working out great. I'm an long-time fan of Romero's zombies, so it was exciting to make that a part of the band's visual presentation. Dean and I's performances seem to be inspired more by the zombies, now that I think of it. The image of us slowly walking out of a doorway can't quite match the intensity of the cemetery zombie attacking Barbara with a brick, but what can?
Give us some background on Silent Lions…
(Dean) Silent Lions started as a solo project for me when I was finishing up school in Athens. When I'd go home to Toledo for breaks I'd meet up with Matt and we'd record rough demos every couple of months. After getting back from my first US/EU tour with a former band (The Sights, from Detroit) Matt and I went up to record our first EP with DET producer Zach Shipps (formerly of Electric Six). We had never played live together and we were still fleshing out arrangements, but it's that new/live energy in the studio that lead to the quick evolution of our sound. Also at that time, what I first thought was an asinine tangent, Zach told us to ditch all guitars on our EP, leaving it just bass, keys and drums. We then added extra octave pedals to the bass to beef up the sound. This left me with an issue; how do we pull this off live? After months of practicing with an amp trigger system that brings octave manipulated amps in and out of the mix, and relearning fuzzed out bass lines with just my left hand so I can play the sampled synth parts on simultaneously with my right, we were ready to hit the road.
About 8 months of on and off touring later, we returned to the studio to record our second EP. Working in Zach's home studio in Detroit, and in between tours playing there most weekends, though we are from Toledo, Detroit has become very supportive of us and is like a second home. This tour is our release to for the new single, "Stolen In The Heat Of The Moment".
What can one expect at a live Silent Lions show?
(Dean) Well first off, let me start by saying that we are a live band, and that is the best capacity in which to see us. While we try and keep the bass and drum tracks as live as possible in the studio, we put a lot of production into the songs and we replicate each part live. It's part of the challenge.
We pride ourselves on being a two piece creating the sound of four people. There are a lot of technical tricks on the sampler and bass, and often times people tell us it's like watching someone play DDR while making music.
But most importantly, it's all about energy. From day one, Nirvana has always been my starting point for whatever I'm pursuing musically. Silent Lions draws a lot of their live influence with groovy live hooks and a sound much bigger than a small rock combo should be able to create (or in our case a duo).
What is next for Silent Lions?
(Matt) We are going out on tour for three weeks this fall to promote the first single, “Stolen in the Heat of the Moment”, from our new record that comes out early next year. We recorded again in Detroit with Zach Shipps who we worked with on The Parliaments, and it will show us experimenting with just how much sound we can make as a two-piece. The new songs were written while we were touring this summer, then we recorded them coming right off the road, so they have that “two guys playing live in a room” feel, combined with as many weird sounds and effects we can throw into the mix. Still looking into surgical procedures to graft extra limbs onto Dean's body, but for now, he likes the challenge.