Idaho Rock Band Silent Theory has released the Official Music Video for their new single “Six Feet Under”. Created by Jon Kuritz of Make Waves Media House, “Six Feet Under” presents a poignant statement on the state of mental health awareness and treatment in the US.
Silent Theory is made up of brothers Mitch, Scott, and George Swanger, as well as Robert James and Dakota Elliot Tyler. They are currently located in Moscow, Idaho, but finding worldwide success. As of January 2019, they signed with Paul Crosby Management (founding member of Saliva), released their latest single, “Six Feet Under,” and are currently finishing a new album to be released later this year.
Ignite gave the guys a few questions to answer and Bob James was gracious enough to get us some great answers.
- Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?
Silent Theory is made up of brothers Mitch, Scott, and George Swanger, as well as Bob James and Dakota Elliot Tyler. We are currently located in Moscow, Idaho, but are finding worldwide success. The band found success with our single, “Fragile Minds,” released June 2016, charting at #97 for Media Base Active-Rock and #29 for Under the Radar charts. It has since surpassed 9 million video views on YouTube and continues to grow rapidly. Following this success in June 2018, through Loudwire, the band released our second single off of the album, Delusions, “Watch Me Burn.” The single charted at #67 on the Media Base Active-Rock charts.
In June of 2019, we signed with Paul Crosby Management (founding member of Saliva), and just released our latest single and video, Six Feet Under.
- What is new with the band? New Album out? New Videos?
We just recently release a new song and lyric video call Six Feet Under. We are really proud of how both of these have turned out. The song is a little more pointed lyrically than the songs we normally write. With Six Feet Under, we didn’t feel like this was a topic that we could tip toe around and so we addressed it head on. The song comes from a place of frustration, it seems like you can’t turn on the TV or get on social media without seeing another instance of gun violence. It’s a problem that everyone is aware of, and there is a lot of conversation about it, but it doesn’t feel like anything is being done to address the real issue. Often the conversation gets derailed into a debate around the 2nd amendment, but we don’t see that as the problem. For us the issue is that too many people feel the only way they can express themselves is by turning a gun on a crowd of people. It really ties into the reoccurring mental health theme of our songs. Our hope is to change the attitude and culture surrounding mental health so that more people feel that they have somewhere to turn for help and that they shouldn’t be ashamed to get it. To quote the opening line of the song, “Have we had enough yet?!”.
- With all this madness going on with the virus…What do you think the music scene will be like in the future…and how are you prepared to make your music heard if there will not be any concerts or festivals for the year of 2020?
Honestly, I think best case scenario shows, tours, and festivals won’t really resume until spring of 2021. States are reopening, but there is still an abundance of caution being taken in most areas that is going to table live music for a while. We can’t wait for it to be safe to get back out there and hit the road. In the meantime, we will focus on our online presence and use those tools to connect with people. We have been very fortunate with success on platforms like YouTube and Spotify and I think that really helps us stay connected in a situation like this. Since we couldn’t tour this summer, we’ve got some studio time booked and we’re going to try and crank through some new recordings and hopefully get a new album finished in 2020.
- What got you into music and what is your earliest memory of when you told yourself…” THIS IS WHAT I WANT”?
I have been obsessed with the idea of playing music as long as I can remember. I think I was about 6 when a friend and I put together a couple of songs and play a concert for our families. He played a toy guitar that had a couple of preloaded sound bites and I rocked a drum set predominately made of buckets and such. As far as “real” instruments, I joined the orchestra as soon as they would let me and I’ve been playing stringed instruments of some sort ever since.
- Who was your first concert and what is your best memory?
My first concert experience was a festival called End Fest that used to be put on by 107.7 The End in Seattle. It was a great day and weird line up, with everyone from Blink 182 to Kid Rock. This somewhat unknown band at the time from Canada called Nickelback played a 30-minute set on the B stage at 2 in the afternoon. My first proper, at a venue concert, was Don McLean at the Admiral Theater in Bremerton, Washington. The thing I remember most about that concert, was that was the first time I really saw in person the power music could have on people. When he started playing Starry Starry Night, there was not a person in the building that was not in tears and singing along. The ability to make people feel that much in that moment was intoxicating.
- If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
Celebrity chef. Think somewhere between Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri, just without the hair.
- On a scale of 1 to 2593, How good is your newest single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)
That’s really hard for me. The last single that we released was our song Sticks and Stones, and I really love that song. It’s easily one of my favorites to play live right now. But our newest single Six Feet Under is such a poignant song and tells a really strong story. I think as far as the quality of the message and the amount of conversation that has been generated from the release of Six Feet Under I would give it a 2112.
- What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?
I think Fragile Minds would have to be a real contender. In addition to being our first single recorded and released with Dakota, the 9,000,000+ views on YouTube and similar number of streams and downloads is a pretty good indicator that the people listening like it as much as we do.
- Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, how would you achieve that?
Always. Neal Peart once said, that if he felt like he ever truly mastered the drums and that he had nothing else to learn he would hang it up and never play drums again. I think that’s a really healthy approach to any passion you have, and I’m certainly not even in the same universe as Neil Peart on the scale of talent. I think the only way that you can improve on something like a musical skillset is to put in the hours. I think lessons and that kind of stuff are great, but they really just give you the tools, it’s up to you to master them.
- If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?
If we’re on tour and you are trying to run into us outside of the venue, try checking the nearest buffet restaurant or tourist attraction.
- You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Being a Marine veteran, I can tell you that Olive Drab Green goes with just about any outfit and looks fashionable in almost any environment.
- Who are you inspired by?
Honestly, as a band we are inspired and influenced by so many people and things that we could probably do an entire segment on it. Generically we are inspired by the greats like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Van Halen, etc. and individually we all had pretty starkly different bands that shaped our music world view. I think if I had to give you one current band that we all agree on and really look up to for writing catchy and impactful songs coupled with a killer live show it would be Nothing More. In my opinion they write great songs about things of substance and the put on a show that just further amplifies that energy.
- What’s an average day like one tour? and what about these days?
8-9 Wake up around and hit the continental breakfast in the hotel lobby.
9:30-11 Rotate through the shower/go back to sleep
11 Check out of the hotel and find the nearest Starbucks
3 Check-in to new hotel if we’re staying in that city
3:30-6 Load in and sound check
6-7:30ish Dinner somewhere near the venue
7:30 At the venue, typically at the merch table if not on stage
12 Second dinner, usually Mexican food or diner food
1-3 Travel if necessary
1-3 Back to the hotel
On our off days, you can find us at only the best tourist attractions. Think the worlds tallest Jolly Green Giant or the Spam Museum. And now, it the recent varying levels of lockdown, we have
all be keeping active with home renovation projects and doing all the things we don’t usually have time to tackle. You know, important stuff, like catching up on Tiger King.
- Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?
If we’re being honest, the only reason that we are able to continue doing this is because of the unbelievable support that we get from our fans. We don’t take that for granted. We love playing shows for all of the normal reasons, it is where we are truly happiest as musicians. But a large part of that experience for us is getting the chance to meet, share a few words, and take some pictures with fans from around the country and thank them for putting gas in our tank to keep us rolling down the road.
- Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
I think we all experienced it a fair amount of it in the early days. For me it was a really intense nervous excitement, but it was pretty mentally taxing. It usually faded after the first couple of songs, but we were also drinking a lot in those days which I’m sure made it better and worse. What really helped me curb that is learning to channel that energy on something positive and really just remind myself how much fun it is being on stage.
- Tell me about your favorite performance venues?
I think my favorite venue as a concert goer, that we haven’t played yet, would have to be The Showbox in Seattle. I’ve had some of my most memorable concert experiences as a fan in that building. It’s a perfect size, it’s shaped well, super intimate, the sound on the floor is perfectly dialed in, and there are three bars so the lines are always manageable.
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
If it was easy, everyone would do it. Keep your head down and keep working. Put the time in; practice regularly and play live as much as possible. Live shows help fill that bucket that sometimes gets drained when things get frustrating, and playing new songs to an audience will also give you necessary feedback and let you know if the song writing is having the impact you intended. Most importantly, have fun. Most people pick up an instrument for the first time because it looks like fun, and then the keep playing because it was more fun than they could have imagined. Don’t lose site of that. It is called the music business for a reason, and it is very easy to get caught up in the business side of things. Finding the fun in the process will give you the fuel to power through the hard stuff.
In a society where new bands pop up every day, Silent Theory is here to set a new standard. The band found success with their single, “Fragile Minds,” released June 2016, charting at #97 for Media Base Active-Rock and #29 for Under the Radar charts. It has since surpassed 5 million video views on YouTube and continues to grow rapidly. Following this success in June 2018, through Loudwire, the band released their second single off of the album, Delusions, “Watch Me Burn.” The single charted at #67 on the Media Base Active-Rock charts.