Bands break up, get back together, take breaks, etc. There are some bands that never seem to fall off the radar, regardless of how little they actually released before a break or how many years between releases. Silvertide is one of those bands. The fans have been wondering for years now how long it would take for these young rockers to get it back together and take the rock and roll back on the road. Well, I was fortunate enough to discuss this with lead guitarist Nick Perri, on the eve of the only two announced return shows - to be played back-to-back at The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan.
ToddStar: How are you, Nick?
Nick: I’m well. No complaints.
ToddStar: That’s good.
Nick: Yes, Sir. How are you?
ToddStar: Good, thank you for asking. Let me start off with thanking you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule for us. We are very excited to have you via phone for an interview today.
Nick: Thank you, man. I appreciate it. Never too busy to talk rock and roll with some friends.
ToddStar: Let’s start this off. I can’t ask you about the new disc yet, I can't ask you about the new single yet, but I can bust right out with Silvertide is back and it’s about fucking time.
Nick: [Laughs] That is an accurate statement, thank you man. I feel the same way as you. You know, when we took a break back in 2006, and I call if that because we've all stayed in touch, we’re all still great friends and we always knew that we’d be playing again, just the timing was really bad, and I don’t know how much you want me to go into about the events that surrounded the break, but it was never “the band is over,” it was the band has just pressed pause and continue when the timing is right. So what you’re seeing now is actually, it’s all kind of been part of the plan. This has been in the works now for about a year, maybe more, about you know, getting the band back out there and we've been writing songs. Walt and I are best friends since the day we met, and we continue to write songs. We had another band a couple of years ago called SINAI, too. We've been writing since we met each other and never stopped. So there’s been Silvertide material happening all this time, it’s just now we feel like it’s the right time to do it. And really, we’re so blessed because we have the best fans in the world, and they are so loyal, and they've made Show and Tell into this kind of cult favorite, and it spread. It spread all over the world, in all different countries. Some of the countries we've played in, and a lot of countries we haven’t, have discovered this record and really it’s because of them that we can come back, and we can do this again. It’s just a testament to their loyalty and them sharing with their friends this rock and roll record, and you know, the sound that we've created, and just genuine love for playing rock and roll music that we grew up on. We don’t care about the trends, we don’t care about what time it is or what’s popular, when we first started it was ‘Nsync and Britney Spears, and now it’s whatever, dubstep and Mumford & Sons. And it’s all good, we’re fans of a lot of music, but that doesn’t play into what we do. We play rock and roll with the kind of stuff that we grew up on, and that’s really what it’s about.
ToddStar: You hit on something. When you guys released American Excess in 2002, you guys really just said with your music ‘this is what we do, this is what we like, and damn the critics and damn what anyone else wants. This is what we like and this is what we’re playing’, and you took it to the next step with Show & Tell in 2004, which is nine years ago. That album’s still even in my regular listening patterns, just because its good rock and roll. How did young guys like you, and let’s be honest in 2002 and 2004 you guys were young guys. How did you just come at it with a balls out attitude, and do what you wanted to do and make it successful?
Nick: These are great questions. You know what, we were super young. In fact we’re still all young. The average age of the band right now is still like 29, and it’s because we started as babies. When we signed our deal I think I was 16. I dropped out of high school to sign the deal with J Records, Clive Davis, or Sony, whatever. Kevin was in the same boat. He dropped out as well, and Martin and Brian had just finished high school, so we were really young, and I think what made it authentic, well I think what made it work was that it was authentic, because we grew up on that stuff. We loved our parent’s records, and we grew up on Zeppelin, The Who, The Stones, The Beatles, and AC/DC, and that’s all that we knew. We didn't care about what was happening and what was cool, we just said ‘Hey, let’s play some rock and roll’ because that’s all we knew. And so I think with any, you know, band or artist that kind of crosses the threshold and makes a mark, it’s usually an authentic thing, and people can see through it. They know when something’s contrived and I think they've come to expect that from the pop world, but as far as rock is concerned, and some of the other more soulful genres, if it’s not authentic then just forget about it. So I think what enabled us to really make a mark and inevitably break through the Philly scene and certainly play the nation and internationally play, and be well received, was just that we were authentic to what we did. We didn't know anything else, and in some respects it’s the same thing. We've all gone on and done other projects, and played in other bands, but when it came down to when I describe what it is I feel like I play bluesy rock and roll guitar. That’s it. That’s all I really want to do.
ToddStar: And you do it well.
Nick: Thank you, I appreciate that.
ToddStar: Now that we've got the nice stuff out of the way, The Machine Shop. I mean, you've picked one of my favorite places. Why The Machine Shop (http://www.themachineshop.info/)?
Nick: Well, everyone in the rock and roll touring circuit, everybody knows, it’s just kind of like a given, that The Machine Shop is pretty much the coolest venue, club to play in America. And really that’s a testament to Kevin and his brother who run the place, and they just make everybody feel at home. We played The Shop, I don’t know how many times, a half a dozen times or more, probably more, and it was one of those things, when you see that on your tour sheet, and there are a couple of other great places as well, but that’s really like the top one. When you see that on the tour sheet you’re excited about it, and you’re like ‘hell yeah’, you know and we know we’re going to be treated really well, the show is gonna be great. You know, we’re going to have great food and drinks. It’s really just about the vibe, man. I mean music, you know, all that we do, and people forget this but it’s like, we’re artists, we’re musicians, and the vibe… this isn't the corporate world. I’m not waking up and clocking in somewhere, or putting on a smock and doing my job. My job is to create art, and it’s got to be facilitated through good vibes. So for musicians, the vibe is like the most important thing, you know, so The Machine Shop has one of the best vibes. You’re treated really well, the shows are always great, and we really did well in Michigan, whether it was Flint itself, or Detroit or Grand Rapids, I mean the band really had a strong following, so we thought you know what, we've done the Philly show, which was an amazing homecoming and sold out in four days, or whatever it was, and was a great experience, where are we going to go next? It was really kind of a no brainer. In fact I don’t think there was even a discussion, I just said to the guys ‘I'm going to book The Machine Shop’ show, and they were like ‘Alright, cool’, you know what I mean? It was just really a casual thing, 'cause it’s a no brainer for us. We’re definitely excited, and to do two nights, and they’ll be different. We want people to know that each night there is going to be something special. So the first night we’re going to be playing Show & Tell in its entirety, front to back, in order and really giving the people the experience of hearing that record live, which is something that we didn't do back in the day. You know, we’d play a few songs here, a few songs there, and a lot of times on set, when we were opening for Van Halen or Motley Crue, or Velvet Revolver, or whatever, like our sets were pretty short because we were an opening band. And even when we headlined, for whatever reason, we just never did that. So this time round we’re like ‘You know what? Let’s play the record the way it was meant to be played, front to back, in order’, and it’s really kind of like an experience. So that’s the plan for night one. Night two we’re really going to do some cool stuff, and of course we’re going to play a bunch of songs from Show & Tell, but we’re also going to play some B sides, some rarities and stuff that maybe ended up on an EP, or a soundtrack or whatever, and also some new songs. So I know people are dying to hear the new stuff, and we’ll be playing a few of those things as well.
ToddStar: Wow, you hit on the great vibe of The Machine Shop, and Flint is looking forward to this, and we’re honored to have you guys doing this. It’s not like you guys booked a whole tour, you said ‘We’re coming back, we’re gonna drop a couple of shows. You did the home town show like you mentioned tonight, and throwing two at Flint, which is just a testament to you guys as being a band of the fans. You've all gone on and done musical things during the break. Do you find that you still want that connection with the fan?
Nick: Well yeah, I mean that’s the most important thing. Silvertide, it’s always going to be the closest thing to our hearts, because it’s what, you know, it’s our band, it’s our baby, and it’s a huge honor to play with Perry Farrell and Shinedown and Matt (Sorum). I'm playing with them in Norway in August, and it’s a great honor to play with other artists that you respect and other great bands, but Silvertide is my baby. I wrote the songs, I co-wrote the songs with the guys and it’s really, it’s a by-product of what’s in my head, and everyone else’s head, so there is a very special attachment to it, and Silvertide has the greatest fans in the world. These guys and girls have been loyal. I mean I don’t know how you could ask for more. Like you said, for nine years they have waited patiently and told their friends about the band, and played the record to their friends, and their brothers and sisters, and kids and all that stuff. So for all these years, to know that those people still, I mean when we played in Philly and this is the God’s honest truth, and we filmed it. We’re going to release eventually a DVD from that show, and everyone will get a chance to see, but I mean they were singing, they knew the words better then Walt. Walt was like trying to keep up with all the lyrics, and the crowd didn't miss a beat. They knew every verse. We’re not talking choruses, we’re talking every word to every verse of every single song on the record. They knew, and they sang back to us louder than Walt was singing it. There was 1,200 people in there. 1,200 voices is pretty loud. They were competing with the PA system. It’s tremendous testament to them, and really without the loyalty and excitement of Silvertide fans, this wouldn't even be a possibility. So really it’s my honor to get up and play for them.
ToddStar: Again, I hate to keep harping on Flint, but the fans here love you. You guys can call Flint hometown any time with the following you have here.
Nick: Oh thanks man.
ToddStar: And I can’t wait to be part of that crowd on the 6th and 7th September when you take the place by storm. But let’s talk about other things for a minute. You’re talking about a new album, is the stuff you guys are writing now, is it in the same vein, is it still just that guttural rock and roll that you guys are famous for?
Nick: You know this is my favorite part. This is what makes me the most excited, because actually funnily enough I made a post on the Silvertide Facebook page, that I was holding in my hands the first new track mixed and finished since 2004, and what makes me most excited right now, like a little kid at Christmas, is that I cannot wait for people to hear it. I mean, it’s literally, you know, I call it like Devil’s Order part two. It’s just racing on the middle of exactly what the band is about, and we had this conversation about which one that was played. It was like look, some time has passed, whatever, you know why mess with what it is that people loved about us? And it’s not like we’re bored, we've had a very lengthy break, no one is bored or complacent at all, so let’s do what it is that we all did, and what comes naturally to us, and let’s make kick your ass rock and roll. And stay true to what the band is. So yeah, the new stuff is going to fit right in, right on the shelf there, right next to Show & Tell like a glove.
ToddStar: Cool. That’s good to know. Who made you want to pick up a guitar, Nick?
Nick: Mmm, this is great because last night my wife was out of town and I was taking the time to go through my DVD collection and watch some stuff, and I was just thinking about this last night, the first person who I saw who made me want to actually, you know, pick up a guitar and play lead with was Angus Young, and in fact I went to Catholic school, I wore the shirt, the tie and the friggin’ shorts, the whole nine, and so it was really easy to identify with his crazy schoolboy alter ego. Initially I saved up and my parents helped me out and I bought a Gibson SG. I literally just counted the minutes to get up for school and put on a jet cap. The strange thing is we had to have short hair, real trim, but I had one of those gimmicky jet caps that have like the long hair attached. So I put on the hat and then that was it, I was Angus Young, and I put on the SG and I danced around, I did the duck walk, which is of course the Chuck Berry thing, and I would do that all round the house, and he’s really who I credit with not only a big part of my playing style, but the show. Putting on a show and not just standing still and shoe gazing, which I've never even considered. So he was a big one, and after Angus, Jimi Hendrix for sure, the Band of Gypsies in particular blew my mind and to this day I'm a massive Hendrix fan, and so last night I was watching a Skynyrd DVD and it brought me back because Alan Collins playing the explorer from all the early Skynyrd stuff, that’s another guy who I wanted to be like. And for all these years, my number one favorite guitar player is still, and another massive influence on who I am, is Johnny Winter, and Johnny Winter doesn't get enough credit. He’s up there with the greats of all effin time, and he’s definitely someone that I wouldn't be who I am today without him.
ToddStar: Cool. I know you're a busy man, and I know you've got other things to do, so I've got a couple more for you if you don’t mind?
ToddStar: If there was one song, or one collection of music in the history of time that you wish you had written, or been a part of, what would it be?
Nick: One song or collection? I can tell you right now it’s got to be anything Pink Floyd, The Wall, anything from The Wall. That’s my favorite album of all time. David Gilmour is probably the fifth guitar player I should have included a minute ago. But if I could have been part of anything, you know, being part of The Wall, the writing, the recording, the playing, I mean to me that’s the greatest rock and roll album of all time. So, for sure.
ToddStar: Okay, cool. 2013, new Silvertide on the way, two big, huge comeback shows scheduled for the Machine Shop in September, what’s the meaning of life?
Nick: [Laughs] I don’t know, man. Get up and play while you've got it, you know. Just give it hell because you don’t know how long you got here. So why waste any time? Let’s just do it already.
ToddStar: Cool, well again we thank you so much for the time, Nick, and we cannot wait to be a part of history at The Machine Shop when you guys welcome Silvertide back to Flint and make the city yours once again.
Nick: Thank you man, really appreciate the support, and we’re looking forward to it like no one’s business, and we’re going to give both shows 150 thousand percent, and bring the roof down.
ToddStar: Sounds good. We’ll see you then, Nick.
Nick: Alright brother, thanks so much.
ToddStar: Thanks man.
If you need tickets for these killer shows, be sure to check out http://www.themachineshop.info/ for more details.