Silverstein’s Shane talks about his new album and tour, weighs in on the controversy surrounding Venue Merch Rates (Exclusive).

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Silverstein has been producing fast and catchy tunes for over two decades. “emo,”So says Shane Told, frontman. The band has released their eleventh studio album this year. Misery Made MeSome might say that these are their hardest, most soul-barring tracks to date. PopCulture.com was able to catch up recently with Told from their tour. The Amity Affliction, an Australian rock band, has released a new album.. He gave some insights into the album and also offered his opinion on the controversial practice that venues take a cut of band merchandise. This has been a long-standing issue for artists, but it is something many music fans are only now becoming aware of. 

“It’s been really great,”Told of the band’s current tour. “We’ve been on tour with the Amity Affliction, some of our really good old friends from Australia, and we’ve been trying to get together with them to package up with them for a really long time. So really happy it could finally work out. And the people are coming out in droves. Tickets are moving. People are really excited to see this package. We’re having a blast. Obviously, this isn’t our first tour back, but it is the first tour that really feels normal again.”Although the bands have performed together before, this is their first joint headlining tour. “We’ve done some shows with them in Australia and also we did the Warped Tour with them at least twice. So yeah, our paths have crossed a lot with them,”He elaborated.

Silverstein originally hails from Ontario, Canada, and was part of the first wave of the early ’00s post-hardcore/screamo scene, which also included bands like Atreyu and Taking Back Sunday. The bands of that era, which are still around today, have done one of two things over the past 20 years: 1.) Either keep making the same music because the fans like it, or (2.). evolve. Silverstein is an example of the latter. The first albums of the duo, “The Silversteins”, were a great example. When broken is easy to fix2003 Explore the WaterfrontHave you ever heard of any tunes that kids might call? “all-timers,”But it’s still very obvious. Misery Made MeThis band isn’t trying not to grow up.

“We’ve always done whatever the f— we want, to be honest,”Told is about the band’s mindset. “We’ve never had a record company tell us what to do or what to write. That’s been really great, because I know that some bands that have been on certain labels haven’t had that freedom, and we always have. So any changes that people want to attribute to whatever label we’ve been on, I laugh because those are conspiracy theories and they’re not at all true.”

I’m speaking of Misery made meTold, “I think with this album, when you talked about how it’s not negative, it’s more like positive aggression, I think you hit the nail on the head there because writing these songs during the pandemic, when we were in isolation and we were very depressed, very frustrated, pissed off, whatever words you want to use, we were feeling all those feelings collectively. And at different times the ups and downs that we all faced during the lockdown, which we had considerably worse in Canada, by the way, so it was really interesting when we got into a room together to record, the songs were really pissed off and aggressive, but we were really excited and actually really happy to be together and working on this, because we hadn’t seen each other.”

He continued, “So when we got in the studio, it was every day we’re having fun, we’re joking around, we’re working really well, we’re getting along better than we’ve ever gotten along, but the material was still very dark. So I feel like it’s this really interesting duality that maybe there’s something in there that you can’t really pick up on, but it’s there, where you can tell that we are at our best and we can tell that we are positive, but the subject matter isn’t, if that makes any sense at all.”

Comparing Misery Made Me to their previous album and contrast it with them. It’s a beautiful place to drown Told. (2020). “I think [that] was a really strong record but not as heavy a record as this last one [2017’s Dead Reflection], definitely there’s a few songs on A Beautiful Place to Drown we could not have written this time around. They’re just too happy and too positive. That wasn’t in us this time when we were writing, but I do think one thing we’ve done over the last two records is we’ve spent so much more time and we’ve had a lot more reflection, I think, on the songs. Whereas before, it’s, ‘Okay, it’s a cool song. Record it. All right, there it is. There’s the song.'”

Told continued to explain. “Where this time, we’ve gone back and forth with things and we’ve talked about things and we’ve said, ‘Okay, what can we do to make this better? And how can we refine it? And is everyone really on board with this?’ And I think that those conversations, which can be very difficult conversations when you’re in a band, we hadn’t really had before. So now that we’ve been having them, I think it just makes the product… And I don’t like calling our music a product, but you know what I mean? The result, it just makes it a lot better and a lot more, I don’t know, just stronger than I think when it’s, ‘Okay, cool song. Yeah, let’s write it.’ And then it’s recorded in a day and we hadn’t given it not much thought.”

We asked Told what he thought about the recent controversy surrounding venue merchandise cuts. This was brought up by Australian metalcore band Alpha Wolf in August. It was brought to our attentionDuring a set. The practice of bands taking a portion of their merch sales to venues has been the subject of much discussion over the past two-months. Against Me! Laura Jane Grace was the vocalist. Blasting a venueThey are their expectation.

“It’s amazing this is just coming to light now, and maybe if everybody actually bonds together and says, ‘This is bulls—,’ maybe it’ll change,”Told as such. “But dude, merch rate has been a thing as long as I’ve been performing, anywhere from 10 percent to sometimes 25 percent, even 30 percent. 15 percent to 20 percent is a pretty standard rate. That comes off the top every time you play, which is why merch prices are sometimes quite a bit high.”

This was then explained to me as the reason for higher merch prices. “When people say, ‘Oh my God, why is this T-shirt 30, 35 bucks?’ Well, that’s because the venue is taking 20 percent off the top before the merch has been designed.” He continued, “People forget too, you have to get a designer you have to pay to design the merch, which is not cheap, and then you have to get this stuff printed and there’s all those costs, then it has to get shipped to wherever you are, and there’s those costs. And then you have to pay someone to sell it also, and then sometimes there’s taxes that are taken out of it. There’s credit card fees now, because most of the time people aren’t using cash anymore. It’s been pretty much now all a square reader, which they take a cut.”

He continued, “So I totally understand the frustration that Alpha Wolf and other bands have. It’s just funny because I’ve been frustrated for 22 years, man. This is not a new thing and this is just something, it’s always been the way it is and we’ve tried to get agents to negotiate it out and say, ‘Okay, can we get no merch rate?’ And that’s always a sticky point, where sometimes you can’t get it taken out.”

Silverstein and the Amity Affliction are still available for fans to see in Montreal (QC) on Saturday Oct. 1 and Toronto (ON on Sunday Oct. 2 respectively. Tickets are available at Click here. Fans can also buy physical copies and official merchandise of Misery Made Me at the Website of the band.

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