SILVEROLLER – The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh (Interview)

Silveroller September UK Tour. All Ticket Information Below!
Silveroller September UK Tour. All Ticket Information Below!

All Important Preamble:

A little while ago I was lucky enough to chat with the band Silveroller when they played at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh as support to Dewolff. I had the whole band to chat with, in a quiet room set apart from the main bar (huge thanks to the manageress on the night who was so helpful and considerate in sorting it out). The band themselves seemed to be more than happy to take time out of their schedule, the amount of interplay between them as well as all the laughter on the recording certainly showed their character. With the band very soon to return to Scotland to play Wildfire Festival in Wanlockhead (the highest village in Scotland) and having announced a UK tour in September where they play England, Scotland and Wales (tour dates are on poster and bottom of this piece along with a ticket link for all the shows) this seemed a good time to post what the band had to say on the night. As everyone took part and they had a habit of finishing each others lines or adding comments over each other I will at times type …  //  … to indicate a change of person talking. Where there are longer answers I will try to attribute them to the name of the band member talking at that point. I hope this helps folks in reading this interview. OK, Let’s get on with the chat…

The Interview Begins:

CGCM: So first of all welcome to Scotland. Can I start by saying how much I love the EP (At Dawn). It rocks but at the same time has so much soul.

Jonnie (lead vocals): That is something I think is missing from a lot of rock ‘n’ roll at the moment. This is a nod back to the types of genres in the 70s or 80s, we have managed to find it again!

CGCMYou are a newer band and I am curious as to whether any of you have played together in a band before?

Jonnie: Before this 3 of us were in a band together, me, Joe and Aaron were in a band together called Keylock (those are Joe Major drums and Aaron Keylock guitarist). Over lockdown, there’s a long story behind it, but at that time we decided it was time for a change, sort of reinvent a little, or perhaps take a more microscopic view of what we were doing and then we found DrRoss Munro who was returning to his native land who added a huge element as we hadn’t had an organ player before, we had a keys player before but never a virtuoso organ player. Then we found Jake (James Comes bassist) … //… Is that all he gets ? … // … Who are you? … // .. . He needs no introduction… // Jonnie: He’s the band leader really… // Jake: I’m the guy that works (at this point they are all laughing at each other and everything falls apart so I move onto another question)

CGCMThanks, as I said I just wasn’t sure if any of you had also been in Keylock.

Previous Bands:

Silveroller: All The Guys Round The Tables!

Aaron: I think we had all been in bands and kind of known each other from across the scene…  //  Jonnie: however before Keylock we didn’t know each other at all. I met Aaron when he was doing a show in Manchester and we kept in touch. Then we started writing songs and we thought we should put a band around those. We played with a couple of drummers but it wasn’t quite right and then Joe turned up and nailed it. I don’t think we even offered you a gig or anything (as he talks to Joe), we just kinda said “We shall see you at the next one” (Joe says that line at the same time as  Jonnie). Kind of similar with you (talking to Jake), you came up for a jam in Liverpool and we asked when you were free to do it again. Actually we went for a date didn’t we Jake? (Jake says “It was lovely” to laughs from everyone else). We wined and dined, well kinda as none of us drink so more coffee’d and I talked the legs of you. Actually, you never shut up (Jake quips “just like him” to the others going “Oh yeah” leading to more laughs and nonsense).

CGCMI am aware that there was a Keylock album but have any of the rest of you put out albums before as well?

Jonnie: I was in a band called Black Cat Bones which eventually morphed into the band Revival Black, and I had a couple of EPs out with those guys and I have recorded some albums with a band called The Head Hunters Blues BandJoe you’ve done some stuff before haven’t you?  … //  … Joe: Yeah, yeah, I was in a band called Twister, but they have relaunched so I am no longer in the lore of the band (laughing). I did a bunch of stuff with them, I was with them for about 4 or 5 years and then Aaron got in touch. I was kind of feeling like I needed a shift anyway (Jonnie: I have a feeling like that about you now… everyone laughing). I had a great time and I learnt so much of the craft, you get into the routines of stuff on the road and things like recording which made it easier when I came into this band. I was ready to just do it in this band.

CGCMI am not sure of your ages, I know you are all a damn sight younger than me (laughter) so did you grow up listening to soulful stuff? Were you educated by parents or did you find it yourselves?

The Band Talk Musical Heritage:

Aaron: My dad introduced me to the Stones and New York Dolls and stuff  but I wasn’t quite ready to start on guitar. When I was about 8 or 9 my guitar teacher taught me some basic 12 bar and that’s where I got the bug. I then got into the blues and jazz thing. I never really wanted to do a live or band thing until I was taken to The Black Crowes and I was like, this is what I like doing but with louder amps, and that with the atmosphere of the crowd kind of drove me to do it. …  //  You couldn’t have got a better live intro than The Black Crowes… //

“Voodoo”:

Silveroller: Jonnie And Aaron: LIVE @The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh!
Silveroller: Jonnie And Aaron: LIVE @The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh!

Jonnie: Music wasn’t really in my brain as a kid, until my dad bought a tape for the car when going on holiday to Somerset of The Sweet‘s greatest hits and I was fascinated, it was like music from another dimension for me, you know I was like “What’s this?”, you know what I mean. My dad thought that if I liked that I would probably like Queen and he got their greatest hits and I was obsessed for the next few years with them. I wasn’t interested though in being a musician, but then Queen toured with Paul Rodgers on vocals, and I didn’t really know who he was apart from knowing a couple of tracks like “Alright Now”. I had lived to see Queen live but the music kind of faded away into the background with the guy singing the way he sings, taking on those songs. I then took a deep dive into his extensive catalogue. I found one of his albums called Muddy Water’s Blues and I thought “What is this voodoo” and at that point went back and found Muddy, Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson and all those guys and from that went back to the Delta guys and I saw how it came around again in soul and Motown and then into rock ‘n’ roll like Zep, Stones, Faces (someone pipes up with “its all interconnected isn’t it and it all comes back to soul“). I think that is why my brain switches off if I can’t hear a slither of that roots music, whether that be soul or blues or even country. My brain just goes “I am not interested” if it doesn’t have that soul. For me, an element of blues HAS TO be in there to be rock ‘n’ roll. It is a misnomer for me the term “blues rock”, a bit like “pop punk”, how can you be popular anti-establishment? It is an oxymoron.

The Problem Of Labels And Genre Names:

CGCM: Most labels are a bit baffling if not wrong. Take “prog rock”, a lot of bands sound like stuff from the 70s, they haven’t progressed, yet bands that take chances and do something different do not always get called “progressive”. Most “indie” bands are on major labels!

Joe (I think): I do find it weird that indie is such a big thing now, it is such a commercial thing, they should rename it… //  commercial music… // (lots of laughter at that idea) // Fair play if you are “indie” and make it large.

Jonnie: People often ask us how we would classify ourselves and we just say “It’s just rock ‘n’ roll”. Outside of that I don’t know and don’t care. It’s just music. Write a song, record it, take it on the road!… //… There’s certainly no masterplan here (everyone laughs at the idea of having a “plan”)… //… under the term “rock ‘n’ roll” it gave or gives us enough freedom to make what we make. Most genres as such have supposed boundaries but this doesn’t, I mean both Johnny Cash and Black Sabbath are rock ‘n’ roll in their own ways. 

CGCMIf I can ask you about the EP, or is it an album, or mini album, as it is nearly 30 minutes in length which is kind of between either, was there a reason for doing that?

EP: Method In Madness?:

Silveroller: Aaron And Joe LIVE @ The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh
Silveroller: Aaron And Joe LIVE @ The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh

Silveroller: It was more circumstantial than anything… // … There was method in the madness …  // … There was a time we were contemplating it being the first half of a full album… // … We weren’t… // …  OK it was put to us (everyone laughs at the correction) to do a first half of an album. We do feel a bit differently about it now that it is out, we would rather it was just its own thing (the band then discuss amongst themselves about it could have been done, time frames etc to make it work etc). I think the thing is we had a bunch of material, the label we were with at the time said what tunes they liked and that they could put a few songs out as singles, then do the same until we have two EPs. It would have worked I think if we had done it all at once.

Jonnie: I am glad we didn’t do that as that label for one reason or another faded like Homer into the bushes (everyone laughs at the analogy) and we were left with the bill, in fact, a few other bills as well … // … Are we an indie band now (laughing with everyone saying “yeah”, “yeah we are”). That was fun!!!

CGCM: That couldn’t have been easy

Silveroller: Yeah, it kind of rocked our world… // … and our bank accounts (laughing)… // … So for the best part of three years we were in this choppy sea, a lot of uncertainty, not knowing what was next. I mean we recorded this EP in October 2022, so it’s taken over a year and a half to make its way to people. It is weird as we almost feel like we are done with this, I mean we are proud of it, happy with it, but we are ready to move on

New Music Started:

CGCM: Do you have anything written or ready for another release?

Jonnie: Loads, we have about 6 or 7 tracks … // … We are doing them live already

CGCM: So will we hear something new tonight?

Silveroller: Most probably… //… yeah… //… we haven’t had that argument yet (everyone laughs)… //… we tend to open and close with the same songs and the middle is a call after soundcheck… //… We usually write out setlists but it isn’t decided until late on… //… it is usually whoever has the strongest idea, you know goes “I REALLY want to do that one”… // … Of course tonight is a support slot so it will depend on the time slot we have.

CGCM: What are your plans for after this support tour?

Future Plans:

Jonnie: we have a few festivals lined up for summer and then do a couple of headline shows (Dates for all at the bottom of the interview). We are however at a point where we are looking for management, for people to get on board and support… //… We are looking for a team to help… //… We went and did a couple of shows with Dewolff (who they were supporting on the night of the interview) and they invited us on this tour. I remember seeing them years ago and thinking “Wow, wouldn’t it be great to go on the road with these guys” and here we are. Really hoping for others to see us and think we are up to a lot musically… //… We want to be a band that it is impossible to ignore… //… It is about making connections in the industry… //… We are all in the same boat. I mean Dewolff have been touring for years, they have their systems in place and they are great at it, they are such a well-oiled machine. I am sure they have had lots of practice seeing other bands in Europe doing it, learning tricks of the trade… //… we are really honoured to get the gigs with them, to support them.

I mentioned that I was interested to see what festivals they have planned which led to a ridiculously silly conversation about them playing Download but the day after everyone has gone home. Suggestions of it being a free event like Woodstock but played on some stolen or left behind pallets. The ideas got sillier and sillier and the laugh levels got higher and higher. It was fun watching them interact winding each other up. The speed of the conversation was so fast.

CGCMDo you have any idea of when you might record the next album?

An Insight Into The Writing Processes:

Jonnie: We are recording the full tour but we aren’t sure what we will do with that yet. It is partly for us, with the new songs we can listen back… //… The thing is bands back in the day, a lot of the formulation of their music was done live onstage. It is good to play live, listen back and think about how we could do it better or differently next time. That way it is slowly crafted into something more concise… //… When it comes to new songs sometimes it is a case of a couple of us hiding away in a hotel room or a mate’s and asking each other what we have got, share the ideas then presenting them to the rest of the band who can say what is great and what isn’t so great which is good, it’s what you want and other times songs can come from jams. I mean we wrote the song “Hold” in almost real time, in about an hour. It was a rehearsal and we had time left. It was like, shall we call it a day and go to the pub or use the hour… //… And Aaron started playing the riff and we were like “Oh, here we go”… //… And you pushed the beat… //… And It happened from there… //… Joe: I hopped on the piano behind me and suggested how I thought it should go and everyone went “That’s the chorus”… // …The song completely changed in that time as the lyrics were something about a mental breakdown (everyone laughs) and when it was suggested the line should be something like “This feeling’s got a hold on me” and Jonnie was like “I got it”. It then changed to “Freedom’s got a hold on me”…//… I love that as it is such an oxymoron… //… And that was it! The rest of the lyrics were almost done on the spot.

Final Thanks:

At this point, I had been with the band nearly half an hour and they still had to soundcheck etc. I have to say that the guys were so kind and friendly. They were also a hoot to chat with. There were plenty of laughs in amongst some interesting insights into the band themselves, the business and the creation of songs. I wish to take the time to say a HUGE thank you to the guys for their time as well as the venue staff who were most helpful!

Silveroller Tour Dates: 13 Sept: Outpost: Liverpool // 14 Sept: Flowing Spring: Reading // 15 Sept: Cardiff: Fuel Rock Club // 17 Sept: Newcastle: The Cluny 2 // 18 Sept: Aberdeen: The Tunnels // 19 Sept: Kinross: The Green Hotel // 20 Sept: Edinburgh: Stramash // 21 Sept: Huddersfield: The Parish // 22 Sept: London: The Grace

Festival Show: Just Push Play @ Bury St Edmonds

Tickets for all shows click HERE

Officail Bandcamp //  Official Facebook

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