Unleashing the punishing sounds of all-out vengeance, Silence The Messenger is a sonic assault to the senses that should appeal to all types of extreme metal fans. Their debut for Standby Records is entitled Achilles, a grand epic of sheer brutality destined to pummel the masses and ignite ferocious mosh pits all across the nation. Here is an interview we conducted with vocalist Steve Tinnon to find out more about their Achilles magnum opus, working with Landon Tewers of The Plot In You, combustible road stories, beer favorites, and other big Texas-sized topics. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Silence The Messenger, and how long the band has been together.
Hey what’s up, I’m Steve, and I’m the vocalist for STM. The band has been together since 2007!
Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We’re all from San Antonio, TX. The metal/hardcore scene is great here. We’ve got a solid amount of good local bands here, and shows are pretty consistently anywhere from decent to awesome. One band in particular we’d recommend you check out from our area is a band called Dead Like You. Good friends of ours, playing an awesome, catchy mix of nu metal and hardcore. Sick stuff!
Is there any story or concept behind the title Achilles?
We chose “Achilles” for the name because of what it actually represents. Achilles came from The Illiad, and it’s a story about vengeance. He seeks to destroy everything that took away what he cared about the most. It’s about love, loss, grief, fury, anger, and of course, revenge. We kind of adapted the story and put it into more of a modern setting. Everyday people all over the world deal with all of these things, and it weighs heavily on them. We purposely didn’t put an actual image of “Achilles” in the album art because we wanted the music to represent who he was. We’re pretty sure almost everyone can identify with the lyrical content, seeing as many people deal with those struggles on a daily basis, and can feel like no one understands what they’re going through. It’s a very aggravating, frustrating thing that drives each and every one of us crazy. Each song title is also a modernized version of each of the 9 sections of Achilles’ shield, with the final song being the title track for Achilles himself, bringing the album to a close.
Select two songs from Achilles and what inspired the lyrics.
The first song on “Achilles” entitled Fury, I wrote as an introductory track to the record. It paints a vivid image of personified evil, stating its intentions for the immediate future. The song is basically one giant metaphor for the band and myself, telling you that we’re here and ready to raise some Hell.
Another track I’d like to talk about is called The Great Depths. This song is less metaphorical, and more blunt and to the point. In a nutshell, it’s about a drinking problem I went in and out of over the past couple years. I was not only hurting myself with this habit, but my close friends and family around me. Without getting too detailed, I’ll just say I’m lucky to be alive and not in jail right now. Another reason I chose this song to talk about, is because of it’s emotional lyrical content, I asked my good friend Landon Tewers from The Plot In You, who also recorded and produced “Achilles“, to do a guest spot on this track. I really felt his voice was perfect for a particular section of the song that I wanted a special type of emotion to show on, and he absolutely nailed it. He was happy to do it, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!
Who did the cover art for Achilles and how much input did you have on it?
Alex Hofmann did the album art for “Achilles“. He’s the singer of an amazing band called Fallujah, and runs a design company called Cypher Visual. He also did the artwork for our previous EP “Buried“, and we couldn’t be happier he was on board to work with us again for this album! He’s very easy to work with and has always been able to capture our ideas perfectly! What’s great is that as much input as we could’ve had, we didn’t even need to use. We were happy with everything he sent over the first time around and didn’t need him to change a thing! That can be hard to find when getting any kind of designs done, and we’re always stoked to work with him!
How did you wind up being signed to Standby Records?
We’ve got an awesome team working with us. We’re managed by Nathan Gluck of Good Fight Entertainment, and our booking agent is Trevor Swenson from Artery Global. They did work getting us some attention, and we decided Standby was the place for us to release our first full length record!
What was it like working with Landon Tewers of The Plot In You and what he contribute to the overall recording process?
Working with Landon was an amazing experience. He immediately understood the sound we were going for, and was able to capture all the tones exactly how we wanted! For me as a singer, he was able to bring out some things I wanted to try, but got me to do them 10 times better than I expected them to be. He pushed me the perfect amount in each song to get what he knew I wanted to hear, and I’m stoked with how it all turned out. I can proudly say I branched out and did some things that make this album that much better than our last.
What could one expect from a live Silence The Messenger show?
You could expect it to be intense, heavy, and in your face. All of us in the band are performers, and we all grew up going to concerts and shows because we loved them. We also loved getting our money’s worth seeing an awesome show haha, so we like to make sure our audience experiences the same thing!
How did your tour with Design the Skyline go and what were some of the highlights?
We unfortunately had some serious van issues at the end of our tour before that, so we had to drop off that tour before it even started. We did get to play a hometown show when they came through on that tour though. It was a cool show, the guys were cool, and they totally understood why we weren’t able to do the whole run with them.
Any strange or scary happenings from the road or at a show you could share?
On our very first tour in 2008, our van caught on fire in the middle of the night driving through a town in Texas called Refugio. Long story short, we had the van towed away, and my parents each drove a couple hours to where we were stranded at and brought us my SUV. We then did the last 2 weeks of tour cramped in a 4Runner and made the best of the situation haha.
If Silence The Messenger could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I can say, without hesitation, that we’d love to open for Slipknot. We all have loved the band for such a long time, we grew up listening to them, it would be an absolute honor to open for those dudes.
What is your beer of choice and why?
Well depending on which one of us you ask, you’d get a different answer. We all enjoy nice, craft beers when we get the chance to have them, but I will tell you hands down, my favorite beer is Lone Star. I even prefer it over some beers that are “nicer” and more expensive. Maybe it’s a Texan thing, but I will drink that beer until the day I die.
What’s up next for Silence The Messenger?
We’ve got a few tours lined up to keep us busy until about February. We’ll announce those soon, and start putting together some plans for spring and summer!
Any final words of wisdom?
If you’d like to REALLY get on our good side, bring us some beer and/or Jameson when we roll through your town! That’s definitely a wise thing to do.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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