Posted On 19 Jul 2019
Get to know the NYC rockers Silver Relics. This duo AND full-blown art project recently released their debut album called “Generic.”
Whether it’s painting, fashion, poetry, or photo and film in their live show—they are all about creating risks and opportunities to explore every option.
“Generic” is throbbing with urgency. It is a thrilling collection that focuses on change and all of the complicated feelings that go with it. Drawing influence from the iconic British songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s and brooding ’80s rock, Silver Relics deliver a psychedelic sound that simultaneously smolders and electrifies with fierce energy, conjuring vibrant technicolor dreams and scenes of breathtaking adventure.
Listen to album’s lead single “Time Bomb” here.
Learn more about Silver Relics in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
Justin: Probably a lot of walking and waiting on trains. Living that best NYC life.
Alex: Sounds right to me and thanks very much for having us!
Now that we are into the 6th month of the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating the band so far? What have been some goals this group has had this year? How close are you to reaching them?
Alex: We started off 2019 with a record deal with our label Farmadelica in January. Since then we’ve focused on getting everything ready for our debut album release “Generic.” (May 17) as well as our first run of dates in Ireland and the UK.
Justin: It’s been a great year. As Alex said, we’ve signed with Farmadelica and established connections with promoters and bands in the UK and Ireland. It’s been wild. Lots more to come and we’re excited to share it all with our fans.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far?
Alex: Honestly, we’ve been working together for a while at this point and it was very easy to get to work on this record. Recording is a really fun part of the process for us. Band names can be extremely difficult but this was an easy decision once I put it out there. Justin was all in so I consider us lucky to have a name we both love.
Justin: If I remember correctly, it involved Jameson and darts. We met through a mutual friend and ended up driving around Austin, Texas listening to Alex’s demos. I think we hit it off pretty quick, and later Alex asked me to drum for him. Easy to say yes. As for the name, when Alex first said Silver Relics we agreed immediately. It just fits. And I don’t think there’s been many surprises so to speak, but I think for me it’s because I don’t really have any preset expectations. Not to get too heady, but its just… things happen, so react and adapt. Take new information as it presents itself and figure it out.
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, what do you think does influence this group?
Justin: I’m originally from Detroit, which obviously has a storied musical history. I can’t say that is specifically an influence, though. I’ve been lucky enough to live in a lot of great cities and meet a lot of great people with various tastes in music. I think you just listen and take what you hear and use what you like.
Alex: I’m a bit of a nomad so I can’t say there are any specific hometown influences. I think it’s more along the lines of being aware of what was circling around me as far back as I can remember. I think I’m influenced most right now by the conversations, thoughts and experiences of the people around me. I like to write about how all of these themes and topics tie in with my own to make it relatable.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? In other words, when you aren’t working on music, do you guys enjoy hanging out for fun?
Justin: We do not, and I think that space is important. We have our own separate lives outside of the band, so when we do get together we can focus on the work. We all have heard those stories of great friends becoming roommates, but then end up hating each other. This is a scenario we actively avoid. We just got back from a tour of Ireland and the UK, and this would be the most consecutive time we’ve ever spent together. Happy to say, we only kinda hate each other now.
Alex: Absolutely not, we hate each other.
What was it like recently putting out your debut album, “Generic”? How did you celebrate the release of it? Did anything surprise you about the overall process of putting this collection together? How long did it take?
Alex: As soon as the deal was signed we pretty much buried our heads and pushed forward to make sure we had everything in place. What continues to surprise me the most about it is how fast it all happened. It was 31 days across 3 sessions with brand new material in between each session. Couldn’t have done it without our producer Howie Beno, who captured all of it.
Justin: It’s great to just see that it’s out. It takes a very long time. We had a great listening party at The Scratcher in NYC. Fun night and great to see everyone come out and support it.
How do you think your single “Time Bomb” prepares listeners for the rest of “Generic”? How did this song come together?
Justin: I think the writer can give you the best answer here.
Alex: Oh wow. Okay. Well as a writer, “Time Bomb” is one of those songs you hope to have happen. It took about 30 minutes so it feels to me like you have this quick and urgent message you need to get out immediately. I also think “Time Bomb” thematically ties in a lot of the sentiment involved in this record in that sense. It’s quick, exciting, urgent and honest.
While it’s difficult to choose, can you pick out a few of your favorite songs on this album and talk about how they got to be on this collection and their inspiration?
Alex: I love all of them so let’s ask Justin.
Justin: My favorites are “Fame,” “Generic,” “Cardiac,” and “Time Bomb.”
Alex: Nice one.
Generally, how do you go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
Alex: It starts on my acoustic or piano. Once that’s in a good place the idea becomes a demo, which I send over to Justin and the rest of our team. Justin and I get together and work it out at rehearsal until it’s ready for the studio. So I’d say it’s a bit of both honestly. A bit of everything before they’re committed to tape.
Justin: Alex writes the songs and typically has an idea for how the drums should feel. I take the beats and run with them. See what I can get away with.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Justin: On stage, for me. The live set is my favorite part. I like the nervous energy before the gig, and that release when you finally start the first song and get to lay into a heavy chorus. The best.
Alex: This is a really hard one for me since performing any of the above is where I feel I’m at my best. I think the sense of pride and release I get from a new demo is just as strong as recording it in the studio or on the stage. It’s the whole process for me.
Where can fans see you perform next? What do you think makes for an ideal show for this group? What has been a favorite show of yours in the past?
Justin: I don’t know, what are we doing next, Alex? As for an ideal show, we don’t need much — give us a decent PA and competent engineer and we can light up the room. This sounds really cocky, but we’ve played in a wide range of rooms now. You always want to play the great rooms of course, but you can’t let that be an excuse if it’s less than perfect. There’s still people there and you can’t waste their time. My favorite show so far was probably our gig in Brighton, UK. The sound was outstanding, and the fans were great. They really gave it up for us.
Alex: We’re working on securing local dates to round out 2019 and also plotting for another run in Europe at the moment. I love the challenge of figuring out how to make a space sound its best and how to draw in the people in it. And Brighton is a great example of what that looks like for us.
How has social media impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans?
Alex: Social media impacts this band and everything else. We certainly have more visibility because of it and we love to hear that people are listening. It’s an amazing feeling.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
Justin: No, I don’t think there is an escape to it. You have to keep your eyes and ears open at all times. It’s important to be an active citizen, and that requires paying attention and being informed.
Alex: Writing is something I do regardless of the climate.
What musicians have really been inspiring you since you first started making music?
Alex: So many. The Beatles are the first that come to mind. I remember asking my parents a lot of questions about them because I needed to figure out how and where all of those harmonies were coming from. I also had a Beach Boys tape, which is all harmony, so I’d say that had a big impact early on. But overall I think curiosity is what brought me here.
Justin: Bonham, of course. I’ve always been a big fan of Jimmy Chamberlin. I think right now, my favorite drummer is Benny Greb. So smooth. And if you haven’t had the pleasure, search “Purdie Shuffle” and just watch. Legend.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Alex: These songs are completely open to absorb however you want. It’s not really up to me to tell people how to interpret them but the most important thing to me is that you’re listening. And there will be plenty more of them.
Justin: To me, I hope people can connect with it and find something meaningful in it. I don’t think it’s our place to tell them what that is. Art should be personal, and every reaction is valid. But I hope it does carry weight.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this group?
Justin: Follow us on our socials and come out to a show! We’d love to meet you and hopefully put on a show worth remembering for you.
Alex: Yes! Thank you so very much to all of you for hearing us!!
(Photo Credit – Kevin McGann)