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LAS: As you may have noticed from my review of the record, I don't really know much about Sterling Silver. Why don't you introduce yourselves and what you in the band.
Demetrius Francisco Antuna: I handle vocals and play the guitar. Susanna Waiche also contributes vocals and plays guitar. Marc Guzower plays the bass and Brent Asbury raps on the drums and various other objects.
How did Sterling Silver come together?
In January of 1998 Marc and I met through playing with other people. We just started writing acoustic songs in my bedroom and intended on staying real quiet and mostly acoustic. Susanna, who spent a lot of time at our house, came in to join us one night and from there we became a three piece. Weeks later we met Brent and from that day on we were no longer just an acoustic band. Then less than a month after playing as a full unit we played our first three shows and started preparing for our first release on Slowdance.
Honestly, Leave Before Its Black was one of the most unexpected pleasant surprises I've had in a long time. It seems that every "new" band these days is preceded by a barrage of webpages and marketing, so that the by the time an actual album is on the shelves everyone already knows what to expect. For some reason I had never heard anything about you guys, not even the name. Maybe I just live under a rock. Or in Germany. What was Sterling Silver up to before the album came out?
Before the record we did a couple west coast tours with bands like the Wicked Farleys, Kind of Like Spitting and City on Film. I'm sure we would love to barrage you with ads and webpages and what not, but we are dealing with a small indie label that does what it can, but that's only so much. It's also partly because we are so new; there hasn't really even been that much time together as a band, to be honest. Anyway, I'm writing this from the road, so I guess you could say we are doing this the old fashioned way by touring a lot.
What has the response been like since the record came out?
The overall response has been really good. Some weird comparisons to bands we don't even listen to, but all in all it's been pretty good. The overall consensus does say that the live show is way better, a lot more energy and power than the record holds. Someone just recently told us that a person needed laptops and calculators to dance to it.
How do you go about putting the vocals and the music together? I ask because on some songs, like "7th Standard," the lyrics/vocals don't really seem to have anything to do with the musical structure and have an almost spoken-word feel to them.
Well, our songwriting is mostly done through jamming out parts and the vocals kinda come with it the same way. We - both Susanna and myself - just start singing melodies that we hear and then later sit down and put lyrics to it. "7th Standard," on the other hand, was more of a singer/songwriter type thing by Susanna.
How do the dual male/female vocals come about? Do you each write a part and then fit them together or are the vocals written as one piece and then just divvied up between the voices?
Like I said, we both just start singing when we hear a melody and we work out the two parts and then fit words to them.
This kind of goes back to the first question about vocals but your sound has a very instrumental feel and intelligence to it, but every song has vocals. Were the vocals always a part of the picture or did they come about later on?
Vocals have always been a key element to our songwriting. When we started we relied a lot on the vocals for the song structure, but we don't really follow the normal pop song structure with chord progressions and choruses, so I guess that's where the instrumental feel comes from.
There used to be a distinct San Diego sound, but now most of the bands that defined it, at least traditionally, are gone and the music coming out of that area is much more diverse. Any thoughts?
There are a lot of good sounds coming out of San Diego right now, and yeah it is much more diverse than in the past.
Some people translate paintings or photographs into their music, others books or film. Are there any non-musical influences or inspirations for any Sterling Silver songs?
My mother is my hugest inspiration. Everything I do goes out to her. Other than that it's the people around me that inspire me.
What do each of you do outside of the band? I assume you have regular jobs.
I work at a French bakery in San Diego, and no, I'm not a baker - I'm just a stupid customer service guy. I also do some graphic design work at home under the name Velocipede, so if you need cheap work... Susanna works retail at a home decor store. Marc is a lawn mower specialist at Sears. Brent works for Foundation skateboards.
Does Sterling Silver have anything special planned for New Year's Eve?
I don't think that any of us have thought that far into the future, but I guess we'll probably self-destruct with the rest of the planet. SEE ALSO: www.slowdance.com
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.
See other articles by Eric J Herboth.
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