Story by Quinton Napier
Brace yourself… Sons Of Silver are a new band of amigos bringing forth new Rock-n-Roll. Their singles are almost oracle like, focusing on social unrest, uprising and things that happened before 2020. It makes one think, if these songs came out any earlier, what kind of punch would they have held?
The band is comprised of frontman Peter Argyropoulos of Pete RG, original Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen, Candlebox bassist Adam Kury, former Skillet guitarist Kevin Haaland, and keyboardist/engineer Brina Kabler.
In the world we live in now, interviews are all done by less-social conference calls. Not unlike my corporate desk job meetings from home, the awkward waiting on others and facing the decision of if you should call out your name when the robotic voice says, “Please announce yourself!” It’s not exactly how you want to start a hopefully intimate interview.
I sat in the ineffectual lobby music for a few minutes until it stopped, followed by a call that said “PETER.” While we waited for the others to hop-on, we needed a way to break the ice. Naturally, we settled on real estate.
MIMC: Seems trendy to leave California for Texas right now
Peter Argyropoulos: Yeah, either doing it or thinking about doing it. California, especially southern California, isn’t a great place to be right now. I don’t know if it’s horrible. It’s expensive for one thing. To get a decent home in a decent neighborhood will cost you close to a million dollars. It can easily be a lot more than that, and in L.A. and San Francisco the homeless problem is beyond out of control, it’s starting to look third worldish.
Adam Kury: Also, 13 percent income tax…
Peter: Also, all the hidden tax like utility bills and stuff like that.
MIMC: Right, well me being from the Midwest, tv makes California seem like a place that if you’re not there, why aren’t you?
Peter: Yeah definitely, the weather is stellar. Like most of the country is a swamp in the summer.
MIMC: You guys have established careers in different bands (Candlebox, Skillet, Pearl Jam). How did you cross paths and create this combination?
Dave Krusen: Tinder!
Peter: Right, Dave had some extra beds at his house so we all just moved in together.
But the short form is a chain of friends. I wanted out of the studio. I was in a lot, so I started playing shows with Brina (keyboardist and engineer Brina Kabler), but we got kinda bored playing by ourselves. So, I called Adam. We were in a band together called Last December several years ago. I asked if he can help me put together a band. So, Adam called up Dave and he called up Kevin (Haaland). Everyone had worked together for several years… Adam and Dave in Candlebox, Dave and Kevin in a few different projects… and we all started playing together and there was a big chemistry and we hit the ground running musically, and as friends.
MIMC: That’s a spectrum of sounds. So, what was the process of blending those different sounds?
Adam: I think we just started playing, ya know? We didn’t really think about it.
Peter: Really it started out as a solo project, like an indie Americana sound. But as time went on, we started writing together without even thinking we were writing together. Then one thing led to another and we ended up developing a sound of our own really through jamming and hanging out together. We each had our own take. There’s a lot of overlap and a lot of variety. It just naturally fits.
MIMC: So you went from Americana to this hard rock sound. What influences do you guys share?
Adam: Well, I’d say we’re pretty big Stones fans… definitely hear that. Beatles, a lot of classics, The Clash maybe. Older Zeppelin for sure.
Peter: I know for me The Clash is a big influence. I think, Dave, for you too, right?
Dave: Yeah, well definitely. That was one of the things that we kinda just headed in that direction naturally… it’s a sparser sound. And more individual parts rather than big bar chords banging out together.
MIMC: What was the timeline and turnaround time from jamming to the EP being released?
Peter: Pretty quick. We spent a couple years being an Americana band and during that time, we started transitioning. The sound was definitely starting to change. But from the day we decided we were a band, and we were Sons of Silver it was honestly like, a day? We popped out Read ‘Em Their Rights, Deep Division, and World On Fire. And I would say those songs sort of became marker songs for us you know? I mean they’re good songs; I think so. Cornerstones to measure ourselves by and grow from. So now, every time we’re in the studio together, we’re writing and that process was very fast.
MIMC: “Doomsday Noises” all seem to connect, and I know you started this before the pandemic. Where did the names and theming come from?
Peter: Borrowed from the lyrics of the song Outbreak. It seemed catchy and worked with the nature of the song. We don’t do a lot of thinking, haha! If we do, it gets ugly!
MIMC: Right, and current events after that are almost eerie…
Peter: Haha, yeah, we’ve had a few radio stations ask what our next song is gonna be so they can prepare!
Dave: Yeah, it’s crazy to think that it basically all happened at once. The songs happened all ahead of time, and then when picking out the songs for the EP around a theme that was during the pandemic. Those songs just stood out as ones that go with right now.
Peter: I kinda had it in mind by like… December? We tracked a bunch of songs in early 2019. And a bunch of others were tracked at the end of 2019. And by that point, I think we had kinda narrowed it down.
MIMC: As far promoting an album goes, typically that involves touring on the music, bringing it to the people. What are you guys doing to promote during this pandemic? Are you doing livestream shows?
Peter: Yeah, we’ve done four now. All of them have done really well. First one we had a couple hundred views. By the third one, we had about 1200 people watching, and the last one we had 50,000 watching. And that’s like (with) zero promotion. So that was really good, and we were working social media like behind the scene; tid-bits and things like that. Taking an opportunity to introduce the band to people and not just the songs themselves. Who we are, while at the same time keeping it a little mysterious if we can.
MIMC: Mystique is definitely a lost art. I could probably find out what Katy Perry had for breakfast if I looked at instagram for five minutes.
Peter: You could probably find out what she shit!
MIMC: You guys mentioned Led Zeppelin, and I think a big part of what makes them appealing is the whole mysterious dynamic of the band. They’re everywhere, but you still wonder, “What are those guys like?”
Peter: Very good point and good to hear. For me, it’s a fine line to walk. To be honest with you, I wouldn’t spend any time on social networks, but it’s a fantastic way to reach people. So, ask each other, how much do we reveal of our work? Ourselves? Not wanting to get caught up in it and forget why you’re doing it in the first place, which is to make music with your friends.
Adam: At the end of the day, we just like to play.
Peter: I had a
book that was like the Top 40 (songs) of the last 50 or 60 years, and if you
look back on even like the old days with The Beatles, most of the other artists
are like schlockey stuff. So, I think that’s always the case with the Top 40.
Like, did Zeppelin ever even have a song in the Top 40?
(Ed. – Led Zeppelin had six songs in the Top 40 [US chart position in brackets] in their career: Whole Lotta Love , Immigrant Song , Black Dog , D’yer Mak’er , Trampled Under Foot , Fool In the Rain )
Adam: I think it’s cool that we don’t know that, right? I mean Led Zeppelin is a household name and we had to ask ourselves, “Did they even come out with a single?”
MIMC: When you guys go into your creative process, you said it starts with just jamming. But how does that even start? Does someone just holler out a key and you go, or…?
Adam: Well, we started playing Pete’s songs and you know everyone sorta had their own style. So, the more we played, it just kinda developed into us having a sound, and it developed an intuitive nature. We’re all really good at reading each other musically. Which is a great thing, because that can be tough.
Kevin: Usually when we write things, it’s not planned. A Lot of times, we’ll be trying to get a take or we’re warming up, one of us will start noodling around and something will inspire everyone to jump in on it. There are certain days we’ll get the framework to three more songs while trying to record one. So, we’ll take it as far as we can and put it away… and luckily Brina will always have it all recorded and we’ll listen to it on another day, and if it strikes us, we’ll go back out there to try and finish it up.
Peter: Sometimes, somebody will come in with something small. I call it kindling, like a more specific idea, there is nothing finished, just maybe a riff. Like World On Fire, I had a very rudimentary idea for a riff and it just went from there. And in my case, I purposely won’t finish everything, because that won’t leave as much room. It’s better if we all finish together. It’s all intuitive and when it happened, it happened fast! But we try not to stress on one thing after 20… 30 minutes. It’s not worth it, because if we’re not inspired it’s gonna suck anyway. We trust ourselves to know. But if we feel it, we’ll work at it until the end of time if we need to.
MIMC: Something I found interesting was the artwork. It has a sort of Soviet color scheme that fits really well. How involved in that were you guys? What were the influences?
Brina: Yeah, it was a culmination of being inspired by the lyrics and the intense propaganda art and the history of different social acts and political acts kinda fit with this collection of songs. It felt like it was emotionally in line. And the colors like the red, the yellows, and the black, we felt went with the sound.
MIMC: Pete mentioned the homeless situation in California being third worldish. I would imagine that atmosphere puts certain ideas into your subconscious.
Peter: Yeah, it’s not quite Escape From New York yet, but it’s crazy.
Brina: It’s hard. It’s gotten into parts of L.A. you’ve never seen it in before. It’s a topic that everyone in L.A. is experiencing and talking about.
Peter: I remember the number one topic of conversation in L.A. was traffic. But now it’s the homeless. We’re not just talking the people who, you know, are down on their luck. I mean these people, they’re ill. They’re mentally ill, they’re emotionally ill and on drugs. I think if I was in the situation they’re in, I would be doing drugs, too. Not to make light of it, but you wanna numb yourself. It’s sad. We’re not doing enough to help or we’re doing things all wrong. Clearly, it’s not working. It gets very frustrating, from many angles for me, especially because Brina and I live in a neighborhood with quite a few homeless people. I get mad at myself like, “What are you doing Peter?” And I’m not doing shit, you know?
Brina: I think about all that because it is such a daily part of our lives and all the other issues heightened in the last year and a half. I think it’s hard not to have that come into your music. We ask everyone, what do you think?
Kevin: Its heavy, even Peter’s lyrics get to me. We’re gonna have to ask Peter to lighten up. But it’s good you’re capturing it
Peter: There was even one song where you asked me, “Hey dude. Is everything okay?” Haha!
On a lighter note, I am working on a new song called Someone’s Got a Dirty Butt, that I’m writing for our son.
Adam: It’ll be a great song for strippers to dance to!
MIMC: Haha! Well, it’s kinda hard to follow that up. You guys think you will be able to tour soon? Or will there be another release first?
Peter: We’re working on another EP now. It’ll be ready… we’re thinking sometime in May. Our last single from “Doomsday Noises” got delivered to radio. And we just got our first couple serious calls about doing some shows! Like late spring or early summer. I don’t know where it’s gonna go, but I know that people are really trying to book some shows.
“Doomsday Noises” is out now everywhere. The release of Someone’s Got A Dirty Butt is still TBD.