METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Mitch. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
How are you doing? The year is almost over, how has 2017 treated you so far?
MITCH SWANGER: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me! I’m doing really well!
MPAP: For those that may not have heard of your band and your music just yet, let’s get them up to speed right now. As the story goes, the word around the campfire is, Silent Theory formed in 2008 and hails from Moscow, Idaho correct?
MITCH: Yep that’s correct! Three of us are brothers and we were born and raised in Moscow and that’s where our current location is.
MPAP: What else do we need to know about Silent Theory? How do you sell it to us, so we want to go check you out and buy or download your music?
MITCH: We are anywhere and everywhere that you have an internet connection. You can check us out on all the social media platforms and if you are interested in buying our tunes, you can find us on iTunes, Amazon, etc. If you stream, we are on Spotify and Pandora, to name a few. For people that still like hard copy items, we do have a web store where you can buy directly from us at www.silenttheorystore.com. We have shirts, hats, hoodies, CDs, etc.
MPAP: You’re definitely not a band that’s wet behind the ears anymore since almost being around for 10 years. Some of your highlights have included playing at the South-By-Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas with bands like Metallica, Shiny Toy Guns, and The Proclaimers in 2009? Then making an appearance on MTV Cribs, where you performed the single "Livin’ the Dream," and then signing your first record deal with Turkey Vulture Records all in 2010? Do you have to pinch yourself a lot just to make sure this ride is real?
MITCH: Sometimes we have to do that. It’s really funny because we will go through peaks and valleys. There will be a stretch of time where we feel like time is wasting and we are just hanging out, and then other times we are swamped and feel like we can’t catch up with all that is going on.
MPAP: Silent Theory also features something rare to find in the music industry, brothers, that play together in the same band. And not just one brother, I might add, but there is a total of three brothers together in the band? A trifecta in the world of music you might say?
MITCH: You are correct. I play the drums, Scott is the middle brother and plays the guitar and George is the youngest and plays the bass.
MPAP: How is it being the brother to Scott and George? Everything you’d expect it to be?
MITCH: I think it’s safe to say that they are really lucky to have me as a brother and I don’t let them forget that. All jokes aside, it has worked out really well. Having grown up and played music together our whole lives, it makes the writing and jamming process for us relatively easy. I typically can anticipate what either of them will do, as they typically can do with me.
MPAP: Who’s the oldest, who’s the wisest of the three of you? And most important of all, who has the better taste in music on their mp3 player?
MITCH: I am the oldest and the wisest. Okay, maybe I’m just the oldest. I’d like to think my music is the best. George has some weird crap on his mp3 player so when he’s playing it I usually have headphones in.
MPAP: Is it hard having two other brothers in the band? Do you ever feel sometimes it’s hard to get ideas or points across because brothers just need to be brothers and want to be difficult at times because they can?
MITCH: I would actually say it’s the opposite. Because we are brothers we usually are very similar with our ideas. The other two in the band might disagree just because the three brothers tend to vote alike on band issues, and we have a majority rule. We are also harder on each other than we are with the other members in the band. We are not very tactful with each other so when something sucks, we be sure to let them know. We have had our fights but for the most part we get along really well.
MPAP: Any other family members that might make a guest appearance on the next album? Are there a lot of musical roots in the Swanger family by any chance?
MITCH: Nope. I think my sister took piano lessons for a week once when she was a kid. She’s an accountant now which is definitely more her style. Our dad is a drummer, so our musical talent and interests came from him.
MPAP: So now let’s talk about Silent Theory’s latest video release called "Watch Me Burn", taken from the Delusions album that came out October 24th, 2017 recently. Tell us what we can expect when watching the video for the first time?
MITCH: The goal is to captivate you. It’s a political song in essence, though we’d never consider ourselves a political band. When we were first discussing a story board for it, we had a lot more in it to make it appear as though it were a political video, and we opted to take most of it out so that people could interpret the video for themselves. What you can’t really see in the video is that it was 115 degrees in that shop and we were sweating profusely trying to film it. It was miserable, so we hope you enjoy it. Tell your friends.
MPAP: Tell us what can we expect from watching it the second time around? The video’s subject is a lot to absorb in you might say, given the current state of the world right now, right?
MITCH: Look for the sweat and misery on our faces. Jokes aside, it is a song with a lot of substance and you’re right, it does say a lot about the current state of the world.
MPAP: Between natural disasters and the political turmoil, why did you want to make a video that mirrored our current state which we are living in right now? Is it something you wanted people to open their eyes and see point-blank first hand?
MITCH: This is a good question. When we were writing the song, we were in the throes of the upcoming presidential election and it was like no matter where you looked or what you did, it was constantly in our faces. It doesn’t matter which political stance you feel that you fall on, the whole thing was kind of a mess. Typical speeches with constant bashing and empty promises, from all sides. "Watch Me Burn" was kind of a reflection of that, I suppose. An anthem of “Hey, we are all in this together.”
MPAP: Silent Theory has never been considered to be a political band, so why did you feel the need to write and make the video for "Watch Me Burn"?
MITCH: We definitely don’t feel like we are a political band, nor would I ever want to be portrayed as one. No disrespect to the artists out there that are political, but our belief is that music should be your escape. Nothing is better than shutting the world out for a while and just getting lost in great music. As a music fan, I’m not listening to your music because I care about your stance on this or that, I listen to your music because you write great music. Period. I get enough politics everywhere else in the world, I don’t need it coming from my favorite band just because they have a microphone and an entitled attitude. I can tell you that "Watch Me Burn" will be the most political that we get, and even that is up for lots of interpretation.
MPAP: The dust has settled a bit, and you can brush things off now that Delusions has been out for over a year now, are you still excited that it’s out there on the streets for everyone to listen to, or are you still tired from all the blood, sweat, and tears you had to put into it all to pull it off?
MITCH: We are really proud of the album, so I love that people are still buying and spinning it.
MPAP: How would you say Silent Theory has grown as a band since the debut release Black Tie Affair (2011)?
MITCH: To say we have grown is an understatement. At the time, we were proud of Black Tie Affair but our writing, both musically and lyrically have grown tremendously. Being with a label for Black Tie Affair, I think there was a lot of pressure to hop on the "Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll" bandwagon, which is clearly reflected on that album. Having never done drugs myself, I was a total poser writing some of those songs, and I’ll be the first to admit it. I guess it depends on who you ask though; I know Robert was, and still is, really proud of that album.
MPAP: What would you say makes Delusions stand out from it?
MITCH: Both musically and lyrically, it’s night and day from Black Tie Affair. From start to finish, I think Delusions is a more eclectic album, and lyrically, I think it touches on a lot of real life subjects that people can relate to. We’ve all been depressed at one time or another, or maybe someone is depressed now and a song like "Fragile Minds" is pulling them through. We wrote it all from the heart and I think you can clearly hear that when you listen.
MPAP: Before we bring this interview to a close, through the years, Silent Theory has always had one constant goal in mind, to always be striving to better themselves? Do you feel you’re accomplishing that statement so far after almost 10 years later?
MITCH: I do. Anyone in the music business knows how hard it is to fully break, given the high level of competition, so even small milestones are victories. I don’t think we ever thought we’d have one of our music videos hit one million organic views, but "Fragile Minds" is about to do that. Not being signed or having a bunch of money thrown our way, I think that is an amazing accomplishment. I think our writing is continually getting better and we are constantly challenging ourselves. I’m excited for what the next ten years have in store for us.
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Mitch, for being a part of this interview. We look forward to what Silent Theory does to finish out 2017 and take on the year 2018.
MITCH: Thank you!
MPAP: Any last words to all the readers and your fans out there before we bring this interview to a close?
MITCH: I always like to shamelessly plug the band. Please check us out on all the social media outlets. Give us a like on Facebook, and follow us on twitter. Please tell your friends about us and help us spread the gospel of Silent Theory!
Silent Therory / November 18th, 2017/ Interview #81