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Interview with Silvertide drummer Kevin Frank
Interview with Silvertide drummer Kevin Frank
by: Red Rocker
Interview date: 02/02/05
Posted: 02/15/05

Red Rocker Home / CD Reviews / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

I recently had the chance to sit down with members of Silvertide, a promising new hard rock band out of Philadelphia, on their current tour stop at the legendary Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH. It was a nauseatingly cold February afternoon on the campus of Ohio State University when I climbed on board their tour bus just after 1pm (though you wouldn’t know it, as only the drummer Kevin Frank was yet awake for the day). The band had just rolled into town after a nearly six-hour drive from the prior night’s gig in South Bend, IN. As Kevin began making a pot of coffee with one eye open and recalling last night’s shot selections with a member of the crew, I introduced myself and thanked him for making one of my favorite albums of 2004, Show and Tell.

Red Rocker: So, I know you guys are from Philly. Are all of you from the same area? High school buds?

Kevin Frank: We’re all from the same neighborhood in Philly, pretty much, five or 10 minutes from each other. Me and the lead guitar player Nick Perri went to the same high school, and the other three guys went to another high school a couple minutes away. We sorta just crossed paths.

RR: Been playing together how long?

KF: Four years now. Four years in a couple of weeks.

RR: As Silvertide?

KF: Yep, none of us were ever in other bands before this. We all messed around with other people in high school but never really formed a band until this.

RR: The debut record (Show and Tell) came out last fall and I love it. Just curious, with the lack of what I’d deem classic rock formats on the radio any more, what was your inspiration for the sound of this record?

KF: Kind of a hard thing to explain ‘cause we all have really diverse interests. We listen to so much different stuff, new and old, a lot of old blues, stuff like that. We just watched a Hendrix DVD last night. We didn’t ever get together to play any certain style of music when we formed; we just got together in Nick’s basement at first and started playing, you know, two guitars, bass, drums and a singer. We never said, “Let’s try and write classic rock songs.” We’re all inspired by a lot of the older, more organic music instead of the new stuff going around. Most kids in my high school were really into hip hop and rap and that kind of stuff, which inspired me to go completely opposite, because I wasn’t into that at all.

RR: So, your favorite drummers?

KF: Buddy Miles. You know? The band The Gypsies? I think everyone is pretty much in favor that John Bonham is a great drummer. Last night we were watching Mitch Mitchell. That was awesome.

RR: What’s on your iPod right now?

KF: I’ve been listening to Thin Lizzy actually. He would call them Tin Lizzy (pointing at his crew member), that’s the correct Irish pronunciation. (Laughs) Thin Lizzy and I’ve been listening to Free a lot lately.

RR: You’ve been on the road how long?

KF: Fifteen months now. Fifteen, no, 16 months now, and we’ve got another 18 to go.

RR: Wow.

KF: Just supporting the record. We’ll tour up until next spring or summer (2006) then we might get a few weeks off and start recording music for the next record.

RR: Do you guys write on the road?

KF: Yeah, we write all the time. All of us play guitar, we jam on the bus every day. We have literally a couple hundred ideas for songs, but none of it is put together ‘cause we’re never around a studio or anything. We have our own demos we put together on the bus, but I don’t have time, you know, to sit down and record drum tracks or anything. I don’t think it’s gonna be hard at all to write for the next album. I think it’s gonna be harder actually to choose between everyone’s ideas.

RR: Who wrote the first record?

KF: Walt, the singer, writes 99% of the lyrics, but we all play guitar and write the riffs and create the music.

RR: I was out on your website the other day and saw where you’re soliciting fan input for a good cover song to potentially play live. Great concept. Has anything come from that?

KF: No, ‘cause we only have a 40-minute slot each night. Most people we’re playing to have never heard of us. Some people have heard the single “Ain’t Comin’ Home,” but that’s about it, so we’re trying to play as many of our songs as possible. We just took that poll ‘cause it’s a lot of fun and we do love everyone’s suggestions. Maybe we’ll do one in the next few months…once we start getting a headlining slot.

RR: “Ain’t Comin’ Home” is such a great song, you’ve got to be getting a good reaction from playing that live?

KF: Yeah, we’ve always closed the set with that one. It was the first song written when we were still in high school three and a half years ago. There’s something about that song, you know, as we get the crowd into it and break it down, get them to follow along, then Walt will crowd surf or whatever. By the end of the show it’s just an easy line to get people going, you know. Get fucked up, the whole thing when you’re out at a club, it’s the easiest thing. It’s like, “Hey, that’s what I’m doin’ right now!” They all get really into it.

RR: What about the 9/11 song “Foxhole Jesus Christ”?

KF: That’s actually not related that much to 9/11. It sort of is, but we’re not really a political band. We don’t want people to confuse us for trying to make a major statement or anything like that. It’s a song that Walt wrote to one of his close friends who joined the military after 9/11. There’s plenty of people who are really honorable for joining like that, and we’re not anti-war or anything like that, but some people just react without thinking and just say, “I’m gonna join.” Sometimes they do it without really thinking and Walt wrote it to this friend who he thought was just being stubborn, I guess. He never expected him to go to the military.

RR: Here it is 1:30 in the afternoon and you’re the only guy up, stirring up a cup of coffee. This is your life?

KF: This is great, you know, wouldn’t want it any other way. We were in a van forever, so a tour bus is an amazing thing. Up until we toured with Van Halen last summer in June and July. We became friends with everyone in Van Halen, but mainly Sammy Hagar. He sponsored us with Cabo Wabo tequila to help buy our first tour bus, helped rent them when we didn’t have any money. (Laughs) We still don’t have any money but we have this bus.

RR: So it could be said that Sammy Hagar is your sugar daddy?

KF: (Laughs) He’s awesome. Sammy’s one of the coolest guys in the industry. He saw us touring with like a 15-passenger van and here’s Van Halen with a fleet of like 10 tour buses for just their crew and them. He saw us hanging out smoking a bowl in our van and said, “This is so sad, you guys need a back lounge!”

RR: Think I also read where you guys did a few dates with Kid Rock?

KF: Yeh, we played a few dates in the south, Jackson, Mississippi was one of them. That was one of the funniest back stage areas I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen anything more straight out of an MTV video in my life. He’s sitting there in a velvet robe, smoking a cigar, and he’s got like 10 hot girls surrounding him like a King! I’ve never seen anything like it! It was more funny to me than anything ‘cause it was so right out of a video. Most guys can fuck around and have parties, but you don’t have 10 beautiful girls just sitting around while you’re having normal conversation with someone. And the girls weren’t saying a word. I couldn’t keep a straight face after a while. The girls were just sitting there nodding their heads in agreement with him, it was hilarious.

(Door opens from the back of the bus and bassist Brian Weaver appears, bare-chested and fresh out of the rack)

RR: Mornin’.

Brian Weaver: Hey, how’s it going? Good day?

RR: Well, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask the Philly boys for a prediction on the Super Bowl.

KF: What do you think? I want your prediction.

RR: Ha, I’m a Steeler fan. We just got our asses kicked by Belichick two weeks ago.

KF: So what do you think about the Eagles’ chances?

RR: I think you’ve got a good enough defense to at least hang in there and hopefully get a chance to land a sucker punch late in the game. Do you think Terrell Owens will play?

KF: I think he is. Besides all the stuff going on in the press, I think he’ll play. We actually wrote a song for them, just started getting played in Philly last week. It was supposed to be played before that, ‘cause they play a lot of our stuff in the stadium during the season. We wrote a song called “We Won’t Give Up” and they’re just starting to play it in Philly. A lot of the NFL pre-game shows use our songs, sometimes during the plays of the week. They once played the entire version of “You Want It All.”

RR: Looking forward to the show tonight. You’re opening for Alter Bridge, three of the original members of Creed. How long have you been out with them?

KF: It’s been almost four weeks. It’s been one of my favorite tours ever. They’re just great guys, friends after day one. Some guys it’s like work touring with them, you never get to know ‘em. We actually get to hang out with these guys, though. We have their phone numbers on days off and hang out in different cities. It’s pretty cool.

RR: Well, I wish you the best of luck, the record’s fantastic. I hope you guys get a nice wind at your back and have a label that’s supporting you. Hope to see a second, third and fourth record from you guys.

KF: It will happen. Even if this record sold just 2,000 copies we would make five more. We’re not in it for anything other than playing music. We’re lucky to tour with other bands and have a great time, but we just want to make records and play live.

Send any questions or comments to redrocker@bullz-eye.com.  




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