Interviews About Albums: Silent Line - Death And Perspective (2021)

1. What can you say about this new EP/CD?

MATT: This album is the proudest I've personally been of a creative endeavour. It's the first time I've had real creative input on a project like it, and getting to hear vocal melodies, harmonies, and riffs that I helped flesh out is incredibly rewarding.

MIKE: I feel that Death and Perspective is a huge leap forward for us in terms of maturity. This is the first time we didn't feel rushed when creating or recording and spent significantly more time on the songwriting. We are very proud of every aspect of the album: the art, production quality, songwriting, and the overall feel of it.

2. What is the meaning of the EP/CD name?

MATT: To me, the meaning is behind the themes in a lot of the songs. Many of the songs on this album have a lot to do with anxiety that we feel on a regular basis, that sort of looming unease that's incredibly persistent, while also offering perspective into the ways we contemplate those issues and the self-awareness that can sometimes help to ease those feelings.

MIKE: It speaks to the clarity and maturity that comes with age; experiencing life's highs and lows. Gaining a new perspective on life and looking forward contrasted with growing older and losing people. The name came together naturally after writing the lyrics and was meant to have a positive feel, despite having death in the title.

ANDY: I unpack Death and Perspective as in "here is the dark circumstances we are faced with. How you choose to deal with them is your perspective." Death is a constant in life, we're faced with it every day. Not just the ending of life, but of friendships, of relationships, of ways of life. Learning to see things from another point of view in order to move forward and build on what is done and over with. 

3. Which one is the composer of the CD/EP?

MATT: Mike. Some of us came up with lyrics, riffs, vocal melodies and the like, but Mike is the one who spends hundreds of hours coming up with material, composing it, recording it, mixing it, and fine tuning everything until he's satisfied with the results. Mike does about 90% of work, then we just show up to record and drink his liquor.

MIKE: I did lots of the writing, but everyone has been more involved than on past albums which is one reason why I think it is such a strong release. Andy wrote several songs' lyrics and Adam nailed a lot of new drum patterns we haven't used before. It was a much more collaborative effort than our past releases and we couldn't be happier.

4. If you have to pick one song, which one would you pick?

MATT: Become the Shattered Sun. The whole song sits right in my vocal range and I think it's my strongest performance on the entire album. It's the song I always come back to when I want to feel good about something I've recorded, because even though I love singing, I'm one of those people who hates hearing my own voice most of the time. That song's an exception.

MIKE: I believe A Quiet Condition is the most well-written song we have ever created, very closely followed by Transcendence. Matt's clean vocals are so powerful on those songs and overall on the album; it really helps carry the songs to a new level. That being said, this was a hard question to answer as I feel very strongly about every song on the album.

ANDY: Keeping with Matt's pick, having wrote at least part of it. More than just a reflection of how it feels like life just wants to keep beating you down, a reminder that you can become the light in your own world. Breaking out of habitual destruction is an option that can be worked towards.

5. Is there a special message in this EP/CD? If there is what it is?

MATT: I don't think there's any intended special message behind it, but one that I've taken away from the lyrics on many of the songs is "hey, things suck from time to time. Sometimes, it feels like things always suck. Just remember there's a light at the end of the tunnel and the only way to get there is to move forward, one step at a time."

MIKE: This album is really about the passage of time and how it brings both wonderful highs and despairing lows. While that may sound slightly depressing, the lyrics and themes are all actually very positive. It speaks of looking to the future with hope and clarity; take things as they come and do your best, let go of hate, everything will be alright. This is quite a departure from our last releases, but we are all much more mature than we were 10 years ago (I hope). I know I am much less angry and pissy. I believe my children and wife have been responsible for this change in perspective.

6. Are there some lyrics that you´d love to share?

MATT: From the prechorus of A Quiet Condition: It warms my heart to see you now /At a stand-still. That has to be my favourite lyric. Such an eloquent way of saying "I'm glad your life sucks," to the people who caused you pain in the past. 

MIKE: From the chorus of Words of Radiance: Take the time / Go and find yourself / Before someone else / Brings you down. The chorus of Transcendence: The cold rain and its clarity / Allows me to breathe / The sorrow and anxiety / Deep inside of me has gone.

7. Which inspirations haven been important for this album? Like musically or friends, family, someone you'd love to thanks specially?

MATT: I take a lot of vocal inspiration from artists like Dallas Green, Devin Townsend, Christian Alvestam, and Chris Clancy, so a lot of the things I come up with sort of sit in the vein of their vocal styles. Honestly, I'd just like to thank the band. If I never met them, my life would be very different than it is now, and I'd have never gotten to be a part of a project like this or Shattered Shores.

MIKE: There were several major inspirations. One of the most important was family, including my daughters who were both born during the writing and production of this album, and my wife. That's where the “Perspective” comes from in the title. Musically, I discovered Omnium Gatherum prior to writing the music and I was blown away by their melodies and the beautiful melancholic nature of their music. All of our main influences show such as In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and At the Gates, but Omnium Gatherum had a huge impact musically. For the growling vocals, I stopped trying to sound like someone else and just see what came naturally and I feel like, with much of the album, it is more natural and honest.

ANDY: To everyone that's been a part of my life since we finished Shattered Shores. For good or ill, conscious or no, whether you're a part of it now or not. It all gets distilled down in the end, so thank you for your time. I hope you spend it how you want to.

8. Something to add?

MATT: This is the proudest I've been of a creative endeavour, and I can't thank Mike, Andy, and Adam enough for inviting me to join the band 6 years ago. It's been a blast creating music with these neanderthals and I wouldn't want it any other way.

MIKE: Our previous albums were quite technical in comparison to Death and Perspective. This album is still a challenge for us to play, but not to the level of previous releases where the songs were so complex we could barely perform them. I feel like this release is a great representation of where we are musically and it has a much more honest feel to it. Basically, we dialed back the technicality and replaced it with good feels. We are very proud of this release and just hope everyone enjoys listening to it as much as we did creating it.

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