Filled with moments of relentless energy throwing back to their punk and hardcore roots to visionary moments of modern heavy, Misery Made Me fastens Silverstein‘s status as torchbearers of the scene on all fronts. It’s both intriguing and inspiring that a band – who could have merely rested on the impressive legacy they’ve already cemented – would continue to dig deep and find the inspiration to reach people in meaningful new ways.
Few bands on their 22nd lap around the scene could claim to be in “just getting started” mode as much as punk stalwarts Silverstein. The forthcoming release of their tenth studio album, Misery Made Me, finds the group spring-boarding off the heights they’ve reached over the past handful of years; their latest album (2020’s A Beautiful Place To Drown) adding 80 million streams to a mind-numbing career total of 500 million; it collecting a nomination for Rock Album of the Year at the esteemed JUNO Awards.
As vocalist Shane Told says,
“For the first time in our career, we truly put it all out there. We went into this with no rules and no preconceived notions of what Silverstein is or what it could be. The results are bold. We somehow wrote the heaviest, saddest, catchiest, and most emotional songs in 22 years of being a band … all on the same album.”
The album’s lead single, “Ultraviolet,” is about feeling powerless and under the control of the chemicals in your brain, and it dives deep into feelings of desperation, describing the utter helplessness of losing control to anxiety. Guitarist Paul Marc explains – “Ultraviolet” being invisible felt like the right way to describe it – to get lost in this unseeable thing. “Ultraviolet” light also causes physical damage to our skin, so it serves as a sort of “proof” that something invisible like anxiety can hurt us.
“Ultraviolet” is available to stream now via UNFD and in Canada via their own label, NSEW Recordings alongside a striking video directed by Wyatt Clough.
Ironically, amid all the positivity and connectivity injected into the creation of Misery Made Me, there comes a dark set of themes underpinning the album, as its title might suggest. The album is a depiction of Silverstein – and the world at large’s – collective turmoil, frustration, and anxiety.
Shane Told adds,
“I wanted to explore the meaning of ‘misery’ as a main theme throughout the album. Despite the mountains climbed and boulders pushed during recent years, we were confronted by the weight and misery of staying relatively in the same place for a long period of time. Finding peace in the reality of this misery became important. The record is about the acceptance of a new reality and adapting to it.”
Ultimately, Misery Made Me finds the band trying to navigate the ever-worsening challenges of our modern world – angst, doom scrolling, and disassociation. It’s a record that is a product of the moment in time in which it was created yet doesn’t feel like it will date itself anytime soon, as many of its topics of loneliness, anxiety, and isolation are eternal human struggles.
Exemplified by the anthemic opener “Our Song,” Misery Made Me is part acceptance of the band’s personal miseries and a part declaration that they will not be buried by them. At the back end of the record lies “Live Like This” (ft. nothing, nowhere.) and arguably its most bleak and haunting lyric: I don’t want to die, but I can’t live like this.
Misery Made Me is a campaign hinged on Silverstein’s reflection and gratitude for their roots, their honoring of their earliest fans, and their staunch desire to explore forward-thinking and adventurous ways to connect with new ones.
Misery Made Me sees its release via UNFD on CD, vinyl, and digital formats on May 6, 2022. It was produced by Sam Guaiana (A Beautiful Place To Drown and both Redux) at Jukasa Studios in rural Ontario, Canada, and features guests, Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid on “Die Alone,” singer/songwriter Trevor Daniel on “Cold Blood,” The Devil Wears Prada’s Mike Hranica on “Slow Motion” and nothing, nowhere. on “Live Like This.”
Silverstein will hit the road in support of Misery Made Me on March 26. The U.S. run includes spring dates with Beartooth, a UK/EU summer leg, and fall performances have been confirmed at WHEN WE WERE YOUNG festival and the Emo’s Not Dead cruise. Check below for a full list of dates and stay tuned for more to be announced.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.