SILENT AGE from Chicago, consisting of ex-members of Population (see that band’s 2014 CVLT Nation interview with me here), play a kind of darkened minimalist postpunk that fans of The Sound and Modern Eon should check out. The hardcore punk pedigree of the band is still there, but this is introspective music that betrays little of that influence except perhaps in the band’s own personal ethos. Silent Age – named after bassist Benny Hernandez’s enjoyment of old Charlie Chaplin films – are moody, fluid, dreamy. You can’t help but be thrown into a dark reverie while listening to their music.
Below are exclusive tracks from their self-titled demo tape. They have a tape release show this Saturday at Chicago’s Empty Bottle; details are on Facebook here.
Silent Age’s Benny Hernandez was interviewed by Oliver in January, 2017. Silent Age will be playing their tape release show this Saturday, January 21, at the Empty Bottle. details are here.
What is the name of your new project, and who all is in it?
Benny: Oliver, thank you and CVLT Nation for taking the time to listen to our demo. Patrick is on vocals, Vinny plays guitar, Brian plays synths and keyboards, Julian drums, and I’m on bass.
What have you all recorded so far and when will it be available (and where)?
Benny: We recorded a 5 song demo this past summer 2016 at our keyboardist Brian’s place, Redshift Studios. Daniel Husayn of the RED DONS mastered it at North London Bomb Factory. It took us quite a bit to release it due to the fact that everyone in this band is in other projects, and, well, life also gets in the way. However, we have been itching to get a bit more serious and we have written new songs. We also plan on touring a bit. This recording will be released on tape via Mal Viaje out of Chicago, Mal-viaje.com. It’s also available digitally via Bandcamp.
Where did you get the name for the new project? Who chose it and why?
Benny: We all gave ourselves the task of coming up with band names and we all liked this name the most. I thought up the name, but it’s really no big deal. I think I was watching some Charlie Chaplin documentary and fell into a rabbit hole on you tube of silent era films. Not that I’m a big fan, I like some of that stuff, but it was just a coincidence. Silent era morphed into Silent Age. We almost changed our name a couple of weeks ago because we found a other bands with similar names. The problem was that every other name we came up with was also taken or close to someone else’s name. Silent Age it is.
How would you describe the music of the new band, and what were you all going for, music-wise, with-how it sounds? How does it compare to Population?
Benny: When Julian and I first started we purposely wanted to go in a much more new wave direction, I guess there is a post punk element, but we where going back and listening to The Sound and Modern English quite a bit. However, it morphed into something quite different as soon Vinny and Brian joined. Nonetheless, we are all quite happy and excited about the direction of this band. Pat’s vocals tend to take the song in another direction, or enhance chords and notes that we never expected. I’d say we definitely landed in much more new wave territory than post punk. It was unexpected but we are just fine with the results. I feel that this is nothing like Population. Population was a post punk with hints of 80s goth and a lot of Manchester/factory influence. Perhaps towards the end we delved into a more new wave direction, but we never got the opportunity to explore that further.
Who writes the lyrics for the band and what do the lyrics tend to be about?
Benny: Patrick writes all of the lyrics and vocal arrangements. Obviously if we think vocal patterns should be a certain way, Pat will be very open and accommodate us. He always lends an ear to us. More often though, he adds much more than we expected. Patrick’s overall theme with these songs is anxiety about the future.
SIlent Age have a Bandcamp page here.