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Silver Dust

Sommige muziek is niet voor iedereen. En zeker niet als je muziek maakt die luistert als een groot scala aan substijlen binnen metal en rock die in de blender zijn gemikt maar op de één of andere manier er toch als een coherent geheel uitkomen. En dat kan prima werken. Voeg daar aan toe een uiterlijk vertoon dat het midden houdt tussen de steampunk scene en het oeuvre van filmmaker Tim Burton en dan krijg je het Zwitserse gezelschap Silver Dust. Vorige maand werd hun reeds in 2016 alleen in hun thuisland uitgebrachte plaat ‘The Age Of Decadence’ ook verkrijgbaar in de rest van Europa, en nu staan ze aan de vooravond van een Europese tour met Battle Beast. Ik nam contact op met zanger Lord Campbell die mij bijpraatte over de plaat, hun muziek en imago, de aankomende tour die ook Nederland zal aandoen (12/11 Simplon Groningen - 13/11 Baroeg Rotterdam) en touren met winnaars van het Eurovisie songfestival...

Door: Horst | Archiveer onder different metal

Silver Dust was founded in 2013, and as it seems you did not intend to look like every other metal band already around. The band looks like it comes straight from a Tim Burton movie, and steampunk seems to have been quite influential on the way you dress. Why did you choose for this image?
We indeed wanted to be unique, not only through our music but also through our show and our style of dressing. I am personally a big fan of Tim Burton and I love the various universes and characters he has built in all his movies. Having said that, there are also other influences within Silver Dust that are perhaps a bit less obvious. For instance, I love the series ‘American Horror Story’ and, if you look at the Silver Dust’s characters, there are some nods to it.

In the meantime you have released two albums. ‘Lost In Time’ was spawned in 2013, and three years later the successor ‘The Age Of Decadence’ followed. Now this album was re-released in 2017, why was that?
We have actually released ‘The Age Of Decadence’ in early 2016 in Switzerland. It took some time to find a deal to release it throughout Europe, hence the period of time in between. In addition, Silver Dust’s line-up changed significantly between ‘Lost In Time’ and ‘The Age Of Decadence’. Mr.Killjoy, our drummer, and Tiny Pistol, our guitar player, joined the band in 2014. We also wanted to properly promote the band with our first album before rushing in recording a second one. By the way, we had the great opportunity to perform at the famous ‘Montreux Jazz Festival’ a few months after the release of ‘Lost In Time’.

An album title like ‘The Age Of Decadence’ of course raises a logical question: is this some kind of reflection on the world as we live in today? And does this perhaps makes you somewhat afraid of the future?
‘The Age Of Decadence’ is a reflection about how human beings behave nowadays but also about how they did act in the past. Sadly it seems that time doesn’t teach us how to improve ourselves and we simply reproduce the same mistakes. That’s why ‘The Age Of Decadence’ is both the past and the present and it would be awesome if it wasn’t the future.

Speaking of this album title, are the lyrics also based on this? Is ‘The Age Of Decadence’ some kind of concept album with one grand overall theme?
No, ‘The Age Of Decadence’ is not a concept album. However, I can already tell you that the next one – that will be released in 2018 – will be one. Coming back to the lyrics, we live in a world where people seem to develop. Unfortunately, it isn’t really the case and that’s why Silver Dust’s songs talk about animal cruelty, human dysfunction and degradation of the planet. All of that is a kind of decadence that exists every day in our lives but that becomes unfortunately almost normal.

Musically the album listens like a hotchpotch of a lot of different styles of music all thrown into a blender with as a result an interesting piece of work that will certainly appeal to people with an open mind, but it takes some time to get into it. So tell me, what do you think is important when it comes to writing a good Silver Dust song?
To me, a good Silver Dust song is made of melodies with a powerful rock and electronic loops tinted with classical influences. I make a point of honour to make sure that each and every song has rock roots while varying arrangements which is rather difficult to achieve.

The album has – one way or the other – been out now for more than a year. How was it received by the metal press, and more important of course, by your fans?
The music press – not only the metal one – is unanimous when it comes to describing what Silver Dust is: all magazines and newspapers say we are unique and, most of the time, they struggle classifying our music into a specific music style. This is exactly the type of reaction we expect and it is actually a great compliment as it means we do not simply look like other bands. From a personal point of view, it is also rewarding to read that my voice and its various tessitura are usually appreciated. Regarding our fans, we received very well ‘The Age Of Decadence’.

Every band wants its work reviewed in the media, for that’s still the main way to let the people know something new is out. But not every band cares if it are good of bad reviews. How do you feel about this yourself? Are good reviews important for you? And if so (or not), can you explain why?
Reviews, good or bad, are very important to us. When it comes to bad reviews, we always try to find some constructive aspects in there. We are aware we cannot meet everyone’s expectations but the most important for us is to maintain the Silver Dust’s identity and not to try to denature it. We know exactly what we want and where we go.

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After the initial release of ‘The Age Of Decadence’ you guys got on tour with Lordi, the band that scared the crap out of all the Eurovision Song festival fans back in 2006 when they won (awesome hahaha). Now the combination of some unearthly monsters with a bunch of steampunk enthusiast sharing the stage sounds a bit strange. How did this package come about?
The combination was actually perfect. Lordi and Silver Dust both give a lot of importance to the show and to theatrical aspects. The proof of this is that we gained a lot of fans during that tour. They initially came to see Lordi but they finally also discovered us and enjoyed our show.

This trek lasted for 35 days, so I take it that you got to know each other very well at the end. So how did it go? I bet you got some interesting stories to tell after spending so much time with Mr. Lordi and his friends.
It was like a dream for us and especially for Mr.Killjoy, our drummer. He is a long-time and diehard fan of Lordi so this tour had an even more special taste for him, almost like if it was just daydreaming and not real. When we performed at the O2 Academy in Newcastle, we even had the opportunity to be on stage with Mr.Lordi who ‘cut’ him with his chainsaw during the song ‘Cadaver Lover’. Check out our YouTube channel if you want to see the video. Lordi band and crew are lovely and awesome people. We are looking forward to going back on tour with them.

In 2017 you toured in Austria and Italy, and you played a few festival gigs in Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland. When do you think you’ll appear on the big festivals in Western Europe? I mean, every metal band would like to play the likes of Wacken, Summer Breeze, Hellfest etc. Any plans in that direction for 2018?
We hope this will happen very soon and we are working hard for that. Silver Dust still needs to grow up to be headliner in such massive festivals. However, we believe we would actually have our place on those stages as guests or supporting band.

Anyway, there are busy times ahead for sure, because you guys teamed up with the Battle Beast, again a band from Finland. Battle Beast however is a straight-forward heavy metal band, and your music is everything but that. How did this package became a reality?
That’s true, our respective music styles are somehow different. That being said, both Battle Beast and Silver Dust perform in the metal community although we may sound differently. This package became a reality thanks to contacts we made during our previous European tour along with Lordi.

This tour begins on November 11th in Germany and ends the same month on the 21st in the Czech Republic. You will be visiting France and Switzerland also, and two gigs are scheduled in The Netherlands: November 12th Groningen (Simplon) and November 13th Rotterdam (Baroeg). I take it that you are pretty much looking forward to this tour?
Of course! We are very much looking forward to hitting the road. It will be a great opportunity for us to meet Battle Beast, perform on the same stage and meet their fans that will hopefully also like Silver Dust. To all readers of Lords Of Metal: come to see us, you will not be disappointed and we swear we will show you something that you have never seen before.

How do you incorporate your musical and visual concepts in your live show? In other words: what can we expect from Silver Dust on stage this tour?
During a Silver Dust show, we basically talk about legends and very gloomy stories while still being on stage with a big smile. On stage, several actors accompany our show. The White Lady, the Woman in Black, the Mad Priest, the Organist and the Accursed Husband and Wife give a visual dimension that is very intense. A magic mirror is also on stage and there are some interactions between this mirror and the musicians.

Like already mentioned ‘The Age Of Decadence’ was put the first time in 2016. I take it in the meantime you have written a whole bunch of new stuff for a new album, so when can we expect something really new in the shops from Silver Dust?
Our third album will be released in Switzerland in February 2018. A European release should follow very soon after that. We cannot tell you yet how it will be and what we will talk about but it will be amazing and we are sure our fans will love it. Stay tuned, a bomb is coming!

Alright, this wraps it up for this time. I wish you guys good luck with the tour, and if you want to have a final shout or you want to motivate the readers to get of their asses and buy a ticket for the show, the space below is yours…
We would like to take the opportunity to greet the readers of Lords Of Metal and we hope to see you soon. Lord Campbell, Kurghan, Mr.Killjoy and Tiny Pistol are ready to rock the world! Be ready to see something you have never seen before if you come to a Silver Dust show! Continue to read Lords Of Metal and to support the metal all around the world. We also would like to thank you, Horst, and all the Lords Of Metal team, all the best!

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