Check out this great interview I did with Matthew Wade, the mind behind My Silent Bravery. Check it out here!
Where does the name “My Silent Bravery” come from?
I used to tour under a prior band, and we used to go by the name “MSB”. I think it was about 2008 or so when I decided to switch over to a different name, but keep the “MSB” intact. A friend of mine suggested the name My Silent Bravery. I thought that really sort of embodied the message behind the music, and it stuck.
This is going to be your fourth album, “Diamond From Coal”. Tell me how the recording and writing processes for this record differ in comparison to anything you’ve worked on before.
This record was different because it was produced by two different producers. Half of the cuts were done by the gentleman that did my last record. His name is Anthony Resta. I’ve been working with him for several years. He’s done Collective Soul, Elton John, a lot of big names like that. He did half the tracks. The other half of the tracks were Warren Huart. Warren’s out in LA (subsequently now, Anthony has moved out to LA). I spent a fair amount of time out in LA for the recording process. Other times I was here in Massachusetts recording. Warren has recorded artists like The Fray, Augustana, James Blunt. He recently engineered the new Aerosmith record. I think that the writing, for the most part, was a similar process, but it was still different. Most of my recording was usually done locally, but I think that heading out to LA to record was, you know, taking the next step for me.
What did each producer bring to the table, musically and production-wise?
First, they’re both great at what they do. They’re both very creative, intelligent and great people. I felt very honored to work with both of them. I did my whole last record with Anthony, so there was a whole comfort level there with Anthony. He knew what I wanted to go for. When working with Warren, it was a little bit of trying something new. I’d respected a lot of the work that I had heard from him. Warren worked with lead engineer Phil Allen, and he had Aaron Johnson mixed some of the stuff as well. We were at Swing House Studios in Los Angeles, where The Fray did their record. We were in a side studio as well through Epic Records, where they recorded the piano for Adele’s “Someone Like You”. You kind of feel like you’re a part of history in the making, and you hope that one day your project will end up in the same likeness as those artists with a lot of hard work.
Where does the name “Diamond From Coal” come from?
“Diamond From Coal” comes from a lyric in one of the new songs. The song is called “Stop And Go”. The idea is that diamonds are formed when there’s enough pressure that’s put on goal. It’s like finding a diamond in the rough, you know? But it takes a lot of work to get to that diamond. For me, that’s sort of what it embodied; the hard work and the persistence that it had taken for me since day one of starting this dream out, to the place where I was at with this record. Hopefully people think it’s a diamond.
Also, in my spare time, I’m pretty involved with spirituality. It’s also sort of a spiritual concept that I had learned about and wanted to incorporate in there. It’s sort of an artist thing, too. I believe that when Michaelangelo did [sic] the David, he said what he did was he’d already seen the sculpture there within. He took his chisel and took away the outside and what was around it.
Tell me a little bit about the song “Amazing”, the first single. What is the story behind the song?
The story behind that song has changed for me, a little bit, from when I initially started, which I find pretty cool. When I went in to record “Amazing”, my initial goal with that song was a fun, happy-go-lucky type of song that people hadn’t really heard as much from me. A lot of my stuff has been a little deeper, with spiritual deeper tones and heavier subject matter. So with this song, I wanted a fun, go out and have a good time type of song. When I recorded the video to that song, the idea for that song changed a little for me. When we were filming that video, things, I don’t know if you’d want to say started to go wrong, but there was a twist of fate. The filming didn’t go quite as I planned, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. It was a reminder that came to me to make the situation that you’re in amazing. You can look at the cup as half empty or half full, and that’s human nature. We tend to go to that place where we find what’s wrong with something rather than what’s right with something. It morphed into this idea of making the night amazing, so whatever you’re going to do, whether you’re going to see your favorite band play, your favorite sports team, hanging out with friends, you’ve got to go out and make it amazing. Make the best of a situation; you’re always looking for the silver lining and embracing that as opposed to trying to figure out what’s wrong with everything.
I watched the music video for the song as well. Would you say that everything you just told me about the meaning behind the song and making of the video plays into the actual video itself?
Yes, absolutely! When we were filming, that’s sort of how the new meaning behind it came about it. We started off with me and one of the guys in the band going around and handing out flyers. We end up giving a flyer to Cara Maria (the female lead in the video). She takes the flyer and ends up coming out to the show, this sort of private party that you need a flyer to get into. We were going to have this big party, with the band playing in this crazy club environment. The night of the shoot for the club, there was this huge snowstorm. We had a talent agent that was responsible to bring out a ton of people. We could have brought out friends and stuff too, but the storm curved out this whole idea of that happening. When we’re there and in that moment, the producer and I had to decide what we wanted to do. We decided to roll with that idea that we’d make it more about the band just playing for Cara Maria. The “what girl wouldn’t want their own private show?” type of idea. We backtracked and we had a bunch of people who we gave out flyers to earlier in the day. We had people not taking the flyers, and we added a little humor into it.
That played into the whole idea. In the past I might have been looking at it like “Oh this isn’t what I had planned” or “this is not what we discussed”. But instead of that, we went with this new idea, and I think it came out much better than if we had just filmed a party scene that you see in a million videos. It gave a unique twist; I think it made the video a lot more suitable to my audience. I wanted there to be a message behind it.
What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
I definitely want the fans to walk away with the feeling that they were moved positively, that they had a nice emotional response. The overall message is to not give up. It’s persistence, inner strength, determination, and people can apply that to whatever they’re going through. The song “Can’t Quit” very much embodies that idea. More in a general way, hopefully people walk away inspired. They feel uplifted, and that they want to accomplish things. That they want to live their life and embrace it to the fullest. That’s really the idea.
What does music mean to you?
I guess one of the things that I love about music, out of all of the things out there in the world, probably 99 out of 100 people will always love music. It’s something that unites people. It’s really a big part of my mission as an artist to spread a positive message to the world, and I think that music is out there to do that. One of my biggest inspirations is Bob Marley. He’s one of my biggest inspirations because he used to be able to unite so many people through music. He put third world countries on the map and brought all of these people together. You know, the “One Love Peace” concerts in Jamaica. I love seeing things like that. I love when music unites people. That and the emotional response that people experience when listening to music is that it makes you feel a range of emotions that help you live your life to the fullest.
As of press time, what are the future plans for My Silent Bravery?
Yeah! Next up, we’re going to be releasing this new record “Diamond From Coal” in 2014. Really excited about that! The second single from the album is called “On My Side”. It was filmed in Massachusetts, at Mechanic Hall where I just recently played with Daughtry. I hope to tour nationally behind the album. That’s next! Hopefully, more off in the future, I’ll do some remixes of some of the songs, which will be something a little different from me than most people will expect.
My Silent Bravery
This has been another shameless promotion.