Detroit's Silverghost adds an extra dimension to DIY
Published: November 24, 2010
"It's more upbeat now," Acevedo says. "Our songs were a little more chilled. But we just kept writing songs that were more and more pop, I guess. We just kept speeding up and speeding up. ..."
"... to a BPM that would automatically make people want to move around a little bit," finishes Bolen.
And as their confidence increased, their stage presentation evolved. They now have a video projector synched up with their drum machine "playing images that are somewhat of an extension — not 100 percent — of the songs," Acevedo says.
"So it's an added stage characteristic. Me sitting behind a couple keyboards — to some people that might be cool, but some people might not be entertained," he says with a laugh. "Which is what sort of led us into making the movie. We've just really gotten into visual stuff lately. We feel comfortable being on stage."
In conversation, Bolen and Acevedo are generous and egalitarian, one often gently prodding the other to elaborate on a point or leaving space in the conversation for the other to answer. It's a dynamic that's not always present with duos, a rock configuration prone to letting one person drive and the other admire the scenery. Bolen and Acevedo both seem to have a hand on the wheel. And the remarkable thing is that they're getting somewhere. To hear them tell it, that's been part of the design. Less do-it-yourself and more do-it-ourselves.
"We pretty much do everything ourselves. We like to be creative in ways other than music," Bolen says.
"We sit around and think, 'Wouldn't it be funny if we did this?' And we create everything ourselves — just to get the ideas out."
"It's so simple between us. We can practice any time we want," says Acevedo.
"At 10 a.m. or midnight. We live where we practice."
That approach paid off when the duo recorded the — massive-sounding, by the way — record at home.
"We recorded the new album in our spare bedroom over the summer," Bolen says.
"When we needed some extra reverb, we'd record in the bathtub. And we did a lot of layering of Marcie's guitar parts — or I'd layer my parts using a Moog for one take and a Roland for another — to give it some extra dimension."
The film that accompanies the album was homemade too, driven by ideas the pair shared about intergalactic contact and made by pure DIY drive.
They filmed most of it in their home, with help from such friends as Michael Polio (from Marco Polio & the New Vaccines) as well as pals from such bands as Gardens and others who came over to lend a crafty hand with costumes, set creation and other necessities. Hence the to-do list that includes making alien heads from papiér-mèche on a Saturday morning.
"We wanted to do something collaborative," explains Bolen. "And we've always wanted to work with Michael, so it was really a perfect opportunity."
"So, it was a situation where we did everything ourselves and, like, Deleano would come home from work and find the entire basement covered in aluminum foil," Bolen says with a chuckle.
The resulting works testify to the pair's ongoing investigation and dialogue into the workings of humans in the post-whatever era.
"It's all sort of mysterious," deadpans Acevedo about the album's backstory. "We basically received a signal from a distant galaxy, which is SR-001. Which happens, in our world to also represent Silverghost-001, 'cause we're putting out our own record," he adds.
"Basically, we travel to a planet, crash into a meteor field, land on this planet and we encounter a strange world with crazy beings. Aliens doing things that humans would be doing — but in their own way."
"A lot of the stuff we're singing about is our take on what's happening in the world. The way people interact with each other. The connection between technology and humanity. How it's changed us. How we're affected by it," he says.
"A lot of songs are about isolation. I kind of feel like technology isolates us, even though it brings us together," Bolen muses. "These were things we were talking about and writing about all the time. But we want to take it from an outsider perspective."
"A lot of it is the idea of a binary system: a two-person unit," explains Acevedo. "A couple. Inside their house, inside their 'network,' what does that look like? It's using metaphors for everyday things via science fiction. Brainwaves were combined for this record!"
"The song 'Disappearing' has a lot to do with maybe being seen as me and Marcie's view of each other, and hoping for people to listen to our music. 'If we disappear into the atmosphere, some may believe we were never here.' That's a hope that people will remember your presence."
"'Night Party' is about people that are kind of wrapped up in maybe the nightlife too much," reckons Bolen, "to where it affects everything that they're involved in, whether it be art, relationships, self-consciousness."
"I mean, we like to go out and enjoy bands and be inspired by art and music," she says, "but we also like to be productive the next day."
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