Silent Runners will release their new album “Statues & Ornaments” on June 3rd, 2022 on Cold Transmission Music. “Statues & Ornaments” shows a slight shift in direction for Silent Runners. Featuring a heavier emphasis on post-punk influences and more drum-driven songs, without compromising the iconic mix of synths, guitars, and deep vocals the band became known for. You can find out about their new album and more in the interview below!
Hi guys, and thank you! Now, tell me – what kind of people listen to Silent Runners? Who are they, what are they thinking, and how do you think they perceive life?
Thank you for giving us the chance to tell more about our music! That’s an interesting and hard question, to be honest. We would not presume to know what our audience is feeling and thinking, they have their own mind and reasons, but we do suspect that people who listen to us have a somewhat darker and more critical outlook on life and society. Foremost: they like music that isn’t mainstream and doesn’t mind songs having perhaps more political themes. Music entertains, but we also like to convey a message, and while Silent Runners isn’t pitch black, you need to be able to stomach a bit of anguish.
I believe that all authentic music is based on the musician’s personal experience. Is this the case for Silent Runners?
Yes and no, but we do not write love songs for example. Most themes in our songs are highly political, but we do feel these issues on a very personal level. In our lives, we are all constantly confronted and frustrated by the limitations and injustice of our systems, whether that’s a media-obsessed political system or a planet-destroying greed-for-all market. In our songs, we often choose to tell the story from the perspective of the person we are actually criticizing. It helps to try to see it from their side.
What do you want people to feel primary when listening to Silent Runners? How would your upcoming album, “Statues & Ornaments,” be best served?
Just like the first question we do not presume to tell what people should feel when they listen to us. That’s fully up to them. We don’t write happy songs, but it would be great if our music at least makes people ‘happy’ in a sense. Whether that’s because people feel a connection with our lyrics or because it helps them feel understood. It’s all legit. How it would be best served in an entirely different question: we’d like to play it in small damp venues with low ceilings, cramped together with the audience.
If you were, to sum up, the whole album in a single word, which would that word be?
What song “costs” you emotionally so much that it’s difficult to perform it nowadays? Speaking of, which of your songs has the most interesting backstory to it?
Playing live is a means of catharsis, it is a relief, not a strain. The art of performing is an outlet for us. It is the way we convey a message we urgently want to tell because we think it matters. The song ‘No Place In Time’ is about a period of having no money at all, struggling to even pay for the heating and electricity bills, about feeling unwanted and cast aside in a rough neighborhood. Fortunately, those days are long gone but certainly remembered well.
We try not to get tied down too much by genre conventions.
Have you ever thought about what would have happened to your lives if there wasn’t for music? Do you ever wonder about this?
We’d probably find another way to tell a story, whether that’s in another form of art or screaming at the corner of a busy street. (laughs) But to be honest, we couldn’t really imagine a world without music. And as long as there’s music in the world, we’ll be creating it one way or another.
Despite the events throughout history, it seems that mankind hasn’t learned much about behaving for their own good. To what extent can art actually improve the world as long as it seems it’s losing its authenticity?
Well said! Art is critical for mankind to survive. It helps us reflect on our human condition and the state of the world. Art makes it possible to repackage harsh truths or show different perspectives and directions. Sadly, we feel art these days is more individualistic than it should be. It is in times like these, of great change and turmoil, when artists need to rise up and help give meaning and direction.
The sad truth is that the dominant way of thinking these days reduces art to “something left-wing hobbyists do in their free time”. It seems everything needs to be measured in terms of profit and financial viability, otherwise, it’s not worth it. It’s critical to resist this highly nihilistic way of looking at life and society. Some things are far too important to leave to the market.
To what important historical event would you see Silent Runners playing and why?
Phew, you’re not making it easy for us! The Wallstreet crash of 2008 would be ‘fun’. That mess just made painfully clear the current financial system is broken. And worse: the tragic sight of corporate bailouts on one hand, because the banks were too big to fail, and bankrupt families abandoned by society on the other hand painfully made clear where our priorities lie. Another obvious one would be the election victory of Donald Trump. The absurdity of it all demonstrates how far the West has fallen.
What albums have influenced your career so far?
We listen to all kinds of music, not exclusively to post-punk and wave. We never use a specific song as inspiration for one of our own so it’s hard to pinpoint our specific influences. Of course, we’re all influenced by the likes of Joy Division, Talking Heads, The Cure, The Sound, Depeche Mode, etc., etc., and we’re all big Radiohead fans, but also listen to the occasional hip-hop track or cross-over artists like Sleaford Mods. We try not to get tied down too much by genre conventions.
Post-Punk music has such a distinct touch, slightly melancholic and rather mysterious. If Post-Punk were to be a person, would you like to have it as a friend or a girl to hit on?
(Laughs) It wouldn’t be a nice date. I think post-punk would be better as a friend to have midnight wine-driven political discussions with.
If your music would be proposed as a movie soundtrack for the world’s current situation, what song would you pick and why?
They’re all about the current state of the world, but maybe ‘Perfect Place to Hide’ would be a fun and slightly confusing soundtrack. It’s a song about business as usual. The world burns and we’re too busy hiding, too obsessed with the next hype, ourselves, and our narrow greed to see the bigger picture. It’s actually one of the ‘happier’ songs on the record, but at the same time, it’s one of the darkest ones.
Listen to our music, read our lyrics, and feel free to organize a debate in your local community center.
We know that music is a form of cultural expression and, like any other type of art, it can be educational. Considering your music, do you think is educational in some manners?
We hope our music makes people think, and where possible: act. We don’t make music to educate people but we do want to tell a message that we think matters. So I’d say: listen to our music, read our lyrics and feel free to organize a debate in your local community center. Even though our lyrics are critical and gloomy, that doesn’t mean we spend our time sitting in a corner, moaping, and moaning. Live we have loads of fun and we give it our all. And if we made people think about some bigger issues in the process, we call our mission a success!
When you perform live, how do you want your audience to feel as they leave the show?
We want them to feel the fun we have on stage. We’re in a sort of drive and during the perfect show the audience can feel that and join in. The best show is where there’s no distance between us and the audience. And how they should feel? No idea, everything goes, but we hope we brought some meaning, one way or another.
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