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Silverstein: Interview with Paul Koehler

VAsbury Park Convention Hall - Asbury Park, NJ, United States - November 4, 2007

by Kristin Biskup

SilversteinSix albums and seven and a half years later, the members of Silverstein are still moving full speed ahead. The band's highly anticipated Victory Records release "Arrivals and Departures" shows growth through an array of songs (July 3, 2007). Drummer, Paul Koehler, is very ambitious. Besides being in a band, he owns Liars Manifesto Clothing and Rock and Roll Design Company. Paul and I talked about the band's new album and some aspects of his personal life at the 2007 Saints and Sinners Festival.

How was it working with your new producer Mark Trombino on your new record?

It was a little different than the previous record. He is very experienced and talented so he brought a new perspective to the process. We learned and tried some new stuff and I think we made the best sounded record we have ever made.

Did you take a new direction with your new record?

No, not really. We just wrote a couple of songs and there was a time when we thought some songs would not fit with us. Over time, as we finished them, they worked and they sounded like us. We felt good about them.

What do you want your fans to get from listening to the new record?

We want them to see that there are different sides of the band. We have different musical styles and things that we try out and blend together. We want to create a mix and not produce the same song ten times over. It sets us up good for where we are headed. Hopefully they will enjoy this record and see all the possibilities for the next one.

How is your clothing line "Liars Manifesto Clothing" coming along?

It is good. I don't have that much time to dedicate to it. This has been the band's busiest year ever which is good and I hope that continues. We all have our side hobbies. I haven't taken anything on the road but it is online.

You have publicly said you are straight edge. When and why did you decide to go that way? Do you have any advice for the kids about the subject?

I just never drank or anything in my life. When I was 16 and I heard the term, I just proclaimed that I was straight edge. Music supported that. Listening to music opened up different ideologies. Music lets kids know that there are different ways to go in life and that they have a choice to which way to choose.

What experience on tour has most changed your view on life?

I think the John Beatz tragedy opened up our eyes to what we are doing. It can end at any moment and it teaches me to enjoy every show and every moment.*

*In 2005 Silverstein was part of the "Never Sleep Again" tour with the bands Bayside, Hawthorne Heights, and Aiden. Bayside's van skidded off the road killing drummer John "Beatz" Holohan.

What is the craziest venue you played at?

We have played bowling alleys, strip clubs, gay bars, and skate parks. This is all over seven and a half years of touring. We experienced it all. We played in sheds, basements, barns, pizza parlors. You name it, we played there.

Would you ever consider doing a cover album, and if so, what songs would you most want to cover?

The only cover we ever done officially was from a band named Lifetime. We did a Beatles cover a long time ago. We would end up covering everything from Lifetime to Beatles to Metallica to Saves the Day. It would be all over the place.

In light of Halloween, what is your favorite Halloween costume?

This year we had good assortment of costumes. Neal was Slash from Guns and Roses, Josh was an 80's hair metal rocker, Shane was a doctor, I was a hippie, and Bill was a character from Lost. We played a show in the costumes.