One would be hard-pressed to come up with a more fitting title for SILVERSTEIN’s new album than Arrivals & Departures. After all, this Canadian band sold over 300,000 copies of their previous release, Discovering The Waterfront, on the strength of word-of-mouth and a nonstop touring schedule that saw them crisscrossing the globe. The July 2007 release is a collection of full-throated rock passion that pervades all 11 songs on Arrivals & Departures. The album emphatically depicts a band that has…well, arrived.
It’s been a long, but thrilling trip for this quintet, who came together in the Toronto suburb of Burlington, Ontario at the turn of the millennium. After putting out two of their own EPs, the band signed to Victory Records and released When Broken Is Easily Fixed, which raised eyebrows throughout North America as sales climbed well past 200,000. Showing no ill effects of any “sophomore jinx,” SILVERSTEIN’s follow-up Discovering The Waterfront did considerably better; now total SILVERSTEIN record sales are beyond a half-million. The band fueled that momentum by performing on a slew of major tours, from A Taste of Chaos and Warped in the States to the Give It A Name and Download festivals in England. They topped it all off with their first headlining tour of America—the sold-out Never Shave Again tour.
“We took three months off after we finished Never Shave Again in December to totally dedicate ourselves to writing new material,” drummer Paul Koehler says. “We were very eager to be creative again; it was a very exciting progress that flowed very naturally, since this was our third attempt at writing a full-length CD. It’s not as if we had a plan on what we wanted the new music to sound like. One of the really big benefits of our band is that we let things develop organically.”
That especially pertains to Arrivals & Departure’s lyrical heart. “I ended a seven-year relationship right before I started on this record,” singer Shane Told admits. “That’s something you can’t ignore when you’re writing lyrics. This record is, by far, the most personal record I have ever made. Sometimes it’s hard for me to go back and listen to some of the songs, because the feelings behind them are still unsettling to me. But at the same time, I wanted to convey a message of hope through the record, in that no matter what happens, you can still get through the tough times, get better and be happy.
That sense of transition impacted the recording of Arrivals & Departures as well. SILVERSTEIN decided to use a new producer--Mark Trombino, who previously worked with Jimmy Eat World and Blink 182. “Before we went in the studio, I was the only one who had met him, and that was just one time,” Koehler recalls. “We had to build a relationship quickly. It can be tricky doing that when you’re suddenly working with someone in the same room for 10-12 hours a day. Fortunately, he’s very talented and meticulous, which works well with our band, because we’re all perfectionists, too.”
In a way, Arrivals and Departures illustrates an emotional growth for a band whose career is continually on the rise. "Success is reaching whatever new goals we set for ourselves, and that has been a constant progression," Koehler says. "We're always looking to attain new things by staying focused. We feel we're on a really good path because we're comfortable doing things that come natural to us."