Pop-rock band This Century have embarked on their first ever headlining tour, dubbed the Young and Useless tour, which made its way to New York this past Saturday (7/23) at the Highline Ballroom, and Sunday (7/24) at the Vibe Lounge. They recently released their debut album, Sound of Fire, on Warner imprint, Action Theory Records. Alternative Press magazine recently named the band one of their “100 Bands You Need To Know in 2011.”
I had a chance to speak with guitarist Sean Silverman and bassist Alex Silverman before their show at the Vibe Lounge about the tour, their debut album, their influences, and success.
How has the tour been going so far?
Sean: It’s going great. It’s been a very different experience I think, ‘cause, this is the first time we’ve been able to kind of play longer sets and its more of putting together a show as opposed to kind of just playing this quick burst of a set, you know, six/seven songs a night…
Alex: …we actually play 45 minutes to close to an hour, hopefully, which, for us is an accomplishment in itself because we’ve never really had to do that before. So, I think this tour is really been a big growing point for the band, where we kind of learned to make it this next level of a performance.
So this is your first headlining tour?
Alex: This is our first headliner, yeah.
What do you enjoy most about playing live?
Alex: I love seeing the audience reaction and just, the actual playing the music part is pretty fun too.
Sean: I mean, for me, live I think is just like, being able to express myself in a different way, different medium. Recording is wonderful and I love it to death, but when you’re actually able to see the transaction of music from you playing it to seeing it on another person’s [face], and how it affects them, and also…
Alex: …the energy…
Sean: … just the energy, I think there’s no other feeling like that. I mean, it’s a complete adrenaline rush. It’s great.
Alex: It’s awesome
Sean: yeah, it’s hard to describe.
How did This Century form?
Alex: Sean and Ryan had a project previously, and, we’re brothers, so I naturally got sucked into that project, playing bass. And I met Joel in high school… when I was like a sophomore or something, and we kind of just formed it at that point, which I guess is about four or five years ago, maybe?
Alex: yeah, It’s a really simple… it all fell into place. It took a lot longer than that conversation suggests. It was like a good year of pulling it all together
Sean: yeah, there’s a lot of…
Alex: …auditioning and everything. But, Joel started going to my school and we just met.
What are some of your musical influences and how have they influenced your sound?
Sean: I guess, as a band we listen to a lot of John Mayer, The Killers, Coldplay, Radiohead, a lot of, like, British pop-rock bands, I guess, really, Keane, fond of. But, I mean, we’re pretty diverse. We’ll listen to anything. I mean, even country, we love country, we love R&B, we love, I mean, we have our, like, periods, where we’ll be stuck on, like…
Alex: …Sean has his period…
Sean: …when I have my period.
Sean: we have our four or five bands that we rotate, ‘cause it’s hard, like, we’re definitely more of an album-type of a band where we’ll just try and, like, absorb an album, versus, like, get stuck on a song or two and… There’s actually a band called Young the Giant that we’ve been listening to a lot that we’re really big fans of.
How did your debut album, Sound of Fire, come together?
Sean: um, it really, I mean the album circulated around the song really. We had this song written, like, two weeks before we went into the studio, really. We didn’t actually have any songs written for the record going into the studio, and then, the last two weeks were just, like, hell week. We just, like, sat down and our producer we were working with was like, ‘we gotta write some songs,’ and then, we literally wrote a song a day for, like, two weeks straight until we got the record together, and… “Sound of Fire” was really the centerpiece, and the record that we felt like, or, the song that we felt like was going to be the defining point or the balance between the two extremes of our band. We get very funky on one end and very rock driven on the other, so it’s a nice little medium for us and we’re really proud of that song and it felt like it meant a lot for us. Like, “Sound of Fire” is kind of like our passion. It’s like your passion, your fire. And, yeah, so the whole record kind of came around that song.
You released it on a major label, you guys were just signed to a major label, you released your debut album, and you were chosen by Alternative Press as one of their “100 Bands You Need To Know in 2011.” Do you feel like this is your year to finally break through?
Sean: Yeah, we’re definitely working harder than ever and, we’re trying to tour as much as possible and just be on the road. And doing this headlining tour is definitely gonna help us, should benefit us… one of these days…
Alex: …one of these days…
Sean: I think really, like, for the band I think this is a really important year for the band ‘cause we’ve worked incredibly hard for a couple of years now and we’ve finally had the chance to record a record, which is a lot of bands’ big dream, you know. And the fact that it’s been so recent, you know, it still feels fresh to tour on the record and, um. Yeah, I feel a good wave of things… it feels like a very positive transition from doing this and being able to see our fans every night that are OUR fans, you know, as opposed to never knowing who really, like, supports the band, and… it’s really cool.
Sound of Fire is available now. A video for the single, “Sound of Fire,” can be seen on the band’s YouTube channel. You can read my review of their Vibe Lounge show here.