Today I bring you the first fantastic installment of my band interviews. (I know you’re all excited.) You can catch these every other week for as long as I can keep this running. If you know of any musician who wants to get their word out and get some publicity, please feel free to let me know!
So today I bring you local musician and long-time friend of mine, Noah Silver. Noah and I have known each other for over a decade, growing up going to school together. The past few years, he’s been performing music all around town (and sometimes along the East Coast). Next Thursday April 26th, you can find him at DC9 at 8:30pm for his latest CD Release Party. It’s the first record he’s put out in a while, so his return is exciting. You can check out his website for more on him at: http://noahsilvermusic.com/.
How would you describe your music? (What genres?)
The majority of my music is pop/rock, but I tend to write different kinds of rock on occasion, whether it’s punk/rock, blues/rock, ska/rock, alt/rock, etc.
Did you alway know you wanted to be a musician?
No, but looking back I’m not too surprised. I started taking lessons for my first instrument when I was five, and growing up in elementary and middle school I was that weird kid who couldn’t stop himself from singing songs while walking down the hallways. Great melody has always been a driving force in my life.
What was the greatest/most memorable concert you’ve performed in?
Hmm…two come to mind. I played the New York City Marathon once, and there was undying energy for three straight hours as 40,000 runners flew by. It was cold as hell, but so worth it.
I also got hired to play an outdoor gig for a community service event once, and it was in the middle of July and HOT. With no canopy or anything, we played for two hours, roasting with fingers slipping all over our strings from the gallons of sweat. My engineer, Mike Okusami, was playing drums for me at this gig, and I vividly remember him opening up one of the bottles of water they had given us and dumping it on his head, then immediately saying , “Ew! Bathwater!” It was a fun show though, and besides a nice check they stuffed us full of fried chicken after we finished playing.
With infinite funds, what would you want to do to promote your music?
Unlimited money? Buy everyone on the planet a record player, complete with a vinyl copy of my new album.
What’s your favorite venue to play in D.C.? Outside D.C?
In D.C.–definitely Modern Times (the coffeehouse in the basement of Politics and Prose bookstore) on Friday nights. It may only be an open mic, but the people there are awesome and you get to hear a lot of wonderful musicians.
Outside of D.C.–I’ve played World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and I have to say it’s a badass venue.
What’s the most difficult aspect about being a musician?
The odds are set against you for being successful. (I define successful as making a respectable living from music alone.) Let’s face it, everyone wants to be a successful musician, and with such oversaturation, you need 200% drive and dedication to maximize your chances at achieving that goal.
Have you ever had groupies?
Well, I’ve haven’t gone on a full-length tour yet, so I can’t say whether anyone would ignore their life for a while and just follow me around, but I’ve got some fans that are heavily dedicated to my music. They’re wonderful people and have done quite a lot to help me out over the past years.
For all your lady fans out there- are you single?
Haha, gettin’ right into it I see. At the moment, yes, I am single. Being a dog-lover however is a requirement. 🙂
How old are you?
26 going on Old Man.
What’s your sign? (Both Chinese zodiac and Astrological zodiac.)
Chinese Zodiac – Ox Astrological Zodiac – Leo
Who are your music heroes? (Or, favorite musicians?)
Bradley Nowell (Sublime), Toby (The K.G.B.), Pete Mitchell (No More Kings), Kane Churko (Modern Science), Ella Fitzgerald, Marcy Playground, The Format
What are your top 3 best concerts you’ve attended?
1) The K.G.B.’s reunion show in 2008 (flew from D.C. to California to catch this one.)
2) Bob Schneider at the 9:30 Club. I actually went with a friend to catch Sister Hazel at this show and we found upon arrival that some random dude named Bob Scheider was co-headlining. He went onstage and his show was so badass that when Sister Hazel went on after him it felt amazingly flat. We left after three songs and went to Steak and Egg to finish off the night.
3) Johnny Grave’s Halloween show at The Velvet Lounge this past October. The man’s got energy. He’s local, so go check him out if you don’t know who he is.
If you weren’t being a musician, what would your “second best” dream job be?
It took me a while to figure this out, but I love teaching. I’ve taught/teach Hebrew School, Music, and Bowling (can we say random combination??) and I enjoy it immensely, so I’m actually back in school now pursuing a degree in Education to become a Elementary School teacher.
What advice do you have for those people who are interested in going solo in the music business?
Keep reaching. Keep pushing. Keep learning.
Which comes first: music or lyrics?
Not always the case, but usually I write the chord progression first that fits the mood I want, then fit lyrics/melody on top.
How long does it take to write a song (lyrics and music)?
As long as it needs. I’ve had songs that I’ve written fully in an hour. I’ve had other songs that I’ve come back to and done major edits over the course of years.
Do you have any songs that you don’t like to perform as much as others? (If so, what?)
Yup. There’s a song I wrote about a certain fast food establishment that I don’t play anymore, no matter how many times people ask. There was also another song I wrote a looooong time ago (one of the first songs I ever wrote) called “Wolverine” that if you stuck it in a can full of garbage the garbage would scream from how bad it smelled. Of course, my friends who knew this song would call out for it at every show as a joke. To end my suffering, I decided to rewrite the song, which is now titled “Werewolf” (listen to it here) which I think turned out quite well.
What is your favorite song of yours?
It used to be “Retro Girl” (listen here) but I think my new one, “Pool Hall” (listen here), has taken it’s spot on the list. “Glimmer and Glamour” will always hold a special place in my heart though. It embodies my whole outlook on chasing your dreams.
What can we see from you in the future?
I’m working on putting together a music video for “Pool Hall”. Considering the nature of the song it should be a lot of fun filming it.
[Also, check out his CD Release Party at DC9, April 26th at 8:30pm!]