Silent Planet, who formed out of Los Angeles, CA in 2010, is made up of 6 members. They are a metal-core, post-hardcore band signed to Solid State records. We were able to talk with Garrett Russell, unclean vocalist, about musical influences, inspiration behind their lyrics and the heart of Silent Planet.
Nathaniel: How did you guys get started?
Garrett: We started in college, in 2009, just looking for an excuse to play some metal.
Josiah: What was was your inspiration for starting a band? Who were you listening to at the time?
Garrett: Underoath, they’ve always been a huge inspiration. Haste the Day has been another big inspiration.. it’s cool because we recently just became really good friends with those guys.
Josiah: Have you seen any of Haste the Day’s reunion tour?
Garrett: We actually played at one of their CD release shows in Los Angeles.
Nathaniel: Where did you guys get your band name?
Garrett: From the C.S. Lewis book called Silent Planet. The idea of it is.. the earth is broken, in a state of chaos.
Nathaniel: You guys write your music on a variety of topics from the bombings in Japan to sex trafficking to Native American History, where does that inspiration come from?
Garrett: To tell a story that I think would otherwise get ignored.. I think in the Christian culture that I speak to I want people to understand people outside of their political, racial and religious backdrop and understand that God’s people are the people who suffer.. as Christian’s we need to find those people and learn to identify with them.. so we can not make the mistake in the future of causing suffering, instead ending suffering and rallying behind people.
Josiah: You also write songs from a women’s perspective, which I’ve never heard a band that is made up of all guys. What’s the motivation behind that?
Garrett: When I look at the metal-core genre that we’re in.. it’s very dominated by men.. very few influences of women.. a lot of times where there is women, I don’t think they necessarily write stories in a female perspective. My goal as Silent Planet is to take a perspective of it, that I think a lot of people in this genre need to hear.. I think the primary way women are spoken about in the genre we are in is either.. evil ex-girlfriend, bad women.. like oh she’s trouble, she sucks, she broke my heart screw you, how dare you.. or you hear she’s perfect, I love her, I miss her, I wish she was my girlfriend.. either way I think that objectifies women. Whether she is good or bad, she’s just kind of an object that fits on a shelf and gets talked about.. so my goal is to let these courageous women throughout history who don’t need men to be understood.. within the narrative.. that they’re complete as they are.. and to write from their perspective, because I don’t think it is represented. I guess my goal as Silent Planet is to represent unrepresented perspectives.
Josiah: You are goings overseas soon..
Garrett: You saw the announcement! Cool.
Nathaniel: Could you tell us about that tour? Who are you touring with? Where all are you going?
Garrett: We are mostly going to be in Japan, we are playing 2 of the 5 shows in Japan with a really good band called the Abstract. In China, we are completely alone as far as touring goes.. I’m guessing we’ll play with local bands, but honestly I have no idea what to expect. These tours are going to be really crazy.. an opportunity for us to be honestly, completely confused as well as no idea what’s going on.. we have a passion for people around the world.. I’m not going to say it’s cool we get to share our music, because I don’t know if they even want to hear our music to be honest.. if anything, I’m humbled to be able to see these different cultures and to learn from them.. to be quiet and be in awe of these cultures.
Josiah: Are you guys suppose to tread lightly with what you’re doing? What you believe? Are you guys nervous at all?
Garrett: War of Ages just did something similar.. they went to Japan with the same guy.. and then they went to China with the same guy.. I’ve had a few conversations with Leroy about different logistics about being a Christian band.. he said they could say pretty much whatever they wanted.. obviously speaking English I guess they partially don’t care what you’re saying.. so it’s possible it doesn’t really matter. I think it’s recommended you don’t take physical copies of the Bible, but obviously in the modern-age people can access the Bible without the book, which is cool. Honestly, we have no idea what to expect and it is possible to get denied and not even get to go.
Josiah: When you’re visiting these other cultures are you going to be looking for inspiration to write new music? Do you have new music on the horizon?
Garrett: Yes we do.. we have a lot of new music already written.. and we have more music being written, we’re re-writing what we have written, we are always writing. To be real with you guys, to write the music we write it has a decent level of complexity in and unique things go in to each song.. it takes us a long time to write music.. we couldn’t pump out a new album in two weeks even if someone offered us a million dollars.. it’s just not possible. It takes a lot of time. That’s good, I’m happy it does.. when we finish an album and we think.. wow, that took a lot. I’m happy to be in this place where it takes us a long time as a band. Anyway, we have been writing for quite some time and we will be going into studio in January.
Josiah: Do you guys want to give a plug to your twitter or a shout out to anyone?
Garrett: We love you if you’re reading this, it’s really awesome.. thanks for supporting decentchristiantalk .. thanks for being interested in this band from Los Angeles, California. We love you, you keep us alive.. thanks for coming out to shows or feeding us, buying shirts or being our homies.. We’re thankful.
Nathaniel: From you guys writing in different perspectives and having a passion for people from around the world.. what’s been the biggest thing you have learned throughout this in your faith and and what has been the most challenging thing?
Garrett: That’s a great question. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to listen first and speak second. Before you get into anything in life.. a new job, a new relationship, a new church or a new city to live in.. you’re often so full of ideas, which is good.. I’ve learned over time, I want to be someone who can listen and be available, instead of show up with all the answers.. I really want to increase my humility. The most challenging thing.. which I think may be a controversy to say.. the Christian music market is often very full of crap and very shady on so many levels that.. I’m not going to get into specifics because I don’t want to hurt people that I work with. It’s not just a cliche.. I kind of always thought it was a cliche.. bands trying to be edgy, telling us, “it’s pretty sketchy”.. I thought people were doing that to be cool.. but I’ve seen it now, it’s real.. it is shady. I have no interest as a band, trying to find a label so we can say we are a part of this Christian market.. I don’t care about that, I don’t want to be a part of that market.. like CCM, which obviously screaming is a good way to make sure you’re not.. being on a label like Solid State, that has a Christian affiliation, to what extent does that mean? I don’t know.. but it is affiliated with the word Christian. People know that we are Christian music, because people know that I want people to know the love of God, I believe Christ is the revolution.. I believe in loving those who aren’t loved. Being on a Christian label is fine, but as far as being in the fold of these are the Christian bands and these aren’t.. we have no interest.. more so after we’ve done some of these festivals.. after we’ve some of these things in the Christian music world.. we’ve thought, this is not my tribe, these are not my people, I don’t want anything to do with this market. It’s been difficult to see groups of music who have absolutely no affiliation with Christians treat a lot of bands and people way better than those who do claim to be Christians. That’s not a reference to our label, our label has treated us very well and treats fans very well.
Nathaniel: Thanks for your time!
Follow Silent Planet on Twitter: @SlntPlnt