Since forming in Burlington, Ontario, circa 2000, the post-hardcore band Silverstein has rigorously toured the world and released nine full-length albums that have sold over a million copies in total. In 2017 the group released Dead Reflection, which coincided with a run on the Vans Warped Tour. As the year draws to a close, the group continues the grind on a European tour that lasts through mid-December.
“Touring is an essential part of our career,” says Paul Koehler, Silverstein’s founding drummer, who also has the job of band manager. “It allows us to connect with fans, create new supporters, and promote our music. In our genre, the live experience is very important to fans. It adds another dimension to the songs and allows fans to further appreciate the music.”
Silverstein has enjoyed a fairly stable lineup—a feat that’s somewhat rare given the rigors of the road and the increasingly volatile nature of the music industry. “I think we all share the same passion for creating music and touring the world,” Koehler says. “That keeps us together. It’s been over seventeen years, but the time has gone by fast!”
For his practice routine, and to keep in shape for Silverstein’s heavy touring schedule, Koehler prefers working from the band’s lengthy discography. “Because our writing style has changed over the years, it can be a nice challenge to work through an array of songs from our catalog,” he explains. “I’m always pushing myself to play as clearly and cleanly as possible, but I also like to hit as hard as I can. It can be an interesting balance, pushing yourself beyond what you’re capable of and then settling into a place where the parts feel the best they can.”
Koehler’s toms and cymbals are positioned nearly flat, and his snare and floor tom actually tilt away from him. “I started playing with flat tom angles because I found it easier to play that way,” the drummer says, “especially when I really lay into the drums. From there, I think my cymbal angles became [flatter] as well. I’m not sure when my snare angle changed, but now it’s angled quite a bit away from me. For some reason it looks and feels completely natural when I’m sitting at the kit, but if I step away, I wonder how I can play it like that!”
Also on the Road
Brann Dailor with Mastodon /// Paul Mazurkiewicz with Cannibal Corpse /// Chason Westmoreland with Whitechapel /// Shawn Cameron with Carnifex /// Aaron Stechauner with Rings of Saturn /// Chris Ulsh with Power Trip