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Club Silencio finds inspiration at Johnson's Beach near their jam space

'The pandemic gave us the chance to sit down and actually finish and record songs we already had in (our) pocket,' says Cian O'Neill

Inspiration can come from anywhere  and for the members of Barrie-based band Club Silencio, they found their inspiration in their hometown.  

“I think Johnson’s Beach inspires us as a band. Our jam space is right near there, so sometimes we like to steal a bucket of sand and dip our feet into the bucket while we’re jamming or writing songs to give it that nautical vibe," drummer Cian O'Neill tells BarrieToday. 

"People have told us that if you go to Johnson’s Beach at night and listen closely, you can faintly hear us playing over the sound of crashing waves,” O'Neill says.

They find the natural beauty of Barrie much more inspiring than the “big, fancy, tall buildings” in downtown Toronto.

Musically, he says, they love listening to old records from the 1960s and '70s  and have garnered inspiration from The Beach Boys, Built to Spill, The Band, The Beatles, The Byrds, and The Strokes. 

Made up of Connor Anderson on bass and vocals, Derek Upham on guitar and vocals, Evan Keys on guitar and O'Neill on drums, the four have been playing together in a variety of iterations over the years.

But it wasn’t until Anderson came on board that Club Silencio was officially born.

“Derek, Evan and I played together in various projects over many years, but we never really got serious about them until Connor joined and added the missing piece in finding our sound,” O'Neill says.

He had seen Anderson perform in cover bands at pubs around the city over the years.

“I saw him one night playing at The British Arms downtown and, because we had mutual friends, Connor agreed to try out a jam session with us. The rest is history, as they say," O'Neill says. 

Describing their music as a combination of modern rock and power-pop, O’Neill says Club Silencio’s sound tends to lean more toward the melodic side of power-pop.

“There’s not a lot of talk-singing. The vocal melodies are pretty prominent and there are lots of vocal harmonies as well," he says. "It’s more like Teenage Fanclub or Posies than it is like The Ramones."

The majority of their songs feature Upham and Anderson harmonizing on lead vocals for the whole song, much like John Lennon and Paul McCartney did with the Beatles.

Power-pop, however, could be seen as misleading to some people, says O’Neill, adding their sound could also be described as indie rock or indie pop.

“Some might argue that’s too vague. The most important thing for us is writing songs  melody, lyrics and chord progressions. It’s not about creating some kind of ethereal atmosphere or whatever. At the same time, we also have a distinct style we play; it’s not broad or vague.

"Some might say we have too much going on musically for it to be modern rock or power-pop, that it’s not simple enough, but that’s how I see it anyway," he adds. 

COVID-19, while putting a hold on live music events, allowed the band to focus on recording a new album, says O’Neill, who, in March 2020, had been on tour in the U.S. with a different band on their way to play a series of music festivals.

“We decided to use the time we had under lockdown to quarantine together and record an album,” he says.

With most recording studios closed, they decided to build a studio in a loft instead.

“There were a lot of things we had always wanted to work on, but never really had the time to, juggling responsibilities from work and other bands," O'Neill says. "We had a lot of what we were working on already started at the beginning of the pandemic, but the pandemic gave us the chance to sit down and actually finish and record songs we already had in (our) pocket.”

While the release date for Club Silencio’s new album has yet to be determined, they are set to release their first single — So Cool — today, as well as its music video. They are also excited for people to hear their music and, hopefully one day in the not-so-distant future, see them perform. 

“We are going to be releasing singles over the course of the summer. We don’t want to give too much away yet, but let’s just say the singles might be part of a bigger release sometime in the near future,” O'Neill says, adding they want people to know that more is coming. “We’re rocking and rolling, thumping-and-a-pumping… (and) the ultimate goal is getting on some big Canadian bills with other bands we dig.”

The new video can be found by clicking here

About the Author: Nikki Cole

Nikki Cole has been a community issues reporter for BarrieToday since February, 2021
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