Before the summer ended, Nilaihah Records offered me the opportunity to interview three bands on their roster. Since there was no big pile of CDs that needed to be reviewed waiting me I said “Sure, why not?” I decided to start with Silent Auction, a light/dark synthpop/futurepop duo out of Rochester, NY (not far from where I live) partly because I was curious about the Rochester scene for this type of music, partly because I had seen the band perform live once, and partly because their ‘H on Earth’ album is very, very good. Although I could have done the interview live of via phone, I chose email because it’s easier, and questions can be more thoughtfully asked and answered than in pressure setting. Well, I was wrong about the “easier”, but right about everything else. The questions were put to the band in the beginning of September, but as you will see, Jason Barbero (Vocals, Programming, Keyboards, etc.) and Terri Snyder (Vocals, Programming/Mixing, Sequence & Arrangement, etc.) had a LOT to say in answer to my questions, so it took some time to formulate and edit it all. (Very little has been edited.) So get set to explore the world of Silent Auction, a band that seems like they are poised to garner some major attention.
Chain D.L.K.: So how has your summer been and what have you been up to of late?
Terri: This summer has been great. We’ve been working hard in our studio writing and recording our new CD. We decided to take the past year off from performing so that we could really put our full focus and attention on our newest work, and it’s definitely paying off. Silent Auction has come a long, long way in the 15+ years it’s been around. And we’re very excited about the direction we’ve taken, as musicians and artists. We like to keep challenging ourselves, pushing ourselves and reforming what’s considered popular. Our new artillery of songs shows our growth in songwriting and singing abilities, and it also illustrates our efforts to bridge the gap between underground synthpop and modern pop/electro pop.
We’re also in the process of buying a place where we can set up our permanent studio. Aside from writing and recording, we do all our own mixing and production so having a solid studio is very important to us. We’re also working with a few other artists in collaborations and production assistance. Our work is constant, although sometimes under the radar, but we love keeping ourselves active. Silent Auction is heading up a strong and straight path and we’re trying to keep up with all the momentum. We’re totally enjoying the ride.
Chain D.L.K.: How did you come up with the name Silent Auction?
Jason: Honestly it pretty much “is” as it sounds. A long time ago I was obsessed with purity through silence, simply meaning to step back and just listening to the world. I wanted to use the words that at that time in my life meant so much to me. I also had a strong interest in design and at the time I had never heard of an event called a Silent Auction and I thought hmm…Silent, because nobody knows the band exists and Auction, because we would love for people to hear about what we were doing. Hence, the name Silent (mysterious? pure? not known?) Auction (up for grabs? here for the highest bidder?) And once I saw it in print in a simple Times New Roman font (nothing fancy) I thought it just looked right. From a designer’s point a view it just fit.
I still enjoy that purity through silence. There are things we often forget to do now in our adult life, like walking into the woods on a cool, late summer night and just quietly listen to the leaves of the trees mate with the wind. Or to just sit near the expressway early in the morning and listen to the city buzz as everyone rushes into work. And even something as simple as walking through Home Depot as soon as they open at 6am just to know you’re the only one thats been up all night long and still wide awake. You get to observe and enjoy a part of life that most people struggle through – adjusting to the early morning. It’s the kind of “silence” that I love.
Chain D.L.K.: You guys are from Rochester, NY (a hop, skip and jump from me) – tell me about the Rochester Goth-Industrial scene, clubs, bands, music stores etc.
Terri: Where do we start?! We are so proud to say we’re Rochesterians. This city has so much to offer. No matter where you live there will always be those residents that say “There’s nothing to do!”. I laugh at them. Seriously, our city is dripping with culture in the subculture. We have galleries that exhibit the weird and the wild, we have tattoo and piercing places down almost every avenue, we have a great variety of venues for live music acts from metal to indie rock to electronic and punk. We have numerous buildings that are rented almost solely for the purpose of band practice space (and many of those bands will offer underground performances any night of the week, if you know who to ask).
We still have local owned and operated music stores that sell vinyl and cassettes (for example Lakeshore Records, Record Archive and House of Guitars) along with current popular and local music on CDs. We are lucky to have a wide range of local bands and DJs, most of which encourage and support one another. We are members of the Rochester Music Coalition, which offers local artists and bands a community of like minded individuals involved in the music scene (all genres) to discuss ideas, promotions, events and even collaborations.
As for the specific Goth/Industrial scene here in Rochester, I hesitate to say it’s small, so instead I’ll say it’s a growing community. Because of our local Goth/Industrial/Electronic club, Vertex, we see a lot of Syracuse and Buffalo people head our way for weekend fun. It’s really great to have a place that so many people love. Vertex has been an active club for over 20 years. The employees and patrons there have become an extension of family to Silent Auction. The club supports us and our endeavors, and we in turn support it. It even opens its doors to live performances from time to time, even though there is no defined stage. It has survived numerous location changes, even a massive fire, and a few DJ turnarounds. But no matter what it faces, that club stands strong. It proves that music is important, dancing is important, and providing a place for everyone (no matter who you are or what you believe) to gather and enjoy each other’s company is important.
Aside from the Goth/Industrial scene, Rochester also has a great electronic scene busting out from the seams. Clubs like Tilt and Decibel feature headling pro DJs from all across the country (and sometimes overseas) on a regular basis. And it’s great to have a variety of music venues to catch live shows. Places that we’ve performed at here in Rochester, like Waterstreet Music Hall, the Montage, and California Brew Haus to name just a few, offer Rochester stages to catch any style of music any night of the week. We’ve had a handful of awesome show promoters that have gotten incredible acts here, like KMFDM, VNV Nation, Iris, Seabound, Assemblage 23, Informatik, Freezepop, the Azoic, Plushgun, Shiny Toy Guns, Juno Reactor and Moby (just to name a few). Rochester’s a buzzing city – you just to need to keep your eyes and ears open to all its possibilities.
Chain D.L.K.: I’ve noticed that most of your live performances seem to be local (I believe I caught you on a bill with the Azoic at The Haunt in Ithaca), do you have plans for any further national, international or regional touring, and if so, when and where?
Terri: Yeah, that show was so much fun! The Azoic is such a great group to perform with. I loved having the opportunity to share the stage with Kristy at the end of their set for a duo performance of “Obsession” – she’s great!
We certainly have tour plans cooking. Like I mentioned before, we’ve been busy writing a ton of new work, so we’re itching to get back on stage and showcase our hard work. We’ve started planning for a small overseas tour next summer – we’ve already made connections with clubs in London and Paris and we’re looking to fit in a few more around the UK if possible. It won’t be a long tour, maybe 2 weeks. But we know how to pack it in. Plus, we’re planning on hitting up the East Coast once the new album is done. That one’s a bit easier to tackle. We’ve been talking about doing some weekend “mini tours” throughout next spring and summer, hitting 2 to 3 cities in each weekend. We’ll start to plan that out when the snow starts falling here in Rochester… which I guess could be any day. First step before performing out again is to move in and build our new studio, and with that our new practice space. We are REALLY looking forward to next summer and getting back to it!
Chain D.L.K.: What bands would you like to see Silent Auction playing on the same bill with?
Terri: Oh man, I’d love to get on a stage with Fischerspooner. I’d be swimming in their creativity! Their live shows have inspired at least 2 of the songs I’ve written for Silent Auction. I’d also like to share a gig with Hank and Cupcakes, Robyn, IAMX… If you were to ask me who’d I’d like to share a STUDIO with, well that list would be totally different, and pretty long. I admire a lot of electronic musicians and would (almost) give my left leg to spend a week with them in the production studio. Let’s say, BT for starters. His production work is constantly at top notch, always testing new ideas and pushing the acceptable boundary. And yet his work still sounds like it “belongs” wherever and whenever it’s played. And how about Feed Me (their production/mixing is incredible). And then there’s Robyn again – I want to soak in her songwriting creativity. Others like Delta-S, The Presets, Pendulum, Royksopp, even Ke$ha – I would love to sit in a recording or production session with them all and see how they make their magic.
Jason: I second that answer. I’m a bit old school here in some respect, but I would still love the chance to perform with Juno Reactor, Apoptygma, Mind.In.A.Box, Ogre, Velvet Acid, etc. And as for our “contemporaries” I’d say Cosmicity, Veluxe, Sisters of Murphy, Third Realm, Marlowe, Level 2.0 ( Mike Hoffman is seriously the most entertaining and interactive vocalist I have ever seen live). I’d love to perform with Iris again and Seabound. There are so many great bands and this list could keep going. My top 3 right now would be De/vision, Mind.In.A.Box and Iris.
And I appreciate Iris for other reasons, too. Reagan Jones has such an amazing voice and a stage presence that demands your attention in a beautiful way, and the music they do is so well thought-out. And Andrew Sega has even given me guidance with how to improve our performance. He was an instrumental part in helping me choose what gear I tested out to bring with me in concert. We went through a long period of time when we were constantly changing out gear and hardware and trying to learn how everything worked (and work out any bugs) right before shows. It was tough on all three of us until I finally got the nerve to start asking questions. Now I’m happy to say our performance is rock solid. Our current setup has the same gear we used last year and I don’t have any plans to upgrade or update any of it since right now everything works perfectly.
With Andrew’s suggestions and my own ideas, I have even gotten us to the point where I have what I call custom tailored pre eqs for each type of venue. I began using RTA and VST parametric eqs live in order to filter out squealing and unwanted feedback from our mics and now I have 3 setups that seem to work anywhere I take them, depending on the venue (and a few others specifically designed for certain venues in Rochester and Albany). I have found that I can mix my custom made preset eqs to further combat ugly sounds and help create a more enjoyable overall sound for the stage. Over the years I’ve learned how to work with the FOH and BOH sound techs at any venue, which is why I have created this system of a so called pre-sound check. Now our drums thump, our keys have body, our backing is rock solid, and our vocals are clear and full.
And for me, I had to have all that before I could loosen up and enjoy the stage. It took years but now I’m finally there and I really do have fun performing!
Chain D.L.K.: Most interviewers ask bands about musical influences, but that seems self-evident to me. I’d like to know what books, movies, TV show, art, whatever has had an influence on your creativity.
Terri: This is such an awesome question. Jason and I are also both visual artists. We’re completely influenced by what we see and by our environment that we change up the “scenery” at least once a year to keep us creative. We rotate furniture around when things get too “stale” and start visiting new scenes in our city when we need inspiration. I like the contrast of being around energetic live-off-the-land friends one day and fast track professionals the next. I appreciate their differences and always take something with me from the personal interactions. And those experiences tend to show up in our lyrics in one way or another. I’m an observer – it happens.
I’m most influenced by spur-of-the-moment, unexpected reactions to things – I typically don’t go searching them out. I read the book “Room” recently by Emma Donohue and wrote a song called “Break Out” (on the upcoming CD) less than a month later. The song isn’t about the story in the book, but reading it helped me figure out a more creative way of telling my own story. I watched “This Is It”, the behind the scenes documentary of Michael Jackson’s final unseen tour, and some weird emotion hit me unexpectedly at the end. I wrote full lyrics to a new song the next day. I was watching some movie awards ceremony once where they were giving Steve Martin a lifetime achievement award. I was inspired by the theatrics of the stage and all the colors in the auditorium and by the orchestral piece they played as he walked on stage. I turned off the TV before he even gave his acceptance speech and went into the studio. Six hours later I took my headphones off and realized I had just created one of my favorite instrumental tracks. It’s called “March of the Wild” and will hopefully be released with the new album.
I love children’s books. It may sound strange, and that’s fine. I can enjoy a good novel like the rest of ‘em, but I’m an illustrator by trade and have always loved the challenge of telling a story as simply as possible, using clever visuals and clear writing. There’s almost always a moral to be learned in children’s stories, and I tend to include a similar thread through the songs I write.
My biggest influence, though, will always be the art of living. The day to day grind, the struggles in doing what’s right, the pain and joy of standing on solid ground. All those things, every day, give me fuel to write. I will be at a stop light and suddenly the drive home from work has inspired a melody, or a lyric, and I’ll have to write whatever it is down on a napkin or gas station receipt – just so I don’t lose the idea. I’ve finally learned to carry a small notebook with me wherever I go for those moments.
Jason: I’m actually a huge fan of Law and Order SVU, Fringe, The Big C, Supernatural, Modern Family, Southpark, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, just to name a few entertainment influences. As for art, HR Giger’s work truly inspires me. And I was HUGELY influenced by Aslan and his design for The Birthday Massacre’s website, www.NothingAndNowhere.com, for our official band colors and the artwork on “H on Earth.” Now, whenever I design anything I pull up that website and listen to the beautifully inspiring background loop and then play with the easter eggs on their site. I was moved by the sound and design of that site and will remain so for a long time to come.
Another band whose artwork influences me is Mind.In.A.Box (www.mindinabox.com). And of course I can’t leave out Stefan DeBatselier and Chris Cunningham for their amazing videos. I have also been hugely influenced by New Order’s “True Faith” video and more recently everything Fischerspooner does in music, video, live performance…all of it. Wow, they are so imaginative. To me, they totally bring what I always assumed the underground scene was like in NYC in the 1980′s to life. There was a documentary called “Better Living through Circuitry” a friend of mine turned me onto a while back that was all about electronic music and that was also really cool.
Lastly I would have to add “Party Monster”. It’s just an awesome movie full of color and reckless abandon, and the sound track is just plain awesome.
Chain D.L.K.: I see your song “Good Girl” has been enlisted for use in several American TV shows – MTV’s Married To Rock, E!TV’s Khole & Lamar and Kim & Kourtney Take NYC, OXYGEN’s Bad Girls Club, etc., how do you anticipate this exposure widening your fanbase and will you be doing more songs in this sardonic pop vein?
Terri: We’re so excited about the interest “Good Girl” has received recently. We can’t predict what a TV placement might do for us or for that song, but we hope it at least brings a few more people to listen to the rest of our work. “Good Girl” started off as a joke; a game between Jason and I. A late night studio session of who could write the most commercial sounding instrumental in 30 minutes HAHA! Seriously, that’s how it started. It would be great if that one song, a product of goofing off and truly enjoying the collaboration process between the two of us turned TV viewers onto our more thought-out, inspired work. With the way cue sheets and music licensing work, as we’re finding out, it may take 6 months after the air date for us to find out when the song was used. And it is not guaranteed that all the shows listed will actually use the song, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for sure.
Our newest work certainly has the potential to attract a broader audience. We’ve been challenging ourselves in the last 2 years to create music that we love that’s infused with our favorite aspects of multiple genres: like the underground (EBM, industrial, electro), the avant- garde and current pop. We are attempting to create a bridge between those worlds with our music. If “Good Girl” brings more listeners our way, that’s great! We write our music for others to enjoy. I’ve yet to see a full episode of any of the shows listed for licensing, but I know they have high viewer ratings. Apparently Kim Kardashian has something like 9 million people following her on twitter. If our song is used in her show and 1% of those viewers looked for more of our music after the airing, that’s 90,000 new listeners. It’s mind boggling.
Chain D.L.K.: “H On Earth” is your latest full album release, what does the “H” stand for – Heaven? Hell? Hydrogen? Halloween? There seems to be a dichotomy of styles- darkness and light on the album. What was the writing process for it like? Is one of you more inclined to be upbeat and the other gloomy or is it an interplay of moods that just happen?
Terri: Thanks! We’re proud of “H on Earth”. It was a long time coming (4 years to finish, with a few hiccups along the way), but we’re glad it’s finally out in the world. And you’re absolutely right – it’s a CD full of contrasts. Light vs. Dark. Good vs. Bad. Clear vs. Cloudy. New Love vs. Lost Love. The “H” stands for many things: Heaven, Hell, Hope, Hardship, Happiness – the things in life that guide our actions and shape humanity as we’ve seen it. The CD as a whole is sort of like a road trip through all these things.
“H on Earth” is a great example of where we’re both coming from in our writing styles. That CD showcases our individual styles as most songs were almost fully written by one or the other. Jason was writing heavier, “landscaped” pieces, with more sweeping pads and layered synths (“Reverie”, “NB Sadness”). He was spending a lot of time on song layout and testing theories on how to get a “full” sound while I spent a great deal of time tweaking my instruments and creating interesting “ear candy” additives. His vocals and melody ideas had more of a deep, moody, expressive quality about them while writing “H on Earth”. What I wrote was a bit more pop influenced while I was experimenting with harmonies and instruments. My work (“Beautiful Mess”, “Heart Attack”) generally seemed to have a lighter quality mostly because I was teaching myself the art of mixing while writing. It allowed me to save the “space” I wanted to let my instruments breathe.
A lot has changed since then, and now we are collaborating more on new music AND our styles have clearly begun merging together. There are times now when we browse through folders of works in progress and can’t quite remember who wrote what. Our “archive” of unfinished work is enormous – literally thousands of ideas, some just seconds long, others almost completely finished instrumentals. The more recent the idea, the more collaborative it is. It’s awesome to know that we’re finally getting to this point of synchrony. It’s almost like getting a prize for hard work together. And having been a working partnership for so long now lends us to having similar story lines and lyric ideas. We’re able to really bounce ideas off one another and spend an entire night together in the studio (sometimes 4pm- 8am, w/out sleep) working on one song.
Jason: We are really happy with our last album, “H on Earth”. But even since then we’ve come a long way in our writing and production skills. Our songs now tend to be just a little shorter to keep the attention and excitement and re-listen potential alive. We’ve been adding more color and thought into our work and spending more time into concept. All of these factors lead us into a more universal listener-friendly direction. We are working hard to make sure we do NOT lose our edge while doing this, so that we keep our style as consistent as possible but still allow ourselves to grow as artists and producers.
Chain D.L.K.: As a musician myself, I never pass up the opportunity to ask a band about its gear. What kind of equipment are you using – synths, samplers, software, recording etc., for live and studio?
Jason: For sequencing we use FL Studio7, which is great because it allows us to implement the use of VST and RTA synths, effects, and eqs. We also utilize the TC Electronics PowerCore platform for its additional performance and for Sonnox Oxford bundles which we use for fast mastering and it allows us access to the virtual Access Virus and it has some great mastering tools. However, the tools we use the most for eqs would be the FL ParaEq2 and the Wavs Mercury Bundle. We have found these to be the most useful and clean out of all the tools we have.
As far as synths and effects, well that’s a whole other story which I’ll provide at the end of this. Most of the eqs and effects we use are homemade presets that we have created over time and through troubleshooting. Every musician has their own preferred sound, and we know what we like when we hear something good. But then once we hear something good, we tweak it even further for our own mixing purposes. We are currently working on a library of presets that we use in our songs that we would like to hopefully one day offer to other musicians, and we hope other artists will someday do the same.
For recording we are also mostly software based. We use Adobe Audition (previously Cool Edit Pro). There are many programs that are great to use for recording and editing, however we have gotten very comfortable with the programs we started off with years ago. We work with the motto: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… too much”. We tap into every possibility our software programs allow. We push them to their limits.
We have custom built the machines we use. We have been very happy with the EMU 0404 soundcards and the TC Electronic PowerCore for processing power and sound quality. We try to emulate our recorded sound as best we can for live performance therefore we have quite a bit of hardware we use that can be integrated back and forth with our studio software. For example, we had a lot of problems with our live drum set-up for the first few years. We had tried a lot of different setups to get the drums we use in our recordings ALSO in our live performances. We have tried everything from desktop computers on stage with a variety of Presonus, RME, M-Audio and EMU soundcards utilizing Battery and other similar programs to try to achieve this feat. Long story short, after a year of troubleshooting we finally found a solution that works for us. The Roland SPDS Sampling Pads linked from midi through the Alesis Midi I/O trigger hooked up to our Yamaha and Roland drum pads. This is great because we can simply take the sound we use in our mixes, pre-eq them, and them load them right onto our SPDS Drum Sampler. Most people would use loop samples for this, but we use one-hitters (a single kick, snare, hi hat, etc. NOT LOOPS). We like to set ourselves apart from the norm in that way and show that everything we do really is original.
I could keep going on and on, but to REALLY show you everything we use, here is a list of all our gear. Our list is very comprehensive because we really do all our own production and mixing, and some mastering. It’s important to use to have a variety of platforms to test our recordings with and we find the more options the better. We have everything we need for mixing from club speakers to professional grade reference monitors to pro series monitoring headphones all the way down to the cheapo 5 dollar headphones. We are constantly looking to improve our sounds quality, and our productions.
Here is the full kit-and-caboodle (which can also be found on our website under the Studio tab):
- 2 Custom built Intel Core 2 Duo 1.79mhz – 4gb – 1tb D.A.W’s
- Sony VAIO Laptop with Intel Core2 Duo Processor
- Microsoft Windows XP Pro
- Emu – 0404 pci sound cards
- TC Electronics Powercore Element
- TC Electronics Powercore MKII
- TC Electronics Voiceworks vocal processors x 2
- TC Electronics Voice Tone Double pedals x 2
- Roland SH-201
- Micro Korg Vocoder
- Roland SPD-S Drum Sampling pa
- Alesis I/O Midi Trigger
- Roland TD3 – TD6 – TD7 Pads and Stand
- Akai MPC 2000
- M-Audio Fast Track Ultra
- Sabine FBX 900 Mono Feedback suppressors x 3
- Sabine FBX 901 Mono Feedback suppressor
- Lexicon MPX 100 FX processor
- Behringer Feedback Destroyer Pro
- Marshall MXL 990 Condenser Microphone
- Shure SM 58 Dynamic Vocal Mic’s x 2
- Behringer ECM8000 Room Measurement Microphone
- Yamaha – MG16/6FX 16 channel mixer
- Yahama – MG 10/2 10 channel mixer
- Yamaha – 8/2FX 10 channel mixer
- Nady DKW DUO wireless mic system
- Korg Nano Kontrol MIDI Controller
- M-Audio Axiom 49 Key MIDI Controller
- M-Audio Oxygen 61 Key MIDI Controller
- Behringer MON800 – Compact Stereo Monitor Matrix Mixer with Talkback x 2
- M-Audio BX8A first generation – Studio Monitors
- Krk Rocket 6 Limited Glossy White Edition – Studio Monitors
- Krk Rocket 8 2nd Generation – Studio Monitors
- KRK RP10S 10-Inch Powered Studio Subwoofer
- 4ft x 4ft x 3ft Peavey 18″ Dual Bass Cab Club Series Monitors x 4 – Donated by Vertex
- 4ft x 4ft x 2ft Community 18″ Dual mains Club Series Monitors x 4 – Donated by Vertex
- 2ft x 1ft x 3ft Peavey Practice Monitors x 2
- Beyer dynamic DT 770 Pro-80 Closed Studio Headphones
- Sennheiser HD212Pro Dynamic HiFi Stereo Headphones
- RCA WHP141 900MHZ Wireless Stereo Headphones
- RCA WHP140 900MHZ Wireless Stereo Headphones
- A few various pair of headphones in poor quality for cross referencing.
- Image Line FL Studio Producer Edition 7-8 and 9
- SONAR Producer 7
- Reason 3.0
- Adobe Audition 1.5
- Waves – Mercury Bundle
- Waves – Renaissance Bundle
- Waves – Native 360
- Waves – SSL bundle
- Waves – Mophoder
- TC Electronic Powercore Virus
- TC Electronic Powercore – Chorus·Delay
- TC Electronic Powercore – MasterX3
- TC Electronic Powercore – MegaReverb
- TC Electronic Powercore – PowerCore CL
- IK Multimedia Classik Studio Reverb
- Ik Multimedia ARC Advanced Room Correction System
- TC Electronic Powercore – VoiceStrip
- TC Electronic Powercore – 24/7-C
- Sonnox Oxford – Limiter
- Sonnox Oxford – Expander
- Sonnox Oxford – Inflator
- Sonnox Oxford – Transmod
- Refx – Nexus 2 – All Expansion Packs to date
- Refx – Vanguard
- Cakewalk – Z3TA
- Cakewalk – Rapture
- Native Instruments – Battery 2 and 3
- Native Instruments – Konakt 4
- Native Instruments – FM7 and FM8
- Native Instruments – Massive
- Native Instruments – Komplete 5
- Native Instruments – Reaktor 5
- Native Instruments – Mouth
- Native Instruments – The Finger
- Native Instruments – Spark
- Native Instruments – Pro 52 and Pro 53
- LinPlug Rob Papen – Albino 2 and 3
- LinPlug Rob Papen – Preditor
- LinPlug Rob Papen – Blue
- Classics Delay
- Nomad Factory – Blue Tubes Bundle
- Nomad Factory – Blue Tubes Equalizers
- Nomad Factory – Liquid Bundle II
- Nomad Factory – Analog Signature Pack
- Nomad Factory – Essential Studio Suite
- Izotope – Ozone
- Izotope – Nectar
- Izotope – RX
- Prosonic Orange vocoder
- Bionic delay
- Toontrack Superior Drummer
- Toontrack EZ mix
- T-RackS 3 Deluxe
- Adobe Photoshop 7 – CS3
- Macromedia Dreamweaver MX
- Sony Vegas Video 8
- Image Line PoiZone
- Image Line Toxic Biohazard
- Image Line Para EQ 2
- GForce Minimonsta
- Spectrasonics Atmosphere
- Spectrasonics Stylus RMX
- Arturia Analog factory
- PSP Audioware
- PSP Audioware Lexicon PSP42
- PSP Audioware Mixpack v2.0.3
- PSP Audioware MasterComp
- PSP Audioware VintageWarmer v2.3.1
- Native Instruments Absynth 1.3 – 4
- Antares Autotune
- Vengeance Sylenth Trilogy
- Tons of ONE Hitters from – www.vengeance-sound.com/
Chain D.L.K.: Wow! That’s quite a list (be careful what you ask for)… Has you label Nilaihah been helpful in promoting the new album and in what ways?
Terri & Jason: Nilaihah has been a great label to be on and to be represented by. One of the things we appreciate about this label is that it encourages us to do a lot of our own footwork in respect to marketing and promotion. In our case, this open door has proven to be very helpful.
Our current music style tends to cross between the underground synthpop into the more mainstream electronic pop. This can be difficult for a label that caters strictly to the underground to know how to promote effectively. We have a strong fanbase and following in the Goth and Synthpop crowd, however our music also lends itself to a more mainstream listener base (case in point, our “Good Girl” song being licensed by MTV and VH1). We can’t isolate our marketing efforts in only one area or culture. We have to find ways to spread the promotion across all boards. Nilaihah has been great in promoting our work in the underground scene, which allows us to focus our own time and efforts into modern pop culture.
Chain D.L.K.: You’re married to each other as I understand, has your relationship been a boon to the music, or is it one of those “double-edged swords” ?
Terri: Great question! I really feel our relationship has become the motivation behind our music, and not in any kind of cheesy, corny way. Some musicians need a love, an interest, a muse, or something they know they can’t have to push them into their most creative selves. To me, the relationship we’ve nurtured together for almost 9 years has been one of the strongest pushes behind our music.
Being together as a couple allows us to encourage and push each other in ways that friends or bandmates sometimes simply can’t do. There is a cement-strong trust underneath it all, which also allows us to be downright honest with each other in our writing, recording and production ideas. If it’s not good, we’ll tell each other, and there really aren’t too many hurt feelings. If feelings are hurt, then we revisit the offending idea and see what we can do to it to make it interesting to both people. Or, we simply decide to put that idea or song aside for a later date or maybe it ends up into our side-projects (Chapter 2 and Rocket 6). At the end of the day, we know we’re still going to be in love with each other no matter what happened in the studio or on stage.
All in all, being married to each other just solidifies the idea that we really are a team, inside the studio and out. Aside from studio work and being 50/50 equal writing partners, we each have our other responsibilities. I am the band “office manager” – I handle the band’s finances, taxes and filing and most business related communication. Jason is our “tech support” – he is the tech brains behind the project, the one building and maintaining our machines, and the one that troubleshoots when things go haywire. He is also our webmaster and primary designer. I sometimes get involved with the CD designs in small ways, but we always cross ideas with each other before the final “OK.”
Jason: Yeah, what she said. (Hey, we’re married. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to say? Lol!)
But seriously, I would have to say almost the exact same thing. I have been working on electronic music for about 17 years, and in that time I have had my fair share of ups and downs. I have health issues that can leave me tired, unmotivated, and exhausted. Knowing that Terri is always excited and eager to work on new music gives me a sense of relief. I trust her work and her ideas. When she creates something that I think is a little lack luster or too soft, I’ll sit down with her idea and kind of touch it up a bit. And when she has a chance to hear it back it’s almost as if I’ve opened a doorway for her, giving her even more freedom with her piece of music and inspiring new ideas. And she does the same for me, too.
Mostly though, knowing that one of your favorite producers (I see Terri that way) will always be working on something for Silent Auction gives me the freedom to allow myself the time to look into my health and hopefully regain my energy and motivation. Her equal involvement in the band allows me the time and space to look into bigger and better ways to perform, mix, master, produce, dj, etc. I can’t tell you how lucky I know I am to have someone in my life that doesn’t just support my passions but shares them on an equal ground. Most times that’s not the case at all, and even in some relationships there’s a total lack of support. It’s sad to know that there are girlfriends/boyfriends, wives/husbands that not only disregards but hates what the musician in the relationship is doing. Sometimes people see it as immature, selfish, or simply not worth while. Whether or not you earn income from your passion shouldn’t matter, and I feel that if you believe in something, then DO IT! A lot of people feel the opposite. The general thought is if you can’t make a living on it than why are you doing it? I say, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY! It’s about believing in something bigger than you.
Silent Auction is bigger than me, and always will be. I haven’t traveled the world and touched a stranger’s life, but Silent Auction has – and in that sense it is much bigger than I’ll ever be. Even if it has only helped a few people, well, then alone is pretty amazing. For years it helped me, too. I grew up very rough and music was my refuge, it kept me alive. Even when I got to a point where I went numb, it re-taught me how to feel (I wrote about it in an older song called “Headphones” on Pulling Forward). So if nothing else, music is my necessary medication. I feel so fortunate to know that Terri understands this, and allows me to use the music in such a way. My partner in music is also my partner in life. What an awesome feeling.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you see in store for Silent Auction in 3 years?
Terri & Jason: First, we see our first “official” tour, through the East Coast and the UK (even if it’s a short one). Second, we see more full and colorful sound with edge and catchy melodies, stronger hooks and cleaner production. We see ourselves having even more colorful and interactive performances. We now keep performing in mind when we write. Third, we see ourselves writing in our own, permanent professional, self-built studio. No more temporary setups and temporary solutions that tend to slow us down for months at a time. Fourth, we’d like to see Silent Auction makes its way into more TV shows, movie spots, maybe even games. Fifth, we’d really like to see our band have more involvement in the community and helping those in need. We’ve been working with FoodLink for the last couple of years, collecting food donations for the hungry at every show and public event Silent Auction is involved with. We’re working now to set up a connection with another local organization that help victims of domestic violence. Sixth, we are looking forward to wrapping up the album that we are producing for another act, Insatiable Freaks, which is turned into a side project/collaboration with artist Eric Lees. Lastly, in three years we hope to have 2 more albums released, one of which is mostly finished. We also look forward to creating 2 more band members that we can train from birth That’s the plan, anyway.
Chain D.L.K.: Thanks for taking your time to share so much with Chain D.L.K. readers, good luck with your endeavors and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more good things from Silent Auction soon!
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