Haven E-Interview Emo Suripatty Of Silent Edge
First off, why don't you tell us how the band came up with the name, "Silent
Emo: "Minggus Gaspersz (keys) came up with the name, as far as I can
remember. It was on a trip to Greece, viewing the horizon from out of a plane,
he saw the ‘Silent Edge.’ We like to keep a mysterious feel over
certain things. It’s up to the listener to make something of it. Explaining
too much would spoil the fun."
HRH: Your debut
release, Eyes of the Shadow, is one of the best progressive metal releases
of the year. Unlike many bands, the title of your CD is not actually a track
on the CD. So, what does "Eyes of the Shadow" mean?
Emo: "Giving the album the same name like a track title would take some
mystery away, especially when the lyrics are very clear and explainable. Again,
there is a lot of room of your own interpretation. But I will explain this
one. The concept returns in the artwork, on the page with the lyrics of ‘The
Curse I hold within.’ The song is an emotional ballad, just vocals and
Spanish guitar. It is about a person confronting himself, someone who ‘mirrors
his eyes.’ Things won’t work for him at all: love, work, friends,
life. He blames himself, he feels like being cursed. That is what the lyrics
are saying. The confrontation with himself was during a conversation with
a close friend. The relation between the two is free for own interpretation.
It could be about an unreturned love, or an ended relationship between the
two for whatever reason."
The artwork of the album fits the lyrics perfectly: you see a man standing
on a beach. There is book lying at his feet. It’s like the person is
looking for answers in there, answers which explain the reason why he became
the person he is today. And the answers he got: a beam of light shines out
of the book and drops a shadow (with glowing eyes) behind him. Like someone
or something is watching him (the curse). That book could be anything: a family
photo album, the Bible, a book about astrology, a book about graphology, just
anything to help him to understand his life. It’s up to the fantasy
of the listeners. There you have it: ‘The Eyes of the Shadow.’
the songs paint vivid pictures and convey real emotion, like with the chorus
of "Through Different Eyes": "Through different eyes they see
the light, No unsolved mysteries. Through different eyes they feel ... untainted
mortality." Who writes the lyrics, and how important are lyrics to Silent
"Minggus and I write the lyrics to the music. Emotion is very important.
For us, making music is like telling a story, reflecting your emotions. About
the ‘freaking part’ of music: I’m not into that at all and
none of us is. Of course, the stuff we’re doing is pretty challenging,
but it is always done within the context of the song, it has to go somewhere.
The lyrics are very important, they appear pretty early in the writing process.
Writing lyrics with a personal touch is definitely a huge help. Writing about
things that make you feel a certain way, make the emotional side of the song
so important, you automatically give the ‘feel and emotion’ more
attention than the ‘technical aspect of playing.’
For writing lyrics, my biggest inspiration is probably Thomas Miller (ex-Symphony
X). Lyrics like ‘the Wrath Divine,’ ‘the Eyes of Medusa’
or ‘the Damnation Game’ are marvelous. They really reflect the
feel of the music without revealing the meaning of the lyrics too much. He
is the reason I started to read English books, like R.A. Salvatore’s
‘Dark Elf Trilogy’ or ‘Bounty Hunter wars’ by K.W.
Jeter, just to come up with lyrics in his style.
Lately, I was totally blown away by Delta Goodrem’s album ‘Innocent
Eyes.’ It’s not prog, it’s not even rock or metal. It’s
pop stuff. The lyrics are totally different from the ‘Thomas Miller
style’ lyrics. It was like she was saying the words, I wanted to say,
but in a different style. I love to listen to it. Songs like ‘Born to
try’ or ‘This is not me’ really hit me. It’s really
inspiring for me, right now I’m working on new material, starting with
the lyrics. I already have some new lyrics I’m really proud of. It isn’t
really important to explain the lyrics too much, to get into detail. Let the
listeners use their fantasy. Let them identify themselves with the ‘actors
in the play’ thinking: ‘Hey, this could be about me’, that
way they get emotionally involved. Judging the length of the answer, you probably
notice how important lyrics are to me."
HRH. Lead singer
Willem Verwoert is about as complete a vocalist you'll find in the genre,
from screams to a soft falsetto, he nails it all. How did you hook up with
"He played in a band with Minggus, years back. When we needed a new singer,
Minggus came up with his name. It worked out really well. He is very dedicated
person with an extremely powerful voice."
People have compared Silent Edge to many of the most talented bands/musicians
out there, like Dream Theater and Yngwie Malmsteen.
How does it make you feel knowing that your guitar playing is held in the
same regard as someone like Malmsteen?
my playing: it makes me smile when people compare me with some famous guitar
player. I’m influenced by a lot of flashy shredders out there. But I
try not to think too much about all the comparison, I try to do my own thing.
To be honest, I rather consider myself as a team player, instead of placing
myself in a role of a ‘guitar hero.’ That way, I worry more about
‘where the song is going‘ during composing than ‘let’s
make some scary guitar stuff for the guitar players out there.’ And
that is very important for me. It’s great to be able to play more than
20 notes per second, but I try to use all the technique as a tool.
I think a good example is the song ‘Lost conscience.’ It’s
a great slow tempo song with walls of vocal backing and beautiful vocal melodies.
I had to play a long guitar solo for that song. Just playing a fast solo was
a stupid idea, because the song wasn’t asking for it. It was the hardest
solo I had to write: no jaw dropping guitar technique to make the solo ‘interesting.’
I had to go back to singing melodies, vibrato and dynamics. It was hard, but
it ended up being one of my favorite solos on the album. I’m really
proud of it."
HRH:. How would
you describe the Silent Edge sound? (I think "Savage Symphony" pretty
much says it all, actually.)
"Melodic, emotional, prog metal, spherical ballads, technical wizardry,
classical influences. These days I’m getting more and more into fusion
type of music, so maybe we have to add it too in the near future. We shall
HRH: The Eyes
... ends with two songs of the same name: "Rebellion" and "Rebellion"
(The Awakening). What is the story of those songs, and why'd you chose to
close the album that way?
"Everything has a business reason these days: there is always money involved.
Rebellion is about doing things your way. It’s about passion, things
you love and not about money. Make decisions in your life with your heart
instead of you wallet. Most of the time, that is not the easiest way. We live
in money oriented society. So a lot of people won’t understand you and
think your have a rebellious and stubborn kind of character. It’s hard,
lonely and frustrating battle against the mass. With this one, I wanted to
push everyone to the limit, musically speaking. It’s an up tempo metal
tune with a long and exciting instrumental part. The subject of the song (the
struggle, battle, anger) is musically translated into the scales, chord progressions
vocal melody and hard-to-play parts. The second part of Rebellion: Rebellion
(the Awakening). Musically, it’s totally different: just piano and vocals.
Clean and confronting. The person wakes up, and realizes it is not the easiest
way. Was the battle worth it? You be the judge. It’s an open ending
of the song and the album. That way you give the listener something to think
HRH: Silent Edge
recently competed in a "battle of the bands" at Villa de Bilbao
European Metalcontest. Out of 1,250 bands, Silent Edge placed second -- quite
an achievement. Tell us about that experience.
"A couple of months ago we received an email from a Spanish contact.
He talked about an European Metal contest in Spain. It was a good opportunity
to play in Spain. We thought it was a good idea. The fist round of the contest
was the selection. We sent our album ‘the Eyes of the Shadow’
and some weeks later, we were selected for the second round. That second round
was doing a gig in Bilbao, with a couple of other bands. It was so much fun:
a couple of days junk food, booze, lack of sleep and playing good music. We
traveled for 14 hours by car to get there. The gig was great!
And that gig let us to the final with two other bands. So, weeks later, we
drove another 14 hours to Bilbao to play in the finals. We were runner up."
HRH: Do you have
any tour plans for the summer? And will we have a chance to see Silent Edge
in the States in the future?
"The summer will probably be used for rehearsals. And of course writing
new material. After that we will be doing gigs again. And hopefully in other
HRH: Are there
any new bands out there today that impress you? And who do you listen to when
you are not making music?
"New bands? To be honest not really. I’m not following the scene.
Most of the time people in my environment tell me: ‘You have to check
this out!’ Then I go: ‘Yeah, I will.’ But most of the time
it will happen months later before I check it. There is some much info to
swallow out there! I listen to all kinds of stuff: Queen, Harem Scarem, Police,
Symphony X, classical music. A couple of albums I really love to listen to
these days: ‘Cowboys from Hell’ (Pantera), ‘Innocent Eyes’
(Delta Goodrem) and everything from Symphony X. Of course I listen to a lot
guitar players out there: Gilbert, Bellas, Vai, Satriani and so on. And I’ve
seen a couple of videos of Shawn Lane. Songs like ‘Esperanto’
and ‘Get you back’ are really good! It’s wonderful to watch
HRH: You list
as your favorites people like Paul Gilbert and Joe Satriani. Have you ever
had a chance to play with them live? Or even in the studio?
"It would be great if it would happened. No, I haven’t got the
chance yet, we’ll see what happens. I would be a strange experience,
because I would be playing with people I grew up listening to."
HRH: What's next
for Silent Edge? New CD, video, live DVD?
"Hitting the road, promoting our album live. It’s a lot of fun
to play the music in front of an audience.
And writing new stuff and planning another studio album."
you'd like to share with Hard Rock Haven before you go?
the silence at: www.silentedge.com
. You can download a full song ‘Through different Eyes’ off our
debut album The Eyes of the Shadow.
HRH: Thanks for
your time! And thank you for yours!
for the support and see you around!"