The Antlers interview – Brookyln band on tour with Spoon this June

June 1, 2015
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The Antlers - photo credit Mark Lemoine The Antlers – photo: Mark Lemoine

The Antlers are an indie rock band from Brooklyn New York, originating in 2006. The group comprises of Peter Silberman (vocals, composer), Michael Lerner (drums), and Darby Cicci (trumpet, upright/electric bass, keyboards, synths, vocals). Silbermans heavy lyrics and strong symphony steals peoples attention, and easily makes them stand out from others.

The Antlers are on tour from June with Spoon. I had the opportunity to have a chat with Peter Silberman before their set at The Sony Centre in Toronto back in May during Canadian Music Week.

How are you feeling about being in Toronto for Canadian Music Week?

Honestly, I didn’t know it was Canadian Music Week until somebody mentioned it to us today. We were at a diner down the street and they were like “Hey! You’re here for Canadian Music Week?” and were like “Kind of. Were playing music in Canada this week, so for sure.”

What should the audience expect from tonights show and what do you expect from the audience?

I have no idea what to expect from the audience. There are people here to see us and know us but most of the people here are Death Cab For Cutie fans. You never really know how another bands audience is going to react to you but they’ve been really great and receptive so far. I hope they continue to be and I hope they are tonight! I don’t really know what someone attending the show should expect. I mean it’s a down to earth show; we literally just play the songs and it’s not like a high production show. It’s very much the three of us just playing music together. It sounds fairly different from our records because in the record we usually flesh it out with way more musicians and arrangements with lots of different instruments. When it’s the three of us out there its drums, guitar, keyboards, synth and bass, so it’s just a different kind of sound overall.

What do you want the audience to take from the show tonight?

I guess if they walked away from it being like “Hey that band that opened up- they’re pretty cool. I’m gonna check them out.” I’m never sure what kind of impression I wanna make.

What do you want listeners to take from your most recent album?

I’m not really sure what I want them to take away from it, I think its sort of up to the listener. People are so different from one another. What one person takes from something is not the same as what somebody else will. To take something they heard and incorporate it into their own reality and life; whatever that is, is fine by me. I don’t want to dictate it too much.

Which song off of the album Familiars would you say is most impactful?

I don’t know what is impactful for other people. Its really hard for me to say because people don’t normally tell me that directly. I feel like Surrender is the most important song to me on the record, I take the most from it when I play and listen to it, and when I try to inhabit it when were playing. I would hope that someone else has some kind of cool experience while listening to it too and find it interesting and somehow applicable to their lives.

If you could give one word to describe the album, what would it be and why?

I think the title of the album is the word. When we were making it , it felt like the word being the closest to optimize what the record is about like familiarity with yourself and when that gets called into question as you change and grow up. It describes how you grow up and find a different sense of self and struggle to relate to who you were as a child which is different but the same; trying to find what the common thread is throughout all of it. When we were making the record “Familiars” it seemed like that word to summarize that sense of familiarity but also familiar as of now and kind of spirit version of yourself throughout time.

All your songs are very emotionally impactful, is this something that is important to you within songwriting? Would you say that songs with less of a meaning are less attractive?

I have a tendency to write things that have a lot of emotional weight to them, sometimes to a fault but it’s sort of my M.O. When I go to write a song that is the first direction it gets taken but, I don’t feel that way about music that I listen too necessarily. Sometimes things that are lighter and less heavy and emotionally involved mean a lot to me for whatever purpose they serve in my life. Sometimes a song can come on that just keeps you from spinning your wheels or that you find relaxing and comforting, and it can just be a really stupid song. I wish I could write more songs like that. I try too but it’s weirdly where I feel the least comfortable in my writing and it’s the area that I’m working to develop. So much Antler material is so heavy that it’s easy for me to fall back on heaviness and get used to having that as a go to style. I would just like to work on lightening the mood a bit.

Who influences you musically?

A lot of music that I will just be listening to at the time will definitely kind of get in there. I sort of think of it as a blender juicer kind of thing that whatever you put in there kind of comes out in a different form. It’s really just a matter of what I’m listening to at the time. It also has to do with people I’m collaborating with, musicians I know, friends, my attitude, music I’ll go see, friends music that I’ll see something in there that I wish was more quality of something that I work on and I just try to incorporate it.

So no-one specific?

Yeah, it’s kind of everything.

© Gemma Mastroianni, Music Vice

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