Silvertomb are a new band who feature former members of prominent New York bands Type O Negative and Agnostic Front and will soon unleash their debut album packed full of dark, spiritual music. We caught up with guitarist/vocalist Kenny Hickey during their support slot for Life Of Agony on the Rise Of The Underground tour to discuss the origins of the band, their incoming debut album, relationships with their tour mates, the musical past of New York City and the legacy of former bands.
What are the origins of Silvertomb?
Silvertomb was basically born out of Seventh Void. The writing started for the second Seventh Void album, but as the writing progressed, the vision became bigger and more orchestrated. Which called for the addition of more musicians. Enter Joe James, and Aaron Joos. We felt the change of sound and members called for a fresh start and concept. That’s where Silvertomb was created.
How would you describe the bands music to someone who has never heard you before?
Moody and spitirtual. In a way like a dark gospel. We feel the complete album takes the listener on a ride through despair, isolation, the imperfections of love, and looking into the face of our own mortality.
What is it like being a new band coming out with the musical heritage of the members being in Type O Negativeand Agnostic Front?
Well, to sum it up, I would say experience. Coming from established bands, (and now starting a new band from the ground up) we’ve learned to roll with the punches better, and laugh at situations that may have gotten a different reaction in the past. Besides this we consider this to be a fresh start to do something different.
Do you feel any pressure with Silvertomb with the bands previous musical endeavors?
Not at all, This is a new band, and as much as we respect our past endeavors, we are coming from an honest place in Silvertomb, and we’re not trying to relive the past or fulfill peoples expectations. We’re just doing what comes naturally
You have just released your new debut single Insomnia. What has the reaction to the track been like so far?
We’re really very pleased with the reaction the single is receiving!! A lot of love!! Even on social media that can be extremely brutal sometimes! It makes us more confident that people will really like what we have in store with our full length album.
When will your debut album be released and will it be in a similar vein to Insomnia?
We are in the process of the finishing touches of mixing the full length. The album plays almost like a story in the sense that hearing it from beginning to end takes the listener on a ride with plenty of Emotional and dynamic highs and lows musically
You are currently on tour with Life Of Agony on the Rise Of The Underground tour. How has the tour been going so far and what have been some highlights for you?
We’re a few shows in on the tour now, and the reaction to us has been really good! A lot of old Type O fans have been coming out to support. Which is very special to us! As well as people who are seeing Silvertomb for the first time! Life Of Agony has always been like family to us, and have treated us very well! The history with LOA and us goes way back, and I feel they’re performing better than ever.
You have been friends with Life Of Agony for years so this must be like a reunion for you all. How did you become friends in the first place?
We all come from the same neighborhood in Brooklyn, and we emerged from the same scene in the 90’s. We took them on our first headlining tour, shared the same manager, shared band members (former member Sal Abruscato) and Josh Silver of Type O produced their first album. So I guess you can say we have a few things in common
What have the crowds been like and what has the reaction been to Silvertomb been like so far?
The reaction has been really positive even though most people have not heard a stitch of music prior to our performance. People have been really kind when we meet them, and have given really great compliments in reference to our show.
How has touring changed nowadays compared with when you first started touring?
Technology!! When we started touring there was no cell phone, no GPS, no nothing!! If you got lost you’d have to find a pay phone one hope the promoters/venues number was in the yellow pages.. if not, it’s time to bust out the Rand McNally Map and cross your fingers!!
Are you playing any Type O/AF material at all on this tour?
No, We’re really proud of Silvertombs original music, and we’re excited to play it live, that’s not saying in the future, doing something Type O related is out of the question. As far as Agnostic Front, they are still an active band, and still do a damn good job at doing their thing!!
With three members of the band previously being in Seventh void, will you be playing any of their material at all? The Heaven Is Gone album is brilliant!
Thank You!! Nothing is completely out of the question, just right now we are focused on getting the word out about Silvertomb and getting our album done and released to the people!
The tour ends with a hometown show at the Bowery Ballroom. Are you looking forward to playing in New York again?
Definitely! It will be the first time Silvertomb is playing our hometown and it’s a sold out show at a great venue! Doesn’t get much sweeter than that!!!
What Music are you listening to on the road?
The sounds of the highway, we’re surrounded by music 99% of the time, so a little peace and quiet comes in handy every once and a while..
What are the bands plans after the tour ends?
Finish mixing the album, and figure out a strategy for releasing it.
Will Silvertomb be touring again soon?
Looking to possibly do a few more one off shows before the end of the year, and once we release the album early next year, we will probably do another support tour to coincide with the release
Will you be making it over to the U.K and Europe at any point? Hope fully you will!
Of Course!! We’ve been getting a lot of requests to play Europe from fans, Actually fans from everywhere have been calling out the places they want us to play. Well let me say, we’re trying to make it all happen, it just takes time!!
Who would Silvertomb love to tour with in the future?
We feel the band has a pretty wide spectrum of styles that could work in various settings, so we’re wide open as far as who we would tour with, it’s just a matter of who’s asking!!!
Do you still reside in New York City and how different is the city in 2018 compared to when you were starting out as a musician?
Over the course of 30 years, we’ve seen a lot of places come and go, pretty legendary venues (such as L’amour, Limelight, Roseland, & CBGB’s etc.) besides that, things haven’t really changed that much.. places and faces come and go, but you still gotta get up there and give 110%
What are some of your favourite venues to play in New York both today and back in the day and what makes them so special?
Again, back then it was L’amour, & Roseland.. Today there’s the larger venues such as Hammerstein ballroom, PlayStation theatre, Irving plaza, Bowery Ballroom.. on the smaller side, (but still great venues) are Knitting Factory, St. Vitus, Williamsburg music hall and really just too many to name..
What has been the best gig that you have ever played?
Ozzfest 97 with the original Black Sabbath line up, Pantera, & Marilyn Manson, that entire tour was amazing!!
And what has been the best gig you have ever seen?
Paul McCartney at Yankee Stadium!! The only show that actually made me cry! I Went with my oldest daughter and we spiritually bonded over Sir Paul’s musical catalogue
Type O Negativeand Agnostic Front share a lot of musical history. Can you regale us with any memories of both bands uniting in the earlier days?
The history of the two bands actually predates Type O Negative
Back around 86/87 Agnostic Front and Carnivore (Peter Steele’s previous band before Type O) used to share a rehearsal space during the writing of one of AF’s albums.. Peter contributed music and lyrics, and Carnivore’s drummer Louie Beato played on the album (cause for alarm) Peters controversial lyrics helped give AF an edge that helped create the crossover of metal and hardcore that is still prevalent today!
What are your favourite musical memories of New York that you were involved in?
Around 1990 when Type O was first breaking and selling out Lamour in Brooklyn -and great club that we had all been going to since teenagers to see metal bands
Who are your biggest influences as a musician?
David Gilmore and John Lennon
What are your favourite three albums of all time?
Abbey Road, The Wall and Black Sabbath’s Sabotage