In the past, I have done interviews with some amazing bands for Indie Vision and was blessed by the content they provided for this website. None of them compare to the conversations I have had with Garrett Russell, lead vocalist of Silent Planet. Everything from band life, to different vocal techniques, to simply talking about what is going on in our personal lives. That is why, on the heels of the release of their lyric video for “Darkstrand (Hibakusha)”, I decided to interview the intellectual yet humble vocalist of Silent Planet.
Keith: First of all, How are you guys doing after your run on Scream The Prayer?
Garrett Russell: We had an amazing experience. We met so many good people on the tour. It was incredible meeting people we’ve corresponded with online, and it was cool to see a unique reception from communities around the country. Also, all of the bands were incredibly supportive and taught us a lot. Now it’s time to get painfully creative.
Except for Impending Doom, this tour was mostly up and coming bands – most of which just released or are about to release their debut albums right? How was it touring with these less exposed bands as well as the more seasoned bands?
Garrett: Yeah, I would say that this roster is less prodgious than previous STP tours, but still quality. All of the bands had something unique to offer, and I suspect that a few of them are going to make a huge impact in the next year. As for Doom, those guys were wonderful to tour with as well. They put on an impressive show every night and gave the package a bit more interest for long-time metalcore fans.
That’s Awesome! I’m really digging on Fit For a King and Wolves at The Gate.
Garrett: Yeah, Fit For a King is going to be absolutely massive. They really helped us a lot and we owe them quite a bit. Not to mention, their sets were often the highlight of the night. Just nuts. Wolves at the Gate are a sanctuary. They spend so much time loving other people and just living ministry; they are some of the best dudes I know and we learned a lot from them. And they kill it every single night.
You mentioned it’s time to be creative now. Obviously you have released two songs, Tiny Hands and Darkstrand, recently. What is next? Full Length?
Garrett: Musically, yes. And we are really excited about the musical and thematic content. But first we’ll have a music video to show everyone!
For Tiny Hands right?
Is there a set date for that release yet?
Garrett: Not yet, but we are shooting for the tail end of this year.
One thing about Silent Planet, it has always been a work in progress. Do you mind giving our readers a kind of summery of where the band started and how it became of the more talented bands in the scene right now?
Garrett: Definitely. Silent Planet started almost exactly four years ago with some guys and myself. About a year later most of them decided to move on. It took Nathan and I another year to find new guys. When we met Spencer and Garrett (Lemster) we knew we had something. About another year went by and we were able to get Ryan to move down and join. A bit later we did the same with Thomas. Then, thanks to Doom and For Today we found our spicy Latin treat, Alex, and now we are starting to pick up some steam.
I have known you for a while and know that you are a very intellectual person, whether you believe it or not, and it shows in your lyrics. Where do you pull your ideas for these songs that you write?
Garrett: I pull from a variety of sources in my approach, but my goal with our recent work is to tell stories throughout history. History is typically writen by the victor, but I believe that our Christological calling from the Gospel shows us a very different paradigm with which we understand stories. So this album will be the Gospel narrative shown through women who suffered abuses by unquestioned systems of power. This album will force us to look at the filthiest moments of humanity and ask us to rethink whose “story” is really being told.
That brings me to “Darkstrand (Hibakusha)”. Based on the description given from the lyric video, it’s about a Japanese girl who is on her way home to her family when the nuclear bomb was dropped. What was the message that you wanted to convey through that song?
Garrett: The nuclear bombing represented an interesting turn in history. We believe that God created us in God’s imagine. My opinion is that fingerprint of God is best represented by creativity. The sad truth is that the apex of creativity was the creation of a weapon that deconstructs (takes apart) creation. In the midst of that tragedy, we wanted to personify the loss. In America we always hear “it was justifiable” or “we needed to win the war”. Regardless of whether those are true or not, we are afraid of facing tragedy. The Japanese have a long-standing tradition of mourning and understanding their loss, and we want to submit to their tradition.
It’s songs like that and the passion that, not only you but everyone else in Silent Planet has, makes myself and other followers of the band want to listen, and not just for the complicated guitar riffs or outrages rhythms but also for the lyrical content
Garrett: Thank you, Keith, that means a lot, man.
It seems recently you and Sean McCulloch (Phinehas) have been exchanging your vocals on each others songs. Any other songs/albums you are going to appear on in the upcoming months.
Garrett: It was amazing getting to work with Sean. I truly believe he is an unparalleled vocalist in every rite. Expect great things from Phinehas. I also recently worked with Rory and the fellas in Dayseeker on a track from their upcoming album.
I cannot wait to hear that Dayseeker song. Any last thoughts or things you’d like to say to our readers?
Garrett: I just hope that God’s radical love becomes more apparent through what is about to be made.