It's been exciting to see the family of Christian Rock groups that's building at Rockfest Records. Most recently, the label signed up-and-coming rock band Silversyde. Under the Rockfest banner, Silversyde has just released its latest album, In The Dark. It represents the third project since 2011 and second full-length album, but first on a label (that is, Rockfest Records). What will joining the Rockfest community mean to Silversyde moving forward?
"Having the support of a great label means so much to us at this point in our careers. Joining the family at Rockfest Records means so much more than an industry stat; not just for us, but for all of our artists. It is more of a camaraderie than anything. Each artist, although having different styles, has one vision. That vision is to see hearts touched and lives changed through the music God has placed in us. We feel that although this is our third release, it will be a first of many more to come. That will allow us to explore this new sound and create our own musical expression. With the partnership and help of the label, we are excited to push it to the people who need to hear a message of hope the most."
I had the opportunity to speak to Silversyde about their music, their tours and their new album.
Tell us about the new record, In the Dark.
In The Dark, to us, is a musical journey from start to finish of a life transformed by Christ. This album touches on so many different topics ranging from abuse, suicide, shame, regret, and hidden sins, to then enter life change through Jesus and holding onto the hope He brings. We sing about waiting patiently for His hand of rescue while finding He's never forsaken us and ending with a call to action to set the world on fire with the message of salvation.
Directly in the center of this album, we feature a song called “The Thief,” and it's about the second hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life, which was giving birth to my daughter. This song is a duet between me and my husband/bass player Nathan Rentz and showcases his talent as an artist as well.
The number one spot is filled by the sudden loss of my mother in 2013, which we sang about on our EP Casting Shadows in a song called “Rescue Me." We've found that transparency through our music is best, and using what we've been through in life is what's most relatable to our audience.
Rock music seems to have permission to go to places that a lot of other genres won't touch. Why do you think that is?
Personally, I love the rock genre because there is so much "flexibility" in what you can create. I feel that you can paint with a broader stroke and still be within the boundaries of the genre. I also think that the word "rock" is much more palpable for some people, and they'll end up giving it a chance over other music genres that carry a certain stigma of being "too heavy," et cetera. There is a freedom we have being a rock band that we can and have deliberately used to our advantage to explore different avenues of songwriting. From ballads to upbeat headbanging, to riffing on the guitars, we have taken our liberty plenty of times on this album, and we are thankful for the rock genre for such an ability.
How would you explain freedom in Christ to the non-believer?
Freedom in Christ is the ability to be the unique, special individual you have been created to be. "You formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139:13-14)
God has created us with a plan and purpose. And in discovering and developing a relationship with Jesus, we can truly express who He is through the uniqueness He has given to us. I thank God for His freedom in my life; it would be a boring world if all of us were the same.
Are there any topics or themes on the new album that you really struggled with putting out there?
Originally, we all struggled with putting "The Thief" (Maelene's Song) on the album. As much as we loved the song, we didn't know if it detracted from the overall feel of the album or if it came off sounding cheesy. We were told by our amazing producer, Jacob Jones, that the song highlighted a different vulnerability to our album and instead of detracting it only helped build up the other tracks. We are pleased with our final result and couldn't imagine our album without it now.
A cornerstone of your band is focused on H.E.L.P. (bringing Hope, Eternity, Love and Purity to people). What are some new ways you are continuing this mission within Silversyde?
Our anthem has and always will be to bring the hope of salvation through Jesus, the help of Godly resources to encourage mental, physical and spiritual growth, embracing the love of a God who will always fight for you, and the gift of eternity spent with our Creator. As our music grows and develops, we will always have this hopeful side (the Silversyde), and even though our experiences we write about may change in some ways, H.E.L.P. will always be at the center.
It's sometimes difficult to find ways to walk alongside those who are struggling with unrepentant sin so openly. How would you advise followers of Christ to continue to love, show up and walk with those who have not yet turned to Christ?
The first thing that I like to point out in my testimony is something that was pivotal to change in my life and that was being honest, with myself, and my Creator. So often we stay in the same repetitive cycle of sins simply because we cannot be honest with ourselves to the need for change and breaking the cycle of sin, addictions, et cetera. Whether or not it's seeking help from family, church, counseling or hospital, it can be hard to admit, and the lie that "I can do it on my own" is just pride in its purest form.
When encountering anyone with open unrepentant sin, the first rule is to love them. Love doesn't condone, but love does say I'm here for you and let's work this out together. The one thing that I've prayed for continuously is to see everyone through God's eyes of compassionate love. The kind of love that sees through the sin and to the child inside who just needs to be hugged and told that it's going to be alright. My late mother did that for me and never gave up. The Holy Spirit through her love was what convicted me of my sin and ultimately lead me to restoration with my Creator! LOVE!
Rockfest Records' artists tour. A lot. You're no stranger to road life yourselves, but is it about to get even crazier? How do you stay grounded doing so much traveling?
I feel like our touring has always has been a part of who we are and we have definitely been named "road dogs" in the past. I found myself touring through my entire pregnancy with my daughter and honestly having some of the best times of my life along with some of the most challenging. I remember being broke down in the median of state line road between Missouri and Kansas as we waited for the third tow truck to come get us, and having an amazing spiritual experience. As we waited and worshiped God, He gave us a cloud of peace that could've only come from Heaven. It was so tangible and real. God has been so good to us.
I see our touring for the future getting smarter for whatever that means. We are planning tours with each of our families in mind and how we can best serve each other while stepping out in faith and relying on God's continued protection and provision as He's never failed us and never abandoned us through the years. We look forward to making our way overseas in the coming months and years and look forward to sharing our message face to face with the world.
How can we be praying for you all?
We covet prayers over our band, our vehicles, families, our music and over everyone who hears our message and testimony. As long as we have breath in our lungs we will continue walking in God's plan and purpose for our lives.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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