I had the pleasure of interviewing Garret Russell of Silent Planet. This is an artist who I previously interviewed and couldn’t wait to again. Garret has become one of my musical heroes. Our conversation was like old friends catching up. His band Silent Planet has become one of my favorite bands.
Rob: Who is Silent Planet?
Garret: Silent Planet is a band from Los Angeles California that spends most of their time in a tour van in various venues and parking lots around America.
Rob: Your new record “Everything was Sound” comes out on July 1st. How is this record different than ‘The Night God Slept’?
Garret: This record is different than The Night God Slept because it’s actually the first time we have written the band, it’s like a full band collaborating, we invested as a full band collaborating and it’s the first time that we have ever really had the financial backing of a label kind of allowing us to go into the studio and do it just everyone you know during a five day period instead of like it was everything else you just kind of piece together whenever we were able to.
Rob: What are the different themes on this record?
Garret: The themes of this record deal with mental illness and primary and unlike the last record it’s a bit more inspired by conversations and experiences I have had with people and not only in history like the last record but also in my own life and people that I met when I was a therapist and people I speak to in the music industry.
Rob: How was it to collaborate with Spencer Chamberlain?
Garret: He’s remarkable, he’s a very talented very good guy and it was just really a pleasure to work with him really you know it was collaborative it wasn’t … I think what we thought you know maybe he would just show up and do his thing but he was really actually became instrumental in kind of the building of the whole song which was really fun.
Rob: Your new song “Orphan” came out recently and what is this song about?
Garret: “Orphan” is about us, the religious and political cultures of the West meeting the religious and political cultures of the East and how that often ends up in war and deals with themes of religious extremisms violence and talks about how western economic needs influence western foreign policies and kind of examines the hypocrisy of so many of us myself included and things about really few at the end of the day is most affected and most suffering because of the decision that we make and allow our politicians to make.
Rob: Why is it so important to tell stories in your songs?
Garret: That’s a great question, I think it’s important to tell stories because I believe as humans we are narrative people I think that we understand, I think in stories you can tell more truth and you can learn more than you can if you were to just state a bunch of facts, does that make sense? So I think a lot of you know I could say like PTSD is this, PTSD looks like this PTSD feels like this, this is why we go to war, when people come back from the war they are not properly treated and I could say a bunch of facts but I don’t think it would mean anything I don’t think it would reach the heart really because it doesn’t have a face to your Intel you know when I meet people at shows they know me they tell me their story suddenly it’s not a story just about PTSD it’s really a story about my friend who has PTSD and I think that’s infinitely more valuable.
Rob: How does your faith affect the song writing process?
Garret: Yeah I think for me, honestly I mean, I have never been able to really care about … I have never really, it’s kind of the same thing as we were talking about with politics, I think if things aren’t relating that to my faith in Jesus then I am probably not like really that into it because you know I have tried my whole life to understand what you need to be a Christian and it’s just so central to my identity as a person that it’s hard for me to understand anything outside of that and frankly I don’t really know if I ever do want to understand anything outside of being a Christian as in being a Jesus follower and not part of some social economic system.
Rob: What’s one band that you want to tour with?
Garret: I am going to say MeWithoutYou because they are both my favorite band and our good friend *Chase’s favorite band he’s been flashing my shoulders.
Rob: How excited are you to play Warped Tour?
Garret: I am very excited that Warped Tour invited us to be a part of what they are doing and well it will be a tough task physically due to not having the money to have like a bus or anything like that we’re definitely thankful to get the chance to be involved with it at all I know so many artists including myself you know have always wondered how that would he like for years so the fact that we’re two days away from it is pretty surreal and very thankful that Kevin Lyman and all those folks have given us the opportunity to get on the stage.