5 bloggers, 5 questions, 1 band, hand-picked by the MWA writers. Welcome to FIVE x FIVE. This week: Chicago, IL and Traverse City, MI folk group, Stolen Silver.
Formed by Levi Britton and Dan Myers as a folk duo in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, Stolen Silver has since expanded to a six member ensemble. Now, split between Chicago and Traverse City, the group has released We Have Everything/We Have Nothing – a follow-up to their 2011 s/t debut and an album two and a half years in the making. The guys were kind enough to answer a few of our questions for this week’s FIVE x FIVE.
We didn’t set out to craft an album this time. Levi simply wanted to get me out of the house, and away from the stagnant and sad reality of my eminent divorce. We met half way in Kalamazoo at a friends farm house. We sat In a field and wrote what would become We Have Everything/We Have Nothing out around a fire pit by the cornfields. It was special, and I’m thankful for that diversion.
Has your songwriting process expanded at all with the line-up? | Dan Jarvis
Levi and I still write like we did 15 years earlier. Two guys with guitars and some wine. Ok, maybe a good amount of wine. What’s changed is the adding of the talents of our phenomenally talented band, who add intrinsically to the arrangements.
What is it like to have 1/2 the band in one place and the other 1/2 in another? Do you feel this hinders you at all in the creative process or does it create a more professional atmosphere in the studio since you know the time is short? | Patrick David
It’s tough, no doubt about it. Booking shows is kind if like a good tooth extraction. But, it’s a labor of love and a reality we accept. We try to make our time extremely effective and don’t have a ton of time for messing around. We’ve all been in this biz a while, so naturally we’re pretty serious about the end result. The party happens only after the work is done.
What do you think about the folk scene in Chicago? How has the community helped you grow? Do you ever think it’s odd that the genre is so popular somewhere so urban? | Alyssa Welch
Chicago is built on the working man, and often the folk traditions stem from that sort of mentality. The “City of Big Shoulders” as Chicago is affectionately termed is appropriate. Besides that, clubs like the Hideout (where we released our album) Schuba’s, and the Old Town School Of Folk Music, help to keep those traditions alive. We like our folk roots, but we also embrace our psychedelic and rock leanings as well.
From your days in Logan Square in Chicago, do you think that the Midwest has had an effect on the music that you make? | Dan Fiorio
We are a bunch of good ol’ Midwestern boys through and through. There’s no escaping or denying it. We sing from a place familiar, and play with our hearts steeped in the music of the heartland. We’re proud to be a mix of states, accents and despite the logistics, we love meeting in the middle and bringing it all together at our home base of Chicago.