- LJ DeWitt
The Silencer Interview
A project born out of the coalition of musicians, The Silencer offers a sound reminiscent of melodic death metal's past, yet claims its own identity. With driving forces that take stock in emotional investments and a skilled lineup of members, they've got a recipe for something truly fantastic. Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with two members of this new phenomena:
LJ DeWitt: Please introduce yourselves, roles in the band, and—for the random one—we'll go drink of choice. Charlie Corletta: I’m Charlie Corletta. I am the Lead Vocalist and Guitarist. My drink of choice would have to be a good ole Red Headed “Lemmy” Jack and Ginger. Dave Goyette: Hi, my name is Dave Goyette. I play bass and my favorite drink is either Miller Lite or a “Lemmy” Jack and Coke (depending on how messed up I want to get). LJ: Since we're starting off this interview on a party angle, throughout your career who have been your favorite bands to share a stage and a drink with? Charlie: My favorite bands to share the stage with have been Unearth, Death Ray Vision, In Flames, and a local band my old band, Will Killmore, played with all the time called Throw The Heat. My favorite band to drink with has always been In Flames. I usually meet with them a few times a year and man, can those Vikings drink! They taught me what it’s really like to drink! Dave: When it comes to sharing the stage and having drinks with bands I generally enjoy smaller, more intimate shows with friends in our local scene. Packing out your favorite bar with friends doesn’t get more fun than that. LJ: Whether it be in The Silencer or with your other projects, what is the weirdest memory you have from a gig? Charlie: Hands down the weirdest memory from any gig I played was a few years ago when I was drumming for Will Killmore. We were on tour down south.The promoter of one of the shows invited us back to his place after the show. He said him and some friends were going to have a bonfire. We went back and hung out partying with him, his girlfriend and their friends. Things got really weird when one of his friends got really messed up and starting getting in all of our faces for no reason. He was being really aggressive. After the promoter calmed his friend down, the promoter’s girl invited my singer and our road guy to go on a boat in the middle of a swamp with her and her girlfriend. She was all stressed out by the behavior of her boyfriend and his friend. What happened next, no one knows. The whole thing reminded me of the scene in Harold and Kumar when they went to the trailer home and the hideous dude’s hot wife wanted to have a sex party! All I remember is that they were gone for 5 hours and I woke up on our bus with no shoes. Legend has it that the swamp they drifted off into not only steals souls but dude’s girlfriends too… I stayed clear of that situation! Dave: A few years ago, a band I played in opened for John 5 at a club in Queens, NY. The club has stripper poles on the bar and Go Go dancers on the bar all night (which was pretty cool because they didn’t have dancers all the time). One of the dancers started talking to one of my mates. About 10 minutes later, and at least 4 shots later, she gets up on stage. Well it must have been one shot too many because 30 seconds in she suddenly stopped moving and then proceeded to puke all over the people waiting for drinks below her. It was pretty gross but also hysterical (considering I was just out of the puke range). LJ: Alright, let's talk about the music. Speaking of gigs, what's your favorite song to play live? Charlie: My favorite song to play live has to be “Atonement.” It was the track that solidified that The Silencer was going to be a full time band. Musically, it has a very diverse range. There is singing, screaming, growling, breakdowns, melodic death metal riffs, chaos breaks, clean parts at the beginning. I love how it starts slow and builds up just before breaking into a full on assault of the senses. It ends extremely strong too and seems to be a fan favorite. My second favorite would have to be “In Waiting.” Dave: My favorite song to play live is definitely “In Waiting.” It’s fast and technical, has a fun breakdown and we always get a good response from it at our shows. LJ: Recently you released the music video for your song "Within". As a part of Corletta's partnership with Peter Iwers' Artists United Against Bullying, this video and track center around bullying and suicide in an effort to bring it to the forefront. What in your personal life experiences has influenced you to tackle these topics? Charlie: When I was really young I was picked on a lot. I came from a broken home where my grandmother raised me and did everything in her power to make sure I was a safe, happy, and healthy kid. She did a great job raising me. However I was bullied a lot until a few things happened. First, I got involved in martial arts. This allowed me to learn how to properly defend myself. Once I started to defend myself and beat some kids asses who were trying to hurt me, word got around real quick. Another thing that happened was that I went to speak to a counselor at my school. There I was able to open up about what was going on and made to feel good about myself. Third was that I got hooked on music at a young age and let it consume me, the escapism and identity helped me a lot. By time I started my own band, I was so emerged, and that resonated with people. Kids started associating themselves with me because I was doing something I had a passion for. It resonated and helped build a scene in our community. I’d always stand up for myself, my friends and shut down anyone being negative. So needless to say there was little in the way of bullying after I demanded respect from others. Dave: I think everyone in some form experiences bullying at some point in their lives. Even bullies have experienced it. That’s why I think it’s important for all of us to look inside ourselves and understand that we are all more alike than we realize. LJ: As suicide is becoming an increasing problem in our industry, it's a very commendable act to be the ones to start a conversation about it. In your opinions, what needs to change to create a healthier environment for musicians? Charlie: Thank you. It’s a really horrible trend in our society and in the music/entertainment scene as a whole. I personally have suffered the impact of losing to many friends to suicide, and overdoses. I think a lot needs to change. Artists need to know it’s ok to talk about their problems. It’s one thing to express yourself creatively but that only does so much! Especially when you then have to go out and perform the material where you’re constantly being reminded of whatever issue or problems you wrote about. It can be a vicious reminder of all the things you’re struggling to deal with. That is why it’s so important to reach out and speak to people whenever you’re struggling with something. I also believe that subscribing to self medicating is a huge factor in so many of our loved ones falling. Too often it’s easier to mask the pain or drown it out with drugs and booze. This only is a temporary solution. Eventually you fall to the substance you’re relying on. Not to mention substance abuse leads to chemical imbalances in your brain and body. This is a direct link to mental illness, depression and anxiety. All which can lead to suicidal tendencies. The best thing to do is reach out to friends, family and professionals as well as making yourself available to listen and talk to other who need help. Helping others often helps yourself in the process.
LJ: In your "Making of "Within""video, you touched on the fact that The Silencer as a project has changed in nature as the current lineup formed. Now that the band has become a more cohesive unit, how is your writing process and your performances affected? Charlie: Now that I have a full line up, it’s so much easier to write and create music because now I’m not just relying on myself to have the creative juices flowing. Now I can tap into the creativity of my mates. Guitarist Greg Giler and I have a sick cohesive, creative bond. It’s like we can finish each other's riffs and musical phrases. Our drummer, Zaki, is a very accomplished recording engineer and guitarist too, so he adds great value to the composition, sound and harmonic range. As far as live, we’re a machine. Everyone is so tight but at the same time we leave room for the emotional human element. When we play live, you’ll certainly leave being entertained and remembering what each member has brought to the table. LJ: After the heaviness of the last few questions, let's lighten the mood a bit with one of my favorites. Who's the band trouble maker and what's the worst trouble he's ever gotten himself or the band into? Dave: We’re definitely not on the younger side for guys in a metal band so I feel we’re a bit wiser and more mature than we once were. However, if anyone were going to get into trouble it would definitely be me or Charlie. Charlie: Oh, without question it would be either Dave or myself. He’s more adventurous and tends to take a lot of risks. I’ve seen how he is with his friends and how those friends act at our shows so it’s easy to believe if he didn’t have the responsibility of getting on stage and playing he’d be getting into so trouble. I have a big mouth, and have no problem letting people know that I won’t take their shit. It seems whenever I’m minding my business having a blast that’s when people tend to test my patience and good nature. That’s when I’m my most dangerous. I’ve been know to pop off on folks who try me. On the upside I’m a complete goon when I party and love to play pranks. This is when we gotta watch out for the law lol. LJ: What do you want your funeral song to be? Charlie: Man that’s tough… I don't like to think about that. There [are] a few… Either “El Camino” by Amos Lee, “What Makes A Man” by City and Colour, or In Flames’ “Come Clarity.” Dave: AlexisOnFire, “Rough Hands.” LJ: Finally, is there any last statements, random facts, or words of wisdom you'd like to leave with our readers and your supporters? Dave: It takes a village. Charlie: Never comprise living a life that doesn’t make you happy. Give yourself completely to what you love and are passionate about. Let it consume you and you’ll begin to build a life around your dreams. Those who are meant to be in your life will be there in the long run so don’t allow yourself to give up or compromise your dreams to try and make others happy. Life will never be perfect, you’ll experience all of its ups and downs. Allow yourself to experience it all, including the bad but make sure you learn from the bad and take from it what you need to make you stronger. I promise if you live for you dreams and do everything possible to make them a reality you will be happy. Surround yourself with like minded goal oriented people and eliminate anyone from your life that is toxic, negative and or non productive.
e. Rachel Rosell