After many attempts at putting together a full line up for a deathcore band, Darrin Lewis and Donny Robertson made a bold decision to keep Beside the Silence two artists with a shared vision. On stage they play with various session musicians, friends, and touring artists to give the music a fresh perspective each time they tour. Songwriting is an organic process and a song never comes together the same way. In recording their new album, the dynamic duo took on each part. Lewis explained, “This record that coming out in the Fall, it’s pretty much just me and Donny.” They played each instrument and vocal part, recording in segments until the song was finished. Retaining creative control between the two of them allows the music to stay true to the original concept.
Valuable lessons are often learned the hard way. On a recent tour with A Threat to the Enemy, Lewis and Robertson learned that you do not want to travel through Texas in July without an air conditioner. It may seem simple, but the tips and tricks more experienced bands share along the road become invaluable. But, not all lessons are negative. At a rap show in Texas, where Beside the Silence was one of two metal bands on the ticket, many of the attendees approached them to ask for autograph. Robertson remarked, “The people who were there would come up and say, ‘We don’t have any money, but could you autograph something?’ It was the first time we had ever signed, at least I know that, I had ever signed an autograph. It was crazy.” Touring requires adaptability to your audience and a steady supply of Sharpies.
Excitement looms in the future. With so many new elements in deathcore music, Beside the Silence feels unlimited in the creative process. Robertson would like to be a multi-instrumentalist and learn guitar, bass, and more. He says, “We’re talking about incorporating a lot of synths and stuff like that. We have, but we’re talking about doing it further. I want to be able to write like he’s (Lewis) been doing it.” The diversity of deathcore makes it akin to composing an opera. The ability to use sound clips, spoken word, non-musical sound effects, and more provide a new avenue to produce music. Lewis explains, “It definitely opens up a whole other palette you can use to add to the music.” Developing new and unique sounds through less traditional elements gives Beside the Silence a chance to explore how far the music can go.
Deathcore is emotion. At The Foundry, in Cleveland, Ohio, Beside the Silence performed a new song, “Black Abyss”, to a crowd that was as excited as they were. It starts with spoken word, features electro accents, and definite industrial overtones. The music at once invokes fear and pain, leading to outright defiance as the story leads the character through a fight for his life. Changing tempos, surprising pauses and well-placed screaming illustrate that just when you believe the battle is lost, the hero rallies and triumphs over evil. It is a dark musical journey, leaving the listener exhausted, yet satisfied at a happy ending. The live show is mesmerizing, capturing your senses, making it impossible to turn away. As a listener, I quickly became invested in the stories they told and found myself groaning aloud when they announced their last song.
Next up for Beside the Silence is a new release later this year and more touring. Lewis described being in the studio after a long tour as inspiring and is excited to let fans hear what they have been working on. In the meantime, fans can hear their album I, Monstrosity and the newest hit single “Hellfire” (based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame) on SoundCloud.