Interview with Mitchell Stark from Silent Planet

Press Picture – Copyright : Aaron Marsh

We had the opportunity to meet the guitarist of Silent Planet before their concert in De Casino, Sint-Niklaas.

Hey Mitchell, thanks for making time for this interview. Are you excited for tonight?

Mitchell Stark: It’s been a year since we’ve been here so I am very excited!

How does it feel coming back to Europe?

Mitchell Stark: I love Europe. Life in Europe is just so culturally different from life in the States. The perception of an outsider is that life is so much simpler here. Everybody seems happier.

Is it hard for you to leave life in the States behind when going on tour?

Mitchell Stark: Yes it’s always with mixed feelings, but I thrive in this environment, I thrive while touring. Being in a band is the right job for me. Going on tour, you leave behind some close connections at home to make new connections abroad. I try to keep the connection with my friends and family back home, but I also like making new connections abroad; with bands, managers, venue personnel and fans alike. And the beautiful thing is, when you got home you feel even closer to the ones you had to miss out on for so long.

What’s it like being on tour? Doesn’t it get tough being around the same people 24/7 for such a long period?

Mitchell Stark: It always feels like coming home , you know. We, as a band, have been touring for so long. We just know how to behave around each other and for instance how to act when someone ,including myself needs some time to themself. As for this tour, it actually feels like a reunion. We have toured before with these bands.

First days of the tour, I assume you are all fresh and ready now. Is it getting harder at the end of a tour?

Mitchell Stark: Yeah day 2 of the European tour, but we actually just finished touring in the States with Thornhill a couple of days ago. On one hand, we are all very prepared since we have been doing this for a while. On the other hand, when this tour will come to a close we all will be so tired and ready to go home. This tour is just going to be so amazing though, so there is a possibility that I don’t want to leave when the tour is over.

At the end of last year Silent Planet released the new album SUPERBLOOM , how did the fans react to it?

Mitchell Stark: The resonse we got was overwhelmingly positive which is really cool. It’s a bit of a step out of our normal wheelhouse but a necessary part of our evolution as a band.

It sure was an emotional rollercoaster making this album happen, care to elaborate?

Mitchell Stark: We had a difficult experience making our 4th album Iridescent: COVID happened so our tour got cancelled. We all knew we need to take this time to hit the studio and make a new album. When we started writing the SUPERBLOOM songs we were like angsty and itching to put out something and go really aggressive. Very quickly softer things started to come up.

Halfway through the album production we were in a van accident and that kind of colored the rest of the experience. We had written the instrumental for the song ‘Antimatter‘ right before the accident happened… We were all very shaken up but more importantly, we were all very happy to be alive. Coming that close to tragedy is very traumatic, but it also left us with this feeling that we had to shoot for the stars and give our 110% from now on. Coming that close to tragedy lit this fire inside of me, really appreciating it to be alive.

Talking a bit more about the album SUPERBLOOM, the name and art work are unique. Where did you get the inspiration?

Mitchell Stark: The album at large tells a story about a kid who went missing in Humboldt County, Northern California in 1996. The album is centered around this person’s story mixed with some of the local lore of the area like people living inside Mount Chasta, the place where Garrett is from, all the way to alien theories … The album is actually inspired by that area and those themes.

(talking about the name of the album) Superbloom is an unique event in California which only happens when the weather conditions like temperature and humidity are right for poppies to bloom. When these weather conditions are right, all of a sudden an entire field of poppies will just bloom. It is one of the most amazing things to see.

That theme of requiring the right conditions for something beautiful to happen resonated with the story we wanted to tell. Looking back at everything that happened to us, under the right conditions this could happen. It’s the same idea as the expression ‘pressure makes diamonds’: when the outside forces are acting upon you in such a way, you are almost not in control of the outcome anymore, but sometimes it is beautiful. Also, our friend Rory Rodriguez who is the vocalist for Dayseeker insisted on calling the album SUPERBLOOM.

What would you say is your favorite song and why?

Mitchell Stark: I think my favorite thing that I have written for the band is the song ‘First Father‘. Mostly, because the way it came about was very serendipitous. Garrett told me to watch this movie ‘The Fountain’. I watched it and I was really moved, the score was stuck in my head. So, I watched the movie again, on mute this time, when playing the guitar to come up with my own version of the score. I sent it over to Garrett and that’s when we both agreed we had to make a song about this movie.

You are the guitarist and you do some clean vocals , but since last year you’re also in charge of the keyboard. How do you manage to do everything on stage?

Mitchell Stark: It’s not very hard, you just have to be thinking ahead, constantly. But I love it, it’s fun for me to do. When I am not playing the guitar I can get behind the keyboard and don’t just have to stand there doing nothing.

To conclude, how do you feel about playing Impericon Fest?

Mitchell Stark: We have never done it but every year we see other bands doing it and we always get jealous. Now we can say we will be playing there ourself, so I am very stoked about it.

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