The Pain Inside Your Head: Track by Track

glass head

When  Ross was putting together video clips for a few of the tracks off the album, he asked me to put a few words down to give a bit of background to the songs. Now, I’m not silly enough to suggest that someone else’s interpretations of the songs are wrong or invalid – and I’ve read some really funny things about some of my songs! – but a breakdown of the album tracks would give you an idea of where I was coming from when I started writing them. So, here we go:

Schemes is really about trying to make sense of the world where nothing and no-one is perfect, and you only find out through experience. The tone of the lyrics gets progressively darker as the subject gets older. The verses, the first about being locked in a comfort zone and the second being frustrated at not being able to get out, set the scene for the bridge: if you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?

Nowhere Left To Go
I wanted us to have one of those nervous agit songs that were kind of streams of consciousness and somewhat political. At any given time, there is a lot to choose from and when I wrote this, the Murdochs were hauled up in Parliament during a phone-hacking investigation, so news was the news. Austerity was also in full swing, as it still is years later, with these Etonian old boys telling us that “we’re all in it together”, which is some of the most condescending bullshit you’re ever likely to hear. There was a feeling that they were telling us that we deserved austerity because we’re not responsible enough for anything other than beer and bingo.

High Life
High Life was “inspired” (if you like) by a late-night drive back down the M6 from a gig in Birmingham! There was a weird incongruence of urban decay and then, later, on an open stretch of motorway, looking up and seeing so many beautiful stars. There was a parallel there between these sights and the different lives people have, and no-one has it easy. The road is also a metaphor for life’s twists and turns, and we’re just vehicles on it, taking in the panoramic view, struggling with our pasts but trying to grow and move forward all the same. Nothing’s easy but we soldier on, eh?! I guess it’s ultimately an optimistic song.

This song came pretty quickly. It’s the story of someone being bullied, and they get pushed to the limit. They are not only tormented by the bully, but also consumed by revenge, and eventually they snap.

The tune that I used at the top of the chorus and in the guitar solo is a classical melody I’d wanted to use in a rock song for a long time. Lyrically, it comes from a conversation I had with a sometime-musician about why I still play in bands after all these years. He couldn’t understand that I wasn’t doing it to get anywhere, or get signed or get famous. He sort of dismissed the idea that I do it as a release, as something I feel compelled to do. I put other situations in that context, of people thinking that you need to be “getting somewhere”: in life, at work, with your love life, and so on. But for some people, just getting out of bed is a challenge and they have to numb themselves in order to get out the door and through the day. Everyone has these stories behind them but often we don’t see or appreciate the motivation – or the struggle – of other people.

The Loudest Voice

This was one of the first songs I wrote when I was finally coming to terms with a few things that had been rattling around inside my head since childhood. It never really took off live, and was one of the first tracks to disappear from the set list, but I remember it being incredibly cathartic to get it down on paper and out into sound. As ever, the exponential vocal harmonies were in full effect. Well… it’d be rude not to!

Fairy Tales for the Cynic
As a kid, stories like The Ugly Duckling used to annoy me because to me it said that, if you grew up into a beautiful swan, everyone would love you and everything would be OK. I never believed it because if you’re always made to feel ugly or dumb or whatever, you internalise it in a negative and unhealthy way, and no amount of shallow fawning from you former detractors and tormentors can repair the damage done. Inside, every kid knows that. So this song asks what happens to those of us ugly ducklings who grew up into ugly ducks.

Sometimes you develop a song idea that says exactly what it means without any arch metaphors. Low is one of those songs. It started off with a couple of lines about a person being more than what you think you can see. We all have different masks for different situations and people. But what’s there behind all the masks? Underneath a calm exterior could be a nightmare of depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. And most of us have no idea until it’s too late.

So you ever get days where you just want to go the highest window you can find and walk out? Not even jump, but just… step out into nothing. It was pretty much how I was feeling that day.

Your Complex Life
I had a pretty horrible experience when I was doing a live session playing guitar for a songwriter and it led to the idea about how some people use others, and how their life is somehow more important or complex than everyone else’s. Everyone knows people like that, in the privileged position of not having giving a thought about other people’s feelings as long as they are there for their own ends. You meet a lot of people like that in the music scene, and you can find yourself in toxic relationships with these kinds of people in general, and the song is partly about that too. You can’t compete against these basic arseholes who’ve been so insensitive all their lives. It’d be nice for them to change, but it’s a waste of your time waiting around for it.

Caving In
This was kind of an oddity on the record because it was a completely fictional account of a marriage breaking down. I was thinking of moving house at the time and thought of an empty house full of memories and a history of the people who lived there, playing out like ghosts. In the song, the marriage fell apart even though they both worked hard to keep it together. They’d drifted apart over time and came to the sad realisation that it was over. Live, the song had a real intensity to it, especially the instrumental section at the end. We used to close gigs with it as it lends itself to that kind of big ending thing.


Album Review!

The album comes out next week and here is an awesome review by the lovely folks at The Soul of a Clown:

The Silver Bayonets are a London- based indie rock band who, we are delighted to learn, love vocal harmonies. This is especially true when we learnt they describe their sound as “very loud, addictive guitar pop music”. This is the band’s debut album and is due out in May so plenty of time to check them out and get it ordered. The album kicks off in brilliant fashion with the rocking “Schemes”. The beauty of this song is in its simplicity, it’s just a great rock n roll song with a huge melody. It’s a similar story with “High Life” and “Constant”, the second of which has a bit of a wider scope and recalls early, rocking, Stereophonics. Tracks like that and “Fairy Tales For The Cynic” suggest that whilst the band may be destined for big things they have retained that straight out of the garage enthusiasm. They have the sense of being played with a real sense of passion borne from frustration. The band are not just one dimensional, as shown by “Nowhere Left To Go” which is darker and far more ‘alternative’. Whilst “Low” is again a more intense and claustrophobic sounding song. Then “Fly” manages to have a wider more expansive sound, but also with perhaps one eye on a more mainstream sound. The one thing that The Silver Bayonets are really good at is delivering an up tempo and bombastic rock song, as shown by The Clash-esque “Forever” and the classic sound of “The Loudest Voice”. It’s a similar feel on “Your Complex Life” which sees them adopting the gutter punk style of early Manic Street Preachers. The album then ends with “Caving In” which keeps that sound but adds a far more epic feel. This album is a reminder that once upon a time, the UK was brilliant at churning out great, young, rock bands full of spirit and energy and, most importantly, great songs. Sadly, however, they are now few and far between. Although, along with the likes of Colt 45, perhaps The Silver Bayonets could begin creating a new scene. The band they really remind us of are the sadly relatively unknown, Rich Rags. Like that band, they have delivered an album of brilliant rock songs. The tracks are punchy, punky rock numbers played with passion but also a sense of melody which will have you going back for more. There is also that sense that as a live band they will be blinding.

Here is a link to the full review: The Silver Bayonets “The Pain Inside Your Head” and you can pre-order the album from iTunes or Amazon MP3. Can’t wait for you to hear it!!

Single Release Day

Well, the day is finally upon us. RELEASE DAY! The single, “Schemes”, is out today and available from iTunes and Amazon as well as all other major digital stores. We’ve had lots of messages from people who’ve told us that they have received their downloads already, so a big thank you to everyone who took the time to pre-order the single. Those pre-orders and the downloads from this week count towards our possible chart placement, so please get all your friends and family to join us to try and smash into the UK singles chart!

We have been pushing the single hard to radio and press and the response has been really supportive. A big thank you to all the stations who have picked up our tracks and given us such a lot of support. We have had a number of great write-ups too, at We Close Tonight, Rock n Roll Creation, Record, Rewind, Play and even BandIt Rock Radio in Italy! It’s great that writers at the blogs liked our song enough to give us a good review. Hopefully you will like it too. This is the start of another chapter in the continuing story of The Silver Bayonets!

Single Pre-Order Day!

It has been a busy month since I last wrote a blog about our activities! This will be a long blog entry, but I want you to be bang up to date. Here we go…

We have finished our album, “The Pain Inside Your Head” and had it mastered by Kevin Peterson at Masterdisk in New York. It now sounds “like a record”. As a result of listening to the mastered versions of the tracks, we decided to start the album with “Schemes”, which now blasts out of the speakers! It is also going to be the first single. There is a lot of talk about the black art of mastering but really it comes down to the same things as ever when recording music: A great person in a great room with great gear and great material. Well, we tried out best with the material and Kevin did a grand job of mastering the album. If you’re reading this, Kevin, thanks again!

We also got in touch with Marianne Harris to get some professional photos of us and she, too, did wonders for us – especially as we were sandwiched between two big jobs she had at London’s legendary Abbey Road studios. So, we now have a good set of publicity shots for use, including some shots that are very particular to her style. I’ve always loved the look of her photos and to capture that in the key shots from our session was great. So, if you need good quality promo shots, she’s the person you need!

We also wanted a way to “give back” to those that have helped us so far. In particular, two Croydon-based gentlemen, Trev and Ben, who have a Sunday morning radio show, somewhat inevitably called “The Trev & Ben Show” on Croydon Radio. Both of them are brilliant and funny and have spun pre-release versions of the single, “Schemes” for weeks now. We thought it’d be nice to record a special acoustic version of the single, “Schemes” for them to include in their show, which they duly did yesterday (15 March). It felt good to be able to do something for someone else for a change. Independent bands like ours spend so much time asking people to do things for us. It’s great to be able to give something back. I hope we can do more stuff like this as we get on because it really does make things a lot better and humanises what can be a pretty brutal gig.

As part of the promotion for the single, we’ve been contacting radio and press to get coverage for the single and the response from bloggers and stations has been pretty amazing. There are a lot of supportive people out there, and thankfully very few bitter opinionated failed rock stars spitting their cynical disgust at any new music! It’s really nice to get some good feedback that we can use to get better.

In order to get the music into the digital stores, we have signed up to Emu Bands to handle the distribution of the single and the album. Their process for organising releases is so easy, even a guitarist can do it. I was going to say “even a drummer” but that would be unfair and wouldn’t be right – you have to be able to read the agreement and fill out some online forms! Seriously, though, I had a bunch of questions on digitally releasing the single and album and they were answered really promptly via their “live chat” facility and offline via email. Great service!

And so that brings us to today, which is SINGLE PRE-ORDER DAY! Both iTunes and Amazon MP3 have the track available for pre-order ahead of its release on 6 April. To say we’re excited is an understatement. This is the first time anyone can get their hands on our music, or order it, at least, and we’re really pleased that people are saying upfront that they are supporting us by placing their orders now. And who knows, if you and your friends and THEIR friends put 79p towards our cause, we might even tickle the toes of the UK singles charts! That would be pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Radio Airplay, Gigs and Debut Album Details

It’s been a busy week for us. Ross has been busy getting in touch with radio stations all over the UK and US and Enzo has been doing the same for radio stations in Italy. We’ve had a tremendous response to our tracks, with five stations adding our tracks to their playlists! It’s great to get that support and it’s so exciting that people want to help. So thanks to every radio station that has given us feedback and spun our tracks (or whatever the digital version is of spinning a disc).

We’re also getting ready to play our first gig with the new line-up! We’ve got a gig at the Barfly in London on 20 March, at the Jubilee Club which is a late night club night with live bands. It’s great to do these kind of nights as they are always really popular and a great way to get in front of people who don’t already know us. Get your tickets here!

We’ve also been putting together the final mixes for the album. The track listing is:

  1. High Life
  2. Nowhere Left To Go
  3. Schemes
  4. Constant
  5. Fairy Tales for the Cynic
  6. Forever
  7. The Loudest Voice
  8. Low
  9. Fly
  10. Your Complex Life
  11. Caving In

You can get a preview below and at our Soundcloud page. In the next few days we’ll even be able to show you what the album art looks like. See you soon!

All About That Bass…

… well at least for the weekend! Ross’ basslines for the album will be recorded this weekend and, once completed, we’ll do the final mix before sending the whole thing off to the mastering house and getting the finished product. If time and money allows, we aim to get the album finished by the end of February.

It’s busy for us right now, after having a difficult time finding a bassist. But now that Ross has joined, it’s like the gates have been opened and we’re off and running. Suddenly, there’s a ton of stuff to be getting on with that we’ve just been waiting to try out. There’s a real desire to get the music out there now and push for everything.

Things coming up include a photoshoot (time to look sharp!) and our first gigs with the new lineup. We will be making our live debut on 20 March at a club night at the Barfly. Make sure you’re ready for a late one because we are going to be partying until the early hours!

We’re also toying with the idea of making a video for at least one of the songs off the album and getting a lot of Facebook, Twitter and WP followers’ involvement. Once we’ve finalised a plan, we’ll “pitch” it to everyone and see how quickly we can get it all together.

I know Enzo and Ross have got a lot of ideas coming at the moment, so if I find out what they’re up to I’ll fill you in!

Speak soon!



The Silver Bayonets

Hello, world! This is Kabir from The Silver Bayonets and this is our new blog. We are a London-based indie-rock band who are currently recording their first album, having spent a couple of years gigging the London clubs.

I play guitar, Ross is on bass and Enzo plays the drums. We all sing but I sing lead vocals, with Enzo and Ross doing harmonies. Everyone loves vocal harmonies. Vocal harmonies are awesome.

Our influences are many rowdy, shouty guitar bands like Husker Du and Nirvana, but there’s also big indie-pop stylings from Teenage Fanclub, Mega City Four and Manic Street Preachers. I’m sure we’ll be expanding the styles and sound as we go, but that’s where we’re at right now. So I guess that gives you an idea of our sound: lots of fuzzy guitars and vocal harmonies with slightly sad or angry songs, but without being a bunch of brooding self-absorbed try-hards. It’s pop music but very loud and guitar-driven!

Like any self-respecting band, we have our own website which has got links to live clips and demos, until such time as we unleash the beast of the album. We’re very excited about that as it’s our main project at the minute. Expect quite a few posts on how that is going.

Check us out and get in touch as we’d love to hear from you if you’re a listener, band, artist, promoter, photographer, video-maker, critic, or anyone else obssessed with music. I think we’ll have a lot in common. Speak soon!