May 2003
interview by Ian C Stewart

Finland's progressive metal band Silent Voices formed in 1995, in Kokkola. Bassist Pasi Kauppinen recalls, "We were four young guys who wanted to play progressive rock in the style of our biggest influences at that time, Dream Theater and Rush, so we put a band together and started to compose our own songs and also played cover songs by those bands."

Guitarist Timo Kauppinen explains the band's name. "In 1995, when we recorded our first demo, we used to be Storm Opera. But when Henrik Klingenberg joined the band as a keyboardist, we decided to change the name. We tried to come up with a name which would describe our music as progressive instrumental rock, and Silent Voices was the best at the moment, so we kept it."

Pasi Kauppinen says that Silent Voices material is written cooperatively. "Usually someone will write a riff, chord progression or melody at home and we jam on it in the garage. We play it until everyone knows what they want to do. And when we have enough parts, we sit down and think about which parts go together. Then we have an instrumental song that Michael write lyrics to. Sometimes somebody might bring riffs and chords for a whole song but mainly the songs develop by jamming."

Timo says "Everybody in the band listens almost all kind of music and has his own favorites. But I think that biggest influences as a band are Dream Theater, Symphony X and Rush. We all are also into a Finnish band called Kyyria."

Their biggest show was Nummirock festival in 1999, playing after Hammerfall.

Timo says "At the moment, we are writing new songs for our second album, which will be released in late 2003. We’re going to play as many gigs as possible and then in the summer, we’re gonna start recording the new album."

As a band, we would like to collectively give some advice about touring. Years of driving around in a van have resulted in a top ten list of items to either bring with you or purchase during rock’n’roll touring.

1. Condoms (now matter how you might feel, going commando is stupid)
2. Beer (there’s nothing worse than being without beer if your van brakes down)
3. A sober driver (do we need to explain??)
4. Socks (remember to include clean socks on the rider)
5. Coupons for McDonald’s (keep it safe and don’t talk to strangers)
6. Your gear (yes, it’s easier to play if you have your instruments with you)
7. Several bottles of hard booze (for when your beer runs out)
8. Attitude (yes, you’re gonna have to bring your own)
9. A towel (according to a well-known author you can borrow everything else)
10. Alibi (sometimes you have to go back home anyway)

Harley-Davidson design survivor pack (includes deodorant and toothbrush)

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