The ‘90s and grunge is massive right now and the nostalgia is hitting many of us hard. As much as we love our “old” bands, it is also nice to get a fresh version, which is what we get with Sons of Silver.
Peter Argyropoulos (Last December, Pete RG) has assembled a group of talented musicians with backgrounds in the ’90 artists we love, but infused with the ‘20s rock sound. The Los Angeles-based supergroup includes past and presents members of Candlebox, Skillet, and Pearl Jam, and brings the grunge/rock sound with their hook-filled tunes like “Who’s Gonna Stop Us” and “Hesitate.”
Sons of Silver joins Argyropoulos (vocals, guitar) with Brina Kabler (keys, vocals), Kevin Haaland (former Skillet guitarist), Adam Kury (Candlebox bassist), and Dave Krusen (original Pearl Jam drummer). Their first EP, 2020’s “Doomsday Noises,” was recorded before the pandemic and did well on active rock charts. At the time, Argyropoulos said they had enough material for two more EPs, and he was not lying. Their self-produced sophomore EP, “Ordinary Sex Appeal,” is out today, so Argyropoulos filled us in on the details from his Santa Monica studio.
Traci: The big release day is here! How did you decide on “Ordinary Sex Appeal?”
Peter: It borrows from the song “Caused My Pain.” We sort of set a thing now where we borrow a phrase from one of the songs on the release to title it, and it’s basically talking about the average Joe, just kind of make it through a very tumultuous world and just go about his or her life and take care of his or her business and family and friends and stay under the radar, but not get squashed.
Traci: Do you like to talk about what inspires a song or do you prefer people draw their own conclusions?
Peter: Funny you should ask. I prefer people draw their own conclusions. I’m often asked because the lyrics are pretty poignant. They’re very descriptive. Political, social, political. I prefer to not divulge too much for my own sake, but also because I like to hear how people interpret things, because sometimes it’s an interpretation that I hadn’t thought of, and that actually gives a bit of new inspiration for me.
Traci: I can’t imagine a person opening themselves up and exposing themselves so much in songs. For instance, “Hesitate” is a very vulnerable song.
Peter: That’s a great word for it. If you don’t mind, I’m going to steal that one for future conversations about the song. It is very vulnerable. When I wrote those lyrics, I knew I had the risk of offending people, pissing people off, emotions across the gamut. I’m one of those people who throw everything on the table. I’m not one to go out and just strike up a conversation about these things with any random person, but when the time is appropriate, I’ll put it out there.
Traci: “Who’s Gonna Stop Us” is an anthem; a call to arms. Plus it’s already being used by different TV shows.
Peter: “Who’s Gonna Stop Us” is definitely a sort of rallying, call to arms. I wrote three sets of lyrics for that song. One of them was clearly political in nature, all the way. Another one was completely sports oriented, and then a third was kind of trash. I remember everyone rejected that one, including me. (laughing) I ended up blending the sports and the politics one together. We were hoping that it would be received, as it has been, by different networks as sort of a potential sports anthem. So that’s pretty cool.
Traci: How did Sons of Silver get together?
Peter: Our bass player, Adam, and I were in a band several years ago. We were chewed up and spit out by the major labels, and we had a good run of it, touring the US a couple of times and making some great records with some great people. After that, I got into production, but I was kind of bored just staying in the studio. I started playing out acoustically on my own and then I recruited my engineer, who’s also my wife Brina. We were doing a singer songwriter duet thing, and then we were kind of bored with that. I called up Adam and said, “You want to throw a band together?” He brought in Dave, our drummer, and Dave brought in Kevin, our guitarist. We were off and running as a singer songwriter project, but our sound changed and we became a rock band, which was great for me because that’s what I really love doing the most. That’s what we all love doing the most. Once it became clear that we were writing together, that the sound had changed, a name change was due. And that’s how Sons of Silver came about.
Traci: How does the songwriting process go?
Peter: We’re very close friends, so we’re very open and comfortable with each other to throw out any idea of our own or to give comment to anyone’s idea. We start in a bit of a roundabout, throwing ideas out there, and one of them will spark us to run down path with that idea. Inevitably we either get excited and that moment revs up into something very special and we try to capture it, so to speak, to fine tune the best pieces of it, or we go down a tangent and that leads us somewhere else. When we do hit on something, we’re feeding off of each other. The drums are affecting what I might do as a vocalist. My guitar playing might affect what our bass player Adam would be playing, and so on. After hours, I will sort through everything we did for the day. I’ll start refining some melodies and lyrics that I came up with during those moments when we were writing, and piece them together, tighten them up, and show them to the band and we’ll take them from there. There are occasions where, for instance, on this current EP the song “With You,” I bring in a finished song, but even then it’s just some basic chords. I got the melody, most of the lyrics, what everyone plays on it is their own. No one really gives anyone any direction on what each person plays other than saying, “Wow, that’s great” or “If you’re going to do this, I’m going to play this to go along with it.” We click. We have a lot of chemistry, so there’s not a lot that needs to be said other than I love what you’re doing and let’s do more of that.
Traci: That sounds like an amazing atmosphere to create in.
Peter: It is. We all feel really fortunate because it’s not something you find very often where you just naturally click and – I should knock on some wood here – but it’s relatively painless to process for us. In fact, the greatest pain is probably just sorting through which things we want to finish. We already have enough songs, at least written, if not fully recorded, for the next couple of EPs we want to release. It’s just a lot of fun and we’re incredibly thankful for that. We want to take this time period in our lives to make as much of that as possible because we all know windows open and windows closed.
Traci: Are you looking to tour soon?
Peter: We hope to announce something within the next four to eight weeks because realistically, it will be fall tour.
Traci: In the meantime, you’re doing the acoustic livestream today. What time is that?
Peter: Yes, today 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Pacific.
Thank you to Peter and Sons of Silver! The new EP is out today; grab it and tune in to their livestream.
Once you listen to “Who’s Gonna Stop Us,” you will be chanting it all day!