Shane Told (Silverstein, River Oaks) Interview


1. First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?

My name is Shane Told.  I play all sorts of stuff, with my one project Silverstein we play stuff where I scream and sing aggressively, and my other project River Oaks is a bit more stripped down, definitely no screaming.

2. If you had to describe your music with a color, what would it be?

It’s pretty much every colour I think except I stay away from neutrals or greys…  I think using bold colours and expression with various bright colours of emotion is key to creating important and memorable music.  No one wants to listen to music that is the colour beige – music that just goes through the motions.

3. What’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?

I’d say writing lyrics is definitely the most laborious part.  I take a very long time and pore over every word, phrase, line etc.  Sometimes I’ll work an entire evening and only come up with one 4 line verse.  And that’s a success!

4. If you could play any show in the world, what would it be?

I’m pretty obsessed with Red Rocks in Denver.  It’s a beautiful natural amphitheater built right into the mountains.  I had the opportunity to perform there once, and would LOVE to do it again!

5. What do you consider your biggest musical success?

I think selling Over a million records with Silverstein without the help of a major label is pretty special.  But I also think the fact that so many songs I’ve written continue to inspire people of all ages and transcend generations is what really makes me feel good about what I’ve done.  

6. What inspired you to start making music?

I just loved music so much when I was young at first I wanted to recreate the music I loved.  So I learned guitar and before long I tried to make my own songs.  When I realized I was writing songs that were sometimes as good as songs on some records I listened to, I became hooked on it.  When I got a little older I realized it was also an outlet to express myself and things I was going through.  But the songwriting craft was something I was always drawn too, as a challenge.

7. If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?


8. Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?

Kurt Vonnegut is my favorite writer and the way he puts together emotional feelings coupled with actual reality and intelligent thought has been really inspiring to me as a writer, and as a thinker.  I think even though he’s popular, he’s still vastly underrated.  Everything’s he’s done is great, his essays and poetry are particularly inspiring for me.

9. What’s your favorite book?

Hard to pick just one, but recently I read Ready Player One, and it was one of the coolest, most entertaining, thought-provoking books I’ve ever read.  So much is going on in that thing, I think everyone has to read it. I think they’re making a big budget movie of it too actually.

10. What do you like to do other than music?

I like sports a lot. I’m pretty obsessed with baseball.  I’m into craft beer.  I’m great at foosball (table football)… and I love movies.  Other than that most of my time is eaten up with writing and playing music.  

11. Who is your favorite musical artist?

David Bazan.

12. What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?

Work on your craft, work on singing/playing/writing… make it as perfect as you can.  Don’t focus on image, videos, social media views, etc… all that stuff will come after you work on your actual talent.  There aren’t any shortcuts.

13. Lastly, what’s your lucky number?

I was born on the 13th and always liked 13 but when I started playing baseball #13 was taken so I got #12.  Then from then on I just always was #12 in baseball and basketball.  Then it just became a number that came up in my life a lot.  


You can follow Shane on Instagram at @shanetold, and be sure to check out Silverstein and River Oaks on iTunes and Spotify.


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