Silent all these years
After seven years together, local band Fall Silent is still going strong
It sometimes appears that the half-life of a punk band is about two shows. This theory holds up especially well in Reno, where bands seem to form and break up about as quickly as the all-ages venue. But seven years worth of punk rock shows make Fall Silent the extreme exception to the rule.
Started in 1994, Fall Silent still has three of its original members: singer Levi Watson, his brother and drummer Damon Watson and guitarist Danny Galecki. Along the way, the Reno hardcore band picked up Donny Johnson on guitar and Justin Spalin on bass.
Like any band that has lasted a long time, the members have had their bumps and bruises. Once, Levi even got beat up by straight-edge punks in Salt Lake City after singing one of the band’s songs.
“I wrote an anti-militant straight-edge song so long ago, like six years ago,” Levi says. “It was a good tune, but they weren’t too pleased. In Salt Lake City, there’s not much to do, because it’s so strict there. So when there’s a rumble that could possibly happen, all the kids are going to get into it. It was bad; my ribs got hurt. I was the only one. They didn’t touch the rest of the group.”
“I didn’t have a scratch on me,” Damon says, almost mocking Levi.
Fall Silent also endured the near collapse of the band before they were signed to Revelation Records about a year ago. Levi says the band had been putting out their own records for so long, mostly from Levi’s bedroom, that the grind of touring and recording self-releases was beginning to take its toll.
“I was at a point where I didn’t want to put out another record,” he says. “I was tired of getting ripped off by distributors. Me and Damon were the only ones left who wanted to be in the band.”
But all the touring Fall Silent had done, including three U.S. tours, one European tour and one tour of Japan, allowed the band meet a lot of people. As luck would have it, someone they played a few shows for in the Los Angeles area became a representative for Revelation Records and signed the band.
Fall Silent had built up its reputation in the punk scene as a DIY (do-it-yourself) band, and in the punk scene, to be DIY is to always be respected. But DIY respect doesn’t mean much to the record companies when it comes to putting out a new album.
“We can’t just do a jam session for 20 minutes,” Levi says. “We have to put out a certain amount of songs. Really, just length.”
Record company limitations aside, the members of Fall Silent say they are excited about the chance to record for a label. But Levi says his songwriting style will stay the same.
“I won’t tone it down or be more outrageous,” he says. “They would be the same lyrics. I’ll work harder on them, because I know more people will be hearing it. I’ll still say bad mom jokes. And I’ll still swear.”
“Cussing is totally cool,” Damon adds.
“Especially in punk rock,” Levi says.
Punk wouldn’t have it any other way.