How did the song change during the process of writing, producing and recording?
We started off with Troy’s demos, just him singing with his guitars. It’s always the first thing we would hear of any potential tracks before we develop it into a song. We would usually bring ourselves together into the jamming studio and build the rest of the arrangements into it. This is where we would begin dismantling and piecing shit together. However, this song took a different direction. There was no dismantling, it just came out right from the start. The foundation of Be Silent remained the same since the inception by Troy, though much darker than the final recording. We experimented with different layers and sound from the instruments we had and it didn’t take long to complete.
Who collaborated in the process?
The lyrics for Be Silent was written by Troy with Selene, our bassist, who also sang on the song. Musically, it is always a collaborative effort from all of the members. We got Tim Kevin from Tempe River Studios to engineer and mix the track. He’s one of the finest engineers around, easy to work with and receptive to our ideas. He brings so much energy and knowledge mixing the song and giving it a whole new life. Also, Gemma, from the band Goodnight Japan, gave us the coolest cover shot for the single. On the video, we collaborated with our friends and directors Dan Gaughan and Samuel Reis. The idea sparked in Dan’s new home – we were more impressed by the new house than our brainstorming session [haha]!
What is the origin of the song?
Like most of our songs, it is a guitar-led song that was completely reproduced with effects, synths, bass and drums. It has a simple 2-chord motive that builds in dynamics as the track went along. Some say it’s Joy Division, and some say it’s U2, but we would like to keep the origin to ourselves and leave it to the imagination of the listeners.
“It’s a hopeful, inspiring song with a rebellious spirit.”
How was the recording session?
Countless cigarette breaks, laughter and sweats. Our sessions with Tim are never boring. Brendan, our guitarist, who had it pretty stoned, recalled nothing else but that one incident where Tim accidentally dropped one of his Neumann microphones on the floor and being quite bummed out about it… ouch. But getting into the actual recording process is pretty peculiar and nerve-racking, and even more when it was recorded live in the studio. We had the bass sitting in the same room as the drums, and the synth right on the pathway looking in, while the guitars were hidden in separate corners. We killed it on the fourth take!
What were other options for the title of the song?
With or Without You? Damn, it’s already taken by a small band from Dublin. Chase, our drummer, initially suggested Tokyo Olympics Song as he envisioned it to be the next Olympics’ main anthem as the torch passed on.
What’s the story behind the lyrics?
Troy wrote this song back in 2019 when the Australian Bushfires were happening and it felt like it resonates well with it. When he presented the song to the band, we were really taken by the flow of the lyrics and how the song builds up throughout. It’s a hopeful, inspiring song with a rebellious spirit. We much prefer the listeners find meaning and interpret the song in their own ways, and how it speaks to them personally.
Were there any influences or musical references?
Brendan was purely influenced by Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees, channelling its dynamics and sonic into this song. Selene definitely had her late father in the back of her mind, who was a great bassist from the band, The Racer, that released the non-stop ’86 hits cassette back in the 80s. Chase takes in the Irish band’s great musicality while Troy was edging towards the dark post punk influences with a slight cinematic soundscape which resulted in Serena’s melancholic synths.
“The daunting part would be trying too hard to make it perfect. Sometimes less is more, but other times, more can be equally impactful if done right. Be Silent is the result of gut feeling.”
What was the biggest obstacle during the process and how was it overcome?
Perhaps, the art of giving our best to the song versus self-doubt. How we want the song to be heard in the ears of others versus we don’t care. All of these bits that portray the challenges of songwriting and recording. Have we overcome it? Probably not.
If could have collaborated with anyone for this song, who would that person be?
We’d like to see Flood and Alan Moulder deconstruct the song and add their sonic magic dust to it. One can dream.
Which is the biggest challenge of play this song live and how have you resolved it?
Counting in the intro bit without the drums. It’s hard to be consistent when we’re playing it live, but we always pull it through as long as we know that it’s not 30 beats extra or under. If you look closely, you’ll notice Serena, our synth and keyboardist, making eye contact with our bassist Selene in the intro – both trying to synchronise their foot tapping!
In a playlist, which song would you play after this one?
Brendan: Shoot Speed, Kill Light by Primal Scream
Chase: Wonderwall by Oasis
Selene: Skinty Fia by Fontaines D.C.
Troy: You’re Beautiful by James Blunt
Serena: Bloodflow by Foxlore
Is there anything else that you would like to add about this song?
Chase says you can never go wrong with Chicken Chop at KL Food Truck. So watch the video here.
Hailing from South East Asia with a deep love for Joy Division, New Order, Gang Of Four and a host of post punk and British indie acts, FOXLORE is a Sydney based band consisting of 5 members from Malaysia and Philippines, who made Sydney their home base.