Interview: The Silent Comedy
By: Joceline De la Torre
Joshua Zimmerman of The Silent Comedy
Valley View Casino Center
13 December, 2013
It’s that time of year again filled with finals, chaotic shopping malls, and Christmas shows with amazing lineups, and this year is no different. San Diego’s 91X hosted their annual “Wrex the Halls” with performances by Queens of the Stone Age, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, Alt-J, The Silent Comedy, and J.Roddy Walston and The Business. I had the chance to catch up with Joshua Zimmerman, from San Diego based band, The Silent Comedy about touring, fans, and San Diego.
Q: The band is currently in the midst of a Fall/Winter tour based in California, how has that been so far?
Joshua: It has been amazing. We’ve hit up some towns we really love that we haven’t been to in a while because we’ve been spending most of our time in the East Coast and in England. So to hit up these towns that we really love like, SLO, Fresno and Santa Ana has been awesome.
Q: Being in the audience tonight shined light on the fact that Silent Comedy shows are more of an experience than anything, how is this made possible?
J: We care very much about the experience people have, because nobody likes to go see a band and not have a memorable experience.
Q: With your performance there’s also something nostalgic and historical, so would you say your space/venue helps contribute to this vibe?
J:The historic aspect has more to do with the general feel of the band, because it’s not necessarily the sound but the way we look and everything.
Q: How would you describe your fan base?
J: I think they are wonderful and diverse. There’s really young and older people who appreciate our sounds, because our roots are within folk and classic rock n roll. It’s mostly people that aren’t pretentious and just want to have a good time.
Q: The band seems to have a good grip on curating the genres of folk, and rock and roll. How did this particular combination come about?
J: I guess just naturally from what we listen to, a really diverse taste. I really love rap, and folk like Cat Stevens and Simon and Garfunkel and Jay Z as well. It just happens.
Q: Silent Comedy has been awarded the “Best Pop” award at the San Diego Music Awards, would you classify your material to be “pop” to some extent?
J: Yeah, it’s weird. No, we’ve told them that too, still we’ve won four or three [awards]. It happens.
Q: The San Diego Music Awards are centered around giving back to the community, what’s your take on community?
J: I think it’s what makes music special. It’s the fact that it involves a community of people and it’s community against another because there’s the community that gets it and feels that they’re invested because they love it and then there is the rest of the world. We try to find people who love what we do… we build the community after that. We try to get them involved. Before Kickstarter was a thing, we used to do things where supporters could interact with what we do. That’s why I hate the word “fan,” it makes it too disconnected. We all come from a community and we all come together because we enjoy similar things, there’s not a big division. Again, I don’t like using the word fan because it’s a cheap thing.
Q: So does this whole idea of not liking the division between fans and the band connect to the fact that the band lives a somewhat open life on social media?
J: Absolutely, because we’re just people. The reason they like what we do is because they like something we like. We’re just similar people, if you use terms like “fan” and so forth, it seperates things too much.
Q: Aside from Silent Comedy, you are also a part of the duo, Brothers Grim. Could you tell me more about that?
J: That’s just me and my brother Jeremiah, playing acoustically, just trying stuff out for Silent Comedy. People come out and see us and they’ll hear something that didn’t make it into a Silent Comedy record.
Q: A couple of things happened this week in the music industry, and a huge one was the announcement of Grammy nominations, any thoughts?
J: I really don’t know. I think Imagine Dragons did get a nomination and I know them. I think Vampire Weekend did as well; their new album is really great. Which means the Grammy committee must be doing something right
Q: The band is San Diego based for the most part, do you happen to have a favorite place in the city?
J: A lot of favorite places actually: El Dorado in Downtown, I used to work there, the owners are great; Pokez, they have incredible mexican food. I live in Vista now and the Yellow Deli is incredible.
Q: Since 2014 is 3 weeks away; What can we expect from Silent Comedy in 2014?
J: We’re working on finishing the record, around february, a full length album and a lot more touring.
So until The Silent Comedy releases their new album, you can check out Common Faults on iTunes and connect with the band on Facebook for a list of upcoming local shows.