Alt rocker Eric Silverman, also a news junkie of sorts, is often vexed by current affairs and is turning to a very honest outlet, saying ‘fuck it’ while enjoying a little herbal therapy.
This therapeutic escape influenced the content and lyrics behind the single and video for “As My Country Drifted Away (I Got Stoned)”, from his debut Rookie out Feb. 28.
Silverman told American Songwriter, “I think that it’s really easy to not pay attention. To keep your head down and to be distracted. This song is a reminder to be aware of what you are doing, but also to acknowledge when you feel exasperated or overwhelmed, sometimes saying ‘fuck it.’
“It’s really felt great to belt out ‘I got stoned’, and sometimes in this political climate that is all you have energy to do,” he added. “I recommend you try it sometime.”
Politics are always a trying and often off-limits subject at work, among friend circles, with family and just anyone who you don’t feel like arguing with. This essence of avoidance is common and makes conversations easier, but it’ not a strategy Silverman wanted to use for his debut album.
“Previously I’ve written songs and felt like I needed to stay in a lane. I think we were able to get away from that,” Silverman explained. “A lot of it was possible because of the trust between my producer Damien and me. There was a lot of vulnerability in this process. It was about being present and taking advantage of a fertile period for us artistically. There was no holding back.”
Silverman absolutely went outside the lines for the single’s video, which was centered around psychedelic styled visual themes. Such imagery tipped a hat to the more peaceful and free time of the hippie generation, but also addressed the elephant in the room, that is political climate. The intention is obvious from the easy-to-interpret illustrations of forests wiped out by real-estate developments, the avoidance culture guided by consumerism and lack of social interaction fueled by technology.
On the process Silverman said, “A lot of it was finding my voice and figuring out who I am as a songwriter. The feeling was very present while I was writing “Rookie.” It was all about the nervousness of doing something on my own. It was like my rookie year. I was willing to take chances but wanting to prove myself a bit. It was about being older and looking back on where you’ve come from.”
Silverman came from San Francisco’s pop-rock group Heartwatch, where he also met Grammy-nominated producer Damien Lewis. When Silverman began to grow tired of the trendy aesthetics of the pop genre, he looked to write deep-rooted music with meaning, songs that have the ability to speak to listeners during their most tribulating times and Lewis was the perfect co-pilot for the task.
The strength of the intimate creative connection and collaborative nature between Lewis and Silverman, was revealed when they went into the studio. With only exploration in mind, the pair walked into recording, for a different project initially, but emerged with Silverman’s debut Rookie a week later.