Interview with the Silencer

By Stephanie Stevens

 

Charlie Corletta, a musician from NY is no newbie to the metal and rock music scene as he has played in former bands Julius Seizure (singing) and Will Killmore (drumming). Corletta is a one man wrecking machine, a producer and an artist, who can pretty much play any instrument given and demands attention on the microphone.

THE SILENCER is something he started after leaving his older bands and being the man and founder of this project, he decided that there were no boundaries on genres, or styles or topics to explore in this chapter of his career. He wanted to make music that inspired him, he wanted to work with people who had been a role model to him, and wanted to write music from the heart. He has dug deep with lyrical content and he has put his heart and soul into the context of each and every single he has released, since the projects formation.

His newest single “ATONEMENT” is what made me wake up and want to know more about this artist and what this song was all about. Plus, he is a big 36 Crazyfists fan so of course I loved him already!!!

If you want to know more about an artist, and a person who gives his all, in all he does then read on about Charlie and THE SILENCER. Find out why he put this together, his other passions other than music, his insights on where he pulls inspiration for lyrics and more.

HOW DID THE SILENCER COME TO BE AS A BAND?

Charlie: In 2012 after leaving the band I drummed for Will Killmore, I found myself stir-crazy so I had started doing session work as a drummer. Soon after I came up with an idea to create a solo project where I wrote all the songs, arrangements and asked peers from the local and national metal scene that I had become friends with over the years to guest appear on their respected instruments. Originally this was the premise for the project but after seeing how difficult it was to get musicians together and on the same page I had decided to just simply write, perform and record all instruments and vocals myself. I wanted to show that I was an accomplished guitarist, vocalist and song writer. I felt confined and underutilized musically for many years being seen as just a drummer. To date there is only one single where there are multiple musicians who appear on the track and that is the 2012 debut single “DISCOVERY OF THE LOST CAUSE.”

THIS PROJECT IS ALSO NOT YOUR TYPICAL PROJECT. YOU GUYS PRETTY MUCH RELEASE SINGLES INSTEAD OF FULL LENGTH OR EP’S. TELL ME YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS ON DOING IT THIS WAY?

Charlie: I had originally intended on THE SILENCER being a solo project that I devoted my spare time to. Since I was the only one writing, performing and arranging the material in the studio I wanted to focus all my energy on one song at a time. Instead of worrying about “filler” material or songs that don’t hold up against the rest of an album or EP, I focused on trying to write memorable songs with hooks and arrangements that resonated with my audience. I had no intention of it ever becoming a live band so releasing a single a year seemed like something cool and different.

WHEN PUTTING TOGETHER ARTISTS TO WORK WITH ON SONGS YOU COME UP WITH, YOU PICK AND CHOOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE INSPIRED YOU. HOW DOES THAT HELP YOU WITH CONNECTING TO THAT PERSON?  WHO IS ONE PERSON YOU HAVE WORKED WITH THUS FAR, THAT HAS REALLY INSPIRED YOU EVEN MORE AFTER THE PROCESS WAS OVER?

Charlie: Although I only released one single under THE SILENCER with multiple players on it I have written, recorded, and performed with so many various artists over the years in other projects as well as live guest appearances. At the beginning of this project back in 2012 I just looked to players that I thought were really good at what they did and who really stood out when our bands would be billed together on the same show. I knows that whatever the material was that I had in mind, they would be able to put their flavor on it and showcase some of who they were as musicians. In regards to who has inspired me, It’s hard to answer because I honestly feel, like I learn and take away from every single musician I ever work with in whatever capacity. If I have to narrow it down, I will say that my friend and former In Flames guitarist and current Cyhra guitarist Jesper Strömblad, is up there. We featured him on a single together, back in 2016 called “Fallen Heroes” – Alex Becker along with fellow In Flames guitarist Björn Gelotte, Dark Tranquility bassist Anders Iwers, Soulfly/Cavalera Conspiracy guitarist Mark Rizzo just to name a few. It was a super group of sorts, but we just performed the material that a friend Alex Becker had written. I grew up idolizing the Gothenburg sound that became so influential to most of the metal and metalcore bands of the early to mid-2000’s. Jesper is considered a Godfather of that sound and I believe you can hear much of that influence in my music. Another musician I am very inspired by is my former Will Killmore/Julius Seizure bandmate Steve Toth. He actually has been the engineer on my last three singles and has recently signed on as a backing guitarist for my live show and music videos. His work ethic and attention to detail are unlike anyone I’ve ever met. I always model my work after the idea of…WWSD? “What Would Steve Do?” Even though his writing style is not exactly like mine, it’s the attitude, the attention to composition, and overall work habit that I take from him.

YOU RECENTLY PLAYED A SHOW WITH 36 CRAZYFISTS, AND I KNOW THEY HAVE BEEN A BIG INSPIRATION FOR YOU. DID YOU ASK BROCK TO BE A PART OF A NEW PROJECT AND WOULD THAT BE A BUCKET LIST CHECK OFF?

Charlie: 36CF have been a favorite band of mine for a long time. It all started with “A Snow Capped Romance.” The combination of groove, melody and raw emotion was exactly what I need at that point in my life. I have heard on many occasions that my screaming style is somewhat reminiscent of Brock’s. I have actually dreamed about having him guest appear on a single but after our show together I did not dive into that. I was just so taken back with how well our debut show went, how much the fans knew of the material, sing-alongs, great pits and an impressive showing in attendance for us. Now that you mention it, I might just have to reach out when I’m demoing the new single and see if Brock has any interest in making an appearance.

PLAYING THAT SHOW, DOES THAT MEAN YOU HAVE A FULL BAND TOGETHER?  WILL THAT BE SOMETHING THAT THE SILENCER WILL DO IN THE FUTURE?

Charlie: I do have a full band together. The band consists of myself on vocals, Greg Guiler and Steve Toth on guitars, Dave Goyette on Bass and Zaki Ali on drums. We all live in various parts of the tri-state area so it was a slow start getting me to meet with everyone to teach them the material on their respected instruments. Now that we have a blistering live set consisting of 5 singles, I plan on having the band open for more national acts as well as throw some of our own shows. I am so proud and grateful for these guys and their willingness to help bring my dream and vision to the stage. They are all masters of their craft. It is my hope to get them involved with the writing process as well.

WHAT DOES THE NEWEST SONG “ATONEMENT” MEAN TO YOU?

Charlie: We can be here all day trying to get to the bottom of that one. Lol.  It dives into my personal life. My battles with anxiety, and depression that I feel plagued me due to some poor choices I made in a past relationship. I was beating myself up really bad, for choices, that I see in hindsight needed to happen, to get me to where I am today. I believe in karma and I believe I had to “pay for my sins,” if you will. You’d really have to go back to my single “IN WAITING.” That track along with the follow up “SOLITARIUS LUPUS” are blueprints for the past 5 years of my life. Those singles led to “ATONEMENT” where in so many words I not only recognized my faults or short comings like on the previous tracks but say in certain terms…”Here I am…new, and no longer concerning myself with my past mistakes. I felt I’d done my time living in an emotional prison, and felt that I needed to wash my soul clean of that part of my life. I had put too much blame on myself for things going wrong. I put it all on my shoulders and that just wasn’t the reality. There were many more layers to the problems that led to the break-up of me and my ex fiancé. It was more complex than I wanted to see at the time.

I’m a different person now. I’m stronger and better for having gone through the experience. Most people would have folded or resorted to negative outlets such as drugs or other poor behaviors. I dived into my passions, my writing, started working out again and got in the best shape of my life as well as became a music educator. I see the track like this… On one end I’m begging for spiritual forgiveness and want to have peace of mind. On the flip side it’s a big fuck you to the karma that followed me being dishonest with my ex fiancé.

That karma had come in the form of dishonesty by partners in two relationships, cheating, and countless fighting. It also was a fuck you to basically anyone who had any part in wronging me, betraying my trust or taking advantage of the vulnerable position, I was in emotionally. It basically cries out saying I want to live and love normally and peacefully. My lyrics have many layers much like my life so it’s hard to answer that question without diving into years of history.

YOU’RE ORIGINALLY A DRUMMER. WHEN DID YOU LEARN TO PLAY DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS, AND HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT MAKES YOU GROW AS AN ARTIST?

Charlie: although I’ve been playing drums since I was 9 years old I was always around a guitar and singing. My mother was a vocalist and guitar player so everyday she’d be sitting home singing and playing her acoustic guitar. I’d regularly pick up her guitar and when I was old enough to ask for one as a present from my aunt, I got my first electric. From that point I would regularly try to play with my mom and just play lead melodies over whatever she was playing and singing. Usually trying to match the melodies she was singing on the higher strings of the guitar. This is where I learned how to play.

I am self-taught and believe this is why I’m a sucker for good melodies  and hooks. I believe being a musician shouldn’t mean you’re just a drummer or just a guitarist. You should be willing and wanting to learn as much as you can about all forms of music and instruments. That’s what I try to do. By doing so I find myself inspired and get more creative the more I dive into different musical styles and instruments.

LET’S GO BACK TO THE FEW SINGLES YOU HAVE RELEASED AND TELL ME WHAT THE SONG IS ABOUT, WHO PLAYED ON IT AND WHAT IT MEANT TO YOU TO RELEASE THAT CERTAIN SONG TO THE MASSES

-2016 SOLITARIOUS LUPUS

-2014 IN WAITING

Charlie: “SOLITARIUS LUPUS” is about finding the strength within myself to be comfortable being alone, and strong enough to build myself better both physically and mentally. Saying fuck fear, fuck excuses, and do work. It was inspired by my time devoted to fitness and the whole “Beastmode” trend that started. I’ve always seen myself as a “Lone Wolf” Solitairus Lupus is the Latin translation of that. I wanted to say basically…”stop the crying,” or “woe is me.” Brush myself off and get to building a better and more sustainable me. I never saw myself as a follower and was always proud of who I was. I saw myself losing sight of that at one point, so I needed to get back on track.

“IN WAITING” was the first real thing I had done musically after taking a year away from music. I felt like I had been looking at the world through the outside just waiting with no certainty of a future or direction. Everything I knew to be my life of the past seven years had been removed from my life in literally 3 days. I was at the top of my professional career and on a great path to success with my former band Julius Seizure. I had left abruptly when shit went south with my ex fiancé. I blamed being “a band guy” and my attention to trying to be in successful metal band for the troubles I was having. Needless to say, that was far from the truth. There was much deeper shit going on under the surface.

In an uncharacteristic move, I left the band I was fronting abruptly without fulfilling my obligations that were already on the table. After a year had gone by I felt like a failure. I felt as if I let myself down, my friends, my family and my fans. I felt that I had come so close to everything I was working for and abandoned it all. The anxiety, depression and frustrations that followed were deep. It was only after talking with some amazingly close friends and planned a trip to see some friends in Gothenburg Sweden when I realized I had to get all the shit off my chest. I wrote and recorded “IN WAITING” as a finale and a goodbye to the music business and scene. It was a meant to be a “I’m sorry” and “thank you.” Well…as we all know, “IN WAITING” had much more power than I had anticipated and became the driving force for me to continue chomping at the bit musically.

OTHER THAN MUSIC, WHAT MAKES YOU WHO YOU ARE?

Charlie: I love professional wrestling and am actually a wrestling personality for The MFPW wrestling promotion. I am a color commentator with the alter ego of Chaz Williams. The MFPW is basically the “farm leagues” for the WWE, Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Impact. I have been working to develop a career in announcing and broadcast journalism. Not many people know, but when I was about 20 years old I began training to be a professional wrestler. I had achieved the goal of actually becoming one for a short time. However, I was very injury prone and wasn’t cut out for it on a continuous basis. My love for it never faded so last year I was given a chance almost 13 years later to get back involved and I’m taking full advantage of the opportunity. I even have cross branded THE SILENCER and Chaz Williams. Ring of Honor superstar “Punishment” Martinez actually comes out to the ring using “ATONEMENT” as his theme song and previously used the track “SOLITARIUS LUPUS.”

Aside from that, I love to travel, fitness, weight training, tattoos and being a music educator. What makes me who I am I think can be summed up as someone who has a huge heart, I’m compassionate, caring, strong, determined and am someone who achieves every fucking goal I set my eyes on. I don’t believe in impossible or unlikely. If you put in all the work and time to what you want to achieve. The only people who create “back up plans” are those who are too afraid to succeed and already have let failure overcome their mind. Also, if you have my heart I’ll give you the world and build the brightest future for myself and anyone in my circle.

BEST FASHION ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE MUSICIANS?

Charlie: don’t follow any fuckin trends because they never last. Just be yourself and comfortable expressing yourself however you want. People are always going to judge you for what you look like. You’ll never be able to please anyone but yourself so just do you. Sometimes you’ll see me, and I’ll look like I walked of the set of Sons of Anarchy, other times I look like I’m in a fuckin Blue Grass band. Other times I’m clean cut and clean shaven, looking like an all-American athlete and other times I look like I’ve been living in a cave for the last two years. My style and expression are whatever I want it to be that day. I keep people guessing. I love Halloween, so every day is something fun for me. Although most of the time I’m in a hoodie and cargo shorts. Lol. Don’t dress a certain way just because you see other bands doing it to fit into a scene. Defy the norms and just do what makes you happy.

TOP 3 NEW ALBUMS THAT CAME OUT THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH?

Charlie: you’re getting more than three! I’d say some monumental records for me are GnR “Appetite For Destruction.” Death “Symbolic” In Flames “The Jester Race,” Metallica “Master Of Puppets,” Amos Lee “Mission Bell” Tom Petty “Damn The Torpedoes” Nirvana “Nevermind,” STP “Core,” Carcass “Heartwork,” and Silverstein “Discovering The Waterfront.”

HOW CAN PEOPLE STAY IN TOUCH, GET YOUR MUSIC AND JUST KEEP UP WITH NEW SHOWS ETC?

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