Who all makes up The Silvers? Although the Silvers have changed over the years, the lineup is Dain Bedford-Pugh on lead guitar and vocals, Steve Farac on guitar, keyboards, accordion and vocals, Carl Upthegrove on drums and Mick Orton on bass and vocals.
Where did you all grow up? Dain grew up in London before moving to Northern California, where he has lived in Sebastopol in Sonoma County, and San Rafael and Novato in Marin County. Steve was born and raised in San Francisco before moving to Marinwood in Marin County. Carl grew up mostly in California having lived in both Northern (Sacramento and the Bay Area) and Southern California as a child and as an adult.
Mick grew up in Davenport, IA on the Mississippi River, toured the Midwest with Silver Laughter throughout the ‘70’s, before moving to Marin County when that band broke up in 1980.
How did the group get together? Mick is the only original member of the Silvers, which was formed in 2014 as a virtual band who lived all over the US. He wanted to do something locally so he posted that he was looking for band members on a neighborhood website. Steve’s wife saw the ad and told Steve. Steve and Mick met and decided it was a good fit. Then Steve brought Carl over as drummer. They knew each other from playing in different bands together. Then Mick found Dain, a local musician, on a website called Bandmix. After talking a little over coffee, the band got together to see if it worked. It did!
What inspired you to get into music? Dain says, “I picked up a guitar at the age of 15 when a good friend and I decided we wanted to start a band after finding we both enjoyed the same kind of music. With it being the mid-90s when I started playing, I was very much inspired by the Britpop music scene, as well as by bands such as REM, Pavement, and Crowded House.”
Steve says, “My father was always singing and at age six, I was given accordion lessons till high school when Rock & Roll exploded on the scene; then I self-taught myself the guitar to attract the ladies. After that I self-taught myself the keyboards.”
Carl says, “I was raised in a musical family, I was exposed to many types of music since I was a young child. It all came very naturally to me. I began playing drums at about age 10 and had my first band with friends at about age 13. My parents were very supportive and I still have my first drum set they bought for me in 1962.”
Mick says, “It was seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan that inspired him to start a band. Everybody else picked up guitar so it was either drums or bass for me. Paul McCartney inspired me to pick up bass, to write music and to sing!”
What is a songwriting session like for you as a group? We don’t write songs as a group but we do arrange them as a band. Mick and original Silvers member, Tom Kelley, are still writing together. Dain has been developing songs on his own as has Steve.
Do you tour often? The band first got together as a group at the end of 2019, right before the pandemic, and since things still are not back to normal, we haven’t had any opportunities to play yet.
What is the local rock scene like in San Francisco like these days? Dain says, “I have no idea! I've only lived here since 2015, and I rarely venture into San Francisco.”
Steve says, “Older musicians like ourselves and younger ones come to SF to play and enjoy the huge number of places that have live music. Big name groups play the big arenas, but the smaller venues are covered by a multitude of diverse music types and styles. There are so many cover bands, but there are many places in the SF Bay Area, where original music is played and appreciated.” Carl says, “I would characterize it as 'recovering' from the pandemic. There are less venues than before but things are starting to look up. As things have opened up the crowds are bigger and eager to hear live music again.” Mick adds, “As long as I’ve been here, I have learned that people appreciate bands that write and play their own music. It was a great scene before Covid shut everything down.”
What are some of the struggles of being in a band? Dain says, “Honestly, there really aren't many struggles. Perhaps the only thing would be getting enough practice time!”
, “I think we all agree that playing anywhere live due to COVID closures has been a real struggle.” Carl comments, “Steve’s right. The Pandemic closed a lot of venues, but also curtailed rehearsal space and recording studios. For all of 2020 and much of 2021 we've struggled to get bookings that would have allowed us to polish our new material before live audiences.” Mick says, “The guys are right. This pandemic made it difficult to even rehearse during the lockdown. The Silvers were able to get together as long as we set up outside in Steve’s back yard! During that time we did manage to work out six new songs and got into the studio to record them. Of those six, five will be on the new album, Back To Basics. The 6th was a Christmas song Lonely Little Christmas Tree which may be seen and heard in animated video format at YouTube.com/thesilversmusic.” Dain again, “And more recently we went into the studio to record six more original songs to give us eleven in total for our new album.”
Tell us about your latest project. Dain, “We're really excited about having finished recording our latest album - our first with this current lineup. We recorded eleven songs in three sessions, because pandemic restrictions hampered our efforts to get it all done at once. But it's all finished and we are looking forward to sharing it with the world!” Steve, “Yes, we did it in two different studios but all the songs were mixed and mastered by Doug Diamond, of Diamondigital in Nashville.” Carl, “That’s right. We are excited to be putting out our latest album, which will be available on vinyl as well as all the major internet music services; iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and so on. Nine of the songs were written by Mick and his writing partner, Tom Kelly, and two songs were written by our lead guitar player, Dain. “
What can we expect from you in the future? Steve, “You can look forward to more songs with positive messages and refreshing melodies.” Mick, “Yes, the Silvers plan to go on recording, and if an opportunity presents itself to play live, we’d love to do that too. But we have a lot of demos waiting to be turned into songs, so you can expect a lot of music from us in the future!