Up Close & Personal with ASSAULT the SILENCE

Group to Perform at 1st Annual Oscoda Rock Fest

    icon Jun 06, 2019
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With the 1st Annual Oscoda RockFest happening on Saturday, August 10th at Furtaw Field in Oscoda and organizers targeting an impressive line-up of original homegrown Michigan rock bands to showcase from throughout the state of Michigan, all signs indicate that this upcoming Festival is geared to become one of the pivotal music festivals of the Summer Season.

One of the groups performing at this landmark musical happening and fundraiser is Assault the Silence.

Formed in Northern Michigan in 2011 and bred from the ashes of Skyral and Cicada, Assault the Silence predicate their sound upon traditional metal band aesthetics, but are also loaded with an arsenal of original music and manage to sweeten up the pot for listeners by covering both older stuff like the Big Four to new metal like Five Finger Death Punch and Avenged Sevenfold.

Apart from playing shows all over Eastern Michigan and parts of Western, Central, and Southern Michigan,  they were voted the Best Group or Duo, Best Male Vocalist, and Entertainer of the Year in the 2013 Northeastern Music awards.   Releasing their debut self-titled album in December of 2014, the band says they strive to bring a big concert experience to every gig they play, which coupled with their stage presence and talent continues to turn heads at their live shows.

Consisting of Shane Seres on vocals, Dan Bouchard percussion, Aaron Long on bass, and Andy Riff (great name!) on 6-string assault guitar, according to Dan, “Assault the Silence was founded on a desire to just be loud and heavy and to not care what people think about it. For too long we played in various groups as mostly background music for people's conversations, always trying to play quiet and do stuff that we thought people wanted to hear and not particularly what we were passionate about playing. We finally got fed up with that and this band was formed. Time to Assault the Silence and no apologies!”

“We have evolved some over the years, particularly when we got our current lineup together, but the goal remains playing what we like to hear, and writing music that is influenced by our favorite rock and metal bands.”

Since releasing their self-titled debut album of originals, the group is about to begin recording a follow-up. “We have about 10 songs written since the addition of our new singer that we are stoked about,” states Dan states with palpable enthusiasm. “Our writing process varies. Sometimes a member brings a song to the table and if it's liked by all, it goes through the metamorphosis after everyone puts in their two cents;  other times a song is spontaneously  written on the spot with no plan whatsoever -  and yet other times the more intricate songs are composed over the course of months. I'd say it's always a group effort in the end. Yay, equality!”

When asked about the qualities that he feels distinguish the sound of Assault the Silence from other artists working in similar genres of Hard Rock/Metal music, Dan sites the group’s diverse dynamics. “We feel our best qualities are variety and a wide range of influences that show through in our originals. When you come to an ATS show or listen to our music, you're getting a roller-coaster ride. We get heavy and aggressive and hit you right in the face, then we will slow down and serenade you into happiness. Also, we've always put a lot into our live shows, putting in the extra mile. I believe that has also helped set ATS apart.”

Several highpoints and achievements have resonated in Dan’s mind since the group formed. “Winning the Northeastern Music Award honors in 2013 was pretty rewarding because it was voted on by the music fans, so it says we've done things right. Since then, however, those awards have been discontinued, but it's cool to say 'award winning band'.

“Other achievements we are proud of is the metal revolution festival that we created and hosted for 5 years, and I hope it happens again someday because it became a draw for bands and fans alike. And finally, there's the following we've achieved around Northeast Michigan. I've seen random Assault The Silence bumper stickers and t-shirts while I'm out and about. People yell our band name at us across parking lots. We even have one supporter that has an ATS tattoo. That means so much to us, and we are truly honored to have that kind of support behind us.”

“We've seen the highs, but have we ever seen the lows as well,” reflects Dan. “A band is a family, and there can be squabbles like family, maybe even more so because everyone has specific directions and hopes that they are passionate about. You have to reach compromise at times. We had to get one new member when the original guy decided he wanted to focus on his home life, and probably everyone else has had times where they weren't sure they wanted to continue, but we pushed on and ATS lives on!”

“The most challenging thing is working around our lives, which can unfortunately make things pretty slow, but we remain steadfast and achieve big things all the same. As far as future goals, we definitely want to release more original music, and continue doing what we do to the best of our abilities.  And, of course, a number one album and a stadium world tour would be nice to achieve some day, too. Yeah, that’s on the bucket list.”

Ironically, this aspiration may be closer within reach than the band suspects with their upcoming performance at the 1st Annual Oscoda Rock Fest, which is targeting its reach to Rock fans throughout the state of Michigan. Let’s not forget this other little debut event known as The Woodstock Art & Music Festival, which 50 years ago featured artists such as Joe Cocker that until that unprecedented gathering, nobody had heard of and no one expected would become the historic social phenomenon that it did.

How did the group become involved with the Oscoda Rock Fest and why do they feel this is an important event for that region of the state?

“Robert Tasior, an event organizer, approached us after coming to a few of our shows and brought this idea to us,” explains Dan. “We think it's certainly great! I'm glad to see a serious music event happening to our little area where it's definitely needed. I’ve  always believed Northeast Michigan needs something like this, because it's usually a 2-hour drive at least if you want to see a big rock concert. That's part of our theory when putting on our own shows: Let's give this small town a big concert experience! We are definitely excited about this show and seeing all the other great bands who are playing it”

“In closing, I just would like to implore everyone to come get your faces melted by ATS and the other awesome bands at Oscoda Rockfest this August. Come witness the start of something big, and hold your horns up high. We would like to thank the Rock Fest Committee for having us on, and we are really looking forward to this experience.”

The 1st Annual Oscoda Rock Fest is happening Saturday, August 10th and feature performances by Here After Six, Silverspork, Polychromic, Grounded Siren, Damned by Dawn, Assault the Silence, and Everyday Ghost. The festival will be held at Furtaw Field on US-23 in Downtown Oscoda and run from 1:00 PM - Midnight. Tickets are only $7.00 advance and can be purchased online at oscodarockfest.org.



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