Cry Of Silence have been a trademark band in the local Vancouver music scene for well over a decade. Their debut album, Influence, was a well-produced hard-rock offering that mixed elements of metal, punk, and grunge rock. Pushing forward with hard-hitting tracks like “Injected My Mind,” the thunderous power-ballad, “Departure,” and “In Seven Days,” which was inspired by The Ring film-franchise, Cry Of Silence have garnered the attention of many locals, including 99.3 the Fox when the album was first released in 2011.
It’s been a long while since Cry Of Silence have released new music since then, and their upcoming album, Community, is a highly anticipated release that pays tribute to the people of the local music scene.
“The majority of our songs are lyrically inspired from people we've crossed paths with over the years in our musical journey, because they play such a positive role in our lives,” explains frontman and songwriter Ed Lam. “‘A Busker's Song’ was about our musician friends who've hustled for years playing out on the streets. Some days, their performances were well-received; other days, they get harassed, but they still keep going because they enjoy what they do and they never give up. Another tune featured on this EP is called ‘Means So Much to Me,’ music written by our guitarist Isaac Feng, and it also ties in about the theme of never giving up doing what you love, no matter how tough times can get.”
Another song Lam mentions is titled “Changed My Moment,” a tribute to local musician Randy Ponzio, who sadly passed away in 2011.
“He was an incredible performer, humanitarian, teacher, and friend who touched so many lives. He once said that his music may not change the world, but he could definitely change someone's moment, hence the title of our track.”
In terms of production, Community is a mixed bag that lives up to its namesake. Some tracks were self produced by the band, whereas others were recorded by local producers such as Justin P. Brown and his team at Vogville Recording Studio, as well as Brandon Wong, an alumni from Nimbus School of Recording Arts. Lam confirms that many local artists and music-scene supporters are also featured on the record.
“We were honoured to receive help from a bunch of fun-loving friends in the music scene who helped us out on gang vocals over the years,” Lam states. “They consist of members from Mitigo, Westwinds, and Of Artistry; local solo artist Mr. Curtis Cordey, singer/songwriter Beth White from Breathe in the Sky and The Twitch; and vocalist extraordinaire Jessi Kohoutek. On top of that, we even had some friends who are not in bands, but are great ongoing supporters of our scene who lent their time to sing their hearts out.”
The album’s artwork is quite interesting. It features three social-media esque default profile logos with different battery lives. The image was inspired by two main sources, mobile devices in this digital age, and 5 Hour Energy drink commercials. Ed Lam further explains the meaning behind Community’s album cover.
“The three ‘profile’ logos are interpreted in two ways. One, the middle profile with 100% is fully charged and helping out the other two ‘profiles’ with low battery levels. The fully-charged profile is willing to give energy to help them out.” Lam continues: “The other interpretation is the left and right profiles have given away their energy to help out the middle profile to be fully charged. These interpretations are the symbolism of helping out one another, hence our EP's Community title.”
Lam is a two-time Whammy Award Winner for Best Keyboard Player, and Cry Of Silence was also nominated for Best Rock Group in 2017. The Whammy Awards are another indication of how tight-knit and special the local Vancouver scene is.
“The Whammy Awards ceremony was probably one of my favourite events, because it is an award show giving recognition to local musicians and unsung heroes rather than your usual mainstream artists. I also love how the Whammy’s go for the angle of recognizing the other folks behind the scenes who deserve the applause, including our bouncers, bartenders, cashiers, photographers, sound crew, and many others.”
Like the Whammy’s, Cry Of Silence has a similar message they want to spread with their new record.
“The goal with this EP is to showcase a community we've been a part of in the music scene over the years, rather than dealing with big tycoons. Building a community plays a huge role in our lives, and we want to help spread the word of locally-grown performers, writers, and producers who deserve a lot of credit for all their hard work.”
A veteran of the scene, Lam has some final thoughts for new and seasoned musicians alike.
“I would encourage all musicians to not only excel at what you're good at doing, but also to not be afraid of doing new things if you're up for the challenge.” He concludes: “It's up to us to make things happen. You don't have to possess quality, world-class skills; but if you have that passion and find the right people to help you along the way (both good times and hard times), you can definitely get this scene bumping and get people talking.”