Feature Friday: Silver Relics

Written by Kayla Albee

Photos by Kevin McGann (@kevicahn)

Alex Sepassi and Justin Alvis combine forces to form Silver Relics and to create an infectious brand of indie rock. With heavy influences spanning from the ‘60’s, ‘70’s, and ‘80’s, the pair recently released their debut album, generic., followed by a run of shows in the UK and Ireland.

Originally from Austin, TX, Silver Relics are now based out of NYC, which is the perfect place for a duo with such high art-rock energy. I recently chatted with Alex and Justin about finding balance when writing together, touring overseas, setting yourself apart in the city that never sleeps, and more. Continue reading down below to learn more about Silver Relics, and to give their new album, generic., a spin!

Q: Generic. pulls inspiration from a wide variety of 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s music. Growing up, who was your favorite artist, and more recently, who’s the last artist that you listened to?

Alex: My parents grew up around that time so I was introduced to ‘60s and ‘70s at an early age. I especially appreciate the limiting aspects of the recording process by today’s standards. The Beatles are a great example of what you can do with four tracks. It’s all about the progression and melody. The song. The ‘80s influence came a bit later on when I started to listen to more synth-oriented bands like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, New Order etc. Groups like The Cure, Joy Division, The Stone Roses and Nirvana help to glue the classic and contemporary aspects for me. Right now I'm listening to The Chameleons. 

Justin: I was way into Rage Against the Machine. My first band played mostly RATM covers, actually. Still into it. I’ve been into lo-fi hip hop lately. There’s hours of playlists out there of just lo-fi beats. Perfect for the subway.

Q: What are your favorite venues in NYC, both to perform and to catch a show at?

Alex: We’ve done a number of shows at The Bowery Electric and Rockwood Music Hall so those have to be on the list. Favorite venues I'd recommend to check out your favorite bands are Warsaw, Baby’s Alright, Gramercy Theatre and Brooklyn Steel. 

Justin: We’ve played some fun gigs at The Bowery Electric — great sound and a lively audience. Can’t go wrong catching a show at Brooklyn Steel.

Q: It’s no secret that NYC is home to countless musicians. What would you say is the most important aspect of making a name for yourself in the city that never sleeps? 

Alex: Community and practice. The art scene is expansive in this city so developing relationships helps us become aware of what’s actually happening here. It’s certainly not an easy place to conquer but making those strong personal connections makes you realize there are common goals among us. And rehearsals are of most importance to us.

Justin: Work. Just work. What you do between gigs is critical. If you get that part right, the show takes care of itself.

Alex: Exactly.

Q: You recently played a run of shows in the UK and Ireland. What were you most looking forward to when it comes to performing internationally? Were there any special places you wanted to see while there? 

Alex: I've been influenced by so many amazing artists/bands from the UK and Ireland so to have the opportunity to perform in these spaces has been a goal of mine since day one. It's a privilege to experience the people, culture and landscape and to have a strong understanding of where these iconic artists have their roots.

Justin: Getting to meet and connect with other musicians, and sampling as much local beer as possible.

Q: As a duo, how do you find balance when working on new music? 

Justin: I’ve found great success just shutting up and letting Alex write. Jokes aside, Alex makes great demos with drum ideas that make it really easy for me to expand on and refine.

Alex: Gotta love his honesty. I think we've been able to navigate through our process by listening to each other first and foremost. The demos are the best way for me to establish where I'd like for us to take it initially so writing is a combination of regiment and fluidity for us. Justin picks up on the rhythmic components very quickly and always finds a way to make them stronger.

Q: What can fans expect from Silver Relics in terms of future plans after your UK and Ireland shows?
Not sure how to answer this one - just make something up, Alex.

Alex: Glad you asked. We’re absolutely planning our return trip back to each of those places among other spots where we'd like to perform. We have a video scheduled to film in the fall and we absolutely have more NYC dates to announce as well. More music. More art. Lastly, thanks so much for having us!

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