Pennyblack writer Cara Ross turned me on to Silo the Huskie and I've never looked back. Their latest album is some of the best balls-out rock and roll I've heard in a long time...honest, down-to-earth music with loads of Replacements and Big Star style hooks. I recently had the chance to communicate with both Peter Cline, Silo's bass player, and Brain Barlups, the band's vocalist and guitarist.

DA : Let me in on the origins of the band.

PC : Brian and I knew each other in college and did some cover band stuff while in school. When we got out we stayed in touch, and Brian formed a band called Lunchbox with our original guitarist Kevin Spain. I floated in and out of the band, which released a cassette called 'Heehaw Sinatra'. I only really got involved after a new drummer was brought into the band.

The name came from an incident where we were travelling to practice. The band had been arguing for hours over a name, but with little success. We decided to split for practice but our drummer needed to buy some weed, and in the process of travelling to the sale a husky dog ran out in front of the car. In came the dog, and our now high drummer kept saying "Silo the Huskie" over and over. We returned the dog for a reward, got drunk, and existed as Silo the Huskie.from that point.

The band had that lineup for about two years, recorded a 45 and a CD, but Brian split at that point. A year and a half later Brian came back. We got another drummer. We finished a CD in 1996, but it was put on a shelf, and we started making cassettes for our friends again. Out of this comes another CD, a self release called 'Fight'. Cargo comes in , drops four songs and renames the album 'Silo the Huskie'. We lose our original guitarist, bring in Chris Bair and tour with some college success.

BB : Pete made all of that shit up. Silo the Huskie was a dwarf in a little known screenplay by Horatio Amstutz. Horatio Amstutz was the janitor in the elementary school that Pete, Chris, Stuart (the band's latest drummer) and I all went to. Since we're all brothers, with different fathers, it just made sense to name our band after a character in a play written by the janitor in the school that we all went to when we were brothers with different fathers.

DA : Your latest album is full of blazing guitars and great melodies. Tell me about the writing and recording of the s/t record.

PC : Because of no or low budget, the band has always done four or eight track demos that we have placed on tapes or CDs for our friends. After awhile we had the idea to record the CD when we had the money. Because of no or low budget, the band has always done four or eight track demos that we have placed on tapes or CDs for our friends. After awhile we had the idea to record the CD when we had the money, and we would incorporate our best "lo-fi" tracks with our studio stuff. We recorded at a studio in Columbus ( which was about $35 an hour) and a recording school South of Columbus (which was free !). After about a year and a half, the CD was done and mastered twice before the self release.

The music is written with an idea or a chord and it goes from there. Brian will sometimes bring a complete song in, and he also writes all the lyrics. Brian tends to be very hand on and if he feels the song is heading down a familiar road he'll make sure that it is either different or not written. Beyond that the band has a free reign on how they play and what not. We made a big effort to separate the guitar tones on the record by using panning and dissimilar guitars. I think it has paid off, but it has taken awhile to get that part figured out, and because we all have different musical backgrounds, the music has various influences that are not self apparent. Brian tends to write "lo-fi", but the band pushes it to the opposite end-if you can call 24 tracks hi-fi.

BB: After we reformed, in early '97, we started out fresh(we didn't even think about the record we had recorded and abandoned). I had written 'While You Were Out' and 'Past Perfect', but that was about it. We just started practicing. I'd bring in a thumbnail of a song , and we'd hash it out in practice. Pretty soon we had about 8 songs, and we did some eight track and four track demos, and then recorded when and where we could afford to. It took us about a year to assemble the record, and we selected the songs that we thought had the best performances on them (regardless of whether they were recorded on four track or eight, or twenty four). So essentially the record was recorded in Pete's garage, Pete's living room, Workbook studio, and The Recording Workshop. We released it ourselves in '98, and Cargo liked it so much, they reissued it.

DA : What made you want to play rock & roll?

PC : To be honest I grew up playing a lot of air guitar in Junior High School and I think I really wanted to be a rock star. I love music, and that made me want to play an instrument, so I picked up the bass because everyone had a guitar. As I've gotten older and played more, I enjoy the live shows as much as the studio (which I hated). I would still love to be a rock guitarist, but I want to have some substance in the music if it does happen.

BA : I came from a musical family, so it wasn't a big stretch. When I was in high school I was obsessed with music, and would spend entire paychecks on music-eventually I bought a guitar, and a Mel Bay chord book.

DA : Tell me about Columbus, Ohio. Is it a good scene?

BB : Yes, band wise there are tons of bands, and a lot of different musical styles. It's also real cheap to record and to rent out a place to practice. Unfortunately, most Columbusites seem to like restaurants and sports more than local rock acts, so not a lot of people come to shows. But it's still a lot of fun to get real loaded and play with your friends. It's kind of like baseball...

PC : Columbus as a city is nice. It's large but it still has a small town feel to it, and it's cheap to live here. Unlike Chicago where the prices are high and there are tons of bands, you can exist in Columbus and be known in "the scene". There are some great bands that have come from Columbus, and some great bands that are in Columbus right now. I think part of "the scene" loves people to fail, and we expected that from people when we signed with Cargo, but there have been people that have been very supportive, and the negative people are the small minded ones who want to be local heroes and not to try and expand out of the city.

DA : What is a live Silo show all about?

PC : Volume ! We really want to keep that in check, but volume tends to really hold itself to dynamics.There's a lot of distortion, loud-soft moments, and sometimes cynicism, but it's about the rock, and we love to let it hang out for that hour that we have up there.

BB: Lately about trying not to break all of my strings ! No, just kidding. Hell I don't know-trying to be honest, and sometimes sober.

DA : I hear you're working on a new record. Similar path or different branch?

PC : Both ! I think we've refined the sound of the last record and added some more complex movements into some songs. I think the lyrics are more refined. I do think the songs have progressed, and I think a uniform recorded sound will lend a different texture to the next CD.

BB : Similar and different. The same and not the same. Predictable and not predictable. Shoes and pants. No really, the record is very honest lyrically . I think I will have officially alienated everyone I know when the next one comes out. It's also a little more interesting musically with time signatures, its dynamics and such. It's thematically more cohesive than the first, which was a hodge-podge song wise.

DA : What do you think about the internet's role in music and also Napster?

BB : The internet has been a very cost effective way to get our music to people all over the world, so I like it. Cargo "discovered " us by finding our website in an internet search, so I like it even more. I think Napster was a good way for people to get access to obscure tracks from their favourite bands, so I guess I like it.

PC : I know that Chris is really into downloading. I don't have time for it and the quality at times can be suspect, but, like anything else that you try and control, people will find a way to bootleg or copy music.

The internet has hurt live music to a degree, I think. People can wtach a show via the net and not be at the clubs, but the net has also made the Globe a lot smaller and helped bands like us get exposure, so it's a double-edged thing.

DA : Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?

PC : Well….older with gray hair. I'll be 43, so I hope to have at least given rock music a shot by then. I'll have kids by then I imagine. I hope to have seen some of the planet on rock's dime (Maybe a tour of England). I hope we will have achieved some type of credible success by then too. I'll be playing music. That's for sure. Once you play for an extended period it's like a drug you can't kick.

BB : Homeless, penniless, drunk most of the time. Maybe even DEAD!!! Or maybe I'll buy a flower shop, who knows?

DA : Thank you

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