By: Kevin Rolfe
Christian Burns is one half of the duo that makes up the electronic band All Hail the Silence. Burns has had an extensive career with his multi-platinum selling band BBMak, collaborating with some of the best DJs in the world and of course his work with BT. All Hail the Silence will be supporting Howard Jones when he brings his Transform Tour to Utah on Tuesday, June 25 at Red Butte Gardens. I had the opportunity to catch up with Christian leading up to the show. Here’s our conversation. Enjoy!
Utah Concert Review: Hi Christian. So where am I catching you on the tour?
Christian Burns: We just performed last night in Huntington New York. I’m not exactly sure where I am at the moment but our next show is in Boston.
UCR: So I wanted to tell you, while I do these interviews often and I always find them interesting there are those times where I come across an artist that’s in a band that fits right into the style of music I love. And that’s you and All Hail the Silence. I’m really excited to talk to you add to cover your show when you come here to Utah. I really enjoyed the album.
CB: Thank you very much! That’s very nice of you to say. It’s great to hear feedback like that.
UCR: You and BT have both had pretty substantial careers on your own or in other projects. How did you begin collaborating?
CB: We met when we were on tour with Tiesto back in 2007. I think we were in Budapest. We were on the same show independently. We hit it off and we started working on music together. We’ve worked on so much music ever since. It was about a year after we started working together I co-wrote about three songs that were on BT’s album These Hopeful Machines. And then I think I was in Brazil one day and I got a phone call from BT and he said: “ hey why don’t we start a band?”. And I was like you know what that’s a great idea. So we finally got around to getting it all sorted. We’ve both been very busy but it’s great to have the first album out now and to be out doing shows.
UCR: Your All Hail the Silence counterpart, BT has a major background in electronic music. I know many people will know you from BBMak but do you have a background in electronic music? Is that why the two of you meshed so well?
CB: Yeah, yeah. I’ve done lots of things with my other band BBMak many years ago. But I got into electronic music when Tiesto found me on MySpace actually in 2007. So since then, I’ve worked with the lot a big electronic artist like BT, Tiesto and David Guetta. Electronic music has been a big part of my life and career over the last 10 years.
UCR: I’m always interested in who an artist has been influenced by because it doesn’t always fall in line with the style of music they play. So who are some artists that have influenced you over the years?
CB: For me, it was a lot of Motown. My mother and father loved Motown. But my dad was an absolute Beatles nut. He loved the Beatles, Eagles, ELO you know very melodic artists. I was lucky that my parents had good taste the music.
UCR: What would you say is your favorite song off of your album Daggers? And why is that song your favorite?
CB: I think “The Alarm” is one of my favorites just because it was one of the first ones we wrote for the project. It’s a special song for me. When we play it out we always get an amazing response so yeah I think it’s one of my favorites but it’s really hard to choose. they’re all our babies I suppose. What’s your favorite?
UCR: I really like the song “Temptation”. But you actually stole mine! I love the song “The Alarm”! And I especially love the Vince Clarke remix you recently released. He’s one of my musical heroes so I was excited to see he did a remix of one of your songs. How did you get aligned with him for him to do that?
CB: He did an amazing job on the remix. We absolutely love it. Yeah, we toured with Erasure a few years ago. BT was in touch with him first of all and they were working together on a few bits and bops together aside from All Hail the Silence. But yeah, we got to know Vince when we were on tour with Erasure. Lovely man. Big musical hero of ours as well.
UCR: The thing I love about your music is there’s a familiarity in the electronics while still feeling fresh and new. That’s not an easy thing to mesh.
CB: Yeah it’s like a hybrid with a hat tip to the 80s and the stuff that we loved and we both grew up with but with a modern take on it as well. We did what we wanted to do. There was no A&R guy saying oh” you’ve got to sound like this”. It’s from the heart and we’re really happy with how it turned out.
UCR: Now from what I understand this album was created from all analog synth. You’re not having to bring all of those since with you on tour, are you?
CB: These old synthesizers, these vintage synths from the 80s are very temperamental. If you look at them the wrong way the stop working. So we can’t take these out on the road with us. We need stuff that’s reliable. Otherwise, it would be very stressful.
UCR: I’m relieved! I remember going to those shows back in the 80s and they’d have these huge synth rigs and halfway through the show something would happen and they’d have to check everything to get it all working again.
Do you remember the first concert you ever went to?
CB: I do. The first concert I ever went to was Paul McCartney in Birmingham in the UK. It was the Flowers in the Dirt tour. It was an experience I will never forget. It has stuck with me forever and it was quite emotional actually. I was hooked right there. I just wanted to do that.
UCR: Do you remember the first time you performed live? Was it after seeing Paul McCartney? Or were you already into it?
CB: It was before that concert. I started my first band when I was 13. I was in a band called No Exit. We literally just did Beatles covers and a few of our own songs that we had written. But from as early as I can remember I was playing the drums and writing melodies. I was always obsessed by music.
UCR: Do you still get those butterflies before a show? Or do you know how to control that since you’ve performed so much?
CB: It’s a different kind of nerves now. Yeah, I get excited, of course, especially doing new songs for the first time. That will give you a little bit of nerves. And if you didn’t have that it wouldn’t be right really. So even though I’ve been doing it for a long time I still get a little bit of the butterflies for sure. It’s the good kind though. Not the kind that will make me want to throw up!
UCR: I would think if you had the good kind of nerves it could help channel things for good performance.
CB: Totally! You know with all the adrenaline as well you can carry it onto the stage with you. It’s a magical thing, adrenaline. You can have a sore throat and be thinking “ My voice is not going to make it tonight.” And as soon as you get on the stage and your adrenaline kicks in It’s always alright and pulls through.
UCR: What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Do I already know the answer?
CB: You know what? Paul McCartney was a really special concert. But another one that sticks out is from a couple of years ago at Glastonbury. One of my favorite bands M83 performed but I got to see them. And that was pretty incredible.
UCR: What was it about that show? Was it that it was Glastonbury and a band you liked? Because that would be enough for me.
CB: Yeah it was a band I love and they were just playing all of my favorite songs. But they were playing them really well. It was just great and I do think it was a bit of being at Glastonbury. It was such a great concert.
UCR: What has been your favorite or best performance you’ve ever performed?
CB: That’s a really tough one! Some of the dance electronic stuff I’ve done, the highlights from the BBMak stuff, the stuff I’ve done with BT. I could not pick one. Tell you what was one from a couple of years ago. I performed in front of 60,000 people with Armin van Buuren in Holland. That was pretty special. That was something that will stay with me forever.
To purchase tickets to the concert click here!
You can find All Hail the Silence anywhere you stream/ buy music!