- 24 May 01
SIOBHÁN LONG meets SILOS’ mainman WALTER SALAS-HUMARA, whose musical missiles arrive in Ireland in May
Walter Salas-Humara, The Silos’ main man, laughs raucously down the phone line from New York City, at the prospect of playing his first show in Ireland.
“I expect everyone to be really fun, happy go lucky and smart!” he chuckles. “There are a lot of Irish folks in New York, and I really enjoy Irish people’s company.
With a name like Salas-Humara, Walt’s own roots are most definitely not Irish though, thankfully.
“My family came from Havana, and they came here in the ’50s,” he says; though his Cuban roots haven’t particularly been picked up by The Silos’ fan base. “I wish I could say we have a big Cuban following, but you know, radio-wise, it’s still pretty segregated here, in terms of what’s played on the Latin American stations. They tend to play Latin American bands, not so much American bands.
Walter is the founder member of The Silos, a band whose genesis dates back as far as the mid ’80s. They had the early distinction of being voted ‘Best New American Band’ in Rolling Stone’s 1987 Critics Poll, and with some eight albums under their collective belt, their longevity sets them apart from most of their peers.
“There have been a lot of line-up changes, I guess”, he offers, “so I suppose I’ve used the name almost as a brand, but it’s kinda like a university… of life! I’ve always been the main member, the nerve centre of the band.
The current line up is, according to Walter, the best yet. Bias notwithstanding, listening to their latest CD, The Laser Beam Next Door, it’s hard to argue with him. Alternating between a cacophony of bristling guitar and explosive percussion, it’s Salas-Humara’s distinctive and bilingual songwriting that provides the glue of the piece.
“I guess my songwriting, as I’ve matured, has gotten less… miraculous! When I was younger, it
was so painstaking, but as you mature as a person, as well as a musician, it becomes more fun. And no matter how fictional you try to make it, you’re always writing about yourself and the people around you. You just get better as you get older!
The Silos play the Roisín Dubh in Galway on Friday, May 25th, The Half Moon in Cork on Saturday, May 26th, and The Shelter at Vicar St. on Sunday, 27th May, supported by Tandy
The Silos’ website can be found at: www.thesilos.net