The Silent ‘reflects the art they grew up with’

Tomorrow night, the Moncton Wesleyan Church will serve as a homecoming of sorts for two former Moncton residents who make up the melodic guitar rock band The Silent.

For Marc Jolicoeur and Dennis Prescott, the show will serve as a return to their old stomping grounds, while the band’s new drummer Daniel Ahlbrandt will be visiting the region for the first time.

The Silent, along with Life Hereafter will perform at the Moncton Wesleyan Church tomorrow night, starting at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the show is free.

Formed in 2005, The Silent issued its debut record the following year and in the process, earned Best New Artist of the Year honours at 2006’s Canadian Gospel Music Association Awards. The group released its Americanized EP in 2009 and followed it up with a single entitled “God (Of Heaven and Earth)” this year.

The band has called Nashville home since late 2009 when Marc and Dennis, along with then drummer Justin Macrae, left the comfort and familiar surroundings of Moncton to jump into the otherwise unknown. It was shortly after the release of the Americanized EP that they started to sense the move might be necessary to further their careers in music.

The group’s choice of Nashville as the new homebase may surprise some but in addition to boasting the title of country music capital of the world, the city is also home to a vibrant pop and rock scene.

“A high percentage of the most successful artists in our niche market call Nashville home,” Marc says, “including a lot of people who we were interested in working with. That, in turn, drew us to the city.”

The niche market that Marc refers to is the Christian music market. While the members of The Silent would never disavow their beliefs, there is nothing overt in the band’s sound that would lead you to believe they are affiliated with Christian music.

“We have never made a conscious effort to stay away from the Christian music label,” Marc says, “(although) many bands are opposed to the label due to the weight that comes along with it. Many fans of the genre get upset if their bands are a little vague with their beliefs. People don’t want Christian bands to be wishy-washy when it comes to whether or not they are ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the community.

“But we grew up in the Christian market; we listened to the bands that did the same thing that we are aspiring to do. We’re merely reflecting the art we grew up with.”

Asked how life in Nashville has been for the band so far, Marc admits, “It alternates between uphill and downhill, rough and smooth. We have, however, made friendships and partnerships with people down here, the effects of which will definitely be going with us for the rest of our lives.”

The encouraging response being given to the band’s newest single is a big reason for its return to the shores of southeastern New Brunswick. In addition to a couple of shows the group is playing in New York state and Pittsburgh, The Silent will perform four shows in their home province – in Saint John, Fredericton and Quispamsis, as well as Moncton.

Once this run of shows has wrapped up, Marc anticipates returning to Nashville to continue working on the band’s next project, currently entitled The Spencer Creek EP. When talk turns to when, or if, he expects to be a Moncton resident once again, his answer is understandably vague, as if he’s mid-mission rather than having already accomplished what he set out to do with the move.

“On a personal level, yes, I can see us returning at some point,” he says. “Neither my wife nor I were born there, and though we have no family (in Moncton), there’s just something magnetic about the city, isn’t there?”

Article published in March 26, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript