The Silent Comedy

The Silent Comedy

BandFolkRock

Biography

"It all really started when my brother and I began writing songs and playing together in a little house on an alley in Imperial Beach, California. We had no furniture, no dishes, not even a stove. The only thing in the house was an old upright piano.” says J. John, vocalist and bass player. “We had just moved back to California after living out of backpacks traveling through southeast Asia, India, Nepal, southern Europe, and the United States. We came back with nothing, but someone gave us a piano so we started writing songs."

"I used to go into department stores just to play piano in Europe. The management would get upset but people would be crowding around, so they let me play.” adds J. Benjamin, John's brother, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. “They didn’t like a scruffy hobo-looking kid touching their expensive instruments. We really started from nothing when we moved back to the US and have built new lives around our music."

The Silent Comedy started as a side project of the now defunct post-punk group Dehra Dun. The brothers started that band, named for a city in India where they had lived, in 2002 along with drummer/multi-instrumentalist J. Benedict.

"The Silent Comedy was started with two goals: To be a recording project that could involve many of our musician friends, and to be an outlet for this Americana material we had been writing, " J. John explains. "We didn't really intend for it to be a live band at all. One thing led to another, and we needed to play a show that Dehra Dun was unavailable for, so we decided to give it a shot.” I. Forbes, who had played violin with Dehra Dun, and longtime friend J. Michael were enlisted to help with the first show. “After that, things just took off.” Remembers J. Michael.

The band changed from its original idea of a fluid lineup and a strict 'recording only' vision to a five piece core with a variety of guests.
In addition to a cast of guest performers, The Silent Comedy is known for its frequent instrument changes, and lively stage antics. Their live show has become their defining characteristic.

"It's some kind of mix between vaudeville and a tent revival meeting," says violinist I. Forbes. “We want to give you more for your money than just a bunch of indie guys on stage trying to look as bored as possible. We don't care a whole lot about being cool."

Old time clothes, high energy stage antics, foot stomping, and group sing-a-longs define a Silent Comedy performance. “I love their live show.” Offers Tim Pyles (F.M. 94.9, Music Matters Magazine). “It’s got rock and old-time religion, as well as the ability to take you to a space occupied by only a few bands.”

"We wanted to get back to a certain performance ethic.” adds John. "My great-grandparents were traveling performers in vaudeville and that tradition of showmanship is strong in what we do."

"If you feel like you can't find music that you can raise your beer to, come see us," says J. Michael. "Grow a beard, pour a drink and get folked up."

In late 2007 The Silent Comedy began work on an untitled EP. With songs recorded at XIV Recorders with Brian Karscig of Louis XIV (Atlantic Records) producing. The project promises to be the band’s best studio representation to date. “Until now the live show was the thing to see.” Says J. Benedict. “This recording finally captures a bit of what we try to bring to the show.”