In the second of our ‘2021’ features, we get to shoot the breeze with Silver PR’s Rachel Silver.
PRs are a vital cog in this particular little machine, and without the help and patience of people like Rachel, Sun 13 simply wouldn’t be what it is today.
Upon writing this introduction, it can be confirmed that Rachel was the first PR I ever contacted. What feels like an age ago (it was early in 2018), Rachel kindly organised an interview with Newcastle sludge merchants and all-round good guys, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. Suffice to say we’ve collaborated on many things since, most of which are within the pages of this site.
Managing a stable of artists from some of the world’s most revered independent labels, including Kill Rock Stars and Merge Records, Rachel has been a constant point of contact for Sun 13.
As 2021 draws to a close, we were fortunate enough to ask Rachel some questions, including her favourite records of the year.
Sun 13: Can you tell us the history of Silver PR?
Rachel Silver: “I started Silver PR in 2002 after working for some big music PR companies. I wasn’t always a fan of the bands I had to work with, although I was the on-set publicist for TFI Friday which was a lot of fun! And I did get to travel a lot. My first bands for Silver PR included The Coachwhips, Erase Errata, Ex Models, Panthers and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. I think one of the first labels I worked with was Kill Rock Stars and I’m still working their roster to this day. Tomlab had an amazing roster too and so did Narnack Records.”
S13: Did lockdown have a big impact on your work as a PR? I’m guessing the wheels just kept turning, so to speak?
RS: “Yeah obviously it had a significant impact on touring but albums were still being released. Pigs X 7 released their album, Viscerals in April 2020 and were due to play at SXSW for the first time and some other shows in the US, they also had a UK tour booked which has been postponed numerous times. They finally managed to start it a few weeks ago, and I saw them play last week at the Electric Ballroom – well worth the wait, but their three Newcastle shows at the end of the tour had to be cancelled. Hopefully they’ll take place in 2022, just as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
S13: Did you inherit any new hobbies in lockdown?
RS: “As my gym closed and the only time we were allowed out was to exercise, I started running which I’ve always hated. I did the couch to 5K and had I had Jo Wiley as my trainer – she was very gentle and patient. My son had Michael Johnson as his trainer and he was tough! As soon as I hit 5K, I did it for another couple of weeks and then stopped. Talking Heads, Superchunk and Parquet Courts are great to run to.”
S13: Like always, I’m guessing you’ve got some exciting releases locked in for 2022?
RS: “I have actually but not sure how much I’m allowed to say – I’ve got some cool albums coming out on Rocket Recordings, Keeled Scales, Joyful Noise Recordings and Kill Rock Stars.”
S13: All in all, how would you describe your year?
RS: “It’s been a very busy year for me work-wise and I did manage to go to the US for a few weeks in the summer (first time I’d been away for a couple of years). My 18 year old son played his first gig, too. His band, Middleman, got to play at London hardcore festival, Damage is Done. It had sold out, so I didn’t get to see him but I will be at the next one!
S13: The all important question. What are your favourite albums of 2021?
RS: “Yikes – Okay here goes, in alphabetical order:
Amyl and the Sniffers: Comfort To Me
Rough Trade Records
Dry Cleaning: Long New Leg
Lou Barlow: Reason to Live
Low: Hey What
Parquet Courts: Sympathy for Life
Rough Trade Records
Reigning Sound: A Little More Time With…
Trevor Sensor: On Account of Exile Vol. 1
High Black Desert Records
Joyful Noise Recordings
Squid: Bright Green Field
Kill Rock Stars
The War on Drugs: I Don’t Live Here Anymore
Atlantic Recording Corporation