Originally formed in 2000 as a side project, Silverstein were launched by vocalist Shane Told, guitarist Josh Bradford, drummer Paul Koehler, guitarist Richard McWalter, and bassist Bill Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. After diving into Ontario’s hardcore/emo scene — which also included bands like Moneen and Grade — Silverstein found an audience for their particular brand of shimmering emo and hot-blooded post-hardcore. Silverstein’s self-released EP, Summer’s Stellar Gaze, was quite well received upon its release in 2000, and the band soon became the full-time project of its members. After a lineup change that saw McWalter being replaced by ex-Maharahj guitar player Neil Boshart, the group began to tour the eastern provinces of Canada in earnest.
Silverstein released a second EP in April 2002 entitled When the Shadows Beam. The record sparked the interest of Victory Records honcho Tony Brummel, who signed the group to his respected Chicago imprint in October of that same year. When Broken Is Easily Fixed, Silverstein’s full-length Victory debut, appeared in May 2003; a re-release of the album was issued a year later with bonus tracks and a DVD. Silverstein spent the summer of 2005 playing on the Warped Tour, and their follow-up album, Discovering the Waterfront, came out that August. Silverstein also appeared on the 2006 Take Action Tour alongside Matchbook Romance, Chidos, and the Early November. 18 Candles: The Early Years appeared in May, combining reissued material from the band’s first two independently released EPs with several live tracks, acoustic performances, extensive liner notes, and rare band photos. Victory then issued a special edition of Discovering the Waterfront in fall 2006 with a bonus live DVD, new artwork, and an additional track.
After coming off tour, Silverstein began working with producer Mark Trombino, who had previously worked with Jimmy Eat World and blink-182. The title of the resulting record, 2007’s Arrivals & Departures, pertained to the maintenance of personal relationships while on the road. It also involved more emotionally charged lyrics, inspired by the end of Told’s seven-year relationship just before his return to the studio. Silverstein traveled the world in support of the album, playing the usual North American shows while also touring through Europe, Australia, Japan, and South America. They found time to return to the studio, too, and A Shipwreck in the Sand marked the band’s fourth studio album in 2009. They set out on tour to promote the album, making stops across the U.S. and the U.K.
The following year, Silverstein announced that they were leaving longtime label Victory for Hopeless Records, which released the EP Transitions in 2010 and their fifth album, Rescue, a year later. Silverstein switched things up for their sixth full-length, the double-CD Short Songs, featuring original compositions under 90 seconds long on one disc, and covers by bands who’d influenced them — Dead Kennedys, Descendents, and the Promise Ring — on the other, further elevated by guest appearances from the likes of Mike Hranica (the Devil Wears Prada), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), and Chris Hannah (Propagandhi). In 2012, Silverstein parted ways with longtime member Neil Boshart, who was replaced by Paul-Marc Rousseau shortly thereafter. Rousseau’s first album with the band, This Is How the Wind Shifts, arrived in early 2013.
The band toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, and parts of Japan and Australia over the next two years, and as part of the 2013 Vans Warped Tour lineup. Incorporating outdoor sound recordings associated with song settings and with notably personal lyrics centered on loneliness and loss, the concept album I Am Alive in Everything I Touch was released on New Damage Records in Canada and Rise Records elsewhere in the spring of 2015. In October, 2016 the band dropped a new single, “Ghost.” In May the following year, a second single, “Retrograde,” was released in anticipation of the arrival of the band’s eighth studio album, Dead Reflection, which dropped later that July.