Every band has a Bio. Every band that doesn’t have a Bio thinks they should have a Bio. Instead of writing our official Bio, that didn’t really explain ourselves as best as we wanted, we decided to write down the story, both as individuals and as a unit. Here is how Driving in Silence began…

I was born on May 17th, 1982. Then I started Driving in Silence. No, I’m kidding, it was much more complicated than that. I think for me, this band started with simply an amazing friendship. When I was sixteen, I got a job at the grocery store bagging groceries and pushing carts for minimum wage. It wasn’t my first job I ever had, so I knew what fucking around at work and goofing off was all about. Little did I know, the king of assholes in the workplace was working there as well. I met Ian that summer at work and he was unlike anyone I had ever met before. We had gone to the same middle school together, so we knew of each other; we just never really were introduced. So for the next few years we worked there after school and on the weekends, doing horrible things that shall go unmentioned (Well okay, once we set a toilet on fire with 10 cans of Draino). I think it was out of sheer boredom with our lives we decided to start a band. Ian had an old drum kit in the basement, but he wasn’t very serious about playing. I can remember watching him practice with headphones plugged into a radio, and he would play along to Everclear and Smashing Pumpkins tunes. He played in an old lawn chair and his cymbals were taped onto the stands and all of his heads were broken through, so layers of duct tape created something to wail on. I didn’t even have a guitar, but I said that I would be a guitarist and I would sing. I had no idea if I could sing, I’d never written a song, but I knew how to play a G chord because my father played for years, so he would show me a few things from time to time. I figured that was a step in the right direction. I begged and begged my parents for a guitar, and much to my luck on my seventeenth birthday, I got a midnight blue Mexican Stratocaster, and a small 10-inch practice amp. Ian and I began immediately practicing all the time in his parent’s basement. He got me into punk music and a band that changed everything for me, Blink 182. In a short time, we had at least 10 songs in our set. The only problem was, they were all Blink tunes. We would set up in the garage and open the door and play for all the little kids riding by on bikes, and the occasional police officer that was often sent to our place of practice to warn us of getting arrested for disturbing the peace. Most of those early “fans” were around the age of seven, but we didn’t care…they watched every song. We decided the Ian and Archie show wasn’t enough, so we got another guitarist because we didn’t know anyone who played bass. This left me to fill that spot. I saved everything I had and bought a bass for 100 bucks. I played out of a guitar amp, and sang out of another. But we had a band. We didn’t have our own songs, but we had a band, and that seemed to be enough at the time.

We graduated high school in 2000, and went our separate ways to different schools. I attended a school in Delaware called Wesley College, and Ian went to Salisbury. We each spent one year there at our schools, without each other. I went through an immense depression at school, and could barely get out of bed in the morning. I hated hated hated school. I never went to a single party, and I never hung out with anyone. It was such a strange time for me. I would play bass all day long on my top bunk, and that’s really when writing came to me. I started putting my feelings on paper, and then adding melodies. This was such a new thing, and I didn’t even realize I was doing it, but it was therapy. I didn’t write for a band cause we didn’t have one when we went to college. I wrote for me, and no one heard the songs but me. I came close to failing out that year, so I came home to attend community college. Same deal, only this time Ian and I were back together (Ian dropped Salisbury and transferred to Towson so we could be closer and start the band again), and we were working with a new guitarist who wrote as well. School didn’t matter the slightest bit. The new guitarist lived in New Jersey so we would drive three hours to practice and then come home. We would practice as much as gas money would allow, and for the first time, we had something going. It wasn’t much, but it felt so amazing. I can remember driving hours on end in my station wagon just talking about how we were going to famous and how it was going to be. We never even listened to music on the way up, just so we could go on and on about how we were “feeling this”. On top of that, we played a show. A real show. It was a charity event down at Salisbury where Ian had gone to school the year before. We performed maybe eight songs that night, and this time, only two were covers. That was the first time I was really on stage, and I’ll never forget that feeling.

Time and distance took its toll on the band’s lineup and we eventually parted ways with the guitarist. We wanted to drop school and try doing this for real, and we needed someone who cared as much as we did. Soon the band was back to just Ian and I. The closer he and I became as friends, the more we distanced ourselves from everything. I dropped out of school, my parents and I separated, my girlfriend bailed out, and it seemed so did all my friends. I slept on Ian’s couch for a while until he and I moved to Towson as a final escape from everything. We moved there so he could at least still go to school, but have his independence from his household. The day we moved in, I had no money, no job, no car, and no one to help me out as far as surviving the “big” world. The first night we stayed in the new house, everything in boxes and almost no furniture, it was scary. Before I fell asleep that night, Ian was yelling to me from his room on his bed. We talked across the hallway in the dark house for at least an hour. “ This is it, man, it starts here,” he was saying. Ian was the only thing I had, and he was all I needed.

We started looking for new band mates in local ads and around town. We went to clubs looking for driven, talented people. We played with a few but nothing every really came of it. We were too close as musicians and friends that everyone seemed so out there. We didn’t want it to be our band, we wanted to share it with another person, a third member, even a fourth or fifth we didn’t care. I was still playing bass, but it was so hard to practice as bass and drum, so I picked up the guitar again and really sat down with it this time. I could only play power chords and I was pretty lame. It was hard to play and sing at the same time. Playing single notes on a bass for a year had spoiled me. So we still kept writing together, and we still practiced every day, because we still had hope. Someone responded to an ad that we had placed and forgot about.His name was Matt Flanders.

Matt contacted me and he called me and said he played bass, and was looking for a band after his old band broke up. He came up to my job where I worked and he told me he wanted to jam. Matt was a no bullshit kind of guy. He said he hated his job, his life, his town, and he was so sick of trying out for bands that never worked out. He was saying everything I was thinking. He had his bass rig in this piece of shit Buick that he drove that I swore was going to break down a lot sooner that it did. After work, I helped him carry his amp and bass downstairs at the house where the drums and my amp were, and he looked at me and said what do you have? I showed him some tunes we were working on, and I played them and sang them. He just watched and he told me to play them again and he started playing along. I can remember he told me he liked the songs, he liked my writing, and he said I was good. No one had ever told me that, so I was sold immediately. This kid was incredible; he was so respectful of us and what we did. He treated himself like the new guy before we got a chance to. He changed some parts that I used to play on bass and he was just super nice to be around. For the next few weeks, we would dip out of work lunch breaks and sit on his car and smoke cigarettes and talk about girls, getting signed, getting fucked over…every last thing I told him about, he related to. He became the perfect fit. For the first time, I felt like I found another brother, not another bassist. And honestly, it didn’t matter much to me that Matt was one of the best musicians I had ever seen. It mattered more that I could tell we would get along, and that this was someone who was there for anyone.

So practice schedules became intense. We would go five or six days a week, with Sunday’s as acoustic vocal days. We would practice for hours each day, writing and re-writing new music, and polishing old material. We called ourselves Driving in Silence, after Ian’s radio got stolen out of his car. He proposed the name one night and we agreed on it instantly. It was November, and we were rolling so fast. With three driven people, we got a website, logos, about five songs, all kinds of photos, flyers, and show dates in about three weeks. We set far off show dates so we would have something to work for. We also set studio time. We were working so hard, with all of us working forty-plus hours a week. It never seemed hard, and it never seemed like too much. Every day we would work, and more importantly hang out. We would practice for a few hours and then Matt would stay over for hours after that, drinking and talking. Becoming a best friend. It got the point where we saw each other every day, whether we were practicing or not. We’d flyer all over campuses, malls, shopping centers, the internet, wherever. It was so fun to just be a part of, and it seemed the people around us where finally taking us seriously.

We played our first show on February 9th, 2003, and it was so crazy. I was so nervous, and it still seemed too early for a show. People dug it though, and we got many compliments on our sound and how it sounded so “full”. But we knew what we needed to work on, and we knew we were slowly getting there. With more shows, and tons of practicing, we got a little more accustomed to playing live, and it became our biggest strong point. We recorded two three-song demos, and placed them on one CD to create our first EP. The whole thing was done in like six hours, and we had no clue what we were doing. We were just rushing so we could still afford to pay rent, as we were charged by the hour. It was a humbling experience, and its hard to hear yourself recorded and mixed, and be happy with it. An acoustic track was also added, the very first DIS song called My Mistake that I had written earlier that summer, before we started the band. The EP got us into bigger clubs, and got us a real fan base. It was still so very new to me to get emails from people who liked our music, and could relate to it. I was blown away by the reaction we got. It was beautiful.

So this is where we stand now, still a very new thing, and still very hard working. Our work ethic has doubled, and our friendship and bond is unreal. Playing shows out of town and driving for hours together has brought us closer together than I’ve ever been with anyone else. And all of the problems we face individually don’t seem so hard any more. With each day that passes, something wonderful happens, and each day is better than the last. The people who have been there since day one I’m sure could tell you they see remarkable progress, and the shows keep getting better. So thanks to those who have been there the whole time, and still sticking by us. You know who you are, and it helps us push on. Thanks for reading this history, and thanks for the inspiration, we’ll see you at the top.

Driving in Silence
Written by Archie Jamieson
September 16th, 2003