So, check it out. Inn It For The Kids. Does the name ring a bell? It should. Next Saturday (July 30, for those keeping track) will be the fourth installment of the metal/hard rock festival-type situation. It goes down at Cafe 611 and it benefits NIH’s Children’s Inn, which, if you believe its website, is “a private, nonprofit, family-centered hospital hospitality house located on the campus of the NIH. … At The Inn, we understand the important role the entire family plays during a child’s illness, and that’s why our mission is to meet the needs of our families, reduce the burden of medical treatment and facilitate healing through therapeutic, educational and recreational programming.” Noble, indeed. Among the artists playing it this year is Silence The Blind. We recently caught up with the band’s drummer, Danny Boiko, to talk about how his group became involved with the fundraiser, who some of his drumming heroes are, and if we can expect some new Silence The Blind music sooner rather than later.
Let’s start with how you got into Inn It For The Kids in the first place. Have you always been part of the fundraiser?
Years ago, we did a benefit for our singer, Jae Curtis, when he had surgery to remove cancer from his throat. At that point, we thought about how scary an ordeal it is to have cancer for an adult, how bad it must be for children. So we learned about The Children’s Inn at N.I.H. in Bethesda and what a great cause it is. We’ve been doing the Inn It For The Kids Benefit annually since 2012.
How did you get involved with Silence The Blind? How did the band come together and how long have you guys been playing?
Silence The Blind was formed in the fall of 2009. Our first live show was a Battle of the Bands in January of 2010 at Jaxx in Springfield, Virginia. Originally, I was the bassist, and I moved to drums after our original drummer left the band. I hooked up with guitarist Eric Holmes through an online game on Myspace. We started talking about bands, and he asked me to come to practice one day. They’ve been my brothers ever since.
Also harkening back to your background, at what point did you get into the drums and why? Who are some of your idols?
I’ve pretty much always been into drums. I played in high school as well. My drum idols are Igor Cavalera from Sepultura, Gene Hoglan from Dark Angel, Strapping Young Lad, and Testament, and Danny Shuler from Biohazard.
What’s your perception of the local music scene in and around the Frederick area, as well as Maryland as a whole?
It’s definitely growing. Frederick is starting to become a place that not only local bands want to play frequently, but now also a lot of national acts are coming through. The Baltimore area has always had a scene, but it’s nice to see Frederick get some bigger shows, thanks to places like Cafe 611.
Who are some of your major influences and why?
Growing up, my first influences were bands like Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and Kiss. Then later, heavier bands like Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax spoke to me. I guess I’ve always liked my music heavier and more aggressive than what’s “popular.”
Can you give us names of some artists we need to check out that we maybe haven’t seen yet? Who are you listening to the most these days?
The first band I would recommend checking out is Shumaun, a local progressive hard rock/metal band from the DMV area. Even if you’re not into hard rock, this band will impress. And next, if you’re into the extreme metal stuff, a local Frederick band Inhumation. They absolutely crush live every time. As far as what I listen to now, I’ve been going back and finding old stuff I used to listen to on tape back in the day, or if not, I listen to a lot of local bands like Shumaun, Iris Divine, Cammo Shorts, and Adamant.
Where are some of your favorite places to play and why?
Cafe 611 in Frederick – they’ve always treated us with respect, and we have great shows there. Also, the Crusaders Bar in Frederick, And MJ’s Pub in Martinsburg, West Virginia – it’s a great little dive bar that supports local metal shows.
What does the rest of 2016 look like for Silence The Blind? New music? Shows?
We are finishing up a three-song EP called “The Undead March” due out this fall, and preparing for our second full length album, “It All Goes Black” due in late 2017. We have three shows lined up for the rest of 2016: Saturday, September 3, at MJ’s Pub in Martinsburg; Saturday, September 17, at Raw Ink Live in Gaithersburg, which is an Autism Awareness benefit; and finally, Saturday, November 12, at VFW 9274 in Falls Church, Virginia, which is a benefit for a friend who suffers from oral cancer.
What do you think is the most perfect song ever written and why?
I don’t think there is a perfect song in general. There may be a perfect song for the time, or perfect songs for how one is feeling at the time.
And finally, what can we expect from your set at Inn It For The Kids?
We bring a lot of energy and keep it going throughout our set. We always have a great time at shows at Cafe 611 and this will be no different.