Vanessa Silberman and Carissa Johnson began their music careers about 3,000 miles apart. Silberman developed a grunge-punk sound in Los Angeles, while Johnson honed a fusion of new age and ‘70s-style punk out of Boston.
Through national touring schedules and the desire to collaborate with other independent artists, Silberman and Johnson met and something clicked.
“Especially in this day and age, (musicians) are trying to build their own communities organically, grass-roots style, and deliver music to people directly,” Silberman said in an interview with Coeur Voice. “We are super like-minded, and it was really awesome to come together.”
After a few collaborations and shared touring efforts with Silberman and others, Johnson and her band recently moved out to Los Angeles.
“Just being part of the Boston music scene for 7 to 8 years, we just wanted to branch out,” Johnson said. “We wanted to establish ourselves on the west coast just to be a little more rounded.”
While both still solo artists, Silberman and Johnson began collaborating more on each other’s tracks and by coordinating touring dates.
“I’ve worked on the business side of music for a long time, and I had run the gamut in terms of jobs… working for a lot of industry execs and labels,” Silberman said. “I felt like I really wanted to not only help myself with that but also help other bands and musicians.”
Silberman and Johnson will bring their “Rise and Shine” tour to the Hogfish Bar in Coeur d’Alene on Sept. 2. Silberman will perform electric while Johnson will perform a solo acoustic set.
Both artists have worked exhaustively on their music through touring and independent promotion. Silberman played more than 200 shows in 2017 alone.
With a “female Nirvana” sound that recalls the likes of Green Day, The Ramones and even Patti Smith and Neil Young, Silberman recently released a new single, “Outswimming Sharks” with Ken Susi of metal hardcore band Unearth. Her production work includes working for Dr. Luke, known for producing for A-list acts like Katy Perry.
Her Vanessa Silberman Band has been touted as one of the hardest working acts in the country by Audiofemme.com, regularly touring in support of singles and her self-titled EP. She also supported the release of “Outswimming Sharks” on a Vans Warped Tour stop in Las Vegas.
“Obviously there are all kinds of amazing outlets to share music, but we as rock bands - the whole thing is playing live,” Silberman said of her touring efforts. “As independent artists, the most opportunity is to go out there and put in the work.”
But those touring efforts must also be supported by a steady stream of digital and physical productions, as well as active social media efforts.
“I feel like the days of bands waiting around for the red carpet to arrive are gone,” Silberman said. “You need to give people a reason to fund you and support you.”
Johnson’s band, Carissa Johnson and Cure-Alls, just released a new music video for the single “After All,” off her record “Talk Talk Talk,” which came out earlier this year. Johnson won the Boston area’s Rock and Roll Rumble in 2017 and was also awarded “New Act of the Year” at Boston’s 30th Annual Music Awards.
Johnson said she’s made a point to evolve her sound over the years. Her career began with hard-hitting, ‘70s-inspired songs but has changed over time to include more upbeat tracks and a sound that has gone from punk to something verging on pop rock, she said.
“Definitely by playing with other musicians and being apart of all these scenes across the country, there are so many inspirations… there’s this big mixture,” Johnson said.
Silberman also likes to find ways to incorporate new influences.
“I’ve always wanted to do something super diverse, that allows me to go from a folky Elliott Smith sound to hard punk… I’ve wanted to have that flexibility but to also not have it be so off that it’s not cohesive,” Silberman said.
Audiences for the “Rise and Shine” tour will find that diversity but also see how their music connects even as Johnson and Silberman perform individual sets.
“Our music is very much alike, with a lot of similar influences, but it is also quite different,” Johnson said. “It’s all very much rock music… but with this show, Vanessa has a little bit louder vibe while I strip it down to something a little more folkier.”
Even then, Johnson said rock and punk fans will find plenty to enjoy in her “quieter” set.
“If you are a punk-metal person, you can totally understand our influences,” she said.
Vanessa Silberman and Carissa Johnson perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Hogfish Bar, located at 1902 E. Sherman Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.
Find Vanessa Silberman by searching “Vanessa Silberman Official” on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Carissa Johnson can be found at CarissaJohnsonMusic.com and by searching “Carissa Johnson Music” on Facebook.