They do not sing wholesome, uplifting songs.
But then he sings The Sound of Silence and you realize he’s not all dark.
You watch him on an interview and see that he’s just a regular guy.
You find out that he was raised Jewish and trained as a cantor (1. an official who sings liturgical music and leads prayer in a synagogue. 2. (in formal Christian worship) a person who sings solo verses or passages to which the choir or congregation responds.)
You read things he has said, like: “I’ve always been very proud of my heritage and where I come from, and I’ve defended it to the extent of being bloodied on many occasions. In fact, most of the fights I’ve been in my life – and there have been many – have been because I was defending my family or my faith. And I don’t apologize for it.”
Then you repent for judging him in the first place.
Watch The Sound of Silence here.
The ONLY way to watch this video is with headphones and your undivided attention.
I have listened to this song probably 100 times. No joke. I can’t get enough of it. I feel it in my chest. It’s one of those songs you actually feel. This song is incredibly powerful to me. Not just because of the music, but because this heavy metal band created something so beautiful and meaningful. I love how they sing a simple song, stepping away from their head banging, mosh-pit-forming songs. They head into a more gentle territory, but still keep their band’s personality. It’s brilliant.
When Draiman played back the first recording session he did, he said “I listened to it three times before I even gave any response to him (his band member). And he got very nervous; he thought I didn’t like it. But what I was actually doing was kind of tearing up listening to it, because it had been so long since I have allowed myself to go to that place vocally, and hearing it, and hearing it come out as well as I thought it did was not just gratifying, but like having a weight lifted off me. So it was an unbelievable experience for all of us. And that people are connecting with it in the way that they are is just simply amazing.”
I think the reason people are connecting with it is because they see the truth in it.
To me, the song is about the absence of human interaction.
It’s a beautifully written song by Paul Simon. I think we interpret the words deeper than Simon meant for them to mean. In an interview with NPR he said: “It’s not a sophisticated thought, but a thought that I gathered from some college reading material or something. It wasn’t something that I was experiencing at some deep, profound level – nobody’s listening to me, nobody’s listening to anyone – it was a post-adolescent angst, but it had some level of truth to it and it resonated with millions of people. Largely because it had a simple and singable melody.”
Add the Disturbed vibe to it and you get a masterpiece.
I love the way the song progresses. In the video, it starts out completely silent. When the music comes in it’s soft and slow. As he starts describing how the “silence” affects him, he sings with a beautiful voice and the visual effects are minimal. During the third verse he gets more passionate about his story. Now it’s not only impacting him but others around him. His voice gets louder and the visual effects increase. By the fifth verse he is very passionate about what he’s trying to get across. The visuals are more intense and his voice is gravelly as he begs for society to change. He’s alone in a world of people who don’t interact and he can’t get their attention. No one hears him. But then, after pleading for those around him to connect with each other, he ends with…
“And whispered in the sound of silence.”
This could be taken two different ways (probably more, but here are my two).
#1- He gave up. No one is listening. He’s alone and defeated. He sees a “silent” society around him and all he has left is a whisper.
#2- He got through to people and they are starting to connect. Though it is just a whisper, it’s a start.
That’s what I get out of it.
I wanted to know other people’s interpretations of the lyrics. One comment I read regarding the meaning reads:
Its theme is man’s inability to communicate with man. The author sees the extent of communication as it is on only its most superficial and “commercial” level (of which the “neon sign” is representative). There is no serious understanding because there is no serious communication – “people talking without speaking – hearing without listening”. No one dares take the risk of reaching out (“take my arms that I might reach you”) to disturb the sound of silence. The poet’s (character in the song) attempts are equally futile (” . . . but my words like silent raindrops fell within the wells of silence”). The ending is an enigma. The words tell us that when meaningful communication fails, the only sound is silence. -MrMojoRisin5552
I love the song and I love the music video. But even more than that, I love that a tough looking bald guy could produce something so beautiful. I think that’s the main reason this cover is so powerful to me. I live with a big bald dude who people say “looks mean” or “looks scary.” But once they talk to him they see that he’s a kind, sensitive and loving man.
This cover shows people that bald, tough, metal heads aren’t always what they seem. Their audience sees the shell they put on. We see the act. But we don’t see what’s inside until we look a little deeper.