Posted On 13 Apr 2017
With exactly one month until the release of their debut full-length album, Future From The Past, New York City-based piano rock band, Scarlet Sails, are making strides. Their official Kickstarter campaign, touting impressive rewards from limited edition deluxe vinyl to drum lessons from the talented Brian Viglione, is nearly half-funded. They’ve had great reception to their first single, “Boy You’re Wrong,” an angst-y record with impassioned lyrics juxtaposed by beautifully delicate string and piano instrumentation. The chorus hits and you feel the bold, self-confidence of Olya’s message about wanting to connect with someone, “You say you don’t need me, but boy you’re wrong!”
When asked about the inspiration behind the song, vocalist Olya Viglione shared, “It’s about wanting to connect with someone from within, but not being able to trust. Having gone through dark life experiences and having relationships with the wrong people, you only learn how to build walls and play games instead so you won’t get hurt. This song screams for a break away from false pretense and painful old patterns and dares you to deal with your real feelings so you are able to break free.”
Watch “Boy You’re Wrong” on LADYGUNN here:
Scarlet Sails are the creation of stunningly beautiful and talented Russian-born singer/songwriter Olya Viglione and her husband, Dresden Dolls drummer Brian Viglione, Their sound rests in this perfectly balanced place of classic and modern rock, showcasing their signature style with subtle nods to iconic artists like Bowie, The Ramones, and Led Zepplin – they’ve been said to sound like, “if Queen and Alice Cooper were to remake Okay Computer.” Brooklyn Vegan described Scarlet Sails single “I’ll Be There” off their self-titled EP as, “dark piano pop that’s not a million miles away from Dresden Dolls’ world, and it’s got a wailing guitar solo that sounds right off classic rock radio.”
Joined by band members Mark Kohut (guitar) and Jesse Krakow (bass), Scarlet Sails are preparing for the release of their debut full-length album, Future From the Past, due out April 10th. The album tells Olya’s story, her journey to the states from Russia and the adventures, both good and bad that she’s faced (see Psychology Today article for full story). “It all comes together – New York’s melting pot of cultures, rhythms and tones, dreams that come true, fears that get in the way, the future that was destined to be, the past that defines the course, and the present that gets created on the way – all in the songs that I wrote throughout past 7 years that I lived and breathed here – played by a kick ass band and recorded at Atlantic Sound Studio in Brooklyn by Grammy-winning production team, Nic Hard and Diko Shoturma, and mastered by the legendary, Greg Calbi.”
Learn more about Scarlet Sails in the following All Access interview:
What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? What were some of the highlights? What are you most excited about for 2017?
Brian: WHIRLWIND, EXHILARATING, CATHARTIC, RELIEVING. The year started off with me deciding to quit Violent Femmes and go full-steam ahead with Scarlet Sails with Olya, and it was the best thing I could have done. We released our EP in January, toured the US in the summer, then hit the studio to record in the winter- all highlights for us because of the excitement and sense of pride that came with it, and all the wonderful people we worked with. We are most excited to see the album released after our successful Kickstarter campaign finishes up. Then we can really dive into doing shows and working on all the new songs we’ve got brewing.
Olya: Last song on Future From The Past, Out Of Tune, is about 2016. About how it felt to be in 2016, starting with when Bowie died. The song comes in like a cloud and ends like the rain. Although it was a super productive year for us with a lot of great things that happened, it was also a very heavy year. Hence, the rain to wash it all off and start anew.
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Olya: I went to a classical music school to study piano and no, I didn’t want to be a musician, haha. I wanted to be an artist, I didn’t see much freedom in learning how to play classical pieces, I had a tendency to write my own themes since the age of 8. My teacher though wasn’t super enthusiastic about it, so I quit when I was 12. Made my parents sell the piano, didn’t touch a musical instrument for about 2 years. Then I picked up a guitar and understood that’s what I wanted to do – write my own songs.
How did you come up with your band name and how did you all meet each other? Was it difficult to narrow it down? What other names were you considering?
Olya: One of the early names that I came up with while brainstorming with a friend was “rOLYAcoaster”, which is ridiculous, haha. It came about as he thought that there was a striking difference between my songs that can be very intense and dramatic and me in my day-to-day activity (I smile a lot, haha). The name Scarlet Sails came up pretty naturally. It is the name of the book that I loved growing up. It’s about dreams and the importance of believing in them. It’s about being an outcast and staying true to yourself. It is also a love story. Which is all pretty perfect for us, as we believe in love, in being different, in the strength of the spirit, and in following your path no matter what.
Next month you will be releasing your debut full-length album called “Future From The Past.” What was it like putting this collection together? How long did the entire process take? What if anything surprised you about the process of putting an album together? What was the inspiration behind this album?
Brian: It was fairly easy putting the collection together once we established the concept for the album and the balance we wanted to achieve. The idea behind it was, “What if Queen and Alice Cooper remade OK Computer?” So sonically, we knew the elements we wanted to pull together, then it was just a matter of several months of rehearsing and playing live, picking the best songs from the list of about 25 songs, and then leaving some spontaneity for the studio where anything could happen.
The whole process took roughly five months, not counting the tine during which Olya was writing the older songs. We started rehearsals in earnest in October and then tracked the album from December 1st – 12th in Brooklyn at Atlantic Sound Studio. Mixing took another 2 weeks or so, spread out, and one day of mastering with the great, Greg Calbi at Sterling.
It was surprising how much we got done in such a little time, we really cranked and made the most of our time there. The inspiration was really to capture the scope of the music as we heard it in our heads, to really elevate and expand on everything we had worked on up to that point. Thematically, it’s about having the courage to believe in yourself.
I understand that the Kickstarter campaign you started is doing really well and already over half-funded at this point! Did it surprise you all how successful it was?
Olya: We are 111% funded at this moment and we are blown away with all the support and awesomeness that’s been pouring our way. It’s the best feeling in the world when you see that people care enough for what you create to pitch in with a buck, or a kind word and spread the word around. It gives you wings.
For fans of your that loved your first single, “Boy Your’re Wrong”, how do you think it prepares them for the rest of your album?
Olya: That song is a perfect first introduction to our album because it is so multi-dimensional. It gives you a taste of how diverse the record is going to sound like. We have some rock’n’roll tunes, some psychedelic stuff, some ballads and some funk in it. BYW has all of the different flavors in one tune, and the album is going to widen those horizons and sweeten the palate.
I know that your tour just started so how has it been going? Are you excited to play new songs? What venues are you particularly excited to play at? What do you think makes a perfect show for this band?
Brian: The tour kicks off April 28th – May 6th, so we have another few weeks to rehearse with our new bassist, Ed Goldson, and get things tight. Ed has been a great addition and we’re VERY excited to play the new songs with his energy. He’s done a lot of session work and played on tracks by Jay Z and Big Pun, but he’s also into heavy music as well, so he’s perfectly suited for our band.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? What musicians would you love to work with in the future?
Olya: Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, Allen Tousaint, Stevie Wonder, Jack White, Jimi Hendrix… A lot of my fav musicians are already gone, but I’d be grateful to work with any like-minded artists if the project is awesome and gets me excited.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
Olya: Find what you love and let it light up your way and guide you through your life. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Be the light.