An Interview With The Rock Band, MESSAGE FROM SYLVIA About Their Recently Released Album, The Importance of Social Media And A Lot More!
Posted On 14 Apr 2017
In order to progress in life – and music – change is inevitable. The inexorable forces of change are what brought the members of Message From Sylvia (MFS) together. With former band-mates leaving to start families or moving on to other projects – change happened with a simple phone call and fate began to run its course in the Summer of 2016. That phone call, facilitated by Nashville based Artist manager Erik Baker – connected the Lopez-Smith Brothers (Dane, Isaac, and Zachary) – formerly of First Decree – with vocalist Matthew Nevitt from Echovalve & DoryDrive.
Though they hail from disparate backgrounds – the Lopez-Smiths are from bucolic Cheyenne, Wyoming; Nevitt is from Peoria, Illinois – the members of Message From Sylvia found an immediate chemistry working together. That chemistry is already producing a combustible mix of explosive energy with the heavy yet melodic first single “Heart Of War”, which broke into the Top 20 @ Active Rock radio. Their second single “Right Here and Now” and upcoming album were produced by Sahaj Ticotin (Ra). “Right Here And Now” is quickly climbing the charts @ Active Rock radio nationwide. Front-man Nevitt says: “We are truly humbled to have worked with someone Like Sahaj. I really feel he bled into this song and our new album just as much as any one of us!”
The members of MFS have seen success with their earlier projects: Nevitt’s band DoryDrive was named “Best New Rock Band” @ the WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) awards in 2013 and their song “Here’s To You” reached the Top 40 on the Active Rock charts in 2014. The Lopez-Smith Brothers had an incredible run in 2015 with First Decree, which saw 3 of the band’s singles - “Lost In The Crowd”, “Phoenix”, and “This Is Our Rise” chart Top 15 @ Active Rock on the Under The Radar chart, and Top 30 on the BDs indicator chart. The band was nominated for “Best New Artist” of 2015 by Loudwire and finished in the Top 3.
All of the band’s members have been “Road Warriors”, collectively playing at large festivals: SXSW, Summerfest, Rock Fest, The Texas Showdown Festival, Gig It Festival, and Dirt Fest among others. They have shared the stage with acts such as Sevendust, Fuel, Candlebox, James Durbin, Alice Cooper, Adelita’s Way, Pop Evil, Hinder, Hollywood Undead, 10 Years, Otherwise, In This Moment, Avatar, Thousand Foot Krutch, The Deftones, Saliva, Hed PE, and Righteous Vendetta, among others.
Message From Sylvia has become one of the biggest hard rock bands and a household name in the rock community drives them forward. “Heart of War” was a great start and “Right Here And Now” promises to take them even further towards reaching that goal. Message From Sylvia’s self-titled full length album was just released last week on April 7th.
Keep in touch with MFS
Official Website: http://www.msgfromsylvia.com
Learn more about Message From Sylvia in the following All Access interview:
1). What are some words you would use to describe 2016 and early 2017 for Message From Sylvia and your music? What were some of the highlights? What are you most excited about for the rest of 2017?
Oh wow! If I truly described our inception until now, it would most definitely be a grassroots and trying experience. Starting over is never an easy achievement, especially when you don’t know a single person you are starting the journey with. It’s truly been an eye opener! From creating relationships with the brothers to balancing the madness this industry throws at us daily… It’s been an uphill battle, but worth every painstaking step.
Having the opportunity to work with Sahaj on the record has definitely been a highlight! That dude is a pro and really understands how to make the best out of a recording and an artist.
We are ridiculously excited about our album dropping on 4/7! Each one of us put so much work and effort into the album. Now we can finally share that with the masses, just an amazing feeling.
2). So how did this band first form? How did you all meet each other and decide to make music together? Where did the name come from? Was it hard to come to a decision on the band name?
One fateful phone call really. From there it’s been history in the making.
Yes, coming up with an original band name that also represents you as a person is almost impossible! As a band we tossed ideas and possibilities for weeks before we met in LA to record the record. We were told that “the name will happen”, just give it time. So we gave it time until the fateful day when I returned from my morning run with a picture of the street sign we had been staying on. Sylvia Avenue. We talked it over and everyone agreed Message From Sylvia would be our name and identity. The name actually carries a strong meaning for all of us. It exemplifies all the time we miss being away from our loved ones. Our cell phones are basically our lifeline when we are away.. Our only form of communication is by text messaging, countless picture messages or FaceTime calls. During our stay we all made numerous texts, sent pictures and made calls from Sylvia Avenue – so Message From Sylvia was birthed and has been the greatest representation for this band since.
3). I am curious to know how you all being from different places and backgrounds has helped shaped this band? Where does the chemistry come from? Do you think that the fact that you were all part of others bands before this one has helped this one succeed more?
We all have strong tour history – You cannot fake that. So with our extensive backgrounds we found quick chemistry on stage and on the road. Not to say we don’t have our disagreements, We do! And at times many of them, lol. That’s also because we are all intensely passionate about where we want to be and our craft.
We continue to grow and understand one another each day, from each test and each show – So far, so good!!
4). On April 7th, you will release your self-titled full-length album. How did this collection come together and how long did it take?
The record is as unorthodox as our inception. Sahaj had begun writing with the guys previous to my joining the group. I previewed everything that had been worked on up until that point. I then worked with Sahaj from my own home studio to make sure we had the correct content and melodies for each song moving forward. Once we knew we wouldn’t be wasting anyone’s time and that we had a solid foundation to build from, I met the brotherss in LA and we knocked the record out in under two weeks.
5). How has the PledgeMusic campaign been going? Is this the first time that you have worked with them to release a collection?
- Considering we are such a new band, I think it’s tough for outsiders to justify their hard earned money for such an unproven band, but we’ve made really good progress. We’ve been fortunate enough to have gained backers and our campaign will be a success, ultimately. Make no mistake – Fan funding is a tough business. Everyone does it, so the market is saturated. To have a successful campaign you have to put together something extraordinary. We have done well and want to thank Pledge Music and our pledgers for believing in Message From Sylvia!
6). How do you think this group’s sound has grown over the past year? What has remained the same?
As I mentioned already, we are just so new! Nothing has really had time to grow roots yet, but we are trying, LOL. It’s been a mad dash since leaving the studio! Hell, our single “Heart of War” was basically serviced to radio the day we stepped foot out of the studio and we’ve been going strong ever since.
7). You guys seem pretty active on social media. What do you think about it all as a way to connect with fans?
Social media is yet another lifeline for any artist. It’s a solid platform to gain traction and visibility online. It’s one of the few remaining resources that have an open door policy to share your craft directly with the fans, without any gatekeepers or filters. Not to say that these platforms necessarily make it easy to connect with fans these days, without having to spend money on their ad systems. Nothing in life is for free, neither is advertising your band.
8). How have your recent shows been going opening for RED? Any favorite stops yet? Where are you excited to head to next?
This entire tour has been kick ass! The crowds have been stellar. The venues have been more than accommodating and the bands have all found an incredible chemistry. This line up is killer! Check out our tour mates Death Therapy and Wolves at the Gate. Incredible talent, alongside Red and ourselves we are destroying venues all through the West!
Today is a drive day. I actually just finished up 366 miles of a 666 mile drive. Creepy right? We are headed to Santa Cruz and will be in California for the better part of the next week. I’m really looking forward to playing the Roxy in West Hollywood and having a couple of days off in Vegas
9). Who are some of your favorite artists? Who would you all love to work with in the future?
I cannot speak for the bros on this. As for me, I am just getting into the newer scene of bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Asking Alexandria. I had always detached myself from current bands because I always felt it would stifle my writing. Maybe take away my creativity or originality.
I’m still and forever a Creed fan. That band achieved the impossible! Who wouldn’t wanna be the next Creed?
After Creed I moved on to Alterbridge. I also love old school Sevendust, The Guess Who, Miles Davis, anything Sammy Hagar has touched, Motley Crue and like I mentioned before, I’m really digging some of the new bands within the past 5 years.
10). 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?
New hope and inspiration. We want our listeners to feel empowered after listening to our record! Ready to take on the world and make the best of what they have every day.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about Message From Sylvia or your music – anything you haven’t shared in other interviews?
Come out to a show. Walk up to the merch booth, come meet us one on one. Let’s have a drink! By have a drink I mean buy us a drink or ten! We will be releasing our new tour dates for May-July with our new mates Never Say Die soon, so follow and like us on social media and stay in touch. Thank you for the time y’all and we look forward to creating history together. Let’s make the impossible possible!