FanView has been completely inspired and utterly blown away by the talent of this band, The Silver Snails. They have so much to offer for the future of music and they really reach for the moon when it comes to the brand they have created for themselves. The band covers multiple musical cultures and integrates a handful of inspirations like, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Flaming Lips, Elliot Smith, Band Of Horses, Beethoven, Bob Dylan, The Shins and many more throughout each of their songs on their debut album, “The 7 Melodies”. This strategically produced album is just the start for TSS. The band put in 2 years of diligent hardwork and dedication to music that has earned them the title, “Nag Champa of Pop”. The 7 songs on T7M resemble the 7 colors of the color palette, which is an insanely awesome and such a refreshing spin on music for us at FanView. These songs were created to tap into the 7 different frequencies of emotion in relation to the color palette by applying its own “footprint” of musical and cultural enlightenment. This allows an in-depth and well thought-out back story for each one of the songs explaining the inspiration process, which you can find here on their website>> The Secret of “The 7 Melodies” .
The Silver Snails X FanView Q&A!!
“TSS:” = The Silver Snails “ Underlined” = FanView
Who makes up The Silver Snails and what are each of the members talents?
TSS: The Silver Snails is literally a ‘mom & pop’ operation. The project was conceived by pop, (Lucas Ward) and supported morally and creatively by mom (Elisa Fantini). Lucas Ward has written and produced all of the music, taking input from Elisa. Elisa has been instrumental in organizing the video shoots, artwork, costumes, etc for our original videos, and she has included the 3 baby bears (Jasmine, now 15, Celeste, now 11, and Elias now 4) in the videos. Elisa and the the girls are also accomplished singers and performers, and have contributed both lead and chorus parts on The 7 Melodies and new material, and have performed on stage with The Silver Snails a number of times in Italy, meaning we can act as a ‘front family’ on stage. In the past we have hired studio pros to provide a backing band in concert.
Favorite Beatles Song?
TSS: Tough one: probably ‘Here Comes the Sun’. We cover this one and a few others. We go through phases with the Beatles stuff. Love all 4 Beatles, including their solo work (e.g. ‘Love’, ‘Real Love’, ‘Watching the Wheels’, ‘Beautiful Boy’, Mother’ by Lennon, ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ by McCartney’, and ‘My Sweet Lord’ by Harrison).
What is the music process like for the band? (Does content originate on a couch in a living room or is it considered studio inspired?).
TSS: Mostly a solo, step by step process for me (Lucas), though I use Elisa and the kids as ‘beta listeners’. I start with song sketches and ideas which frequently arrive as moments of inspiration on the piano or guitar. Sometimes these get developed and turned into songs. Once I have a ‘lead sheet’ version of a song (chords, lyrics, melody), the next step is to demo (arrange) the song in Logic using our home studio in Bertinoro Italy. This means creating and playing demo versions of all the parts and vocals before taking it to an engineer. Once we commit to producing a song, we start over in a pro studio, usually with studio bass and drummer, and then re-record layer by layer keyboards, guitars, vocals, etc. Sometimes we exceed 100 tracks per song. We then have a pro mixer mix the songs and then take it to a mastering studio for the final step. In the 7 melodies, we invited ‘guest musicians’ to record perihperal instruments, for instance violins, brass, accordion, etc. The songs were written, tracked, and mixed in a local studio in Romagna, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in NYC with us looking on!
TSS: RE songwriting, I think building a house is a useful analogy. To me, songs are messages and therefore the lyrics are the most important part, let’s say the roof. Lyrics are put to melody over harmony and rhythm. Bass lines and drumbeats are foundational, like laying slabs or doing framing. Guitars and keys are like ‘mid-layers’ like sheetrock, plumbing and electric, etc. Some instruments and parts are pretty but more ornamental, like exterior paint and landscaping. Ultimately, I have to come up with most of these components before I book a recording studio (the clearer the blueprint, the better chance of getting good tracks and a good mix and of not wasting money). The question is always, what part should I write first? I have recently had good results starting with lyrics (themes, poetry), then trying to add melody harmony rhythm songform styling etc. However, I don’t have a fixed formula. Today for example, I’m attempting to write a new song by playing with guitar riffs over (still in progress). I continue to experiment with the process, song by song, i.e. where to start first and how to do the rhythm, styling, etc, but it is inevitably a multi-year process for each finished song.
Who wrote lyrics for ‘The 7 Melodies’?
TSS: Lucas Ward
Who creates the blog posts on the website?
TSS: I, Lucas do all the marketing and social media posts, including most of the photography. The website is of course out of date, but I’m working on a new version this summer…
Is there a possible album being worked on? Any tea to spill on the release date or name?
TSS: Yes, we are currently writing (in Bertinoro Italy) and tracking (in Portland, OR, on trips) a new LP which we hope to contain 12 new originals and one cover song. Our target is to release the LP in mid-2019. You can actually hear some samples in process from the recording studio on our IG account: @thesilversnails
Favorite song to perform off of the album?
TSS: Dancing with the Stars (the audience responds!)
How many languages does the band know combined?
TSS: I am fluent in English, Italian, and Mandarin, and proficient in Cantonese, Japanese, French, and Spanish. Elisa is Italian and also speaks English as a second language. The kids are bi-lingual, and attend school in Italy but speak English and Italian at home. The kids are learning additional languages at school, including Latin, French, German (Jasmine) and Spanish (Celeste). So I guess that makes 9…
How did The Silver Snails meet and when did the band first become an idea?
TSS: Elisa and I have been together since 1997. We started The Silver Snails project in 2009, and went public with the launch of ‘The 7 Melodies’ in 2012.
Is there a backstory for the name of the band?
TSS: Yes, we live in a valley on 6 acres in the countryside in the province of Romagna, Italy. Our valley happens to be famously rich in snails, to the extent that local farmers hunt for them on our land. On rainy days in April, the snails come out and cover our walls and walkways, which is what gave me the idea for using the snail as an animal totem for the band, which led to the name.
Anything you want to share to the fans about your goal regarding the opening of a human heart?
TSS: We cry easily (ever watch Regina Spektor performing John Lennon’s ‘Real Love’ at Lollapalooza?), and are curious about what happens when we are moved in a positive way by a song or a story. Having experienced firsthand and every day the power of music to lift our spirits, console us, inspire us, give us energy, etc., when we go to write, produce, sing, or play music, we always do it with the hope that doing so will bring joy to others.
Will you guys be releasing any singles soon?
TSS: The plan is to premiere a few singles in advance of the full LP release (i.e. start beating the drum a few months before full release).
If Beatrice Russo was a color in the color palette which one would it be?
Purplish, fuchsia, sky blue….
How has Elliot Smiths music inspired your own?
TSS: Elliott is a what I call a ‘post Beatles’ songwriter, i.e. he grew up with Sgt Peppers and the White Album in his ears as a kid, and later strove to master Beatles songs in order to obtain the technique necessary to sing and play good pop and rock. His songs and style are thus informed by deep study of the Beatles music, the way Van Gogh was influenced by Monet. As an example, one of Elliott’s first public successes was winning a talent show in Portland as a teenager covering ‘Blackbird’, busking style. Witness also his multi-track vocal arrangement of ‘Because’ used at the end of the ‘American Beauty’ soundtrack.
I happen to have a personal relationship with Elliott Smith (met at age 13 in HS and stayed friends through college, before his pro music career) and was very inspired by his musical gift as kids. Thus, knowing him personally and playing music with him as a kid was an important input to my later decision to commit to the same path (singer songwriter). Like Elliott, I also study the Beatles (and many others) in order to be a better pop rock singer songwriter and player, and also because being able to cover Beatles songs creates common ground with audiences of all ages everywhere.
How did the idea of a father and his relation to the miracle of a child originate for the music video of ‘Dancing With The Stars’?
TSS: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ started with lyrics, which I began at a certain moment in time, taking my daughter Jasmine who was 5 at the time to Rome on the train. I was feeling low at the time, but marvelled at her ability to simply bop along as if to an internal tune, regardless of surroundings. I consider this song to be my ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ (by Stevie Wonder), in the sense that both songs take as muse the miracle of children and the sense of amazement and astonishment that some of us new fathers feel… Thus, both the song and the video feature the actual Jasmine (‘lai lai lai’), within the theme of a glam-rock troubador family from space, landing on their flying piano to recover their kids (Jasmine and Celeste, in the white dresses) before taking off again as a group… Note, we have a new video in the pipeline, which is intended as a ‘sequel’ to the Dancing with the Stars video, ie. same ‘universe’.
A place or venue that The Silver Snails would love to perform in for the first time?
TSS: We have fantasized for some time about appearing on a couple of the US late night shows (e.g. Colbert, Kimmel, Conan), certainly this would help us to feel ‘realized’, though we have no direct path at the moment. Also, we have real fans in far flung exotic location which we would love to serve by mounting concert tours in these locations. Top fan spots we hope to play include Nepal, Jakarta, Bangladesh, Morocco, Madagascar, The Philippines, Taiwan and Brazil. I used to think it would be great to play Burning Man, but now I’m not so sure…
Top 3 music inspirations?
TSS: Nature, Stars and Planets, Kids
Is Romagna, Italy the location for the next possible project or is locational inspiration coming from elsewhere?
TSS: Our family continues to live in Romagna, making it the cradle of our project, but we travel when necessary, including 3 recording trips in the past 18 months to Portland, and a businses trip to Asia.
Can you explain to the fans how you coined the phrase “The Nag Champa of Pop” and in what ways you support the claim?
TSS: We want to provide an Indie alternative to ‘Big Music’ which is distinguished by its homemade qualities, real love and inspiration, and fine textures and finish. Our music is rich, exotic, and sweet like Nag Champa, with medicinal qualities. Also our strongest fanbase is in Nepal and S Asia (e.g. through FB we reach around 200k people in Kathmandu every month, and many more in the rest of the Nepal ), the heart of Champa country. Elisa and I spent our ‘honeymoon’ in Nepal, and we also sponsored and organized as The Silver Snail our own direct earthquake relief project there in 2015.
WOOWEE! FanView gushes when bands take the time and throughly answer our questions:) We hope they enjoyed because we sure did love learning about them and listening to them just as much!
Their take on music goes far beyond sound and they prove that with their ability to adapt and lace the theme of color and emotion into their music production. The TSS mission statement ‘Our mission is to open to human <3’s through Sound, Light, and Word.” also supports the belief that The Silver Snails can open the human heart in more than one way. The goal of ‘The 7 Melodies” is to cast a “music spell designed to open human hearts” according to TSS which reflects the best way music can positively improve a persons life. Here at FanView we believe they have achieved this and much more. They prove this by creating diverse, extremely influential and ground-breaking music that a lot of independent and even headlining artists wish to accomplish. Their ability to produce new sonics by incorporating a multi-cultural, multi,-genre, and multi-talented take on music is unheard of. We think they are one of the most versatile and inspiring bands we have had the pleasure of speaking with. As the independent band that they are, they were capable of meticulously creating, producing, recording, and mixing their own sounds. Dare we say it again? THEY REEK OF TALENT. If you have had the blessing of listening to the music and have found ease, joy, or a sensation of magic. Then, you my friend, have experienced what TSS call ‘the miracle of the 7 melodies’.
Their magical process of T7M sets in the medieval Country of Romagna, Italy (HOW FITTING). The Silver Snails introduce themselves as a band that covers many different genres. This is the best genre record FanView has yet to reveal, here we go…. The sounds of TSS range from classic rock, indi, pop, beethoven, electronica, Irish, jazz, Kawali, Asian folk, and more??!?!?!?! SHOOOT if thats not impressive we don’t know what is! Not only do they represent music through sound and color, they also add the power of words through their blog that highlights what they do and more. Their blog posts can be found here>>The Silver Snails Blog. One of our favorite reviews on TSS from the MTM blog reads, “If you can imagine Coldplay and ABBA hooking up with David Bowie to produce an album that focuses on love and joy, this is it.” Sooooo accurate! The blog also states they are so groovy and compliment the application of musical aspects from all over the world coming together into one album. In other words, The Silver Snails have throughly impressed more than one music blog and has ultimately blown our socks off for the rest of eternity.
“The music video starts with Silver Snails’ official astrofile, Nonno Rino, who first spotted the ‘Galactic Angel’ in the vicinity of Orion with the assistance of his homemade telescope and a bottle of San Giovese. The video represents Rino’s (and the rest of our) film debut… Shot from Orion on Yoshimi (‘happiness’), the flying baby grand, the Silver Snails land in Romagna to collect their daughters.”
The Silver Snails have gone above and beyond in the creation of their galactic story behind ‘Dancing With The Stars”. We just HAD to share their explanation of this opening scene.
From what we just watched the videos introduction carries a twilight zone and sci-fi like feeling which quickly transitions into a care-free and innocent montage of little girls dancing in the stars with flashes of The Silver Snails (painted in silver) dancing among the night sky resembling stars accompanied by a silver piano sitting on the clouds. Such an original and intriguing video The Silver Snails have kindly delivered to us.
Our favorite music video done by The Silver Snails is COCO LOCO! Here you GO..GO!
This tune and video brings us to a happy place full of beaches, coconuts, and a lifestyle we all dream of. You can tell everyone in the video had a wonderful time being a part of this creation. Pure bliss and good times fill your ears and soul from start to finish. The Silver Snails keep you on your toes and entertained to the fullest with funny clowns and hula contest on a breath-taking dream beach. If they had hopes to get us in the mood for a vacation then they most definitely succeeded.
Thank you for reading about our new favorite multi-cultural rising band! Also another thank you to The Silver Snails for participating and giving us the best and most content we have seen from any artist or band thus far. You guys have really left FanView breathless (in a good way).
~FanView author, Monique Rose.