Interview Date: 06/29/2010
Run Date: 07/05/2010
The Silver Seas are a Nashville-based pop/rock band that has the distinction of being the kind of band you hear, and then scratch your head. That’s because you think these guys should be international superstars, and they’re not, at least not yet. Now back with their second album as The Silver Seas (they were formerly known as The Bees), Chateau Revenge, The Silver Seas have delivered an album of stunning instant classics, especially “What’s the Drawback” and “The Best Things In Life.” We had the chance to chat with Daniel Tashian, lead singer and principal songwriter of The Silver Seas, to see what makes the group tick and just why they haven’t broken out huge yet.
Bullz-Eye: So I read the meaning of Chateau Revenge. Very interesting. I am, and I think most people are, fans of the underdog -- especially when that underdog is a good guy. So was that an underlying theme for the whole record or just for a few of the songs?
Daniel Tashian: Yeah I guess that's kind of a theme. I don't know. Sometimes I think the good guys don't always come out ahead. I love the scene in “Titanic” when Billy Zane pushes some lady out of the way to get on the lifeboat. Sometimes the bastards survive. But we love to see justice. We love to see people get punished when they behave badly. So I guess it's more a theme in life.
BE: I have always heard a ‘70’s influence in your music. What are bands and artists you have listened to over the years that may have shaped that style?
DT: Definitely Fleetwood Mac. I think the real hero is Christine McVie. She's the one who has those cool melodies. I guess later stuff like Television and Iggy Pop, but I think I gravitate towards more of that Wings type shit -- melody, McCartney, kind of old school stuff.
BE: And your parents have influenced you as well?
DT: Yeah, my dad had a punk/garage band in the ‘60s called Barry and The Remains, and they ended up opening for the Beatles’ last tour. My parents had a country band in the ‘70s called the Outskirts. Then after my dad played for Emmylou Harris for 10 years, they made five records as a duo, Barry and Holly Tashian, for Rounder records in the ‘90s.
BE: And what are you listening to now?
DT: Jessie Baylin rehearsing in my garage, very good!
BE: What is the songwriting process for you, and do you write all of it or collaborate with the other guys in the band?
DT: Sometimes by myself, sometimes collaborations. I start by picking up the guitar and finding cool chords I like. Then I rough in some words, then I put the words in a notebook, then I copy them over and over till they look right. Then they go in the computer with the proper font and then I print them out and see if they look right. Sometimes I walk my dog and listen to work tapes and sing along with them
BE: Have you always lived in Nashville, and if not how did you wind up there?
DT: My dad was playing with Emmylou Harris, so we moved here in the ‘80s when he was playing with her.
BE: What’s your opinion of the songwriting and mainstream country music coming out of Nashville and that whole scene?
DT: I want to be accepted by that scene but I think I’m a bit of an outsider. I LOOOOVE country music. A lot of it I love -- Easton Corbin, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, George Strait -- I love all that stuff.
BE: I feel like if you guys came along in a different era, you’d be international superstars. Do you feel that way too? Also, how does an indie band like The Silver Seas get the word out without major label money or traditional radio?
DT: I don't know. If you figure it out, let me know!
BE: Are you guys going to tour in support of Chateau Revenge?
DT: I hope so. I imagine at some point, but we need a great booking agent. It'll probably, in the end, be me.
BE: I remember hearing “Imaginary Girl” on a TV commercial -- how did that happen and will there be more of those placements?
DT: I hope so. It happened when someone mailed our CD to an ad agency. That was a great thing.
BE: On “Help is on the Way,” is the drum fill a tribute to “Money For Nothing?”
DT: I don't know, you'll have to ask David. I tried to tell him to make it sound like The Who -- Who knows? Could be!
BE: What are some hobbies or interests you have outside of music.
DT: What hobbies don't I have? Watercolor [painting], watching movies, dogs, walking, gardening -- I have a vegetable garden that I love – reading, cooking -- but most of the time I like to think about songs or recording or music. My main hobby is electronic music – (Brian) Eno-type shit -- you know, one chord for 10 minutes. I love that stuff.
BE: What are your thoughts on the (Bob) Lefsetz slight recently?