With Olya and Brian Viglione
Olya Viglione found a song in her heart at the age of five and knew music would define the rest of her life. She learned piano under strict tutelage at the Moscow Prokofiev School of Music №1, playing classic pieces Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Grieg, and Liszt. Original music was not tolerated, and as Olya began to write and rebel, the teachers saw ‘trouble’ coming. Her parents also saw it coming — intellectual professionals themselves, they did not see their daughter being in a rock band as a viable option. At 18 Olya took vocal lessons and fell deeply in love with the idea of music as a career. She left Moscow at the age of 21 with a freshly tattooed clef on her neck. A program that enticed Russian youth to go to America and work came to Olya’s school. When she spoke to them about the opportunity, she envisioned moving to New York City and learning/writing in English and soaking up the music in gospel churches and blues clubs. When she agreed to participate, she found a world very different from what she was expecting.
The summer of 2010 was an exciting one where Olya embarked on her temporary journey to America. The company she went over with were supposed to provide a job and a place to stay. She quickly discovered that the owner of the place she was to work expected a lot more than was promised him. Olya soon learned to navigate past the cities more unscrupulous and unsavory characters into safer waters. Suddenly she had little more than a bit of money and her strong will to make it in America. She did more than survive the situation, she made a connection that would get her right back on her intended course. She got a job tending bar at The Bowery Electric, working for New York Punk Rock godfather, Jesse Malin — known for fronting the band D Generation. With a kind friend and ally on her side, she went out on tour as a keyboard player with Jesse in 2014 and played nine SXSW shows with him. There she met many people that would inspire her to take her music to the next level, including drummer, Brian Viglione (The Dresden Dolls, Nine Inch Nails, Violent Femmes).
Olya and Brian struck up an old-fashioned courtship that lasted two months, getting to know each other and eventually playing music in the fall of 2015. They began working on Olya’s songs and formed Scarlet Sails with the addition of bass and guitar to record the band’s first EP, released January 2016. They followed up with a US summer tour with Nina Diaz of Girl In A Coma, then began working on their full-length album, Future From The past. All of this in roughly a two year time; meeting, getting engaged then married a week later, moving in together, forming a band, leaving work to focus on being a full-time musician, was a tremendous amount to be presented with all at once and had plenty of bumps to navigate. But ultimately, the pair find working together strengthens their bond and the relationship only gets deeper from sharing their passion for music together.
OLYA: I came to New York City with a backpack seven years ago as a language student so I’d be able to write my lyrics in English and connect with the world outside of my country.
As soon as I stepped on the streets of New York, I instantly fell in love with the city. I felt like it was my destiny’s call to try and get my music going in this magical place, where you feel so big and small at the same time, and your daily intake of inspiration is higher than most skyscrapers.
It was adventurous and maybe crazy, but I took the risk and gained acceptance to a school, so I was able to stay and work on my English and my music.
Not long after that I fell in love again. This time it was a boy who loved my songs and also happened to be an amazing musician, Brian Viglione. Brian and I started playing together and named our band, Scarlet Sails, after a novel about a dream that came true, and love that lights up the world. Joined by our fantastic guitarist, Mark Kohut, and Jesse Krakow, our badass bass player, we are presenting you with our first album, Future From The Past.
Everything I had hoped for in life and what I believe in has manifested in our band and our relationship. Making an album together was very real. Everything was captured, not only music but the moment in our lives of reaching this important and super exciting milestone together. It was my first experience in recording a full album of my own songs and Brian helped me through when I felt overwhelmed and kept me going. He is also a brilliant producer so working with him was super inspiring and yet challenging. Despite being my husband, he doesn’t cut me any slack, haha. I wouldn’t want it any other way, we help each other grow, and we are very honest with one another. If one doesn’t like something, we hash it out until we resolve in something that kicks ass and satisfies both of us.
BRIAN: This experience was a absolute feeling of both gratitude for the situation of creating something so meaningful with my favorite person in the world, combined with a deep sense of how proud I was seeing Olya step up and become what she has dreamed about and rise to the occasion so beautifully. It’s a dream come true for me. I thought for years that I was cursed. It seemed like the possibility of finding someone who both loved me and understood my passion for music and could reconcile both into a solid relationship was a pipe dream. Instead, with lots of love, patience, and hard work, everything I had hoped for has manifested in this band with Olya and the balance and joyfulness I’d been missing in life seems to be bursting out at the seams. I know how scary it can be to make your first real musical statement to the world, but I had done that some years ago, so to relive that sense of pressure and excitement all over again, and to see all that Olya has overcome to get to this place in life where her confidence and sense of purpose is so defined is really exciting to be a part of. I’m absolutely thrilled and just thankful for every moment of it.
For more information including tour dates and kickstarter info visit: ScarletSailsBand.com
Pre-order Future From The Past here:
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~Feature in collaboration with/produced by: Jeff Gorra