HOW often do we really castigate any limitations and false expectations we have…
PHOTO CREDIT: Michelle Rubio
HEADER PHOTO CREDIT: Fernando Omede
of music and succumb to curiosity, common sense and wanderlust? Carla Sariñana is not just one of Mexico’s most prominent and hard-working musicians: her alter ego, Silver Rose, is someone you will want to affiliate yourself with. Not just a purveyor of mind-nourishing, fantastic music – an intelligent and inspirational human who is aiming to put Mexican musician on the map. When we think of nations like Mexico, we have perceptions and misconceptions. The fact is this: allow that to cloud your senses and you miss out on a world of great music. In that spirit, my interview with Silver Rose touches on the Mexican music scene and reappropriation measures; how her career got started and what we can expect from her new E.P. We also look at the new single, Take Me Home and what the coming year holds for Silver Rose’s Sariñana.
Hi Silver Rose. How are you? How has your week been?
Great thank you! How are you?
For those new to your music: can you introduce yourself, please?
I´m Carla Sariñana: a singer/bass player from Mexico City. I just released my first solo E.P. as Silver Rose – my new Shoegaze/Dream-Pop band mainly influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tamaryn; The Black Ryder and Mazzy Star.
I´m also co-founder and bass player of an all-girl Rock band here in Mexico called Ruido Rosa. We´ve been around in the Independent Rock scene for about ten years: touring around Mexico, California and opening for bands such as Kiss, Maroon 5 and Queens of the Stone Age.
I do not often come across Mexican musicians. What is the music scene like there and how do you think it differs to that in other parts of the world?
The music scene here is small but very important to the whole Latin Rock scene. I love it. We are one big, big family; bands really come together over here.
The scene has changed and grown so much in the last 10 years. There are really great and interesting bands right now; so many new and different proposals that make the Mexican scene extremely important in Latin America – and the whole world should start listening to more Mexican bands.
PHOTO CREDIT: Rolling Stone
Do you think we assume Mexican music is going to be quite stereotyped? Do you feel people are unaware of the depth and variety of music in the country?
Yes, of course. I think even Mexicans are like that.
Everyone is used to hearing Folk and traditional Mexican music: musicians use their heritage and traditional sounds to inspire themselves musically and that’s beautiful. But for me, and many others around the world, it came differently: I was way more into Rock and Roll and that whole scene. I guess I identified with that type of music and what it said a little bit more – but that happens everywhere in the world.
I think it’s wrong to think that Mexico only has certain types of music. There is such a variety of sounds around the world that nobody should really be surprised that different sounds come out of certain countries.
We live in a digital era where all types of music can influence anyone no matter where they come from.
Take Me Home is your new single. It has a great Rock sound and lush, atmospheric vocals. What inspired the song and did it take a long time to come together?
It actually came together really quickly. I was listening to a band I love called The Black Ryder. They have big loud songs that are extremely epic and beautiful.
I started with really just two notes and a bass groove and was focusing on having a sweet but seductive melody on top of it. It came together really quickly. I remember starting to compose it and how incredibly happy and excited I was about it.
I later worked on it with The Wallburds which is a band with whom I played bass for a while in L.A. and then with Javier Blake and Steve Mungarro – we took it to a whole bigger thing which we all fell in love with. I especially remember recording the last part and putting the bass line behind the outro; we were so excited with the final result. It’s a song that will always bring back great memories.
The song is seen as a soundtrack to a love affair and quite doom-laden. Was it quite cathartic recording it and was there a particular man/person in mind when you wrote it?
I wrote it all by myself at home but later worked on it with The Wallburds, Javier Blake and Steve Mungarro. I don´t think I could´ve had the same final result without them: they were so important to the whole recording process. It’s for anyone who’s ever spent time on their own or gone on an adventure into the unknown. It’s a journey to the sunny side of hope.
The video is quite grainy and vintage; it sees you in various shots around L.A. What was it like shooting the video and how was Los Angeles to film in?
It was the first video I recorded as Silver Rose: me being by myself for the first time, so I was nervous during the whole process. L.A. is great to film in. There are soooo many places to film at; it’s so beautiful you end up with way too much great material.
Reviewers have compared to you a host of legendary names. Has it been quite humbling hearing the feedback or is it quite intimidating?
Humbling? I never really thought anybody would like my music or even pay attention to it.
It makes me extremely happy to read good or even bad reviews from anybody.
If people take the time to talk about you and what you are doing; maybe you are doing something right. It motivates me to keep going, work harder and make more and better music, so… thank you!
You have been writing songs and playing bass with Ruido Rosa for eleven years now. How do you become involved with the group and do you still perform regularly?
We perform every once in a while but its funny: more and more people come to every show. I love playing with Ruido Rosa – it’s my baby; I started and worked all my life around that band, in many ways it made me who I am, I think. We´re currently finishing the new E.P. to release next year so I´m going to be very busy musically which I am incredibly happy about. I just learned how to balance the two projects… it’s not easy, but it can be done and I’m doing it.
I know you have performed in bars and venues around L.A. and Mexico City. What have been the most memorable performances and what are the biggest lessons you have learned from those gigs?
I think the first show of Silver Rose in L.A. was extremely memorable for me. The first time I sang in front of an audience. I´ve had many memorable shows with Ruido Rosa as well and all I know from both projects is to pour your heart out on stage and try not to think too hard about what is happening – just feel it and enjoy it. The shows where I´ve been able to do that are the most memorable and (obviously) experiences opening for bands like KISS and Queens of the Stone Age.
Your music is evocative and recalls the 1970s a great deal. Which artists did you grow up listening to? Do you feel few artists nod to the past and are too stuck in the present?
I grew up listening to a bit of everything but my dad showed me bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath; The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; The Beatles, Queen and stuff like that – but I always listened to everything that was happening then musically as well.
I feel every artist nods to the past in some way because every band in the present has to be influenced by the past; it’s just the way it is, there is no way to avoid it.
The sounds of today are because of the sounds of the past. Many are probably not aware they are doing it, but they are. I just love to be very aware of it because people forget how incredible those sounds were and are.
Your eponymous E.P. is out. Was it exciting recording it and what kind of themes and songs can we expect?
It was very exciting to record: a completely new process for me: one of the best challenges of my life. The songs are about love, falling in and out of it and sound extremely colourful and dark at the same time.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ben Cope Photography
On that, you worked alongside Javier Blake (from Mexican Punk-Pop band División Minúscula). How do you think the musicians you worked with elevated the music and how important was their role in the E.P.’s creation?
Javier has always been an extremely important person in this E.P. He helped me know which idea was worthwhile and which were still in the process of being something. I guess thanks to him I learned how to make a real song by myself. Everyone who helped in recording the E.P. was extremely important. There is not one single person who didn´t make a difference to making this E.P. the best it could be for me.
The six-track E.P. is sung in Spanish and English. Was it important to you to retain your native tongue and how important was it not to abandon your Mexican roots?
It was extremely important to me since I´ve always spoken both languages at home. My mum´s family is from the British community here in Mexico City and so it all came naturally.
I never really fought the language in which I felt the song in; I feel some in English and the others just sound in Spanish in my head. I don´t know how to explain it.
Spanish is such a romantic language to sing in. You can fall for a song without understanding what is being said. What are the main differences – when it comes to music and sound – between the two languages?
English is easier to write in without sounding too corny; Spanish has many words that can take you to something that sounds not as natural. It was harder for me to finish the songs in Spanish than in English because of that. I really took care of the phrases and words I used.
PHOTO CREDIT: Michelle Rubio
What can we expect going into 2017? What plan do you have as a musician?
Play as many shows and festivals as I can around Mexico, Latin America. I’d love to get to the U.S. and Europe. I´m also going to release another single and start focusing on new material for the next album.
Christmas is almost here. How will you both be spending it? What is top of your Christmas present/wish-list?
I´ll be spending it with my family here in Mexico – my husband and new baby girl.
My top wish list is work, work, work; shows, shows, shows. That´s what I want.
Is there any advice you’d like to offer any upcoming musicians looking to follow in your footsteps?
Work hard; know your business; care about every single aspect of your music and band and to not give up. If this makes you happy and you´re professional and passionate about it – something good will always come out of it. Always remember to enjoy the process.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can each select any song you like (not yours as I’ll include that) and I’ll play it here.
That´s a hard one. I love New Song from Warpaint´s new album, Heads Up.
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