Canadian Band Skylar Valli consists of Jacob Hummel, Tyler Shea, Bryan Cisneros and Brad Schnarr who all bring a variety of instruments to compile their “rock band” lineup with a solid sound in each song. Skylar Valli is a combination of unforgettable hooks that have a peppering of classic rock and roll blended with the timeless sound of 60s songwriters with inspiration from artists like The Beatles and The Beach Boys. Skylar Valli has aimed their sights on widening what people perceive of specific genres with their young, modern attitude and contemporary pop-rock sound.
“Watch Me Fall” starts off with that funky old school vibe that definitely reminds me of that timeless classic rock sound and specifically this song has remnants of the upbeat, vibrant tones found in “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M. along with many other older artists. The vocals that can be found throughout “Watch Me Fall” have a beautiful tone with the accompaniment of harmonies that complement the refined vocal melodies so perfectly and also giving it that 60s feel. The combination of instruments used to create the old-time sound found in “Watch Me Fall” help transport the listener to the time frame as well as giving them an opportunity to drift into their imagination with the assistance of the well written lyrics that have deep meaning. Skylar Valli has the skill to create a song that gains an audience’s attention with ease, and they have crafted a sound that really brings back a musical feel that, in my opinion, has been missing from some newer music – that sense of just pure happiness and the ability to provide raw musical talent. Keep an eye out for Skylar Valli as they are a group that is going to have you jamming all night long.
Listen to "Watch Me Fall" here and get to know more about Skylar Valli below!
Hey Skylar Valli! Fantastic to chat with you! Can you give us a background on yourselves?
The four of us have been playing for a couple years now, though we’ve known each other since we were around 5 or 6 years old. Starting off playing in little pubs singing covers of rhythm and blues classics, we tended to be more focused on just playing the songs we love as opposed to our “image” and profficiency as a band. Despite the four of us being mostly self taught on our instruments, we were recognized by audience members for having such a big sound from kids of our age. Though, it definitely took some time to find ourselves and our identity in a musical sense. We are definitely lucky to have four members who are confident enough on multiple instruments that we can use to enhance our performances. The four of us are very heavily influenced by the bands of the 60-80’s; The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and David Bowie, you know, they define what great music is for me. I guess as we started bringing more of my originals into our sets, our first being the single Ring in the Eye, we started to follow the idea that no two of our songs should sound the same. This ‘motto’ has carried us to where we are now, with our most recent album, Blue.
We each developed a unique interest for music, and that same passion eventually got us all involved in an environment where we were playing together. At first it was just the four of us playing rock songs at school assemblies, and from there we grew to pubs, and then to where we are now.
Once we started playing together back in high school we decided to try and start a band, and I cannot believe the things we’ve accomplished together since then. I had never realized the amount of opportunities that music could provide for me. Something as simple as playing music with this band gives me a feeling that I just can’t describe.
How did you all first decide that making music together was your path?
For us, the music comes together really organically, it’s never forced. I think that’s what makes it so easy for us to play something together and say that this is what we want to dedicate ourselves to. I certainly can’t imagine spending so much time on anything else; we are just all very passionate about sharing our music with the world. We also spend so much time messing around in the studio, I’m surprised we get anything done.
Is there a deeper meaning behind “Watch Me Fall”?
Admittedly, I am not a lyric writer. I write instrumentals suited for lyrics, and accompany the music with lyrics. With our song “Watch Me Fall” it truly just came about while recording the other tracks for our album. Coming back from a lunch break in recording the other tracks for our album, I had a few ideas in my head for a song that had a general descending chord structure, but not in the standard 7 note major key. With a descending chord structure, and a drum beat reminiscent of falling down a set of stairs, it seemed only justified to title the song appropriately. I produced and arranged this track as well, aiming to give the feeling of an unstable landscape with the falling backbeat and droning organ tones. This track was one that I definitely enjoyed recording more so than the others as it allowed me to experiment with layering vocal harmonies, which is something I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated in the work of The Beach Boys, a band that is one of my main influences. I must say with Tyler’s steady, yet un-even backbeat, Bryan’s amazing piano performance and Brad’s creative guitar abilities, this track shines as one of my favourite pieces to have been a part of.
Talk us through your creative process as a band when it comes to writing.
My process for songwriting is never the same for each song. Sometimes it happens on piano, guitar, even banjo. It all depends on what chords or melodies I stumble upon. I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly “brilliant” songwriter, as I find the joy in not necessarily thinking about what I’m playing, and just playing it. That being said, I must say I am awful at reading and writing “proper” music on a staff and everything, but luckily with what I’m doing, I don’t need my songs written out in that way. Typically I will write an instrumental song with an idea for a melody, and slowly add more lyrics as I work on the track. It takes anywhere from five minutes to five months for me to have something I’m proud of. When I do finally get to a point where I am satisfied with the song, I’ll bring it up to the guys and play it for them. They pick it up usually after hearing it the first time and from there on we iron it out. Tyler usually has creative input on the structure as well as additional ideas for my songs, just as I add elements and ideas to tracks that he has written.
I think a song is a feeling more than anything, and to make the listener feel the same way is what we strive for. I’m always inspired by the music Jacob brings to the band; it’s amazing to see each song we write evolve into something that we all have never heard before.
Can we expect to see anything new from Skylar Valli in 2019?
Yeah we are definitely excited about what the rest of 2019 has to offer. We took a pretty big leap in sound with our most recent release, and plan to continue from there. We are looking to record another EP featuring all new originals with new approaches into untouched genres for us. I can personally say Eastern music has had a huge impact on our upcoming originals as well as having some Brit-Rock influences in there as well. I can’t say where the rest of 2019 will take us just yet, but we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
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