We are a symphonic rock/metal band originally from San Francisco (CA), USA. The name Shaylon comes from ancient Gaelic and means “admirable”. We formed in July 2014 with the initial intent to blend together the power of rock and heavy metal with the symphonic spirit of classical music and the great melodies of modern pop. The group sees involved some of the best musicians of the Bay Area such as Tina Diggs on vocals, Charly Urso on guitars and keyboards, Alex Tamas on bass and Marco Bicca on Drums. We just finished recording our debut EP called “Forgotten Realms of Wonders“.
We are not signed to a label yet.
You can find us on line here:
Answers by Charly Urso
We formed in the summer of 2014 in the Bay Area. I wanted to create an original symphonic metal band since a long time due to my love for groups such as Nightwish, Queen, Helloween and so forth. When I once met Marco Bicca (drummer) at a jam session we connected right away, we liked pretty much the same bands and genre (power metal, prog, symphonic and so on) and I knew right away he was a key person to work with to make this wish come true.
We kept in touch and once I finished writing the first songs we started browsing around for other musicians to join the band. Then Marco invited Tina Diggs (Vocals) and Alex Tamas (Bass) to jump on board and that was the beginning of our adventure!
I (Charly Urso) compose, play guitar and keyboards. I’m Italian and before moving to California I lived in Las Vegas (Nevada) where I was involved with several projects. I was a studio musician, I played guitar for other artists (Alternative, Country, Rock) and was part of an Iron Maiden Tribute.
Tina Diggs is the singer of the band. She is half Brazilian and half American. She’s a trained opera singer and has a wide experience with bands and artists from all over the world. Tina also sings with a great tribute band called Super Huey (Huey Lewis and the News) very active and well known in California.
Alex Tamas plays the bass. He’s Hungarian and has an extensive career behind him. He is very polyhedral and plays many genres with exquisite touch. He was involved with several projects (Blues, Turkish music, Rock covers) before joining Shaylon.
Marco Bicca plays the drums. Incredibly talented and multitasking this Brazilian guy is a very talented and versatile musician. He knows all and he’s friend with all LOL. Marco played with lots of projects and has recorded an interesting number of albums of great quality with artists from anywhere in the planet.
I like classical music, opera, new age, movies soundtracks and heavy metal of course. I always had the desire to create a band able to play this kind of music also inspired by masters such as Nightwish, Helloween, Queen or Muse.
Somehow the four of us are into the same “frequency” and it was (and of course it is) quite a pleasure to write songs that have a little bit of the above genres.
Evolution of the initial musical and thematic elements:
Initially we worked on a few demos and ideas. We had to work on our style and define how to play it properly. Also from a composing stand point I had to capture the essence of the band and understand in which direction to go.
After a few rehearsals we started to feel at ease and things evolved naturally.
Ideas about the album:
We are very happy with our songs. We are happy to play together and to have such an amazing feeling.
Imho I think our EP sounds simply great, also thanks to the incredible work that our engineer Adair Daufembach has done behind the console.
As far as your second question, there is always room for improvement for sure. This debut EP has undoubtedlycaptured the energy of this band. I’m sure that with our future works we can deliver something even more refined.
Very positive! From what we have seen so far, people are very supportive and like what we are doing.
Next step; live or studio:
We are going to play our debut show on July 17th at the Blue Lamp in Sacramento (California). We are indeed very excited about it and can’t wait to be in action after several months of hard work.
We have other shows scheduled on the way and of course we are looking forward to be more and more on the road.
Hopefully by the end of the year we will manage to record the rest of the songs and have a full length ready to promote. And who knows, perhaps the next year we will tour abroad.
I tend to be very optimistic and I always say “what is coming next is going to be amazing”. That helps to keep a positive outlook on things. However I think it is very important to seize the day and enjoy the present moment. If you are in the here and now you basically capture the essence of things.
Anyway, we have positive feelings about the band and our future goals.
Lyrics, themes and concepts:
Our EP is called “Forgotten Realms of Wonders” and is a sort of concept where all the songs are somehow linked to a common theme the power of dreams.
The “Forgotten Realms of Wonders” is basically the story of someone who finally decides to live his/her childhood dreams with no more fear, no more excuses and no more regrets. Good times, bad times, fortunes and misfortunes… everything goes by. Life is a journey full of experiences and lessons and it’s up to us to see through them and get the best out of every situation. The message behind this concept is very positive. If we dare to open the doors of our imagination then everything is possible and can lead us to live our dreams to the fullest.
When we live our dreams we are happier. When we are happier we contribute on creating a more harmonious society.
Basically the messages behind our songs are very positive and if our lyrics can be inspiring to someone, well then that’s just fantastic!
Ideas come and go. You know I’m always in my own world creating. Sometimes I think of a melody that opens up a new scenario. Or maybe I dream of a song. Or maybe I’m in the shower and ideas pop up out of the tube. You never know. It’s always a surprising process. I try to stay connected and feel the vibes of the universe. Then I humbly try to write them down.
Preference; live or studio:
Both are great! It’s a total different type of pleasure.
In studio you are giving birth to a song. You are materializing an idea and the feeling of hearing it for the first time is priceless. When everything then sounds awesome is a whole new level of satisfaction. And when you hear the final result properly arranged, mixed and mastered, it’s just WOW!
When you play live you become one with the song and with the people there to watch you and to feel you. It’s a communion. Pure energy. Pure feeling.
I would say Nightwish, Queen, Muse, Helloween, Gamma Ray from a heavy/rock side.
I personally include in my sphere of influences Vangelis, Mozart, Bach, Rossini, Vivaldi, Chopin.
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake:
It is important to be true to yourself. When you play what you love, people feel it. Like I said, it’s a communion.
Here and now we are doing what we love. Personally, past is gone and what I’m doing right now is a great accomplishment 🙂
What do an Italian, two Brazilians and an Hungarian do when they get together? They form Shaylon and have fun 😉