Scarlet Sails is a statement. Scarlet Sails is based on believing. Scarlet Sails is about love. It’s about what you want and about ways to find it. It’s about following through and sticking to your true self. It’s about engaging with the ones you love and surrounding yourself with what you love. It’s about loving yourself and giving yourself enough. Treating yourself the way you should and not being afraid to move forward. It’s about cutting off all that you don’t need, and loading off the burden brought on to you by society, and people who live by inertia. It’s about a girl who decided not to wait for her boat and her dreams to sail to her, but to build that boat herself and make her dreams come true by sailing it. It’s about taking your life in your own hands and making it colorful. It’s about being brave, honest, knowing what you want, going for it and rocking it.
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Chris Remmers: So, why don’t we start with telling the fans a little bit about where you’re from, and how you got into music?
Olya Viglione: I’m from Russia and I learned piano when I was about five. I went to classical music school, and that’s how I got started with music. A bit later on, I got into American and British music. I had a dream about forming a rock band. People didn’t really get it. They thought it was a silly thing. When I was 21, I was studying at a Russian special state university, and they had a program for summer to go abroad and learn a new language and travel. It was called “Work & Travel”.
Then I decided to go to New York to learn English, and basically, to be able to write my lyrics in English. I came there in the summer of 2010 and in 2012, I applied to a school and continued learning the language. I spent so many hours with musicians and created collaborations. All of a sudden, this completely new world opened up to me, with music, different influences and cultures, which was amazing. That’s how I started writing my own songs and finding my creative voice, on the streets of New York, basically.
CR: That’s absolutely incredible. What was it like coming over here and getting to see New York for the first time?
OV: Yeah, it was completely amazing. I never thought in my life, that I would be given such an opportunity, because in New York I was just home. It was such a weird feeling, because I would have not expected that. It was a little bit of a cultural shock in certain parts, but overall I felt like I belonged, finally.
CR: Of course, of course. What are some of the first things that you like to do when you touch down in a new place? Do you like to go out and travel around the streets? Or, do you kind of stay low-key at the hotel and map out a plan?
OV: I feel like I just like walking around, looking in and just exploring the place around me. It gives me a lot of inspiration. It’s something new that I can just observe and kind of take it in. Sometimes I make a plan, but most of the time, I just get on the streets and see what’s going to happen.
CR: Absolutely. Would you say that there’s any sort of cultural shock coming from Russia over to the States for your first time?
OV: In New York, the people are really open-minded. It was a good culture shock. You’re surrounded by people who wouldn’t judge and wouldn’t look at you weird because you were pursuing something that is out of the ordinary.
CR: So, where else in the country have you gotten the pleasure to travel to?
OV: On the tour, I’ve visited 17 cities, although we had a very limited amount of time in each city. Before that, I went to Chicago, St. Louis, and a little bit of the Northeast — Boston and Washington, DC. I’ve been to Las Vegas once for my friend’s birthday. It was an interesting experience. I really like being on the road, the countryside is really beautiful. America is a really beautiful country all around.
CR: It really is. Furthering on into your inspirations, how would you say music and travel fit together in your life? Does it bring any inspiration towards writing or anything to do with the band?
OV: Definitely, yes! The inspiration can come from anywhere, being on the road, seeing all kinds of people and places. Sometimes it could be a gas station and they have a certain [song on] that makes me think of a story or an idea in my head. [In all,] it’s a good stimulation for my imagination and creative process.
CR: Are there any places in the United States that you still have to hit?
CR: I’ve heard amazing things about the West Coast. I was recently out in Colorado and Seattle, they’re just beautiful places to have an amazing time in. Definitely, you have to get out to the West Coast if you can.
OV: Absolutely, and everyone says it’s different, so I want to see!
CR: Oh, totally different world. So, everyone has a bucket list of places around the world they’d like to go travel to. What are three places on yours that you have to hit?
OV: Yeah, definitely. I was always fascinated with the French culture. I went to French school back in Russia and I learned French for a number of years. So, I definitely want to go and perform in Paris or other cities in France. It would be cool. Then, I’ve kind of had a sort of [fascination] about Japan. There’s a Fuji Rock Festival there, I think. It’s at the bottom of this mountain and it sounds so dreamy. I definitely want to be able to play there one day. What else? I would like to go to Barcelona.
CR: Of course, of course. Would you say that you’re a band full of foodies? Do you try different things on the road?
OV: Me and Brian, the drummer, we definitely enjoy good food. So, we’re definitely foodies. The rest of the band also enjoys good food too. Occasionally, you get a sandwich at the gas station, because sometimes that’s the only thing that you can get on the road. But, every time we [go somewhere] we try to taste different foods that locals were suggesting to us. We were in Texas and we got all different Mexican food. We got to try these cheese and bean tacos that were incredible.
CR: Where in the US would you say you had the most memorable experience with food?
OV: That’s a good question. Definitely Mexican Town in San Antonio was really good. It’s funny, because in New York you find all kinds of food, and some of the street food that we have is really great. Every place you go to, you can find something really good, but I would probably stick to New York.
CR: That’s definitely for sure. You can’t go anywhere else in the world, but in New York you get such a variety of food in such a small location.
OV: Exactly, yeah. It’s fascinating. Also, some restaurants serve at midnight [or later].
CR: Of course! So, to wrap this up, where’s your next big trip and what for?
OV: We’re going to try to go to Paris in September just to check it out, get some inspiration and see what’s going on. We have a couple sets there. We haven’t yet booked a hotel. We’re just going to try to touch the ground and go for a little vacation after being with the band, because we’ll be getting ready for another run in October-November. We’re going to be focusing on the East Coast of the US.