This month the Q&A is visited by Daniel Tashian, front man for the Silver Seas, a ’70s-obsessed band with a flair for making older sounds sound new again. The Silver Seas were featured on Fingertips in April for their wonderful song “The Best Things in Life,” from their most recent album, Chateau Revenge; they were also written up here back in 2007, shortly after the band had changed their name from the Bees.
Tashian (all the way to the right, below) happens to be the son of Barry Tashian, who led the legendary Boston garage-rock band the Remains back in the ’60s. But we didn’t talk about that; we talked about the present and the future, as always here in the Q&A…..
Q: Now that music has been available digitally for about 10 years (time flies when you’re having fun), what do you make of the whole thing at this point? Do you like dealing with MP3s?
A: I love the technology for convenience purposes, I just think that because the industry is so single-track-driven it’s harder for some people to get into those songs that they might not get on the first play, i.e. the ones that grow on you. Also, I very much enjoy records and CDs. I still wish I had all my tapes from high school! Mixtapes!
Q: There’s a lot of talk these days that says that music in the near future will exist in the so-called “cloud”– that is, on large computer networks — and that music fans will not need to “own” the music they like any longer, since they will be able to simply listen to everything on demand when they want to. How do you feel about this?
A: I think it’s an excellent idea. I think it will be much easier to track that way, and easier to compensate the artists and musicians.
Q: How has your life as a musician been affected–or not–by the existence of music blogs?
A: I think it’s a democratic thing. The people have spoken. It’s just that sometimes the voice of the people is not always discerning. Sometimes it’s reactionary, sometimes spiteful. That troubles me, but on the whole, I can’t say it’s a bad thing.
Q: What are your thoughts about the album as a musical entity– does it still strike you as a legitimate means of expression? If listeners are cherry-picking and shuffling rather than listening all the way through, how does that affect you as a musician?
A: Well yes they are, but they’ve always done that I guess. I just hope that the great bands and songwriters will continue to make great records and not just collections of singles. I like those b-sides and odd tracks. “Glad and Sorry” by the Faces for instance. But I think the technology and ability for anyone to make a kickass record on their laptop has balanced out the shuffling thing. It’s sort of like you can’t say that the single driven market has prevented you from making a long-form masterpiece because you can make one on Garage Band!
Q: What is your personal preferred way of listening to music at this point?
A: I listen to whatever I want. I like to listen in the car and Rhapsody is great. It doesn’t pay shit but it’s a great resource. I just need the phone version to work better!