Interview with Forsakken

Interview with Charly from Shaylon

Bio (Take from Band's Facebook page)

Shaylon is a symphonic rock band originally from San Francisco (CA), USA. It was formed in July 2014 by Charly Urso, guitarist and main composer. The initial intent was to blend the power of rock and heavy metal with the symphonic spirit of classical music and the great melodies of the modern pop. The group sees involved some of the best musicians of the Bay Area such as Tina Diggs on vocals, Alex Tamas on bass and Kurt Becker on Drums. In July 2015 along with former drummer Marco Bicca, they recorded their debut EP called "Forgotten Realms of Wonders". After Bicca's departure the band started to work on new material and in November 2016 they released the new single "Astro Girl" featuring Brazilian drummer, Lucas Taboadas as special guest. At the moment Shaylon are working on new material along with drummer Kurt Becker.

Band Members:

Tina Diggs - vocals
Charly Urso -guitars/keyboards/vocals
Alex Tamas - bass
Kurt Becker - drums

Listen to " Forgotten Realms of Winter ." 

Buy " Forgotten Realms of Winter ."

Shaylon on Social Media.


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N. A. Foy: How old were you when you decided to pursue a career in music, and were there any particular musicians or singers that inspired you?

Charly: I was 12 years old. The moment I watched the video of "Bad Medicine" by Bon Jovi I decided that I wanted to be a musician (a guitarist). I must say Richie Sambora has been my biggest inspiration and it is thanks to him that I choose to play guitar. I could also add to the list Vangelis, Brian May, Kai Hansen and Tuomas Holopainen as very important influences.

N. A. Foy: I know you have an EP out called "Forgotten Realm of Wonders." What are you currently working on as a band?

Charly: Right after the recording of the EP and a mini promotional tour with the band in Northern California, I took the time to compose and finish writing all the songs for our debut album. With the release of our new single “Astro Girl” we received very positive responses also thanks to the help of our promotional video clip. With that being said, we are currently working on the production of our next video which will anticipate our new full length scheduled for release by the end of the year. I’m also in talks with a few labels interested in Shaylon, so I’m sure that we will have some good news soon.

N. A. Foy: What kind of sound are you looking for for the full length album?

Charly: Our sound blends the power of rock and heavy metal with the symphonic spirit of classical music and the great melodies of the pop genre. I admire bands like The Beatles, Queen, Muse…but also Helloween, Gamma Ray, Angra and Nightwish…With so much inspiration out there I make no mystery that I would like to achieve such intensity with my compositions. I am already quite satisfied with what we have recorded so far and I am sure that the final product will be mind-blowing and will make our fans very happy.

N. A. Foy: I look forward to hearing it. How did the band meet and first get together?

Charly: After spending some years in Las Vegas where I performed with a tribute band and worked as a session musician with several artists, I moved to the Bay Area with the pockets full of dreams, looking to form my own original project. Since at the time I didn’t know anybody in the local music scene, the first thing I did, I auditioned for a Bon Jovi tribute, just to have some fun and hang out with other artists, where I met Marco Bicca, a phenomenal Brazilian drummer who just happened to be there to help one of his buddies. We became immediately friends, especially because we liked pretty much the same metal bands. From there on we kept in touch. After a few months, I contacted him asking if he wanted to be part of Shaylon and he accepted. At the time, I had prepared a demo with three songs and we decided to give it a try. Marco then suggested having a rehearsal with Tina Diggs on vocals and Alex Tamas on bass. We got together and we liked the feeling. Unfortunately, in 2016 Marco moved to Seattle and we had to find a replacement. After a few months auditioning drummers we found Kurt Becker, an old friend of Tina, and we revamped the band. I think that we sound simply great together and we have a lot of fun. There’s a good chemistry indeed!

N. A. Foy: What do you like to do for enjoyment when you are not doing music?

Charly: Music pretty much absorbs most of my time. When I’m not composing, or practicing, or recording, or creating in general, I like being in nature and recharge the batteries surrounded by trees in a forest or hiking by the ocean. I am also a spiritual person and I'm involved in humanitarian activities to promote and support causes for justice, freedom, non-violence, women rights, and peace. Just recently, I wrote a song called “L.O.V.E.” to raise awareness about an upcoming United Nations vote on a resolution that would forbid nuclear weapons worldwide. I care for humanity and I believe we all should take a big responsibility on promoting positive values in order to live in harmony and protect and preserve our existence on this beautiful planet. This song has been released by Shaylon in collaboration with the Norwegian singer Minniva. If you’re interested you can check it out here:  " L.O.V.E."

N. A. Foy: That's a nice acoustic song. I love the lyrics. I'll make sure to post it in the interview. If you were stuck on an island and somehow were able to listen to music, what 3 CDs would you want with you?

Charly: Oh nice question! Just 3 CDs? Mmm that’s tough! Let's see: Bon Jovi - "New Jersey"; that’s the album that impacted me the most and inspired me to become a musician. It carries a lot of nice memories. Gamma Ray – “Land of the Free”; that’s a perfect power metal concept album. I still remember the goosebumps I had while listening to it for the first time. Vangelis – “Blade Runner soundtrack”; a magnificent masterpiece with great atmospheres. I could listen to it nonstop. I like the pathos and the emotions behind every song. Plus, I love the movie.

N. A. Foy: Out of the lyrics you perform so far, is there a particular one that you like best? Is there a story behind it?

Charly: For a composer, songs are like babies. It's very difficult to pick one out of the bunch, since there's always a special emotion hidden behind every creation. "L.O.V.E." is the most recent one and I particularly cherish it because I wrote it with the specific intention to convey a strong message of hope to humanity. Peace, Love, and Harmony can be achieved if for once humans decide to cooperate, coexist, and be compassionate to each other. If we wish a more harmonious and balanced world and want to make our planet a better place to live in, we really need to take into account that we must change something. There's indeed a lot of work to do however it is in the small actions that we can start to make a difference. In the end, there is always room for kindness, non-violence, respect, compassion, universal love, and peaceful intentions and I believe that if we devote ourselves to these values we can certainly improve the quality of life within and around us.

N. A. Foy: How about some favorites. What is your favorite color? Number? Foods? Movie(s)? Book(s)? Or any other favorites you want to mention?

Charly: Favorite color: Red, Favorite number: 8, Favorite foods: Italian and French, Favorite books: I pick three: "Intelligent Design" by Rael, "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas and "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, Favorite movies: I pick three: "Blade Runner" by Ridley Scott, "Midnight in Paris" by Woody Allen, "Casino Royale" by Martin Campbell, Favorite composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioacchino Rossini, Tuomas Holopainen, Kai Hansen, and Vangelis.

N. A. Foy: What is the main message that you want to give your fans as an example as a band? Is there anything else you'd like to add before we finish?

Charly: I believe it is a big responsibility for an artist to try to convey messages that can make a difference in nowadays world. We need more optimism, more compassion, more peaceful thoughts, more profound words and actions to guide humanity to live in harmony. I wish that my songs can contribute on bringing some joy and raise awareness on more delicate and spiritual topics. If with my works, I inspire someone, hopefully in a positive way, well...that...would be the greatest gift. In my opinion, Music is a communion of emotions and has the enormous power of bringing people together. So, let's keep on following our dreams, working for a better world and be kind to each other. Namaste 🙏