One thing that makes this country so unique is that with the exception of Native Americans, we are all descendants of immigration at some point in our families lives whether is be first, second third generation or even further. At some point, our ancestors came to this country in search of a better life than what they had. And when they arrived they knew that with hard work and perseverance they could lay down roots for future generations to thrive. This is called The American Dream.
When it comes to rock music, no other band defines the American Dream more than New York City-based, Cilver. Their melting pot consists of a blend of Romanian, Spanish, Columbian, Italian and Vietnamese decent, yet they come together working towards a common goal: to make the best music possible for their fans past, present and future. Their debut LP, Not The End of the World hits the store shelves this Friday, April 29, 2016 via Entertainment One Records.
I recently had the pleasure to sit down with the entire band to discuss not only music, but to get their stories about achieving this dream, their hardships and learn about their appreciation of the opportunities that this country has to offer. Though each member is obviously different, I found that they each share a common denominator: they care deeply for others. They are as real as they come. What you see is what you get. There are no smoking mirrors or gimmicks, they don’t want them, they don’t need them. They’re talents and determination to succeed will take them further than they’ve ever imagined. Their live show is clean and polished. Each member excels at their instrument individually, but like pieces to a puzzle they fit perfectly together to make one big picture. They have no trouble getting fans on their feet, singing in unison with fists pumping in the air. Who needs amps when fans can sing that loud!
Their current single, “I’m American” is a clear example of their pride in this country. “It’s an anthem for unification” , frontwoman, Uliana Preotu explains, “and I think that’s the most important thought that everyone should get out of it.” She further adds, “Yes, it’s biographical in a sense that I came here with my mother from Romania, but at the same time it’s the story of every American. Because if you look at everyone’s history, they have a parent or grandparent who came from somewhere and sacrificed everything to be here in view of a better life for their children. I think that’s important for people to realize that it’s a song of hope and for what America is today did not come easy.”
One needs to look no further than their video for the song, which can be seen here. If for some reason you feel emotional while watching, that’s no mistake. It is intentional. I, as a firefighter for 22 years was deeply touched by the scene where the plane hit the Twin Towers and could relate to the tears streaming down the girls face. But their stories of September 11, 2001 go much deeper than the brotherhood of a firefighter.
The vibe of the conversation suddenly becomes obviously emotional as each member reflects on their memories of that tragic day. “It was my first year in New York,” guitarist Leon Lyazidi recalls, “One day there was a full class and the next time we met there were six empty seats. The students were interns at one of the investment banks working in the Twin Towers…and that was it.” As his eyes tell the story completely without words needed, he adds “I never went to the site until six months ago. You can see the Freedom Tower from just about anywhere in Midtown or Downtown, but I never could bring myself to go there.”
“I’m glad you got the video and the sentiment that we wanted to portray,” says Leon, “I’m glad you asked me about it because it’s not like we didn’t experience it. The video is more of ourselves and how we experienced it as well.”
“The little girl in the video signifies the new generation in America,” Uliana explains, “ the good and the bad, she’s learning about the heritage that she’s going to carry with her. There are things that are wonderful and there are…there’s no history without things that make us sad. We wanted to portray that as closely as possible.”
Their love for this country is expressed more than most people who were born here. They know first-hand how caring American people can be towards on another, particularly when they see someone in need. Uliana explains:
“I’ve been here for about nine years. Obviously I didn’t speak the language, but the spirit and how people were so helpful and trying to communicate with me. There was a camaraderie that I got, I always heard about it (in Romania), but I never experienced it. People coming together, that’s very rare, but it happens here. That’s what makes me proud to be here.”
Cilver will be heading out on tour with Sixx AM starting May 3, check their website for dates and cities near you. In the meantime, be sure to pick up Not The End Of The World at your favorite retailer. It is a great album from start to finish and is sure to become a rock and roll classic.