An Exclusive Interview With Village 11

Based out of Dedham Massachusetts, Village 11 is an American rock band with a sound that gives a modern feel to the 90’s alternative and grunge aesthetic.  As part of the wave of young musical acts emerging out of New England, they have hit the ground running recently dropping their debut single on all streaming networks.  Their music contains songs with intense riffs and heavy lead lines, as well as compositions with a softer and more emotional feel. The consistencies lie in commanding guitar solos by Liam Flinn, Mark Flynn’s passionate vocals, Gabi Daher’s powerful drums, intricate bass riffs by Zak Schenck, and catchy rhythm from Dan Silva. As illustrated by the recent release, “What It Takes”, the members of Village 11 hope to provide new Rock and Roll music for passionate fans.

V11 is a group of misfits that were brought together by rhythm guitarist Dan Silva.
“What It Takes” is a piece about someone who goes through a rough break up and has lost their sense of belonging. The narrator strives to win back the loved one and admits that he will do whatever it takes to achieve that. Considering it was written in May of 2020, the theme of loneliness and searching for the comfort of another person was not unusual. They recorded the song with the Boston Based studio, Lit Honey Productions. 

We took the time to chat with Village 11 about their journey thus far with their band and music:

When did you start to get interested in music?

I’ve been interested in music as long as I can remember. Even at a young age my parents had to get a hold of my iPod because it was “distracting” me from my homework. Looking back, I now realize that in a way, the music was the real homework leading me to where I am today. (Response by lead guitarist, Liam Flinn)

If you were an advertisement what would your slogan be?

My slogan would be “Be who you are”. I say this because in today’s society everyone tries to portray a different side of them, the “perfect” side of them, truth is no one is perfect. Everyone has their flaws which makes the world a beautiful place and being who you are is something everyone should feel comfortable doing. (Response by lead singer, Mark Flynn)

Which is the part you enjoy the most about music?

As a band, I think we can agree that writing music is the aspect we enjoy the most. There’s something so sophisticated yet so simple about engaging with our own riffs and creating new sounds while trying to tie it together with some sort of poetic message. I mean it really is a challenge to try and write something that’s never been heard before, but once we find what works, there’s a quick moment of bliss followed by a long sigh of relief followed by “ok sweet we’re done with the intro…what’s next”.

Most artists say that through their art they learn more about themselves, heal injuries… In which aspects has music helped you?

Being a part of Village 11 has helped me feel like I have a greater purpose. All the days and nights spent practicing alone amounted to something really special when we came together as a group. This band has given me a reason to wake up and pick up my guitar. It’s given me a reason to connect with old friends and make new ones. It’s proven to me that I can always turn to music and I can always turn to this group whenever I need to get something off my chest. Music allows me to be in tune with myself while simultaneously sharing my feelings with others. (Response by rhythm guitarist Dan Silva)

What does music mean to you?

Personally, as someone who is normally quiet, music is a way for me to express my emotions without words. I view the meaning of sounds as a way of self-expression. If I can’t put what I’m feeling into words, I can pick up my bass and write a piece or a song about it. There is no better feeling than knowing there are listeners out there relating to your song and what you were experiencing at the time of writing. (Response by bass guitarist, Zak Schenck)

Your new single “What It Takes” has a vibey stripped down feel.  What inspired this release?

The stripped-down feel is a direct result of the COVID-19 environment around us when we started writing. For everyone, there was no more commuting to work, no more driving to get a coffee, and no more meeting with friends on a Friday night. Life itself was stripped down so it feels like the outside world crept into our music to create a sound that will forever remind us of the time it was written.

What was the songwriting and production process like for “What it Takes”, how did the song come to life?

“What It Takes” was one of those songs that felt like it wrote itself. Originally, I had imagined the intro progression to run throughout the song, but since I couldn’t play that riff and sing at the same time, I was forced to change it to that chord progression heard during the verses. From there, I was able to write lyrics drawing from the loneliness of quarantine. The chorus came together in my head and once I got those lyrics and the new chord progression recorded and saved, there was a sense of satisfaction – for the first time, my vision had come to life. Everyone else added their parts pretty quickly and once the solo was completed, we knew we had the pieces in place for a great song. Recording was done in a few takes and Lit Honey Productions did their thing to make it what you hear today. (Response by rhythm guitarist, Dan Silva)

Do you consider that nowadays there are more or less opportunities for new artists? Why?

It’s tough to say if there’s more or less but the times certainly are not what they used to be. For every positive opportunity there has to be that negative. For example, the internet. While it’s easier than ever to get your music to people, it’s difficult because now we’re competing against millions of other bands doing the exact same thing. I believe regardless of the times the winning strategy is gonna be just enough talent and a lot of hard work. Like they say 5% inspiration, 95% perspiration. (Response by lead guitarist, Liam Flinn)

What would your idyllic life as an artist be like?

Obviously, we’d love to be packing stadiums and getting paid top dollar to headline massive venues. A life like that where we can all be able to sustain ourselves by playing music together is the ultimate dream.

What should the 2021 artist be doing?

The 2021 artist should be taking things one step at a time. We are going through a lot right now and everyone should be doing what they love while staying safe. It’s likely that artists have more time now than they did before the pandemic, so start writing and playing more music. Also, take time to discover a new genre or a new band that connects with who you are and opens your eyes to a sound you never knew existed. (Response by Mark Flynn)