Music comes naturally to Diana Silvers. Last summer, the 21-year-old wandered into a Guitar Center, left with a bass guitar and amp, and started practicing her favorite classic rock and psychedelic tunes. Now, she’s proficient enough to upload those four-string covers to Instagram. And if she needs a backing band, she has one on standby: The Los Angeles native, who says she “probably cares about music more than anything else,” likens her equally artistic family to the Von Trapps.
Silvers’ talents, though, are typically found on the big screen. The fast-rising actress currently costars with Octavia Spencer in the thriller Ma and has an ensemble role in the coming-of-age comedy Booksmart. In the former, Silvers plays an unassuming new girl in town whose friend group is invited to parties in a lonely woman’s basement, unaware of their host’s gruesome intentions. In Booksmart, Silvers plays Hope, a beautiful, standoffish classmate of over-studious best friends Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever), who delivers both sharp-tongued dismissals of her peers and an opportunity for the meek Amy to embrace her sexuality.
As Hope, Silvers exudes effortless cool in a fringed vintage jacket and heavy-lidded stare. Offscreen, she has equally groovy taste in music: Pink Floyd, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and other classics. Calling from California, Silvers tells us about the music she’s currently rocking.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Are You Experienced
I used to make my dad mix CDs. He would tell me what songs to put on them, and one of them had “Foxey Lady.” Last summer, I got really into ‘60s psychedelic music, and I finally listened to Are You Experienced. I was like, “Man, this is incredible!” I think “The Wind Cries Mary” is my favorite Jimi Hendrix song. Obviously, he’s one of the greatest guitarists of all time, but even his lyrics are really meaningful. In psychedelic rock, there’s so much going on and so many different sounds. You can go back and find new things to listen for, which is really special. I was reading something about how different frequencies in music make you feel certain ways; this album makes me feel like I’m high, even though I don’t do drugs.
The Beatles: The Beatles (White Album)
The White Album is so cool because it was around the time when the Beatles started to not like each other, so they would each go off and do their own thing. It’s all over the place, but that’s what makes the album so brilliant. You can listen to each of their solo work, and then come back to this, and it’s so obvious who did what—like, “that’s such a George song,” or “that’s such a Paul song.” The first time I really listened to the White Album was during my first heartbreak, in my freshman year of college. I really resonated with “Long, Long, Long”—it’s so beautiful but so depressing. “Rocky Raccoon” and “Dear Prudence” are my favorite Beatles songs, and I played “I’m So Tired” a lot during finals week. The Beatles are my favorite band of all time, hands down.
I truly believe Lorde is the voice of our generation. When a relationship ends, all you can do is play in your head everything that happened between you. I never knew what to call it, and then I heard “Supercut.” How did she know exactly how I felt, and encapsulate it so eloquently into this song that slaps? And “Liability”: “I am a toy that people enjoy/’Til all of the tricks don’t work anymore.” Again, how did she know? She said it better than I could even feel it. She’s above us, yet she’s one of us. I was supposed to see Lorde on the Melodrama Tour in New York with my best friend, but then I got a callback for Booksmart in L.A. and couldn’t make the concert. Thank God I got the part!
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork