CMJ is in October, I’m aware. I’m also writing this little collection of music reviews and interviews all by my lonesome, so here’s a chat I had with an amazing band from Tennessee outside the doors of Sullivan Hall. In October.
Totally overwhelmed when their publicist reached out to me, I listened to about 20 seconds of Sol Cat music and agreed to have a few words during the festival. Not only were the guys awesome to catch up with on what turned out to be a busy night, their live performance was one of my favorite throughout the festival.
The turn music has taken lately has made it necessary for me to say that the best music is the hardest to describe. That said, it should be no surprise that I have absolutely no idea how to describe Sol Cat, the six guys who hail from all over, but most recently Nashville, Tennessee (yeah, other stuff besides country music comes from there). In my CMJ re-cap, I described them as “vaguely Strokes-y.” Guess that will have to do.
The members of Sol Cat are so laid-back and give off such a generally fun and loving vibe, that their account of musical influence seems only fitting.
“Musical influence is always a difficult question for us just because we come from different places and we all just grew up with different backgrounds,” admits keyboardist Jeremy Clark, “so I would say that everybody agrees on certain bands and most of them are older like ELO, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Laid Back, stuff like that but when it comes to where we get our actual ideas for music it comes from things that we all do love which tends to be things like beaches or space or the sky.”
Upon request, Clark’s fellow band members clarified the term “space” to mean “outer space” as well as “the empty space in our skulls where brains should be.” Like I said, not a bad group of dudes to spend some time with.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things about Sol Cat is that they are just that, Sol Cat. Not six different men making music together. Of course their tastes and backgrounds all have a part in the culmination of what they bring to us, but without all six of them together, there is no Sol Cat. They have bonded together to create an entirely different being.
“We definitely all have different influences and it all comes together and makes this Sol Cat thing,” the guys agree. “I think lately we’ve been kinda finding influence in each other and keeping it a little more organic when we’re together writing music. We all write together and everybody brings something to the table- but it’s usually one or two ideas that stick together and we track those ideas down and get them set in stone and everybody layers on top of that so that it becomes more of a solidified idea rather than just a bunch of people playing in the same room together.”
What Clark and his bandmates, Brett Hammann (vocals), Johny Fisher (guitar), Ryan Usher (drums), Aaron Martin (bass) and Jaan Cohan (lead guitar) have created is their very own entity to represent the merging of their musical minds. Regardless of how they compose their music, when Sol Cat takes the stage they become one unearthly, unified source of music virtually unaware of anything except for the melodies they need to release. It’s fucking beautiful.
Fortunately for us, the guys are dedicated to keeping this beautiful being on the road for the next few months. Aside from releasing new music videos, Sol Cat expresses plans to keep touring including a visit to the ever-popular SXSW. What better reason to make a trip to Austin?
Originally published January 10, 2014 on NewYorkSocialStatus.com