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INTERVIEW: Soles of Passion

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

– FANTASTIC, WE ALWAYS MAKE THE CHOICE TO HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Say I Will”?

– SAY I WILL HAPPENS TO BE ONE OF MYLA’S FAVORITE SOP SONGS (SEE NEXT)

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

– THE WORDS “WILL&  CAN” ARE 2 OF THE MOST POWERFUL WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.  MY PARENTS ALWAYS TOLD ME WHEN GROWING UP TO APPRECIATE THE POWER OF WORDS, AND ESPECIALLY THESE 2 WORDS.  LOOKING OUT AT ALL THE ‘NEGATIVITY’ IN THE WORLD AROUND US WE FELT IT IS VITAL TO TRY TO SEND OUT POSITIVELY REINFORCING MESSAGING TO COUNTER THE MUCK.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

– YES, WE HAVE A VERY CLEAR CONCEPT OF THE VIDEO THAT WE WANT TO DO WITH THIS TRACK, WHICH INVOLVES AN ANIMATED APPROACH, WITH LARGE TEXT IMAGES OF “SAY I WILL & SAY I CAN” WHEN MYLA SINGS THOSE PHRASES. PROBLEM IS ANIMATION TYPE WORK IS “EXPENSIVE”. WE’RE TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO GET THIS DONE AS WE SPEAK.

The single comes off your new album Escape From Jurisdiction B – what’s the story behind the title?

– OH MY, THIS RABBIT HOLE IS VERY DEEP!  LET ME TRY TO SUMMARIZE IT THIS WAY.  THE CLASS DIVISION BETWEEN THE ‘EL-LITE’ FAMILIES (THE PRAETORIAN CLASS) AND THE UNDERCLASS (PLEBIANS) GOES BACK AS FAR AS CIVILIZAITON (AS YOU KNOW).  IN THE MODERN AGE IN THE WESTERN WORLD IT’S MOSTLY ABOUT THE WORLD OF ‘COMMERCE’ THAT SEPARATES THESE 2 CLASSES.  THE MODERN DAY PRAETORIAN CLASS LIVES IN THE ‘A’ JURISDICTION, THEY HAVE NO DEBT, THEY PAY NO TAXES, AND THEY HAVE ALL OF THE ASSETS AND CONTROL.  THE PLEB CLASS LIVES IN THE ‘B’ JURISDICTION, THEY (WE) HAVE ALL THE DEBT, PAY ALL THE TAXES, AND HAVE NO CONTROL.  THIS ‘REALITY’ WAS PROTRAYED IN THE FILM WITH MATT DAMON “ELYSIUM’. THE CLASS DIVISION PORTRAYED IN THAT FILM WAS A PERFECT DEPICTION OF THESE 2 JURISDICTIONS.  ALL OF US IN THE ‘B’ SECTOR AS LOOKING AND HOPING FOR AN “ESCAPE”. FACT OF THESE 2 JURISDICTIONS IS NOT FICTION.

How was the recording and writing process?

–WELL, OBVIOUSLY THE WRITING COMES FIRST.  THAT HAPPENS IN ANY NUMBER OF WAYS. SOMETIMES THE MUSICAL PHRASES OR MELODIES COME IN DREAMS COMPLETE, HAVE TO WAKE UP, GRAB AN INSTRUMENT TO CAPTURE IT, AND THEN GO BACK TO SLEEP.  OTHERWISE, IT’S TOTALLY FORGOTTEN UPON WAKING UP IN THE MORNING.  OTHER TIMES, IT’S A PHRASE OR IDEA THAT WE COME ACROSS THAT SETS THE CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING. OTHER TIMES IT’S JUST WOODSHEDING ON THE INSTRUMENTS THAT DEVELOP INTO SONGS.  WE NEVER WRITE WITH A ‘FORMULA’ IN MIND. IT JUST COMES OUT.  WE BELIEVE THAT IT’S MORE LIKE WE (AND NOT JUST US) FUNCTION LIKE A RADIO RECEIVER, THE FREQUENCIES ARE ‘OUT THERE’, JUST HAVE TO TUNE INTO THEM, AND HAVE A ‘METHOD’ TO CAPTURE WHAT YOU TUNE INTO (SONG SYMTHING SO TO SPEAK).

THE RECORDING IS DONE AT WHAT WE AFFECTIONATELY REFER TO AS “THE SOLES OF PASSION LOUNGE”. WHICH IS OUR IN HOUSE PRO-TOOLS STUDIO.  STEVEN PLAYS ALL THE GUITARS AND BASSES, WE BRING IN OTHER PROS AND BAND MEMBERS TO PLAY THE OTHER INSTRUMENT S AS NEEDED.  PERHAPS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE EVERY MUSIC ARTIST FACES TODAY IS TO BECOME LITERALLY A ‘MASTER’ OF TOO MANY THINGS (YOU DON’T HAVE CHOICE ABOUT THAT).

How much did politics and real get to inspire the songs and lyrics on this record?

–THIS CD HAS A COMBINATION OF POLITICAL STATEMENTS, POSITIVE MESSAGING, AND JUST FUN MIXED TOGETHER. THIS SEEMS TO BE A TREND WITH US.  JUST LOOK AT THE NEWS, THE HEADLINES, WHAT PEOPLE ARE GOING THROUGH.  EXAMPLE; “A PLACE OF MY OWN” WAS WRITTEN ABOUT A FRIEND OF OURS WHO WAS ABOUT 68 YRS OLD AT THE TIME.  SHE LOST HER BUSINESS AND HOME DUE TO THE HORRIBLE ECONOMY, FOUND HERSELF GETTING EVICTED, FORCED TO LIVE IN HER TRUCK (IN DECEMBER). WHEN THE TRUCK BROKE DOWN, SHE HAD NO WAY TO GET IT FIXED, AND HAD TO ABANDON IT, AND WAS TAKING UP RESIDENCE UNDER A FREEWAY RAMP.  WE FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS, AND WENT OUT LOOKING FOR HER, LUCKILY FOUND HER, AND WE TOOK HER BACK HOME. WHERE SHE LIVED IN A GUEST BEDROOM FOR A BIT OVER A MONTH DURING THE HOLIDAYS.  DURING THAT TIME “A PLACE OF MY OWN” WAS WRITTEN ABOUT ALL OF THAT.  NOT TRYING TO BLOW OUR HORN, JUST GIVING YOU A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE OF HOW PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY POLITICS, AND HOW THE EXPERIENCES CAN TURN INTO SONGS, ETC.

How would this album showcase a matured side of the band?

– THIS “B” CD IS OUR 2ND CD. WE HAVE THE 3RD CD ALREADY MASTERED IN THE CAN, AND ARE FINISHING UP THE 4TH CD. 5TH, 6TH, AND 7TH CD’S ARE ALL PRETTY FAR ALONG IN PRODUCTION ALSO (THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ‘LIVE’ IN THE STUDIO, WHICH WE ACTUALLY DO.  SO I WOULDN’T SAY THIS 2ND CD REPRESENTS A ‘MATURITY’ TYPE OF PLATEAU FOR SOP. WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN.

Can you tell us more about what you call Progressive Country music?

– WE DID NOT ‘COIN’ THIS DESCRIPTION OF OURSELVES.  ONE OF OUR MARKETING TEAM MEMBER’S EMPLOYEES CAME UP WITH IT AFTER LISTENING TO OUR MUSIC.  SHE SAID OUR SOUND REMINDED HER OF ‘PROGRESSIVE’ TYPE ROCK IE; RUSH, YES, GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, ETC., BUT ALSO HAS A COUNTRY EDGE TO IT.  WHEN WE HEARD HER SAY THAT, WE THOUGHT “YEAH” THAT HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.  THE WORD ‘PROGESSIVE’ WAS NOT MEANT TO HAVE ANY POLITICAL REFERENCE, BUT RATHER A ‘SONIC’ TYPE OF REFERENCE.  IF YOU GOOGLE AND WIKI “PROGESSIVE COUNTRY MUSIC” YOU FIND OUT THAT THE TERM CAME TO DESCRIBE COUNTRY TYPE ARTISTS THAT DIDN’T FIT THE TRADITIONAL ‘TWANGING’ MOULD ASSOCIATED WITH COUNTRY MUSIC.  EVEN WILLY NELSON WAS DESCRIBED AS “PROGRESSIVE COUNTRY”.  WE TEND TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE A BIT, SO IT JUST SEEMED APPROPRIATE.

Why did you choose Country instead of maybe Folks or Punk?

–IT’S MORE LIKE COUNTRY CHOSE US. (THIS IS STEVEN) MY GRANDFATHER WAS A RANCHER IN WYOMING.  I GREW UP IN COLORADO AND WYOMING. WORE COWBOY BOOTS AND HATS SINCE 2 YRS OLD.  PLAYED BASS IN COUNTLESS COUNTRY BANDS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE.  BUT WAS FRUSTRATED BY THE “BOX” THAT COUNTRY MUSIC ALWAYS LOOPED IN.  JAZZ MAJOR IN MUSIC SCHOOL AND LA STUDIO WORK AND TIME PLAYING IN BANDS WITH THE MOST TECHNICALLY TALENTED MUSICIANS AROUND BUILDING CHOPS AND STYLE.

SOLES OF PASSION GIVES A CHANCE TO PULL ALL THE ‘ROOTS’ AND FUSION TOGETHER UNDER ONE ROOF.  COUNTRY MUSIC THE MSM GENRE HAS ALSO GROWN UP AND EXPANDED ITS BOUNDARIES, AND IN FACT HAS BEEN FAR MORE CREATIVE OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS THAN THE WORLD OF ‘ROCK’ MUSIC.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

– THE INSPIRATION COMES FROM AN APPRECIATION OF LIFE AND AN OBSERVATION OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AROUND US.  TRY TO KEEP THE ANTENNAS SET TO ‘OPEN/RECEIVE’ AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. THE WONDER AND THE SPLENDOR IS ALL AROUND US, JUST HAVE TO TUNE IT IN.

Any plans to hit the road? – YES, SOP’S #1 GOAL RIGHT NOW IS TO GET THE BAND OUT WORKING. AND PRIMARILY IN SUPPORT OF OUR NON PROFIT FOUNDATION, ‘THE FREEDOM ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION’. WHOSE MISSION IS TO SUPPORT HOMELESS VETS, AND OTHER VICTIMS OF FORECLOSURE.  BAND IS IN REHEARSAL NOW; THINGS GOING REALLY GREAT THUS FAR WITH THAT (CAN’T WAIT TO GO LIVE).

What else is happening next in Soles of Passion’s world?

– IT’S A 24/7 REALITY SHOW. IT’S ALL PRETTY COMPLEX, SO MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS THAT NEED TO BE ATTENDED TO AT ONCE, AND AROUND THE CLOCK.  AND OF COURSE THERE’S THE ‘COMMERCE’ SIDE OF ALL OF THIS.  WITHOUT MANAGING $’S NOTHING HAPPENS.

A BALANCING ACT FOR SURE, AND WE ALWAYS HOPE TO WORK IN TIME TO SPEND AT OUR RANCH PROPERTY IN COLORADO, WHERE THE WORLD SLOWS DOWN (BUT THERE’S ENDLESS WORK TO BE DONE THERE ALWAYS). THE CREATIVE JUICES JUST FLOW THERE, SO MANY SOP SONGS CONCEIVED AND WRITTEN THERE.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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