Photo Credit: Hanro Havenga
Catch this Jozi 3-Piece band rocking out in Pretoria this weekend for the Halloween Party at the Voortrekker Monument, hosted by Arcade Empire & Griet. If you never been to one of these Halloween event, then you truly are missing out!! All I can say is, get dressed up, make sure you not driving and be prepared to party your tits off 😉
Get more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/293415071005578/
Interview: SOL GEM
Photo Credit: Matt Bouch
- Hi guys, how you doing?? Its rad to be chatting to you!! Before we get started, can you please introduce us to the members of Sol Gems and tell us each persons role in the band?
– Hey! Thanks for having us. Sol Gems is made up of Struan on guitar & vocals, Pano on bass guitar and Gabriel on the drums.
- How/Where did you guys meet up to form the band?
– Stru and Pano used to play in a band a couple of years back called The Stella’s. After The Stella’s ended, Stru and Pano started jamming and exploring new sounds and ideas. Mutual friends introduced Gabriel who was at Wits Art School with Struan, which then led to hanging out and then naturally, the formation of Sol Gems.
- Can you give us a short background on the name Sol Gems?
– It was a gift from the Sun, a direct deposit of sorts.
- Where do you guys take inspiration from in your “sound”?
– There isn’t one place, or a source from where we draw inspiration for ‘sound’, much more of an amalgamation of things that we are into. Just generally speaking, we are into organic, natural sounds and tones – stuff from the 60’s & 70’s. But then future sounds too, sounds you would imagine coming from space or a crazy synthesizer are just as interesting to us. We try to explore and combine these things with whatever we are into consciously or subconsciously in the moment.
Photo Credit: Sol Gems.
- Can you give us a few of the best moments, experienced as Sol Gems?
-There are so many! We’d have to say that we have been fortunate to open for a number of international acts (Allah-Las, The Black Lips, Foster The People, Mac Miller & BeardyMan) and every time the experiences have been amazing, totally surreal. Getting up to nonsense on tour is also always fun – we once got locked out of the place we were staying, so we just decided to roam the streets until sunrise…luckily for us we bumped into Andre and Lucy from Medicine Boy (at the Engen garage on Orange Street, where else?) who saved us from the cold, cold night. They didn’t manage to save us from crappy garage food though…
Also, recording at the SABC in Johannesburg was a top moment: a big learning curve for us in the studio, but also so exciting to be recording in a place that has such a rich history of musicians that have passed through it’s doors. The access to all this vintage gear from the 60s and 70s was crazy – it was a trip!
- Our local scene has been growing positively over the past few years… What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment and if there is anything you wish to see happen differently?
-The local music scene is really strong at the moment, in all spheres from live bands, to DJ’s, to hip-hop and producers. It’s really going off on all levels. A quick look at something like The Rocking The Daisies line-up for 2016 shows acts from so many different genres and levels of performance. There’s also a strong sense of camaraderie between the bands playing together and putting on shows. There’s a healthy competition and a good support vibe amongst most, if not all the bands in the JHB ‘circuit’.
Something which we would like to change, for the better is to create a live music culture, where people are happy to pay R50 (at least!) and upwards for entrance to a gig, instead of rather sitting at a bar ‘saving’ their money for some extra brandy & cokes. Right now, bands and promoters are charging like R20 entrance to a show with 5 or 6 bands on the line-up – no one wins – except the bar. Instead, something like a well thought out line-up of 2/3 bands and a DJ seem to work much better.
- Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
– Ha! These questions are the hardest, as someone is always going to be left out. But right now, we’d have to say Bye Beneco, Hello Beautiful, Late Night Fox and Johnny Cradle are all pushing hard and killing it!
- You are playing at the Halloween 2016 party, brought to you by Arcade Empire and Griet… are you excited for this gig?? What can we expect from your set??
-Super excited for Halloween 2016! Not only does it rhyme so well, but the lineup for the night is totally hot! Hmmmm last year we went as the Proteas Cricket Team… We’re taking suggestions for this year’s outfits.
Photo Credit: Lourens Smit.
- Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
– We are releasing our debut extended release, Lapis Lazuli, on the 4th of November. So we’re super excited to share that with everyone. In the meantime, you can listen to our first single off the release, Over the Shoulder – https://soundcloud.com/sol-gems/over-the-shoulder. It actually got playlisted on 5fm like last night, so when it comes to voting we’d really appreciate some support!
- Where can we follow you on Social media?
We’re lurking about all over on:
- Thanks for your time guys…!!