Gabe F - Guitar
Sam T - Vocals
David M - Guitar
Josiah C - Bass
"The Systematic Erosion Of Integrity" offered me the chance to familiarize with Solace And Stable, young metalcorers from America; as usual, you'll find the review of the album already indexed on our website. Let's get to know better this guys and let's hear what they have to say about themselves.
Let's start by talking about you and your past as a band; when did you give birth to the band, who are its members, how was the monicker chosen?
Gabe: I'm Gabe I play guitar, and produce Solace And Stable. The band started back in 08' when I left From The Shallows to refocus on music more progressive, technical, and melodic. Many guys have come, and gone, but Sam (vocals) has been here from the start. Bill Amsbaugh (drums), Dave Muolo (guitars), and Josiah (bass) are the newest members of the band. The band has teetered between being my solo project, and re-establishing as a band when other members were available to complete the lineup. The name Solace And Stable derives from both words serving as a theme in which we try to abide by in this band. Often times it's not enough to find solace, but to find stability after finding solace. That's a personal goal, and a goal we look to as a band.
Is the title of your album, "The Systematic Erosion Of Integrity", referring to something in particular, or is it more of a generic topic? Don't you think that, in the age we live in, talking about things such as integrity or moral values is in contrast with the market laws?
The title does not refer to a singular instance but just a movement in which we interpret our society moving towards. Things like integrity, and morality are of no importance, and are disregarded mostly. It seems like these days such things are interpreted as binding, and offensive. Solace and Stable is a band made up of 5 guys who embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ, and attempt to apply them to our own lives in the most honest, and sincere way we can. Solace and Stable stands to inspire other's positively, spiritually, and musically. It's of little concern to us whether our convictions, and manifestions of such; in an effort to positively inspire others, keeps us from "success". It plays a very large part in inspiring the band to do what we do, and the band would not be the same without that driving force.
The music you play is an aggressive, and progressive, metalcore, which grants wide space to melodies; which bands inspired you the most when you started playing? Usually, do you listen to similar music, or prefer to explore beyond the musical borders of your genre?
You know it's funny, I'm so burnt out on the genre of metalcore. I've never considered Solace And Stable to be a metalcore but everyone of our interviews have deemed us metalcore, so we will embrace it. I wrote all of the music the first two albums, and some of my biggest influences are Between The Buried And Me, Spawn Of Possession, A Life Once Lost, Into The Moat, and The Red Chord. I still mostly listen to extreme metal, but I also tend to enjoy electronic, jazz, and classical music as well.
You managed to maintain a balance, within your album, between songs with a very hard approach and, on the other side, some more catchy, "easy" listening pieces. How do you create your songs, and when do you realize "this is how this song must sound"?
The way we write songs is layed out on a tab notation program. It's a quick, and efficient way to write a song, and remain aware of the progression. Everyone in the band has the software, and I would send the tracks to guys to learn the songs. When writing songs I keep the album in mind as a whole. I try not to overdue certain techniques, and melodies throughout the album. Establishing the song is on a riff by riff basis. Sometimes a song will have 19 drafts before it's complete with alternate transitions, or ideas.
The choice of following one's own faith is, among other things, a theme that emerges from your lyrics. Is religion one of the topics that you feel closer and most interested in? Can you share with us your thoughts about words like "belief", "doctrine" and "church"?
As stated earlier our faith is something that is very important to us. It is considered in all things, and therefore finds it's self within our music. We want to share something that inspires, and impacts us positively with others as an act of love. We believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone as a sacrifice of atonement. To accept that sacrifice is to receive eternal life. Not by our good works, but by the grace God. Grace through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on behalf of us for our sins. Church would be the congregation in which gather's in the name of Jesus Christ to acknowledge, receive, and proclaim the teachings of Jesus Christ' and through the positive change we experience, be a vessel of love to others.
The scene you're a part of is often criticized by the most "integralist" thinkers, also due to the recurring of some clichés; I'm thinking, for instance, to the uselessness of all those projects that experience countless breakdowns among their members, or to all those bands who, at some point, turn towards a very pop-like melodic death. What's your ideal "recipe" for a good album?
The older I get, the more I understand that what music should be, is not really universal. I think it's unique genre to genre as well. But what makes a good metal album in my opinion is balancing unique melodies, chords, and progression to create as opposed to recycling ideas. I think so many bands just copy riffs, song structures, and rely on breakdowns to write songs. I think balancing progression, and finding ways to blend chords, and melodies in a unique way renders a creative offering. When these efforts meet smooth transitions, and broad sounds it creates a great listening experience in my opinion.
How did you start to approach metal music, and what's the album that changed your (musical) life?
When I was 12 years old I heard "If These Scars Could Speak" by Zao. That song opened me to a world of new music in which I never looked back. The most impacting album I heard was "The Silent Circus" by Between The Buried And Me. I was so blown away that the band was able to pull off a variety of sounds while maintaining a natural feel. It was my goal from them on to create a similar listening experience for others when listening to my music.
What do you recall of your first live gig? And what are your programs to support "Solace And Stable"?
My first live gig was an incredible rush that I became addicted to. There is nothing I enjoy more than connecting with a crowd musically, and having others react to my music. I don't remember it being with any large acts, but not that it would have taken away from how exciting that was. We don't have programs per say, but we have our albums on iTunes, Amazon, and big cartel. We have a Facebook (www.facebook.com/solaceandstable) which our central location for all updates, and news on the band.
What, in your opinion, can a young band such as yours do to achieve some degree of success in your scene? What are the major obstacles that you have encountered so far?
We are still learning this, and experimenting with what works for us. Progressive metal isn't beloved in our local scene, so we are looking for ways to expand beyond our city. We have hooked up with Clawhammer for PR to help advertise the album, and increase exposure. Playing out in cities we haven't played is a vital part of growing your band in which we are working towards as well. Social media upkeep, and consistently putting out new media is something important to keep people interested as well.
Do you have specific objectives to achieve?
Our goals as a band are to consistently put out relevant, and evolving music that inspires others spiritually, and musically. As long as we continue to do these things this band has a purpose. We hope to continually do this on a larger level, and will work towards making that happen as well.
Art has always stood in the first line when it was needed, to give hope and to be a supportful resource in the worst moments of crisis. In this period the world's economy is collapsing, whole countries are falling to their knees, and even here, in italy, things are not going for the best, even if apparently our so-called government don't understand shit about it. What's the situation in the states? Do you thing that the most prominent musicians will, once again, be in the first line to take position, as in the past, or will they act out of greed for money and advertisement, capitalizing on the presidential elections' closing in?
I believe there are, and will always be both. Sincere musicians are lost in a crowd of imitators. It doesn't help that mainstream music is all about politics within the business. Monetizing first and foremost. That's something that really drew me to extreme metal as there is such a small percentage of bands actually making enough money to be comfortable. As a result, the bands that survive are the ones that want it most, and are the majority of the time sincere. Sincerity, change, and positivity will always be the heart of our music. Our message will not be received by everyone, but it's always with the best intentions. We hope that others can find strength, and inspiration through our music during any period of time.
Talking about the elections...Obama was expected to mark a turning point, and, as it seems, now he's not popular as he used to be. What are you foreseeing for the next future if he'll be re-elected, and what if he won't?
I don't wanna speak for the whole band on political views, so I'll speak for myself. I think it's been a very interesting decade for America. I truly don't feel I'm living in the same country I was even 5 years ago. There has been so much change socially, morally, ethically, and economically. I think it's quite clear there is an agenda at hand in our country with media, Hollywood, and politics as vehicles. Our country is trying to erase the foundation in which we built upon; freedom, and God. With efforts to demonize, and remove God from socitey, monuments, rationality, and replace our trust in government. It's a disgusting display of power lust. Intentions are not good, and neither are the results so far. We have a president with a questionable birth certificate who has racked up our debt deficit by 33% in four years. I've lost faith, and trust in our government. I truly believe we have a fraction of the power (as a people)they lead us to believe we do. My only hope for a positive forthcoming four years is Ron Paul.
Let's get back to a less serious topic. The dusk of 2012 is coming, and we've often heard discussions about profecies, end of the world and stuff like that. Which song would be your perfect soundtrack for a possible, altough undesirable, "Apocalypse"?
That's a tough question. I would have to say "Desire The End" by Zao hat song is totally fitting.
The last album you've bought and the last concert you've been to?
The last album I bought was Spawn Of Possessions new record. The last concert I went to was a local show in which our vocalist's other band played.
Let's talk about your future; are you already beyond "The Systematic Erosion Of Integrity"? do you have any idea about what's next?
The Systematic Erosion Of Integrity was a 3 year endeavor. The album was tracked 3 times, and remixed countless times trying to get the album to be what we wanted it to be. So we are not looking to the next album yet. It's going to take some time to rest up mentally in order to start working on a new record. I will say that our next plan is to re-record the first album as we feel it was not justified due to the production. It maybe 6 months before we are ready to start working on that though.
Who are Solace And Stable in their everyday life? Passions, hobbies, work...
I work in Real Estate, and have a project studio in which I spend most of my time. Bill (drums) does insulation, Josiah (bass) works for a printing company, Dave (guitar) works for a chiropractic company), and Sam (vocals) works for ear plugs, and merchandise company. Girlfirends, video games, custom drum building, and carpentry are some random hobbies associated with guys in the band as well. We aren't the most interesting people by any means haha.
This is the end of the interview! You have the chance of saying hey to our readers with whatever message you find fit.
Thanks so much to all who support our band! Buy "The Systematic Erosion Of Integrity" now on I-tunes, Amazon, or big cartel (physical cd's, and merch). We hope to see you all at a show soon. God bless.