I’ve had the privilege to work with a local band for the past few months doing promotional photos, show flyers, providing feedback on songs, and other small things. It has made me feel as if I was a part of the band. Working with these guys on many projects, makes me realize the five guys in Soldiers of Solace are some of the hardest working fellas I’ve ever met. From scheduling their own shows, interviews, practicing multiple times a week, recording music, and stopping for nothing to make their dreams come true.
When I first started working with Soldiers of Solace in 2015, they were still in the beginning stages, with only a few songs for a live show, and a small local following. Fast forward two years, playing headline shows at local music venues, playing direct support for acts like Nonpoint, Scott Stapp, and Jasta, the fan support has grown, the music has evolved into fruition, and they’re making waves in the Connecticut hard rock scene.
As of January, Soldiers of Solace has signed a deal with Rock ’N Growl Records from Europe. The journey is only beginning with this band. Scheduling six or more shows every month, they were born strong. This past week, I was asked to join the band on the road for a few shows as their photographer. I have never felt so honored in my life to have the pleasure and opportunity to hit the road with a signed recording artist, and people I consider friends.
After gaining recognition on our local rock station back in 2016, promotors and other radio stations saw Soldiers of Solace for what they really are; talented and respectable musicians just trying to make it work. Soldiers of Solace is planning a tour soon, but for now is playing shows halfway across the country when the opportunity arises.
Let’s hit the road. Six guys in a Dodge Caravan, packed in like sardines, we made our journey from Connecticut all the way to Kansas City, Missouri, where Soldiers was scheduled to perform in front of new fans and a new part of the country, but bringing the same epic stage presence they always provide. With the long journey ahead of us we needed tunes, so we set the Bluetooth (after struggling for an hour), took requests, and I got to hear some insider thoughts of possible future cover songs and what their thoughts were on immediate plans. When you hear what these guys have in store for the rest of 2017, you’ll be ready for more SOS. Into the ride, we had an impromptu informal interview. We spoke of the new record and when they plan on hitting the studio to record the rest of their first full-length album. Soldiers already has three songs recorded “Rude Awakening,” Cold as A Stone,” and “Freedom’s Children.”
“We’re expecting to have the full length ready for late 2017.” – says Jason Longo (vocals).
This should excite any heavy rock or metal fan as this band is the next big thing out of Connecticut. With their local fan-base growing daily, their shows continuously have more support, sell a ton of merch, while they greet fans at the booth to sign autographed photographs after their set. You usually don’t see a line at the merch table for smaller bands, but I’ve witnessed it first hand with these guys. Providing a positive outlook on young fans, they strive to always make this struggling world a bright future.
This band works so hard throughout our journey towards Kansas City. I was given the task to look for open mic nights and bands that may have wanted an opening act in passing cities. Unfortunately, Friday nights aren’t the night for open mic, so we ended up traveling on; however, we stopped in Pittsburgh, PA, where lead singer Jason and I got tattoos, both with deep meaning in our lives and reminding us of who we are.
The ride to the All Star Bar in Kansas City, MO took just over 20 hours and the guys were ready to play a show. Playing for a packed house, in front of three other bands, Benevox, City of the Weak, and RazorWire Halo, they performed second. Playing a stellar show, and broadcasting it LIVE on their Facebook page, the gateway to the mid-west was complete. Check out the show HERE —>
You can even see me hopping up on a stool to get some photos of Francesco Daniele (drummer), and then Luis Cubille (guitar), Ron Therrien (bass), and Jeff Fahy (lead guitar) from the side angles. Check out those fast fingers by Jeff, one of the best guitarists in the state, never missing a chance to rock and put his flare on it. With the stage presence of Jason Longo, the energy is always intense and the crowd loved their style.
After making new connections at The All Star Bar, it was unfortunately time to hit the road back to Connecticut. After figuring out how to pack all the gear back in the van without having to hold onto it from falling on us every few minutes, we were back on the blacktop. With the phones plugged in, a big box of snacks, and a case of water rolling around the van somewhere, we settled in for the 20-hour ride. Talking about the show and what to do better for the future and how to prepare for the next shows, it’s all business with Soldiers of Solace. They’re always moving forward and making progress and that is how to succeed in the music industry.
Stay up to date with my Connecticut Feature every month, as we have some strong talent in this state.