In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with SOLACE OF THE VOID. Written from the point of view of John Chalmers. Guitarist, Composer and Recording Engineer for Solace of the Void. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-Mike and I were both in an early version of Hexenklad together and even though the music was great, there were a lot of challenges and we didn’t think the band was going to make it. One day Mike came to me with the concept of Solace of the Void and creating this concept of a musical collective. A collaboration with friends and people we respected. I immediately hopped on board as it represented the creative outlet and freedom that we both were looking for. It was also during this collaboration that we worked with all of the current members of Hexenklad and I’m pleased to say that project is now very healthy and recording our second album.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-For Solace of the Void, it was very organic. Mike and I put the spine of a song together, created and organized riffs which were then recorded. From that point we passed it on the musicians we were collaborating with. 3 drummers, 3 bassists, 6 vocalists, 2 keyboardists, 3 guitar soloists and a cello player. From there, everything just came together.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Four of the songs were mostly put together by Mike playing his acoustic guitar in his hammock in front of a fire in the forests of Bancroft Ontario where he lives. The remaining 2 were written in my living room as we jammed out ideas. It all came very quickly. From there each of the musicians we collaborated with put their own spin on things. Essentially we let the music take us on a journey and we are very pleased with how it all turned out.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-Most of this album was recorded in my home studio or in the home studios of the other musicians. It was a blessing to have these sorts of tools at our fingertips as we were able to capture different ideas and keep things affordable. As the whole concept of Solace of the Void is that of a musical collective, we did not feel the need to release individual songs one at a time.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-The world has changed and we have to change with it. We all work day jobs and have no expectation that we can make a living off of our music. At least this style of music which is our passion. The hope is that at least some people recognize how much blood sweat and money goes into making a creation like this. For example I’ve already mentioned to some interested fans that I would give them a CD at no cost for being so loyal to us over the years and they won’t take it. They insist on paying.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-Solace of the Void has really only been heard by the band members thus far, and a few close friends. Craig at CDN Records has connected us with Victor at Zineaholic who is running a PR campaign for us to get the word out and that is how we have come to do this interview with you. As far as what has received the most attention, it is clearly the depth and strength of the roster of musicians on this CD. These are all people that are very well known for Black Metal or Folk Metal in Canada and all have great works to their credit.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-Simply the fact that we were able to put together the Solace of the Void album with musicians spread all across Canada. That we able to collaborate so effectively and seamlessly. As a recording engineer I had my doubts about the technical aspects much less the creative side of things. But everything just flowed. It was magical.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-There is a brotherhood in metal like few other genres of music. Everyone that participated in this project either was a friend or is now a friend. Music brings people together and most of the people I am close to in my life are musicians or metal fans. Without music I would have missed out on great friendships and some pretty amazing times. Fantastic parties too, lets not forget those.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-Mike and I have different views on the live scene as he lives in a yurt in the middle of a forest and I live in city. I think we would both agree that there is nothing quite like seeing your favorite bands in a live setting. I have traveled North America and even to Europe to see bands. I believe it does ultimately help build a bigger following but it is quite a sacrifice to tour extensively and has a grueling affect on ones life.
What plans do you have for the future?
-Solace of the Void was a one time collaboration with of over 20 musicians so there will not be another Solace of the Void album. There are however, ideas for 2 different projects that will also be collaborative in nature. They are still in the concept stage but we have run them past Craig at our label CDN records and as always he is incredibly supportive of our ideas and concepts. For Solace of the Void, if I could make one wish and have it come true, it would be to play a few select festivals in Europe with as many of the members as possible. That would be really something special.
Thank you very much for taking interest in Solace of the Void and requesting this interview. We truly appreciate it. Hailz Battle Helm!!!