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Topic: Solstice Coil
Posted: August 07 2011 at 02:49
SOLSTICE COIL first emerged into the world in 2001, when founding members Shir Deutch and Guy Matityahu, the original bassist, met and began jamming together. Later that year, guitarist Opher Vishnia and drummer Uri Goldberg joined the band, and the first lineup of SOLSTICE COIL was complete. The band went on stage for the very first time on the 23rd of February 2002. The band then added keyboard player Shai Yallin, who brought with him many new influences to the band's music. SOLSTICE's musical style began to evolve from the basic starting point of alternative rock, into a more mature and insightful hybrid of genres, with a general hunger for pushing the boundaries and exploring new sonic scopes. ......... Rest of the biography in their PA profile.
I got in touch with them and Shir Deutch answered my questions.
Your biography has been covered in your ProgArchives profile and on your excellent homepage so let's bypass the biography details. But which bands/artists were your band influenced by and why did you choose that name ?
Our main influences are Radiohead, Muse, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Pain of Salvation, The Mars Volta and of course, classic prog bands like Genesis, Yes and King Crimson.
I think Opher came up with the name Solstice, and we went by that name for about two years until we discovered that there were several other bands called Solstice, including a neo-prog band from the 1980s. I suggested that we’d use the Israeli suffix for our website (co.il) and turn it into Coil; that way we’d have a new name but could keep our domain name!
You are currently pretty famous for that brilliant Dream Theater parody on Youtube. A video now adopted by Dream Theater themselves. The full story and link at your homepage. What made you come up with this parody ?
Opher and I were talking about ways to promote the new album, and I suggested that we’d make another music video. The only problem was, we had no drummer – Yatziv had left to live in Berlin. So we jokingly said that maybe we can have auditions like DT did, only in our case, the drummer would only be auditing to play in the video, not actually join the band. And the rest is history.
You have had a bit of a stop-start career. I guess, from interviews with other Israeli bands, that your compulsary 3 years military service has something to do with it. You started with two singles in year 2004 named Confined and Deep Child. Please tell us more about these two singles and their current availability.
When we started the band, I was in the army and Opher was still in high school. After I finished my service, Opher enlisted, so it did drag us back a bit, but since we weren’t drafted to combat units, it wasn’t that bad. Overall, if you’re not in a combat unit, being in the army is more like a job, only the hours are a bit longer and the salary really stinks. But we’d get to go home frequently enough to be able to keep working on our music.
Confined was the first song we ever recorded. It was a nice effort, but it wasn’t really up to par with our later productions. Deep Child, however, appeared on our first album, A Prescription for Paper Cuts, and has been an important number on our set list for years; we also shot a music video for Deep Child in 2006.
Your debut album A Prescription For Paper Cuts was released in 2005. Please tell us more about this album.
We produced it entirely by ourselves, which was not as common at the time as it is today, and it was an amazing success, particularly because we received praises for the production itself, along with the music. Other than drums, vocals and cello, the entire album was recorded in Shai’s home studio; Shai also edited and mixed the entire thing by himself.
I think there were great songs on the album, with meaningful yet mystical lyrics and some very experimental arrangements. We learned a lot from producing this album, what to do, what not to do, and it definitely helped us be more focused when working on our second album Natural Causes.
Paper Cuts received great reviews from many prog-rock websites and magazines, and sold quite well too, so overall I think we did a good job there.
Then there was a long break. What were you up to during these years ?
We mostly played concerts in Israel, which had no impact on the rest of the world. In late 2006 we were invited to play in Prog Resiste’s convention at the Spirit of 66’ in Belgium, which was an amazing experience. When we got back we had to take a short break, and then we had some personnel changes, adding a new drummer and bass player. In 2007-2009 we played a lot of concerts in Israel, ironing out the songs for Natural Causes, while going in and out of the studio. The reason it took so long to release Natural Causes was that we were looking for a foreign label to help us distribute the album, and we also needed time to work on the cover art with Vitaly.
You returned earlier this year with the Natural Causes album. Please tell us more about this album.
It’s totally awesome and you should definitely buy it! Seriously though, we’re very proud of this album. We worked on every aspect of this album, from the lyrics, to the melodies, arrangements, the sound and the art. We literally had sit-downs where we would discuss specific notes in the vocal melodies that didn’t sound exactly right, or match the melody to the text in a way that expressed the message we want to send out more accurately. In Paper Cuts we worked on the arrangements in the rehearsal room, and added the final touches in the studio. Here we went about it the other way around – we made demo recordings of the songs at the home studio, where we had a bird's-eye view of the music, and only after recording and programming the roles for every instrument, we went into the rehearsal room and tried them out. Then we’d see what works live and what doesn’t, which parts are playable and which were too far-fetched and impossible to play, and we’d make the appropriate changes.
For those of our readers unknown with your music; how would you describe you music and which bands would you compare yourself with ?
I think our music can be described as non-technical progressive metal. To me Natural Causes feels like a fusion of Radiohead’s Ok Computer and Dream Theater’s Awake, in the sense that there is a dark, melancholic tone, and there are complex compositions, but not for the sake of complexity, and there is also an emphasis on the lyrics and the link between the music and the texts.
How is it to run a band in such a small country like Israel ? Do you have any plans to go back to Europe (after touring Belgium some years ago) and even spread your wings to USA to do festivals, gigs and/or tours ?
It isn’t easy, because the possibilities in Israel are quite limited. There isn’t a big audience for progressive rock here, and the mainstream media is completely indifferent to anything that deviates from the norm. There are practically no channels here in which an alternative music band can breakthrough, and the only way to get ahead is by playing concerts and by using the internet, which we do a lot.
We definitely want to return to play in Europe again, the last time was simply amazing and we’d love to play in the US as well. If the right opportunity presents itself, we’ll definitely do everything we can to make it happen.
What is your current status and your plans for this and next year ?
Right now we’re working on some new videos (stay tuned for more Triangle Guy adventures!) and also on new music. We might start recording next year, depending on how long it’ll take us to write and arrange more songs. Either way I think it’ll take less time than the first two albums.
To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?
We’d just like to thank you for conducting this interview, and generally give out a big thanks to the entire international prog-rock community, which has been so friendly and supportive throughout the years. It really makes it all worthwhile.
Thank you to Shir Deutch for this interview
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|Post Options Quote Reply Posted: August 07 2011 at 15:28|
Why Solstice Coil was added to Prog Related? I think they dhould be added to Crossover Prog or even Prog Metal.
"Prog is Not Dead and never has been." (Will Sergeant, from Echo And The Bunnymen)
My blog: http://parastream.wordpress.com
Joined: January 18 2005
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|Post Options Quote Reply Posted: August 10 2011 at 03:29|
Thanks for the interview and the support!
I think it's because we reserve the right to write non-progressive songs on occasion ;-)
Solstice Coil - alternative progressive rock from Israel
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