My name is Jim Lockey and I sing in the band and play guitar. We’re a hip hop-influenced alternative rock band based in Cheltenham and there are four of us altogether. With me is Chris Capewell on guitar and vocals; Phil Randall with the bass; and Simon Cripps using samples and playing the drums.
The Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun project had run its course and we weren’t overly excited about pursuing it further. We wanted to start again, and on our own terms. We wanted to take our band back from what it had grown into. That’s what Solemn Sun is to us, not a restart, but an entirely new beginning.
It can mean anything you want it to. One idea is that the sun’s solemnity comes from watching over the world in its current state. The sun is the lifeblood of everything on Earth and its gravity and ceremony are unparalleled. For us, it is all of these things and a representation of what we create together.
Well, we’ve been working on it since December 2013, but we didn’t officially come out to the public until July so it’s still early days for us. Our first EP will be released on Monday 13 October 2014.
We’ve definitely got a new style; our sound is now the polar opposite of what it was. The heart is still in the songs, but the projects are incomparable!
We’re influenced by ambitious bands, such as Brand New, The Neighbourhood and The Manchester Orchestra, and we’ve had some flattering references to some heavier bands too, like Glassjaw and Deftones – but I’d say that’s more to do with texture than sound.
Our fans’ reactions have been consistently positive so far. Many of the people around before are still with us now and we’re picking up new interest too as we move forward, so it’s certainly successful in that sense.
Obviously there are some who are against the idea of our fresh start, as there always will be. We wish them well, but we have our focus now and the old band won’t be coming back.
Discernible music fans with a taste for something new.
As a new band, we haven’t played yet in the area, but we’d be excited to be welcomed to the 2000trees Festival next year. It’s the highlight of the local scene each year and draws in music fans from all over the country.
I think somewhere unconventional would be best too. Like in the Old Fire Station in Cheltenham or a rundown warehouse in Gloucester. Something we could make our own. Somewhere we could give the audience a bit of escapism for the night.
Locally, we’re big fans of Crooks, Kitten and Bear, Andy Oliveri and Champion… it’s difficult to pick one show in particular. I think the best shows in Cheltenham are when it’s all local bands, but they treat it as more than just another night playing in their local. They make an event out of it and give something to it, something that makes people stand up and notice.
If it was a question of anyone, dead or alive, Michael Jackson would top the list without a doubt! In terms of a more recent artist, it would probably be Rocky. Not only are we huge fans of his music, but the energy he has and the way he commands his audience is unlike any other rapper I’ve seen.
Well… we all look a lot like the guys from Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun.
Simple Math by Manchester Orchestra.
To play Fenway Park or the Superbowl halftime show.
If you want to pursue being in a band as a career you need to tour away from your hometown. No label in the universe will come to Gloucestershire to find you. You need to be out there everywhere making a name.
Also, don’t try to be anything you’re not, people see through fallacy, the best fans are the ones that believe in what you say.
We’re touring the UK in November. The nearest show is at Birmingham Sunflower Lounge on the 11th.
Yes! We have two singles and the EP release; headline tours in the UK; and support tours in Europe and U.S scheduled for the next year.
By Alice Lloyd
Tuesday 26 August 2014
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