I am happy to announce another interview, this one happens to be with Jeff Sumrell from the amazingly talented and dedicated Black/Death Metal band known as Solace of Requiem. 3 words to describe the latest album entitled Casting Ruin would be: EPIC FUCKING BRUTALITY. Here's the interview!
UN: How did you know you wanted to become a musician?
JS: My first love with music came from my father. He was really heavily into music when I was growing up and I had the same kind of love for music that he had, but it wasn't until I went to my first concert that I decided I wanted to be a musician. I got a chance to see Metallica at the Hampton Colosseum in Virginia when I was a kid and I instantly knew I wanted to not only be a musician, but a bass player as well.
UN: What are your favorite songs off of the albums SOR has released?
JS: I have different songs that I call my favorites off of our albums. I'm a bias source of information, obviously, but I guess I have favorites on each of my albums. Having said that, I am a lyrical minded artist so I tend to like the work I've done that I feel best relay my points. From our first album I really like is The Ocean North, which I wrote about my falling marriage. From our second album Utopia Reborn, I like Cry Out For Mercy, which I wrote about the growing problems between the world's religions. From our third album, The Great Awakening, I like Scourge of Wills which is a song about me. And from our newest album, Casting Ruin, I really have many parts to many songs I am extremely proud of. However, if I could choose only one, I'd have to say my favorite is Eroded Absolution. I'd choose that song for a few different reasons. One reason is that I wrote that song completely alone. It is also my personal story about becoming an Atheist. And I just love that second riff! It's just so dirty! Ha ha ha ha ha!
UN: Where has been a favorite place you have performed LIVE?
JS: I love playing live no matter where it is. As long as I have an audience, I love to play! I think all the guys in my band would agree. As long as there are people, that's all that matters. It's really about what you make of it. There's no such thing as a bad show.
UN: Who are your influences both personally and musically?
JS: In my opinion, as far as sick-genius goes, Liszt was the most complex composer. Out of all the greats, I feel he was the greatest. Maybe it’s because of his extremely dynamic style, but I think I admire him most for his melodies and progressions. His music paints landscapes that are not only complex, but are also “futuristic”, if I used the word while imagining the perspective of a critic from his time. I have a special admiration for his work and I am most certainly influenced by his music. Anyone that knows me also knows I am a huge Jerry Cantrell fan. The only negative he has is that he isn’t an amazing guitarist. He’s good, but nowhere close to guitar god. However, everything else about him is dangerously close to perfect. His music, lyrics, as well as his singing are incredible. His composition is absolutely amazing and I’d say I am influenced by his music very much. Cantrell, as well as Liszt, both have a darker vibe to their melodies, structures and dynamics therein. There are others that I admire and/or influenced by, but those two people are in a tie for first place in my book. UN: Who came up with the name Solace of Requiem? JS: When the band first started back in the early part of this millennium, Chris Young, Luke Downing and I, all sat down and pitched each other ideas. I think it was by mistake that I said “Solace Of Requiem” and everyone seemed to agree on it. We wanted the name to mean something, so we had “solace”, “requiem” and several other words in mind, but it took a while before we put those words together with “of." UN: What band really stands out for you nowadays? JS: Behemoth is definitely a band I have tons of respect for. Nergal is an interesting guy. His life was/is really busy and he’s not a dummy when it comes to music and business in general. However, the honest truth is that I listen to extreme music often, but it’s not my only passion. Like I said before, I really admire Jerry Cantrell and Franz Liszt. Both of those guys have nothing to do with extreme music. So there are other bands that standout to me, but they aren’t metal, nor are all of them bands.
UN: How did the tour go?
JS:The tour with Ulcerate and Wormed went really well. He played tons of great shows, met great people and had a great time. So it worked very well for us on all fronts.
UN: Do you stay in contact with the fans and bands you meet while on tour and off tour?
JS:Sure I do. It’s not uncommon for all the guys in the band to remain in contact with certain people they meet along the way. That’s one of the best things about being a touring musician. You get to meet so many interesting people. Some of them are assholes. There are assholes on all corners of the globe, but most people we meet are really friendly and are there for the same reason I am. For the love of music. UN: What is the next step for you and for Solace of Requiem? JS: SOR will be writing a new album soon. In the meantime, we’ll be releasing our Guitar Pro tablature for Soiling The Fields Of Putridity, which is the song we made our video for. We will also be releasing a new music video and a Guitar Play-Through video for our song Heaving Bile And Ash. As for my personal ambitions, I am going to do a hardrock project that I have recently written material for. I will sing, play the instruments (except drums) and ultimately record 2 or 3 songs as a demo. I will also be doing a black metal project with a friend of mine from Germany. The project is called Gryphus and I will be going into the studio to record the vocals for that project very soon. I have a few other irons in the fire, but I guess those are the major ones on the list. UN: What would you say has been your most accomplished moment in your life so far? JS: I’d have to say the birth of my children. I know how Cliche’ it sounds, but if I had to be honest, I’d definitely say that was my answer. UN: Any last words for Underground Noise? JS: Yes. Thanks Alex and Underground Noise for having me. And also, I would like your readers to know that SOR supports a secular world and we strongly advocate the full use of the brain! We are just now seeing religion catch the mainstream eye and show its true nature to the world once more. Religion is a vile and disgusting thing and it has done nothing but cause grief, misery and contempt since the first time it was used to control the masses and suppress critical thinking. I would like your readers to know that SOR not only gives attention to this within our music and videos, but we also give 10% of our online clothing sales to secular children’s charities in regard to science and/or the arts. It all starts with the kids. We can’t save them from stupid at 35 years old, but we can save them from being indoctrinated into such a narrow minded culture in the first place. HAIL SCIENCE! Thanks!
Jeff W/ Solace Of Requiem