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Take Five: An interview with Solstice

Hailing from England (Huddersfield, and its surrounding satellite towns), Solstice play loud and epic heavy metal. The band has a new EP out titled Death’s Crown is Victory. Take Five secured a conversation with the band, and they had the following to report.

Cover art for Solstice's EP "Death’s Crown is Victory."
Cover art for Solstice's EP "Death’s Crown is Victory."Invictus Productions
England's Solstice play loud and heavy metal.
England's Solstice play loud and heavy metal.Invictus Productions

Tell me what led to the initial breakup of Solstice. And what inspired a new version of the band to come together under the Solstice moniker?

Solstice: “Best I understand, the initial breakup came about through the majority of the then-established members losing sight of why people like us should be in a band like this. As I see it, it’s to make a statement—now by that I don’t mean to make a statement musically because that should not and cannot be something you ‘plan’ to do really. Why? Simply because that implies an agenda for the music before it happens, it applies a cerebral approach to something that can only ever be something of instinct and heart.

“However, the way we should approach everything around the creation of the music—how we conduct ourselves almost should definitely be something of a statement. We want to exist peripheral to what most people consider the ‘Heavy Metal scene.’

“We don’t want to fit in at festivals with the right shirts, the right tattoos, the right patches on our jackets.

“Just as we don’t want to waste promoters’ or music lovers’ money by showing up for gigs and being sloppy cos we’re more interested in getting drunk and high fiving folk.

“There has to be a strong code of ethics for this, and I believe that it was diluted by the last properly functioning line-up, and so it was decided that it was best the name be put into hibernation rather than it be another that descended into parody.

“What brought it back was the coming together of people who actually shared that belief in the value of the name Solstice within this Heavy Metal movement.”

Tell me about your new EP, Death’s Crown is Victory. What can veteran and new listeners expect to hear?

Solstice: “Honest, real, and raw Doom Metal or Heavy Metal. The sound of five men making this music because they love it and not because they want to be part of a social scene.”

How did you approach the recording on this new EP, given that is has such a vibrant, almost live vibe associated with it?

Solstice: “Very simply. We found a studio that fit our needs—financially and most importantly, with an owner that was happy to let his studio serve our vision. The real killer move was getting our guitarist Andy’s brother Richard to mix it for us and get a sound that still leaves me shocked. It’s just perfect.”

What inspired the lyrics for the track “I am the Hunter”? How did you go about putting words to paper?

Solstice: “It all happened naturally.

“‘I Am The Hunter’ is basically about a spirit of rebellion that should exist in every man but doesn’t because so few people value anything anymore. It’s about being forced to stand up for something you love . . . whether a flag or family, and not being afraid to do it.”

What’s next for Solstice? Any plans for a tour, perhaps including a visit to the United States? Any details about a full-length studio CD, which surely will follow, given the power of this EP?

Solstice: “This mini-album will be followed by another mini album called To Sol A Thane.

“We would love to visit the States. Any promoters there that want us? We’re waiting. Contact solstice.bookings@gmail.com.”