It’s Christmas Eve, readers. Catskill Chill is tomorrow, and we can’t wait. We’ve had an incredible experience interviewing some of the fantastic groups on Chill’s festival bill this year, and we’re excited to stuff your festival stockings with another great interview from another great band. With this post, we bring to you SOLARiS: a 3 piece all-instrumental electronic trance/fusion jamband from Binghamton, New York. Dan, Jared and Vincenzo are a talented trio with an uncanny sense of humor. These guys are Chillfam vets, and are performing for a fourth straight year this Sunday at 3:30. So, enjoy this interview, and make sure to call sick tomorrow and stuff your trunk with a tent, sleeping bag, and festival survival kit. Tickets are still available here.
Hey guys, thanks so much for taking some time to answer some questions for our readers, your fans, and the Chillfam. Much appreciated. So let’s get into it! How did you guys meet and ultimately end up forming a band together?
SOLARiS met in the sprawling vista of Binghamton NY, home of the triple-bacon nacho cheese dog and our favorite sports team, the Binghamton Beavers. We started our band when we realized the one thing Binghamton needed most was a 3 piece jamtronica powerhouse to come slaughter all local talent and music in the city. We did so, and in the process, became the best of friends.
It seems like most of your shows this summer are around the Upstate NY or Mid-Atlantic regions, do you hope to use your music to do some more traveling and touring in the future?
Yes. We will use our music to travel and tour. Traveling and touring would actually be extremely awkward without our music. I’m not sure what our excuse would be for showing up to these venues without instruments. We’ve considered getting on stage and just eating breakfast before. We once had a DJ eat a plate of french fries and a burger while he performed as our opener in Wilkes Barre, PA. We wanna maybe try that, but without the performing part; just the food. We all love eating. All 3 members of the band are cooks, but we are also all classically trained at eating, too.
Where is your favorite venue to perform?
Wherever can provide us with fried food, a couple hundred bones, some encouraging words, and a slightly negotiable but wishy-washy bar tab. Sometimes they write down the drinks, but sometimes they write down every other one and give us a shot or two on top of it, which is great. Usually if there’s a cute, short bartender, she’s the one that writes the drinks down. The guy in the hockey jersey with the pen behind his ear usually is the one that gives us rounds on the house. Which is weird, because he’s the one who actually has a pen on him. Oh, and Brooklyn Bowl. Love that place.
Your shows usually contain a lot of improvisation, what process do you use to prepare sets for concerts?
Every show has a setlist. Improvisation comes from the heart. Whichever one of us is the least grumpy usually leads the jam. In SOLARiS, somebody’s gotta go through the ringer every night. Whoever manages to be the most aloof, the least concerned, and the best dressed, typically leads the jam. I’ve seen Jared (keys) do things on stage when wearing a bowling shirt that have completely blown my mind. The dude has redefined cool.
Your music consistently covers a broad range of genres, but would you say there is specific sound or style that serves as the foundation for your music? If so, what is it?
Whatever can make you dance. But more specifically, four-on-the-floor jamtronica. But we like the kind of records people were bulldozing during “Disco Sucks” in that big stadium. One or more members of our band are actually spiritually black, like Rachel Dolezal, so we feel a lot of funk and blues in there underneath it all. I’d like to think there’s some punk influence in there, too. The music we play is loud, raw, in your face, and allows me to wear black every night.
Your drummer, Dan Lyons, is also a member of Horizon Wireless. Are there ever conflicts when trying to split the time up between the two groups?
We hate Horizon Wireless, and Horizon Wireless hates us. Not since the split-up of Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielson has their been a more hotly conflicted and painfully awkward dichotomy between two artists. We let Dan do his thing, and god bless him he’s trying, but we all know where the true power is. Dan in SOLARiS makes Dan in Horizon Wireless look like Paul McCartney in Wings. Everyone’s just looking at him like, “Dude, when the hell are you just gonna forget about Wings and just make a NEW, FULL album with Michael Jackson?” I’m just saying, “The Girl is Mine” is better than anything the friggin Beatles put out after the White Album and surely more timeless than anything Wings put out. I mean, was there even another member of Wings? Did McCartney play every single instrument? Was Pete Best ever given residual checks? These are the things that keep me up at night, and the reason why we don’t like to talk too much about the whole Horizon Wireless fiasco.
Do you have any big plans for 2016?
Continue struggling to be alive, be happy, play music together, and figure out more comfortable ways to sleep in the back of my van at festivals because so far it just gets so hot back there and honestly I don’t know how to make it any better, and now I have a girlfriend so like I want to snuggle but it’s so hot and she’s there like breathing the same stale air and it’s like even hotter because now there’s two people in there and it makes me feel like a sardine, but at least those little fish aren’t uncomfortable because by the time they’re in the tin they’re already dead.
What’s in store for your upcoming performance at Catskill Chill?
We have like an hour to play, just come and you’ll see it’s obviously going to be amazing, haven’t you seen us nail it there twice in a row? 3 times a charm, bud. Except for Ninja Turtles 3. Horrific. Their mouths literally are like, not even moving when they talk.
What have your past 4 experiences there been like?
It’s our favorite festival. It’s been a home to us. Literally, like if you added up all the days I’ve slept at Camp Minglewood, I could technically have my mail sent there.
There’s a pretty stacked line-up at Catskill Chill this year, which acts are you most excited to see?
Any closing remarks?
Don’t even get me started! We’ll see you at Catskill Chill!