ZT INTERROGATION: SOLANUM WHIP UP A SINNER CIRCLE PIT
Canadian Punk/Death firebrands Solanum have just released their debut album. ZT’s Paul Castles caught up with the Winnipeg whirlwind – that’s singer Cam McFee – to find out all about it.
ZT: Hi fellas, I’ve been enjoying your debut album – I.T.S.C. (aka Into the Sinner Circle) – You must all be pretty excited about how it’s turned out?
CM: Definitely! Some the songs on the album have been taking shape since 2012 or so and it’s great to finally get to hear them as a finished product that we can share with others!
ZT:How long have you been working on these songs?
CM: See the above answer, hahaha! Although come to think of it ‘Homicide-Suicide’ may have been in the works since 2011 before we were even really a band!
ZT: Is the songwriting a team effort?
CM: Yup! Generally Lee (Guitar), Anders (Drums) or Mike (Bass) will come to the other guys with a bunch of riffs and the three of them work on the arrangements. Once we have the riffs in place Cam (vocals) and Lee will sit down over the course of a night or two and pound out some lyrics
ZT: Just tells us how things went in the studio? CM: For the most part the studio was a learning process and it took some time as some of us had never recorded before. The guitar, bass and drums were laid down without many problems but the vocals took a bit longer due to Cam’s inexperience in a professional setting. On top of that, conflicting schedules and prior commitments made it difficult to get in and lay down tracks which contributed to the lengthy process. Luckily Dave over at Melodic MalFunktion recordings was very flexible and was able to work around our various schedules!
ZT: You almost have one foot in the metal camp and one in punk. Where do you see yourselves?
CM: Pretty much just like you described it in the question. All of us in the band love both genres and are lucky to have come up in a scene without the whole Punk vs Metal nonsense that seemed to be the norm back in the day. Having grown up loving bands like Excel, DRI, and Suicidal Tendencies, the whole “Crossover” style just seemed like a natural fit.
ZT: Your last release was a split with Epi-Demic, why did you opt for that? CM: It kind of came about on a drunken weekend when they came out to play some shows with us here in Winnipeg. Pretty much it was the product of litres of liquor and good times between a bunch of like-minded dirtbags!
ZT: I see you were on the road with Epi-Demic for the East Infection Tour around Canada last year. Good memories from those dates? CM: You bet there’s some good memories! Bad jokes and one liners in the van, Banana Baseball in a parking lot, good times with Sardu and Beaver Slap in Barrie, sightseeing in Toronto, and an entire day off to get greasy and enjoy the nightlife in Montreal together!
ZT: Did you play some interesting places?
CM: The ones that immediately come to mind are The Cage in Toronto where the stage is encased in chain link fence and of course playing the legendary Katacombes in Montreal.
ZT: The album is out on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions – How did that relationship develop?
CM: Epi-Demic Initially approached HPGD when we were shopping the Passages To Lunacy split around. We enjoyed working with Mike over at the label so we figured we would see if he was interested in distributing the full length as well and the rest, is history, hahaha
ZT: And I see you’re offering it as a free download via Bandcamp?
CM: At the moment it is available at a cost of $1.00 per track. We may offer it free in the future.
ZT: You’ve been playing a lot with Reanimator – how do you all get along?
CM: The Reanimator guys have great attitudes! Friendly dudes, solid musicians, and they totally rip live! We enjoyed sharing a stage and getting to know them a bit and hope to play with them again! Hey les gars! Revenez a Winnipeg Bientot!
ZT: Are there further tour plans to promote the new album?
CM: At the moment we are laying low due to family commitments but hope to make a return to the road in 2017
ZT: Growing up in Winnipeg, what’s the local metal scene like there?
CM: The metal scene has been thriving these past five or six years due to the tireless efforts of great promoters like Cory Thomas and Lisa Splatterhead, a bumper crop of stupidly talented and passionate young musicians, talented photographers like Alanna and Liz, and the various fans and supporters who come out and have a great time
ZT: Any other top bands from your town we should look out for?
CM: There’s so many rad bands in Winnipeg right now! Regurgitated Guts, Zombie Assault, Plague, Inverted Serenity, Satanic Rights, Crown Of Thorns, Dead Ranch, Perilous, just to name a few
ZT: Thanks for talking with Zero Tolerance, hope the album does well for you.
CM: Thanks for getting to know us!