As a grade-a bundle of New York neuroses, I consider my move to Nashville a (somewhat) long-term experiment on learning to chill the hell out. I’ve lived in a variety of cities, (Paris, Baltimore, and New York included), and Nashville is by far the easiest. Nashville personified is exactly who I strive (and fail) to be; it is completely laid-back, unassuming, and supremely talented. On any given night in this city, you have a 100% chance of finding a show to see, and a near equal chance of the artist being just as talented as half of your I-Tunes library. (Please calculate that percentage for me.) But Nashville isn’t pretentious about its talent. It’s just proud.
Since music and mindset go hand in hand, it was important that I find a band that could track my progress in this “become an easy-going Nashvillian” experiment. Said band would serve as an intrinsic variable; they would, through their music and live shows, help me to achieve the southern zen I came here to find. From the first time I saw Sol Cat in some nondescript basement last winter, I knew they were the variable I was missing.
Sol Cat‘s music, like the city of Nashville, serves up a heavy dose of anti-anxiety into an otherwise hypertensive brain. I’ve seen the band play out countless times, and I’m never left with anything short of a rhythm-induced high. They’ve got a kind of beach-vibe going on, one that is translatable to any season and location. I will never not be happy to listen to “Harmony Safari,” whether I’m surviving a bland southern winter or burning my feet on New York’s August concrete. If you haven’t seen these guys live, it’s an experience worth visiting (and revisiting… I’m pretty sure that 75% of my High Watt ticket stubs count Sol Cat as one of the acts). The group’s chemistry is undeniable; it’s pretty obvious they’re having a grand time, and hope that you’re having a grand time too, because this is Nashville and we should all be chilling the hell out.
Their music video for “Fishin’ with John“ was released on October 9th, and pretty much sums up the experience of listening to or attending a Sol Cat show. Its premise falls somewhere between phallic and substance-induced humor, where the only really challenging aspects of life are gracefully sliding through pools, keeping an inflatable palm tree inflated, and cleaning up the debris of a cheeto war. No, real life doesn’t necessarily look this easy, or sound this good, but it’s still fun to pretend, and faking it ’til you make it is half the battle.
I decided that in order to truly become as carefree as Sol Cat’s music dictates I should be, I needed to find out what makes these guys so…well… chill. Below is an Q&A with the band; Consider this “Sol Cat’s Handbook on Achieving Zen and Chilling Out.”
What do you love most about living in Nashville?
Two for Ones… and the Harpeth River.
Stone Fox is our jam, which is why we will be having our CD release show there on February 9th, with our buddies The Weeks and Junior Astronomers. That will be neat.
Favorite way to spend a Saturday?
Sipping on White Russians, playing jax
What’s your favorite adult drink of choice?
If you could play with any other group, who would it be?
Kendrick Lamar. Does that count?
Most Type-A people have a 5 year plan, which is ambitious, but probably contradictory to living in the moment. Does Sol Cat have a 5 year plan? In all seriousness, where do you see yourself going as a band?
5 years? That’s pretty far off in the space-time continuum, but I would say the main goal is to still be playing music together. Yea, that would be pretty cool. Maybe by then we will be living in a hut somewhere in Tahiti or something. Or become tribal people of the Seychelles islands off the east coast of Africa. That sounds like a good place to be.
Where do you guys find inspiration for new material?
I guess just by living everyday.
If you were trying to translate one message to your audience through your music, what would it be?
Don’t drink and park, accidents cause people.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We spit in each other’s eyes and then do the Macarena. It’s the greatest.
What’s your favorite part of playing live? (Besides watching Ryan’s drumming face)
Just jamming with people, and making people move. Too many people go to shows just to stare at a bunch of longhaired homeless lookin hippies playin instruments. We aren’t that interesting to look at, so there’s no need to be starin’. If you can forget about all the shit in your life for a half hour and feel something that makes you dance like the goofy son of a bitch you are then our job is done.