Friday, February 10, 2012

Hot One of the Week & Interview: The Soviet

As I contemplated my blog this week, I wanted to do something different and give readers (and listeners) a chance to meet the artist rather than just read what I wrote about them. A perfect act for me to cover this week is The Soviet, a quartet from northwestern New Jersey who just released their debute EP. So without further hesitation I give you my interview:

First, before we get started, would you please introduce yourself and tell us your previous experience with music and your largest influences?

My name is Joshua Perna. I'm a multi-instrumentalist; I started playing jazz drums in my pre-teens, eventually moving on to study bass. I eventually taught myself how to play guitar, and, for this project, how to sing. I've done session work with all of these instruments, and been an actual member of only a couple of bands up until this point. Since I play different instruments I'm influenced from all over the place, but as of right now I'd say my biggest are Thom Yorke, Guthrie Govan, and Darren King.

Tell us the story behind The Soviet: a. why the name, b. who else is in the band, and c. goals you have for this project.

We originally got the name from mewithoutYou's song of the same title, but chose to keep it since it's just an interesting ad authoritative word (it translates to something along the lines of "the council", I think.) I have the blessing of working with a few really talented guys. I started the band with a long-time friend of mine, Aaron Brown, who plays lead guitar. We later found Alex Long, a jazz guitarist who picked up bass for the project, and Kevin, our drummer. Our goals are pretty simple and sincere: we just want to perform the music we're creating and get it out to as many people as we can. I feel as if many people get too wrapped up in fantasies of fame and lose sight of the fact that a band should be about a love of music, and we're really trying to hold onto that.

Your first EP is on its way out soon. How long as this been in progress and what was involved?

Wherewithal EP was written in a matter of months. We only really started as a band in Summer of 2011, and just recorded the record in January. Writing it, though, had a lot to do with finding our sound. We had all come into this project from different places, musically (primarily from a progressive/metal music scene.) So a large part of writing this was the trial and error of really agreeing what sort of sound we wanted to orient ourselves around, since this genre was entirely new to us.

Take us through the content of Wherewithal. What makes this record special, both musically and lyrically?

The EP is basically a walk through different situations and junctions in a person's life and how they choose to cope with them. Having the wherewithal (which means capability, for those who don't know) to do something is a daily struggle, and lyrically that's the emotion that the EP is centered on.
Musically, the EP is varied. We write under the pretense that no two songs should sound the same (while keeping a cohesive sound, of course.) So even though it's only a 5-track record, it covers a lot of musical ground in terms of dynamic and energy.

Do you have any closing remarks regarding the release of Wherewithal, the future of The Soviet, and your fans out there?

Just to get a copy of our music, by legal means or otherwise, and keep an eye on what we're doing. I hope our music is something everyone can get excited about, because I can honestly say this is one of the most meaningful projects I've ever been a part of, and I'm very excited about the future. Thanks!

Check out “Wherewithal” here and go like The Soviet on Facebook.

-Doug Foley
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