● First, I’d like to salute you guys for such original punk rock vibes. Well done! Tell me, how did you guys meet up?

Thanks, man! We pride ourselves on being original! I guess we got acquainted ’cause we were all playing downtown in different projects, and then I asked JP and Joe to back me up on some of the ‘solo’ acoustic gigs I was doing. We had immediate chemistry and as we started to play together more and more, I realized we’d make a great rock band together. So I talked to them about it and they were down. And the rest is history!

 

● I can see that your music is characterized by a mix of classic and modern elements, is this one of the things that you focus on while songwriting?

I can’t say that I do very much intentionally in terms of songwriting. The way it works for me is, I’m picking up my guitar all the time, and every once in a while a song just comes out. Sometimes it’s in pieces and I go back to it, but most of the time the entire song just comes out all at once. And as you can imagine with such a spontaneous process, the songs tend to mirror whatever I’m listening to at the time, and I’m listening to a shuffle of late 60s through early 2000s rock pretty much constantly. I guess it’s no surprise that I end up subconsciously mixing it all.

 

● Also, your bio says that you have influences from rock to grunge, rap, and reggae. Won’t such diversity be confusing for your fanbase?

Maybe! I imagine it’d be easier to connect to new fans if we fit more clearly into one of the rock subgenres. But the truth is, we didn’t make any of this music with commercial success in mind. Don’t get me wrong, we’re hustling this music and trying to succeed! But at the writing stage, it’s just a purely creative process, and we just do whatever we want. We believe that true art is an honest expression of oneself, and when you think of it that way, it seems kind of odd that most bands are so targeted. Our songs are just what comes out of us – some expression of how we feel and what we think is cool. And we just make it and hope that people like it! But so far it seems like we’ve got a pretty good response. I think if we can make it digestible, even familiar, while still being unique and diverse, we might have a winning combo.

● ‘The Crucible’ description on SoundCloud is very dark. Can you tell us more about the song topic?

This is one of the ones that just came out of my whole, and I have to look back at it and kind of decipher what I meant. I know that the general idea was to draw a parallel between the concept of a crucible, a place where different elements combine to create something new, and the way that we interact with each other through music, partying, and drugs. Like essentially rock n’ roll is our crucible. But there’s also that strong feeling of angst and darkness in the song that I think is a reflection of the downsides of the situation. Struggling with addiction and the bad vibes that come with it. And sometimes seeing your friends die and shit, you know?

 

● Allegiant Swine, Beelzebub, among other tracks were highly acclaimed from your second album ‘Seraphic War’. Are you aiming to release the third album soon?

Yeah! All the songs off ‘Seraphic War’ have done pretty well. We’re super proud of that one! And yes, we’re recording this month at 512 Studios with Omar Vallejo to pump out a 12 song record for next year. The entire album will be available for purchase on the 1st of next year, but for streaming, we’re going to drop one song every 1st Friday of every month for the whole year. As far as that one goes musically, all I can tell you is that if you like what we’ve been doing so far, you’re going to like it!

 

● ‘The Crucible’ music video is nice, did you collaborate in the filming and production process?

Yeah! The credit on this has to go to our boy CJ Bills, who’s the frontman for CORE, a pretty dope rock band. He did all the filming and editing, as well as helping us just kind of arrange everything, and you can see he’s good at what he does. Also, the star of the video, Elise Gardner, did a hell of a job! And then all of our other homies in the video were out there working too, so it was a team effort! But CJ and Elise had the biggest jobs and they knocked it out of the park.

● Although it’s a nice video, I noticed you don’t focus on reeling music videos that much. Am I right?

Well, we would like to do more. It’s just that they’re so expensive, and also enormously time-consuming, sometimes rigorous to get done. Also with the nature of our band, we tend to have super epic ideas that are just not reasonable without a massive budget. This one and our other video ‘Garden of Eden’ were the kind of ‘easiest’ ideas we could come up with. And luckily we know CJ, who can do a lot with a little. But we’ve tried to do at least one visual per record; ‘Garden of Eden’ from the first one, ‘Allegiant Swine’ has a lyric video of the second, and then this one’s I guess a one-off, being a single. We need to start thinking about what we might want to put together for this next one.

 

● Nowadays, many rock bands try to go to more trendy-pop either with music or topics, do you think this may affect other bands who still prefer the original vintage tone?

I guess I’m not sure. It seems like super popped out rock is what’s topping the charts right now. But in terms of market share, I just don’t know if they’re taking any attention away from more vintage rock bands, as they don’t seem to be aiming at the same crowd. Assuming that the ‘industry’ has turned their attention to the pop bands, I guess there isn’t as much high-end opportunity available for more vintage bands. But I think that’s kind of where rock is at right now, and part of me thinks that right below the level of super famous bands, there’s still a ton of opportunity for real rock bands, especially in places like Austin where old-school is appreciated.

 

● Finally, thanks for the chat and tell your fans your promotional plans in 2022.

Keep an eye out for the new record! We’ll be playing plenty around Texas and are hoping to visit the West Coast and the Northeast next year too!

Follow Souls Extolled on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Bandcamp.

 

Mena Ezzat

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