Whether you are a tribal enthusiast or not you would
have to agree with me when I say that Solace’s music is
world class and very inspiring whether you are a dancer
April of this year Solace which consists of Jeremiah
Soto, the driving force behind Solace, Tim Rayborn and
Rachel Lazurus Soto also from dance troupe, Blue Damsel
visited us here in Australia for the first time. For the
Australian leg of the tour they were joined by Melbourne
percussionist Matt Stonehouse While they were here they
presented drumming and dance workshops as well as sold
had the pleasure of having Jeremiah Soto, and his lovely
wife Rachel Lazarus Soto, stay with me for their Blue
Mountains leg of the tour. Not only are they both
amazing and highly respected artists in their field but
they were an absolute “hoot” & fabulous house guests. So
in between great food & comparing Aussie wines to
Californian wines [no competition there!] we had a chat
about…all things Solace.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO ME MUSIC?
have been interested in music since I was about 10. When
I was 14, I decided I wanted to pursue a career of some
kind in music. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high
school where I met Dann M. Torres, where music became an
integral part of my life. Dann and I experimented with
Goth, Industrial, Medieval, and Arabic music and had
formed 3 bands, Kokuien, Eventide, and Still.
TELL ME ABOUT THE MEMBERS OF SOLACE?
Rayborn, is a fantastic multi-instrumentalist. He is
currently able to play about 50 different instruments,
including plucked/hammered strings, flutes and
percussion. Tim’s great playing contributed authentic
sounds to the albums Nagari and Balance.
Stonehouse (Australian Tour) is trained in Turkish and
Persian percussion. Our mutual friend Trisna at
Underbelly dance studio highly recommended him to join
us on the Australian tour. He has become part of the
Solace family and look forward to playing with him again
in the future.
Ruben van Rompaey (US & European Tour) is a remarkable
percussionist versed in the modern Turkish split finger
technique. This playing style is a fusion of Indian
tabla and Turkish technique. Ruben also contributed his
amazing sounds to Nagari.
Susie Hall (US Tour) is a versatile piano player and
helps with the layering of the signature Solace sound.
Susie can be found on the US tours and also dances with
the San Diego group Atash Maya.
Hall (US Tour) is the rhythmic backbone to Solace.
Bouncing back and forth from electronic drums to
acoustic drums, Dave’s arrangement skills and ability to
copy and play all the percussion tracks on any Solace CD
St.-Pierre (US & European Tour) is a talented and
intense singer with a background in Persian vocals and
Opera. Her ability to project and vocal range has been a
tremendous addition to the Solace tour in Europe and the
US. She has worked with Cirque du Soleil and contributed
her amazing voice to the Solace titles Balance
Rachel Lazarus Soto (US & European Tour) has the ability
to learn anything and integrate it into the Solace mix,
whether it is dance or percussion. Her managerial skills
are vital to the success of Solace Tour machine. Her
extensive knowledge of dance helps the group understand
the dance etiquette that compliments the performance.
And she’s hot too!
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR RECENT TOUR OF
recent tour of Australia was eye opening to the fact
that so many people know who we are. It was refreshing
to see people who love the music and appreciate what we
do. I enjoyed sharing the music and meeting the
friendliest people in the world. Every city we visited
was a highlight! We visited Newcastle, Katoomba and
Melbourne and we are looking forward to going back in
the near future!
ON YOUR RECENT TRIP TO AUSTRALIA YOU TOURED WITH DANCER
RACHEL LAZURUS SOTO [YOUR WIFE] WHO ALSO CONDUCTED
WORKSHOPS? CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT SHE DOES?
Rachel has one of the key roles with regard to Solace
and touring. She makes it happen. From the conception of
the tour (usually her prodding me to play somewhere), to
the actual arrival at the show, Rachel usually handles
every detail. Because she plays in the band, yet is also
a dancer, she serves as interpreter to the band and
guest dancers when we are performing with them. Often
the information that the band finds important is not the
same as what the dancer finds important, and vice versa.
On top of that, Rachel’s understanding of dance and her
study of specialized dance forms make her a great
instructor. Her workshops and dance help make the tour
THERE IS A TREND TO FUSE ELECTRONICA WITH ME MUSIC AND
IS IN PARTICULAR POPULAR IN THE TRIBAL FUSION DANCE
SCENE. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT CAME ABOUT?
There is a constant influx of younger belly dancers and
they are listening to new and unique sounds. As the
world gets smaller and information/music/visuals are
more available, DJ’s and composers experiment with ME
music (and other world music), mixing it into the genres
they like and work in. That’s how I started. I would
listen to a song and wish that it would do “this”
instead of “that”. So I wrote music that would do
“this”. Electronica is a popular mix for ME music, and
it also provides a different sound, a different
inspiration when it’s listened to. The addition of
electronic music also reflects the movements and
fashions of Tribal Fusion dance. I appreciate that ME
music and dance is evolving. It keeps things
interesting, and provides new inspiration for dancers
and musicians alike.
6] SOLACE COLABORATES & PERFORMS WITH DIFFERENT
MUSICIANS AND DANCERS. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF
Torres, who is Knossos (www.ambientoud.com)
and one of the first to be signed to EMP, has been a
major contributor from the early days of Solace,
especially Shawaza , The Gathering Season and
Ahsas. He was also involved in the early line-up of
an experiment with Indian music, features Gopal Marathe
on vocals and tabla, his daughter, Shruti Marathe, on
vocals, and his son, Nishad Marathe, on tabla.
played many times in the past with Gypsy Caravan,
filling in their percussion section when we would meet
at events like Tribal Fest or Caravan Studio’s Tribal
Quest Northwest. The Gypsies have long been good friends
and I always enjoy the opportunity to be in their
company. I also had the pleasure of working with Jeff
Rees on a remixed version of ‘Cybele’ which was released
on Vadalna: Solace Remixed.
features many great artists all rearranging Solace songs
in to their own vision. Such artists include the
legendary DJ Cheb i Sabaah, Hendrick Gršger
(Warrior Productions), DJ Filth, Joseph Maken, and Rod
Walker and Eric Dansby of the Shroud (Jr. Samples).
Spurkel of Naked Rhythm contributed his percussive
skills to the album Ahsas, and he also created a remix
dancers we have worked with are far and wide and really
too many to mention them all. Some dancers of note:
Shawna Rai (NatyaHara) has worked with my wife Rachel
and her former group, Devadasi, creating choreographs to
a medley of songs from Balance, which they
performed live at Rakkasah, Tribal Fest and Tribal Cafe.
Unmata sponsored and performed live with Solace in our
first ever Sacramento show as part of our Pacific NW
tour in 2006. Blue Damsel had some improve fun with
Rachel Brice and Mardi Love of the Indigo while at
Tribal Fusion Faire last year in San Luis Obispo. We’ve
also worked with Underbelly on our previous US tour and
for our show in Melbourne. They created a fantastic
choreography to ‘Cybele’. While in Katoomba, Ghawazi
Caravan performed an amazing choreography to the
‘Cybele’ remix. It’s always great when a group finds the
essence of a song and interprets it well.
While in Europe we had the pleasure of playing for
Selene (our sponsor in Madrid) and Morgana of Madrid,
Spain (twice!!), Apsara of Kšln,
Germany, Eva and Yesirah Tribal of Vienna, Austria, to
name a few.
Eventually, I would like to see a complete show, with a
story driven performance, come from Solace Live.
YOU HAVE A NEW ALBUM OUT CALLED NAGARI. CAN YOU
TELL US ABOUT IT?
is the accumulation of 6 years of writing, growing
emotionally as a writer and a man. Nagari is an ancient
Sanskrit word meaning ‘enemy of the snake.’ This is a
personal story of struggle with religion and
relationships. It’s a question of being bound to the
earth or to focus on things of the spirit. Thus the
snake coiled around the man and tree, symbolizes how I,
you, and us, are all tied to the earth and material
YOU ALSO HAVE A MUSIC LABEL? WHAT SORT OF ARTISTS DO YOU
the founder of Eventide Music Productions and I started
the label because no one would sign me. I knew I wanted
my music to be heard, so I chose to self-produce my
Signing artists is very simple: I have to be touched
emotionally within the first minute of a song. I am very
picky, very non-commercial, and seek artists who have
unique sounds and a potential to grow. I would like to
expand the label with more world music artists that
inspire all forms of dance. We’ll see what the future
holds for EMP!
WHERE HAVE SOLACE TOURED OVER THE YEARS?
Solace has only toured on the West coast until recently.
We barely touched Canada, spent two weeks in Australia,
and of course we just returned from our tour of Europe,
which encompassed Spain, Ireland, England, Poland,
Germany, and Austria.
ANY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
is releasing a new CD by Maduro called “Juno Wakes”. EMP
is also releasing its first CD single by Solace titled,
“Sleeping Sober” in the middle of August 2007. This
single is a limited edition and with be available
exclusively on our website (www.empcds.com) I am also
working on new material that will most likely be
released in Summer 2008. We are setting our sites on a
possible Japanese tour and revisiting the Pacific
Northwest of the US.
WILL YOU BE COMING BACK TO AUSTRALIA?
would love to return to Australia. I have decided that
Australia is my favorite country outside the US. Any
takers for another tour?