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Interview with Soil & Eclipse - conducted by e-mail - 9/30/97

Jester: How did Soil & Eclipse originally form?

G.W.: A mutual acquaintance of Jay and myself gave me Jay's phone number. We started working together shortly after. Jay at the time was just doing keyboards until one day I had been working on "Plastic Chair". Jay asked if he could try laying some vocal tracks down. He took a recording home and messed with it. A couple of days later he calls me up and says check this out. I hear my music over the phone with the stunning vocals. I had to hold back the tears it was so good. Months and months later I asked Chris about throwing in some guitar licks and our set became it's present state.

Jay: It started out more like a hobby. I was introduced to G.W. through a mutual friend. We both had similar musical interests and we both had a desire to express ourselves through music. We agreed we wanted to move in a darker direction but everything else was open. We didn't want to limit ourselves in any way. Things just started moving from there. G.W. is the contact man from hell so we didn't have too many problems getting little gigs here and there.

Jester: How did the COP International Records deal happen?

Jay: We had been working on a demo for sometime and our friends kept urging us to send it, so we did, a couple weeks later we get a call that they want to meet the band! Unfortunately for me I can't get out to California so G.W. flys out to meet Kim X and the next thing I know I'm signing the paper!

G.W.: I had been talking to the rest of the band about COP. I was and still am enamored of how they run and produce their records. Pulse Legion got signed to them and gave me a call and told me to send some stuff in. Months later after trying to re-do the demo and failing dismally. Jay got fed up and sent off our original demo from a year ago. I had worked myself in to such an anal-retentive stress state that nothing we had was good enough for COP. That was an excellent example of how great partnership can be.

Jester: How did you like performing at the COP Festival?

G.W.: It was a blast. That was our first show outside of Hawaii. It was really cool to meet all or a lot of the other COP bands. They were all a blast to hang out with. Especially the karaoke fest.

Jay: For being the newest addition to the COP family I felt very comfortable. San Francisco has a very open minded audience. I feed from the energy of the crowd and they did not disappoint.

Jester: Any plans for playing more shows outside of Hawaii?

G.W.: We're still trying to relocate to California. Actually we're trying to get in the same state together. I'm in Texas currently.

Jay: Nothing solid at the moment. I'd love to play in San Diego, but at the moment our focus is on the next album.

Jester: Both of you have such stunning voices, do either of you have any type of vocal training?

G.W.: Nah, I have none.

Jay: I was a member of the vocal ensemble in collage. We did a lot of chamber singing and madrigals things of that nature. I always had this fascination with pieces that utilize falsetto. I used to sit in this stairwell that had killer acoustics at school and sing. people thought I was weird but I got off on it. the decay was so long you could almost form harmonys!

Jester: Do you have any obvious musical and lyrical influences?

G.W.: Clan of Xymox, Abba, Razed in Black.

Jay: I really dig the Smiths I remember the first time I heard 'How Soon Is Now', it just really affected me. From a technical aspect I think what Leatherstrip has done is pretty cool. Some of the Arppegios are really intense. I don't think he gets enough credit. Sisters of Mercy. I remember buying the "Floodlands" LP back in high school and listening to 'This Corrosion' and thinking yeah this is the way music is headed this is the kind of music that's floating around in my head this is what I want to do!

Jester: I know the album was just released, but have you received any press response yet?

G.W.: We received some response from Orkus, in Germany, and a write up or two.

Jay: I hope so but I'm stranded on this damn island (Hawaii) so I don't have access to that much information.

Jester: Have any members of the band been involved with previous musical projects?

G.W.: I worked with Pulse Legion doing live shows and such for a while.

Jay: In college I used to mess around in the studio. I worked on a few projects for studio classes with friends, most of it was a lot harder than Soil & Eclipse. For the most part the studio at the college served as a sketch pad for future projects. I still draw on a lot of the ideas I came up with back then.

Jester: What do you do outside of music that helps to fund Soil & Eclipse?

G.W.: Work. I work at an audio visual company in Dallas and intern at a recording studio.

Jay: At the moment I am a member of, oh god here it comes, the U.S. ARMY. It pays the bills and has allowed me to purchase some pretty neat toys.

Jester: What is your favorite Soil & Eclipse track?

G.W.: Probably, 'Adoramuste'. Either that or 'False Prophet'.

Jay: Definitely 'Adoramuste'. I'm really happy with the way it came out. 'Rejoice' runs a close second though that song is me.

Jester: Where did you attend college

G.W.: I went to College at the Art Institute of Dallas, though, most of my training came from the Army.

Jay: I went to Mesa college in San Diego. For a small college they have an excellent music program.

Jester: How did Jay end up in the U.S. Army of all places?

G.W.: We were all in the Army, I just got out about 3 months ago, Chris was a year ago and now Jay's getting out in October. It's what introduced Jay and I.

Jay: I like toys. Toys cost money. I wanted to gain experience in the medical field and the army offered me the best deal so I took it!

Jester: How did you first get involved with composing music?

G.W.: Playing my great grandmother's piano and working with bands when I was 13 and 14. I got my first real synthesizer when I was 10 so it's been sort of a thing going on my whole life.

Jay: Ever since I was a little kid I've heard almost constant music playing in my head. I'd think up a melody and it would continue to plague me! I used to drive my parents up the wall singing different versions of the same little jingles. I had a little Casio SK1 sampling keyboard my parents got to placate me. It was just this little cheesy thing but I got some pretty cool little riffs out of it. It wasn't until I started taking studio classes in college that I was able to pull the things out of my head and make them reality. That's an incredible feeling. It's like there's this piece of you no one has ever known or seen and now you have found a means of transmission. A way to express the things you may not be able to say otherwise. It's you, stripped naked, no inhibitions and nothing to hide!

Jester: Why did you choose this genre of music to work in as opposed to any other?

G.W.: It's the genre I know, it's the sound I've always played, it's an interesting sound indeed. It allows me to add such a lever of drama to it, musically. I really love film scores, the style allows me to merge these loves.

Jay: It's real. It's honest. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not It doesn't try to take the essence of an individual and smother it in rainbows and smiley faces.

Jester: Several of the tracks on "Necromancy" seem to contain a certain religious theme. Was this conceptual theme on purpose or merely a reflection of your personal beliefs?

G.W.: I am religious and it probably does come out a bit but we've been trying, I think, to put the songs together more like stories than someone preaching and telling you how to live. The lyrics I write, I try to do it in a way where you can step back from whatever religious aspects are there and just listen to whatever storyline is being told and try to appreciate it as just a story.

Jay: "Necromancy" is about conviction and affliction. Sometimes I'm not so sure there's a difference. We want people to look at things from a different point of view and draw their own conclusions.

Jester: What exactly does 'Adoramuste' mean?

Jay: We adore thee.

Jester: You just released your first album, and you are already working on the second, why such urgency? Was the first album a collection of older material?

G.W.: Well, we've really only been together about a year and a half so the material isn't that old but it is our first material and it does have some of the quirkiness of people trying to get comfortable with each other musically. We are looking forward to the second more because, I think, there are a lot of things we wanted to do on the first one that didn't happen due to time constraints, songs that weren't ready and techniques we'd been wanting to try. It's coming along great on my end, I feel, so I'm just excited.

Jay: There were a lot of ideas that were on the back-burner we didn't get to on Necromancy.

Jester: How did you meet Romell Regulacion and end up having him help you produce "Necromancy"?

G.W.: Rommell, over the last couple of years has been just a fountain of knowledge, before and after we were signed. We opened for Razed in Black on different occasions and it was inevitable, all of us being on Hawaii, that we would talk. He definitely adds a dimension to the word proffesionalism and goodwill and kindness definitely are pure portions of his personality.

Jay: He is one of the nicest people I have ever met, really down to Earth. G.W. through his magnificent social skills managed to work out a little deal. I enjoyed working with Romell. He's very professional.

Jester: The name of the band seems to be composed of two very different visual ideas, where was the name Soil & Eclipse derived from?

G.W.: I think it really shows how different our personalities are and how they work together.

Jay: Soil & Eclipse represents the fusion of terrestrial technology and ceremonial magic.

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