Last week, on the night of September 20, Saskatoon band Soul Mates made an appearance at Carport Manor on their Western Canada 2017 tour. We managed to snag 10 minutes of time from band members Tyler Baptist, Jeshaiah David, Pat Eaton, and Colin McGuirk McNeil to ask them some questions about band life and their history. Here is what they had to say.
Can you tell me the names of each band member, and what instrument they play?
Tyler: We have Tyler on vocals, Jeshaiah on guitar, Pat on bass, and Colin on drums.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Tyler: We are more like punk rock or hardcore, but leaning more on the rock and roll edge of things. When we started, we didn’t want to say we sound like this band or that band, but people have compared us to stuff like The Bronx and Blacklisted.
How long have you all known each other? How did you form the band?
Tyler: We all came together around 2009. We formed Soul Mates in 2011, so it’s been just over six years now.
Jeshaiah: Three of us were previously in another band called Night Danger. We had a bass player move away, and then from there we started writing some new songs, and we’ve had a few member changes since then.
Who writes your songs?
Tyler: We kind of write together, but Jeshaiah will come in with riffs, and then we’ll come and piece stuff together from there. Usually, we don’t have songs fully developed before he’s bringing stuff to the table. It might just be a riff, so you kind of work off of that, or other people from the band, like Colin for instance, he plays drums, but he brought us one guitar riff for one of the tracks that ended up being “Empty.” I write all the lyrics around the songs as we’re writing, based on my emotions, and what I feel I’m getting out of that song. So I don’t pre-plan my lyrics or anything like that, I just write to the music itself.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Tyler: Most of our themes, especially on our latest album Snake Oil, revolve around fighting with your personal demons, or regretting relationships and such. Some stuff comes from personal experiences, but we’ll come up with certain lyrics, and try to base a story around that. So it doesn’t necessarily relate to anything specifically.
Has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Tyler: Yes and no. We’re still relatively in the same genre, but I think when we started out we were definitely more aggressive, and more on the hardcore end of things. Our newer stuff is definitely more melodic, and a little more evolved.
Jeshaiah: We started learning how to use space in songs a little bit more, just like letting some notes breathe a little more. It creates a certain feel to it, rather than just blasting through everything as fast as you can.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band? How have you been able to overcome that challenge?
Tyler: Our biggest challenge is really just getting ourselves out there, and finding time to tour. We’re trying to do more now, because the funny thing about Soul Mates is, we’ve been around for so long, and we took five years to basically just write and record our first record — especially since we had two previous members who were fathers — and it was hard to tour and get them out on the road all the time. So we’ve been trying to branch out and do more weekend stuff, and get our name out there.
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands and start touring?
Tyler: Just do it. Pick up an instrument if you don’t already know one, learn it, and find friends who you like playing with. That’s the biggest thing, find people you enjoy playing music with.
Jeshaiah: There’s something to be said for taking your time on learning how to play, but on the other hand, don’t take yourself too seriously.
Tyler: There’s no need to be a perfect musician to play in a band, you can learn as you go.
Jeshaiah: There’s nothing better than touring to make a band tighter, and to help you learn how to play together. Play every night that you have available. If you have the opportunity to tour a lot, then that can really help your progress.
Tyler: And, regardless of if you want to tour or not, that shouldn’t stop you from playing with your friends and having fun.
Jeshaiah: Keep your stick on the ice.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?
Tyler: Our Bandcamp is soulmatesnoise.com. We’re also on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @soulmatesnoise. You can find us on Apple Music, iTunes, and Spotify, as well.
It is important to recognize that while Soul Mates may not be from here, they are supporting our local music scene by playing here. Keep up the good work local music fans. There is always something cool happening out there, if you keep an eye out for it.