EMQ’s with SOLAR FLARE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Cincinnati, Ohio based Heavy Metal band Solar Flare. Huge thanks to guitarist Mark Greene for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Mark Greene and I’m one of the guitarists of the band. Solar Flare started out in 2014 with Ethan Jackson (Vocals) while I was in a thrash metal band of my own at the time playing shows alongside with them. Before I joined Solar Flare in 2017, I had been to a lot of their shows, especially opening for Anthrax, which sparked my interest in joining.
How did you come up with your band name?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the band at the time when the name was decided but I’ll take a wild guess. Considering none of them are astronomers or know what astronomy means I’m guessing Anime.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We reign from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. The metal scene in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky has improved so much since 2005 thanks to the evolution of social media and online promotions. In Cincinnati there are metal groups and organizations that supports other bands and fans who would like to help out the area with shows, videos, merch etc.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We released our first, Self-titled EP back in May 23rd and will have physical copies before this year ends. Because of the current events with Covid-19, and Protesting going on at this time, we may not be able to do live performances in public for a while, however we plan on doing online shows with our friends Monsterpiece Theater and Super Satan Show for the time being until things calm down.
Who have been your greatest influences?
There’s a lot of great influences in my life from outside of metal like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Carlos Santana, Victor Wooten, Bootsy Collins etc. and straight into the metal with Alex Skolnick, Eric Peterson, Wolf Hoffman, Mark Reale, Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess and the list goes on forever as I discover new bands each month.
What first got you into music?
The first time I heard my first real song is when I wanted to be part of it so starting out music at 5yo playing whatever instrument I had at the time and progressed over 28 years.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Joe Satriani, Steve Vai or both would be awesome too.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’ve been watching Germany’s Wacken Open Air fest since 2008 and would love to play there someday.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I played shows in a kilt and I’m used to people buying me 2 shots of Jameson and ginger ale on the side. In 2015 I played a show in Indiana opening for Wrath and getting off the stage, someone brought me the 2 Jameson shots and ginger ale, irony of course, and then brings a plate of Irish potato pancakes for free. That was all we would talk about on the way home from the show but, the way I see it, free food and booze is good enough for me.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
These are dark times right now and it is scary, however we’re not giving up on our fans anytime soon so hang in there a little longer and we’ll get through this together!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Ooo, Tough one I’m gonna have to go with Freddie Mercury.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Being a musician has wonderful perks especially adapting into rhythm with your surroundings making the day more fluent and easier to work. The only thing I hate about musicianship is the perfectionist anxiety that comes with it when it comes to song prep work or sight reading in general.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I would change their target marketing policy back to the way it used to be when it was all about the music and not the image or political key points.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Testament – “Formation Of Damnation”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
CD’s hands down!!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
2013 @ Peabody’s in Cleveland Ohio, my old band opened up for Havok for the 2nd time while Wintersun was playing on the same night but in a different room. Havok’s guitarist David Sanchez’s amp went out, so I threw mine out there for him to use that night. When the show was over, and he brought my amp back he thanked me in person and said he loved the tone quality. Even though we didn’t get paid as much as we were promised, to me, it was a good night to remember.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I would be either a carpenter, bartender, or probably some nerd playing on Xbox too much.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Alex Skolnick, Charlie Benante, John Myung, Jon Schaffer, and Steve Souza to convince them to start a brand-new project.
What’s next for the band?
Second album song writing and a lot of online shows for the time being until Covid-19 is over.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Yes Please, and they’re cakes!!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Yes, I do, first off thank you for the wonderful interview it was a lot of fun. As our EP is out, we will have our merch online soon which includes shirts, patches, and buttons etc. at low prices so stay tuned!!
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