Hold on tightly to musical gems. Yetu takes you through an interview she had with Brett Hammann, vocalist of Sol Cat. Sol Cat is this incredible band based in Nashville, Tennessee. The band is made up of Johny Fisher as the guitarist, Ryan Usher as the drummer, Aaron Martin as the bassist, Jaan Cohan as the lead guitarist and Jeremy Clark as the keyboardist. She describes their music as time-travelling through a psychedelic desert landscape. 

Photo by Tim Duggan

DYD: We have a thing for names. Where did Sol Cat come from?
Brett (Sol Cat): The Cat was a gift received in The Bahamas. There was this card dealer that used it as hit catch phrase, if you will. Shouts out to Bimini Road and all the conch fritters in the land.

DYD: We know that you’re trying to evoke imagery with your music. Where do you get inspiration for your songs and how would you describe your sound?
Brett (Sol Cat): Originally it had more to do with the origins of the name and the band. I was fresh off a few years in South Florida and we were all in a summer mood, so the weather and heat had a lot to do with the original sound. A humid and sweaty sort of thing. Currently, we are exploring different moods and sounds. Our music tends to reflect the environment more than anything. With winter rolling in the songs will probably get darker and spookier and maybe a little heavier.

DYD: Your lives seem pretty cool, considering where you are located and what you’re doing. What is the best part of being musicians?
Brett (Sol Cat): No doubt we are really grateful to be able to try this out. We just spent the last 5 nights sleeping on hardwood floors and next to dog poop one night. So…That is certainly not the best part. We love doing what we love doing, and that is something that many kids our age are missing. The system can start to run and push your life into a spot you truly don’t want to be in. Luckily for now, we’re doing our thing.

DYD: ‘Sol Cats members spent their time across the country, Miami to Los Angeles, New York City to The Gulf of Mexico.’ How did you guys land up being in so many different places?
Brett (Sol Cat): I guess we owe most of that to our parents. Growing up in the Washington DC area, the beach felt like a cool place to go. But I think the crazy thing is the fact that Nashville can draw in people from any part of the country and before we know it, it could have a more global pull.

DYD: How have people responded to your latest EP, Welcome to Cowabunga
Brett (Sol Cat): It’s always tough to gauge how they go over live. People will always react more passionately to something that it familiar so it takes a while for the new stuff to get people moving, physically. I think the songs themselves are much more interesting to listen to than our older material. Mentally, I find them to be more stimulating.

DYD: Have you had many opportunities to tour outside of the US? And also, where would you like to go?
Brett (Sol Cat): Nothing has presented itself yet. We would love to go anywhere that is safe and relaxed. The opportunity to travel is just as appealing as playing music when you get there.

DYD: You guys were recently at CMJ 2013. How was that experience?
Brett (Sol Cat): CMJ was fun. New York City is even better. I’m personally not a huge fan of those sorts of gatherings for upcoming bands. It seems rushed and informal. However, the highlight is always getting out and meeting people, and building upon relationships we have already established in that city. Some of our favorite folks are up there.

DYD: Do you guys have a favourite performance? Where was it and why is it a favourite?
Brett (Sol Cat): We would all agree that Laredo, Texas was probably the most fun we’ve ever had as a band. We can become jaded and unappreciative of simple joys like playing music. It was refreshing to see real people eating real good tacos in their real big cowboy hats getting down.

DYD: What would your ultimate musical success be? Please feel free to go crazy here.
Brett (Sol Cat): Sustainability is the biggest goal now. It would obviously we hope to progress and impact more people, but now it’s all about making sure our van battery doesn’t fall out.

DYD: Who are some of your favourite international artists and acts? I’ve heard the more obscure they are the better but personally I’m having a thing for Spice Girls again.
Brett (Sol Cat): We also have been feeling the need to ‘Spice up our lives” lately. Why is that? Laid Back is maybe our favorite international acts. I mean, they have some songs we really love. Bakerman is amazing.

If you want more Sol Cat information:
– Like the Sol Cat Facebook page
– Check out the Sol Cat Soundcloud page
– Follow Sol Cat on Twitter