Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun are a country folk punk band from Cheltenham town made up for four lost souls with a passion for politically poetic storytelling.
Following the success of his 2008 debut record "I`ll Be Neon" and 2010`s "Atlases" with the Solemn Sun, Lockey has gone from strength to strength achieving profile slots at prestigious festivals and venues and being personally invited to share stages with those musicians who have and still do influence his sound to date.
Since the rise of the Solemn Sun the band have played alongside cult members of the new folk movement including Frank Turner, Johnny Flynn, Mumford & Sons, Chris T-T, Peter Doherty and Mischief Brew.
Jim Lockey - Guitar/Vocal
Phil Randall - Bass / Melodica
Simon Cripps - Drums
Joe Summers - Vocal / GlockenspielHow did the name of the band come about?
We`d been playing under my name for a while but i felt the band deserved the credit for the amount of hard work they put into everything, none of this would have been possible without them, but i was fresh out of ideas so asked them to name themselves, it was Phil`s idea to have the solemn sun as a representation for our outlook on the world and some of its policies, and to sum up the notions of our songs.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
We often define it as folk punk, though I guess more towards the country folk side of that genre. We play with folk/country instruments, but our vocal, the sentiments of our lyric and the way we like to perform live is very rooted in punk ethic. We take influence from so much music from Dylan and Cash, Bright Eyes, Okkervil River to Refused and Glassjaw.
When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
The band formed in Oct 08, just in time to do a show at the town hall, and has continued since then. I`ve played in a few bands with Phil and we`ve always shared ideas and opinions on music so it was obvious to have him involved in this project, Si and Joe are people I`ve met along the way and from my time at university, both fantastic musicians that I`m honored to play alongside.
I like to think that we make music with a message of some sorts.
Can you tell us a little about your best and most influential gig and how it effected you?
I`d probably have to say our set at 2000 trees festival this year was the most overwhelming show we`ve done to date, it was a huge crowd and we were very lucky to have so many people at the festival interested in what we`re doing. the most influential gigs for us are watching our istartedthefire label mates play, since the label started our little family takes so much influence from each other, friendly competition if you like.
What is your song writing process? And what are your major inspirations for song writing?
I mainly write about things that affect me or my friends and family, our songs have a strong political voice and I`m very vocal about my beliefs on these sorts of matters, many of the `nicer` songs shall we say focus on the relationships around me. Lyric the most important aspect to a song to me, it gives it its personality, and it should be delivered with all of its original passion every time you play it.
When we write I`ll take a few riffs, melodies and lyrics to the guys and then we`ll play around with it as a band, maybe try it out live and then go back to it to tweak extra bits and end up with a track we`re all excited to play.
Following the fantastic release of `Atlases` in 2010, whats next on the agenda for JL&TSS?
We`re back in the studio in December to record 2 songs for a split 7" record out next year on Luchador/istartedthefire records, with an Irish punk band called Chewing on Tinfoil, they`re an awesome band and we`re very excited about making this record. The release will be supported with a tour or two and then there`s a few more singles out next year, but no plans to make another full length record as yet.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Life really, life tends to get in the way with a band. If playing songs could pay your rent, I guess thats the dream for us, but at the moment we all still have day jobs amongst other things and finding the time for everything is difficult, but definitely worth it. If you could perform with any band/artist past or present, who would it be? And where?
Either with Cash at Folsom or with Bright Eyes at the Frog.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music
You can follow us on twitter @jlandtss , find us on facebook or on myspace.com/jimlockey