Meet The Band: Solar Flare

This week we’re featuring the Ohio power metal quintet Solar Flare in Meet The Band. They just released their self-titled debut. Vocalist Ethan Jackson introduces us to his band.

Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Solar Flare.
Ethan Jackson: The band started in 2014 we have been around six years, in those years we finally achieved a solid lineup to finally get together our finest material for our first record!

Describe the songwriting process for your self-titled debut.
It’s all over the place, really. It depends on the song. Some have been put together from tasty riffs, some with a big sexy vocal melody. It depends on where we start and who brings it to the table.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
“World In My Head.” I really loved recording that song. I perform all the vocals and I did the keyboard and synth tracks on it. I just felt so good recording it.

How would you describe its style/sound?
I definitely would say we’re a power metal band, though we flirt in many directions from rock ‘n roll, to thrash. Really, there’s something for everyone on this record in my opinion!

What lyrical topics do you cover?
The lyrical content can truly be anything. We have songs about soldiers, pharaohs, medieval times. Just anything we got that comes out, really! We bring inspiration from anywhere. Personally I have a few pages of lyrics waiting on the right song to lay it out on.

What led you to go the independent route for release?
Well, we have offers from a label. We’re waiting for the right offer or especially now the right climate to feel we can benefit from something. Ultimately we planned on a independent release to see how things go for our first album, see where we go with it.

What are your goals and expectations for the album?
To make new fans/friends for one! And to start really hitting the pavement and getting out there to see how far we can go with what we produce out of this. So far we have a lot of positive reception, which is great! It is a good feeling when your music resonates with people.

What has been your most memorable Solar Flare live show?
Opening for Orphaned Land! Incredible band, and truly wonderful people!

How did you get started in music?
Early on I took opera for I want to say about six years. Seeing Iron Maiden for the first time when i was 16 definitely pushed me hard in the music direction.

Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Hammerfall, Blind Guardian, and Queensryche.

What was the first metal concert you attended?
Iron Maiden on the Somewhere Back In Time tour. Have seen them on every tour since.

How is the metal scene in Cincinnati?
Amazing! I really feel like we have a scene boiling over with diversity and raw talent!

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the band?
It’s truly crippling a lot of bands and venues out here. With us it’s difficult to figure out when we can go play again, or whether or not we should invest in physical albums presently. It’s truly a strange time to be in.

How has it affected you personally?
Fortunately I have an essential day job so I am doing mostly OK. Just hoping things improve.

What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Mostly our band Spotify playlist! go check it out! I update it frequently with influences and great people we have performed with!

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Check us out our singles on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Music/Play, iTunes, Apple Music, and our Bandcamp where you can preorder a digital copy of our album!

(interview published May 30, 2020)

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