WoeTorch is a new band whose latest release caught our attention. As a band standing for unity and social awareness while bringing on great music is a rare phenomenon these days. In our interview, Sol Crier from WoeTorch gave some insights into their songs, life and understanding about the world.
Listen to their song, Teach the Children, while you are reading – it’s a worthy one!
Music Authentic: Welcome to Music Authentic! We have a site-traditional question: How did you sleep last night, considering where the world is at and heading towards?
WoeTorch: Thank you for asking. I slept as best I can, considering all the bad news that tends to surround us on a daily basis. It is tempting to stay up, worrying or scrolling through social media, seeing all the ills of the world, but I find that I am a better activist and all around person when I get 7-8 hours of healthy sleep. You know what they say about putting the oxygen mask on your own face first, right?
Music Authentic: Watching your “Teach the Children” music video, a conscious, socially aware alternative rock band’s portrayal is pictured. Are you?
WoeTorch: Am I, Sol Crier, conscious and socially aware? I am as aware as I can be without becoming overwhelmed about the many things I do not have control over. I sign petitions, attend marches, and, my even bigger contribution, pass on age-appropriate social awareness to my own children. We have had discussions on human rights and full lessons on the civil rights movements, what it means to be LGBTQ and an ally, bullying, and they’re able to apply these lessons to their treatment of other kids and people out there in the real world. There is one level of being conscious and socially aware that includes knowing what’s going on in modern times and tying that to an understanding of history, feminism, and human rights, but another level of activism is being able to apply this knowledge to daily scenarios and also to pass social awareness on, in my case, to my own children and through the work I do as a writer and musician.
Music Authentic: Gun violence is the leading cause of children’s death followed by suicide in the USA. What do you think led to this point in the land of free and promise – or at least what it used to be?
WoeTorch: I hope that our music video came across in the way that we hoped, not just pointing the finger at one given entity, but seeing the contributions of various parts of society. Religiosity, for example, might combine with a predisposition to mental illness and lead a person to get an idea in their head that “god is telling them” to pursue a large-scale act of violence. Another contributing factor might be trauma, child abuse, watching a parent getting abused by another parent, bullying. There are so many other potential factors. I think it is too easy to point a finger at an organization like the NRA or to place the blame on the individual, and I am, by no means, trying to diminish the anger felt by families of victims of these acts of violence. I hope they are able to grieve in a healthy way and, if part of that is focusing on one contributing factor, please, let that anger out and find peace how you can. Our song, however, reminds viewers of the many other factors that need to be addressed in our society to reduce gun violence in America.
Music Authentic: The other day, here at the headquarters we were talking about your latest release and what it takes to go fully solo and how band experience is necessary to have the right attitude. As someone who does not need software to boost songwriter skills and performance – like majority of the “armchair-heroes” of today – how has your artistic process changed?
WoeTorch: I love collaboration and don’t think I could ever do projects like these alone. Many of the songs I have release as of late were originally written in a grungy garage with a lot of feedback, too few headphones, and, sometimes, too many emotions. Today’s renditions might be cleaner and more in time and might have different drum and guitar lines and added bass, but they maintain a certain level of angst and grit that I believe is essential to our sound and the way we hope to get our messages across.
Music Authentic: These days anyone can claim to be a “musician” or “songwriter” only by using a pre-set application; even lyrics writing apps are prevailing. When you write songs, how do you approach? Do you write for the campfire gatherings or the larger club venues?
WoeTorch: When I was a child, I started writing poems. I would even study a rhyming dictionary, reading it as if I were reading a novel. And that’s where my writing starts, with the words. Sometimes I would take a whole book of poems to a rehearsal, flipping through the pages while the band played until I found lyrics that fit the mood of the music. The second time the band played, we would usually record, and, reading my poem, the melody would just kind of jump out of me. Sometimes we would have to format the song a little differently later on, identifying and repeating a hook, but, for the most part, that’s the process.
Music Authentic: Your bio depicts a unity in the band – a thing that is scarce in a divided world. What is the real role of a band, an artist, a musician in this era? It seems for me a few picked up the torch to show the light and many are running self-indulgent circles…
WoeTorch: Great question. It might be different for each band. Some want to make the money, catering to the record label and certain audiences, and, even more rarely, using some of that money to help society. Philanthropy isn’t really in the cards for us right now, but we do hope that our words, music, and videos contribute to shaping a better society. I hope that that is the role of most bands, artists, and musicians: to leave a positive mark on the world and act as a leader towards a brighter future. Music is so influential, even if it is a silly pop song with a repetitive beat, you could potentially say so much or at least do some form of uplifting. Helping your audience to be or stay in a good mood is just as important as helping them through a form of catharsis, anger, sadness, etc. There’s a time and a place for all the emotions, and music is tied so closely to these, of course musicians would be a conduit for listeners’ feelings.
Music Authentic: How important humor and fun these days when anyone can strike back with the weapon of cancellation? Can the lighter tone have a place in your songs?
WoeTorch: I wish our drummer and the Ringo Starr of our band, Aqua Fluidity, was here to answer this, but I’ll try my best to do this justice. Cancel culture is a funny thing, right? I like that the younger generation, especially, is finding their voice and setting their boundaries. Does it go too far sometimes? Maybe. And, yes, I do agree that people on either side of the cancel culture argument can take things a little too seriously, but I think that we all need to take things seriously sometimes, too. Now on to your second part of this question… Can the lighter tone have a place in our songs? Potentially, and I have a few songs that might be considered humorous, but it’s more of a dark, sarcastic humor. One of our main goals as a band is to create a safe space for listeners to experience “negative” emotions. I put “negative” in quotes because I don’t actually think any emotion is negative, they all serve a purpose. Sometimes and in certain situations, we might have to reel them back a bit. For example, anger is a healthy emotion that tells us we need to protect ourselves in some way. If you are feeling angry at your teacher for a grade they gave you, you might want to use that anger to motivate you to write an clear, appropriate letter rather than, say, decking them in the face.
Music Authentic: Would you rather stay on Earth when the time comes or rather join Elon and his first colony on Mars to start over completely?
WoeTorch: Uggggggghhhhhh. I will burn with the people I belong with, poor, traumatized, scared but strong, not with a small group of wealthy survivors. Though, who knows, maybe they do a lottery and include percents from each tax bracket, as deemed appropriate and “PC” through a series of small focus groups.
Music Authentic: If you were elected, what would you start to help the nation and the youth with?
WoeTorch: First off, I can’t even begin to know or understand the intricacies involved in holding a government office. There are certainly many cases of corruption and many roadblocks for government officials who are actually trying to do good. That being said, I think that I would love to start by increasing the amount of funding to schools and decreasing the amount of strict testing and stringent work loads. Teachers need to get paid more and have more humane work hours and expectations, and students need more access to resources, individualized learning plans, tutoring, and less pressures regarding grades and deadlines. Families, in general, could also benefit from increased income and access to resources like healthcare, mental health options, in-home supportive services, healthy food, and programs to help to connect parents and lower workloads so parents can be less stressed and more present with their children. Just having a fair wage is one thing, but there are so many other resources and suggestions I could make and many are fighting to achieve.
Music Authentic: Lately it seems Greece and Sweden, Finland have the best rock, hard rock, metal scene. Do you have any contemporary favorites?
WoeTorch: I actually am terrible with remembering names of bands, so I had to as our guitarist/bassist, Skinny Bane, and he reminded me of “First Aid Kit” and “Tallest Man on Earth”. I know they’re more folk rock than alternative rock, but their sound is so smooth and reminiscent of some of the 60s folk groups that inspired me when I was just a tween.
Music Authentic: How much do you think people are ready for the openness and the reality instead of the mainstream and social media gimmicks?
WoeTorch: I think there’s a lot of openness out there, even on social media, but it’s a mixed bag. Unfortunately, on social media, it is much too easy to fall into the trap of present who you want others to see rather than who you are. And of course, we don’t want people to know everything about us; that is a cyber safety issue. But I like when I see people being vulnerable for the sake of not feeling alone and so others will feel less alone too.
Music Authentic: What is your special message to your fans and sympathizers before we go?
WoeTorch: I know there’s a lot of scary stuff out there. Maybe you want to run and hide, maybe you want to stand and fight. Pushing yourself with even the littlest baby steps is progress. Open up to a friend or family member about a feeling you have or look up rallies or marches that support causes you believe in. Wherever you’re at in life, know that you are enough.
Music Authentic: Keep us posted, we are looking forward to your new songs!
Follow and listen to WoeTorch on their