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Solitude were a killer thrash metal band from Delaware who I saw many times at The Empire Rock Room In Phila, PA and a few times down in Delaware. I recently saw that a label had put their stuff out on a double CD and I felt a interview was in order so I got the phone recently with guitarist/vocalist Keith Saulsbury to talk about how this came about and also the good ole days as well:
MC: Keith we are going to talk a little bit about the present and then we will
go back into the past. Tribunal Records recently released a double disc set
of your album which came out in 1994 and all 3 of your demos. How did that come
about and were you at all surprised that some label would want to re-release
your material on CD?
KS: I was surprised as hell myself. It came about and it was kinda weird. I got this email from this guy Matt, and it was not unusual from time to time getting emails from somebody saying they were from a record company and they wanted to put our stuff out and it was always from some kid and it was never real. I kinda blew him off politely telling him I don't do that stuff anymore. Now he (Matt) was pretty persistant and finally I gave him Mike's email (Mike Hostler-drums) and about a week later Mike calls me and said did this guy Matt call you and I said yeah I thought he was some kid and no Mike says he has a real label and wants to put the Solitude stuff out and I am like "let's do it".
MC: I assume you are happy with the with finished product. Did you have 100%
input on what stuff was put on the CD?
KS: For the most part. Matt wanted to include everything and kinda make it a retrospective type of thing, I would have preferred he not put the really, really early stuff on there. (laughs) I am not crazy about that stuff, but he was really into it so we were cool with him putting it on there.
MC: You also put a record out on Red Light Records too that is on this double
disc. Are you happy with the way that turned out?
KS: It is out of print, but it is included on this double disc. We are pretty happy with it. There are a couple songs I would have rather replaced with something else, but overall I still think it holds up pretty good.
MC: Who is in the current line-up right now?
KS: It is me, drummer Mike Hostler, the guitar plaver Dan Martinez and we have a new bass player named Chris Campbell.
MC: I know you are playing a re-union show down in New Castle, DE on April
17th. When was the last time you played a live show?
KS: Oh my god I can't even remember. Probably in 1996 or 1995, it has been a long time.
MC: What exactly led to the breaking up in 1996 or 1997?
KS: It just kinda ran out of gas ya know. We had gotten together in 1988 or 1987 and we had been together a really long time and the Red Light record had come out and we were all psyched and then Red Light went out of business right before our record came out. It was a kick in the gut. We never recovered from that. We stuck around a few more years and tried to get things going, but we just ran out of gas.
MC: When the band broke up did you end up joining any other bands or did you
just leave the music business at this point and go onto something else?
KS: Me, Dan and Mike got into a band alled Vnet that was like Solitude in a way, but not like Solitude musicwise and from that broke up and I was in a hardcore band for awhile and then me and Mike ended up in another band for awhile. Mike was in a band called Hard Response for awhile. I can't remember what the names of some of the other bands, but yeah everybody has been pretty active.
MC: Now looking back what were some of the highlights you can remember the
1st time round as I will call it ha ha
KS: Definetly playing with Sacred Reigh. We had a chance to play with them a couple times and really hit it off with them and they were always fun to play with. Anytime playing the Empire with Faith of Fear or Dominance. Those shows always seem to stick out and that place was so much fun to play. Playing with Death and Dark Angel at The Troc that was a fun show as well.
MC: Now I assume you have been rehearsing already for this live show you have
coming up. How was it going back and playing these olds songs again for the
1st time in a long time. Has it revived your juices at all?
KS: It has taken us awhile. When we first started I thought we were never gonna be able to pull this shit off (laughs), but it startin to come back together now and it was not like riding as bike and has taken some time to get things back together.
MC: Do you plan on recording any new material?
KS: I wish I could say yes, but it is not looking that way. I think we will probably do one or two shows and then put the band back to bed again.
MC: Looking back what was one or some of the worst things about being in a
KS: Probably have about a 1000 sweaty dudes showing up at your shows. (laughs) There were hardly any chicks ever at any of our shows. (laughs) Sometimes it would would be tough to get booked and a lot of the clubs in Delaware didn't want to deal with the rowdy crowds and stuff. That was probably the worst part trying to find venues to play live.
MC: Any shot of this show or if you do any others being filmed for a possible
DVD or to put on You Tube or your My Space page?
KS: Oh I am fairly certain we are going to do that.
MC: Have you seen any old videos of you floating around on the internet?
KS: There is a video on the CD and it is on You Tube as well and there is some videos of us on You Tube, but it is just the album cover and then the song is playing.
MC: After the band broke up did you still get fan mail and stuff and does it
amaze you that after all these years people still care about the band?
KS: Absouletly. It amazes the shot out of me. I didn't think anybody would still remember us. He was so enthustastic about it too and he is responsible for this whole re-union thing happening and we weren't thinking about doing a re-union and he was so excited to put it out we decided why don't we do a show or something. Yeah we got fan mail for a couple years after we broek up.
MC: Do you still have all your reviews and stuff and I guess you don't miss
sending letters and stuff as email is a lot easier huh?
KS: (laughs) It is a lot more cheaper now isn't it? I have some stuff saved, but Mike has all that stuff. I got my shoebox under my bed with some issues of Metal Core somewhere.
MC: With the My Space page and stuff, have you re connected with some people
who you have not heard from in ages besides me ha ha?
KS: Oh yeah. My Space and Facebook are amazing. People who I haven't talked to or people I never thought I would talk to again I am friends with on these sites. It seems like every week somebody new is coming out of the woodwork. Eviction, I don't if you remember them from Pittsburgh.
MC: Yes I do.
KS: We are friends with them now and they may come down to the re-union show. It would be fun to see those guys again. It would have made things a lot easier if we had this 20 years ago.
MC: Yes it would have. Now at this live show are you playing any cover tunes
or any surprise songs at all?
KS: We are gonna throw in a couple cover tunes and some songs we didn't play live a lot back in the day and just to keep everybody guessing.
MC: Any merchandise being planned for the show?
KS: Yes we are doing that right now and there will be a couple different designs and there will be CD's at the show as well.
MC: So what was the actual 1st rehearsal like for you?
KS: It was kinda weird and kinda comfortable at the same time. It was kinda like putting on an old pair of shoes in a way. It felt funny at 1st, but after awhile it started to feel more natural. Everybody started to have fun again.
MC: When the band broke up was it a bad break-up or was it just kinda like
you knew it was time and it was a consious decision by the band as a whole to
KS: For the most part it was a good break up. Rod our old bass player we don't get along very well anymore and we had some personal differences that never got resolved, but that was the only bad blood out of the whole thing. It was just time.
MC: Do you think being from Delaware hurt the band at all?
KS: Maybe a little bit. We were kinda in the middle of everything. It was tough to get people from Phila to come to Delaware to watch us play and it was hard to get people from Delaware to go to Phila. Probably some the same way today. People just don't want to travel more than 15 miles from their house. It definetly didn't help.
MC: How did you come up with the name?
KS: We took it from an old Black Sabbath tune from the album Masters of Reality I think.
MC: Has anybody tried to take the name over the years? I know there was a band
from Texas called Solitude Aeturnus?
KS: Yeah they were called Solitude at first and we had a small legal issue with them and they just added the name Aeturnus to theirs name and they were cool about it back then. I know there is 4 or 5 bands with the name Solitude that I know of now. It is a pretty common name I guess.
MC: What advice would you give to somebody if they wanted to start a band?
KS: Don't do it. (laughs) Just do what you love to do.
MC: Have you seen any fan websites dedicated to the band?
KS: There is a couple sites I have seen.
MC: For someone who is reading this and has never heard the band, how would
you describe your music?
KS: I would say it is late 80's Bay Area influenced thrash in the vein of Forbidden maybe.
MC: Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently if given
KS: Yeah our biggest problem was we took to long to do shit. We took too long to write and record and we were always a step behind the times and if we had been a little more timely getting stuff out there we might have had a better chance.
MC: If somebody wants to buy the CD where can they purchase it at?
KS: You can do a Goggle seatch for Solitude Poisoned Population and there is probably 50 stores that have it and you can also order it from the label as well.
MC: Keith I am out of questions. I am looking forward to the show and anything
you want to say to wrap up this great interview. It was great talking to you
and the CD is awesome.
KS: Thanks for taking the time to interview me and I look forward to seeing you at the show.