My Q&A With: Soul Low

Where did the name Soul Low originate?

The name Soul Low originated from a a pizza hang out between Jake and Charlie. They were trying to brainstorm band names and Jake kept insisting that the word “soul” be used. Apparently they came upon Soul Low and thought the pun was so fantastic that it stuck. Now we’re forever cursed with having to spell out our name every time we talk to a stranger. 

How do you feel Milwaukee, the city the band is based in, has influenced Soul Low?

I think Milwaukee has had a HUGE influence on our music – the Milwaukee scene is so diverse and varied that it’s hard not to pick up influences all the time. Two in particular that stick out to me are Violent Femmes & John the Savage (RIP). What’s great is that everyone in town is so connected. I know dudes who hang in the jazz scene who do gigs with people in the folk scene who also play in the hip hop scene; it’s way cool to see how we all impact each other. I used to know a guy from high school who put us on at a gospel church. That was one of our first gigs. You can’t help but be exposed to every kind of music and culture.

If you could headline any music festival, which one would it be?image1

I mean any festival would be a dream to headline. But if I have to be specific, I’d personally love to headline Eaux Claires Festival. It’s right here in the state and is already packed with so many awesome Wisconsin bands. To hang with Sylvan Esso or PHOX would be so rad.

Delaware House Records, the label under which you released your debut album, “Uneasy,” is actually run by Sam. How do you go about creating and maintaining an independent label? 

The creation of Delaware House Records was kind of a gut reaction. Jake’s band at the time, Pale Girls, was looking to release their debut EP. I wasn’t in any bands so I told him I’d help out with the promotion and distribution. From there I came up with the name, had a friend create the logo, and started a website. In the last few years as Soul Low has gotten busier the label has slowed down. Things are picking back up though. A good friend of mine from Minneapolis, Cody Nelson of Straya, and I have a few things cookin.

How long have you been playing together as a band?

Jake and I have been in bands since we were both 11; we’ve played everything from blues to jazz to rock to jam band to surf etc. However Soul Low has existed since 2009. We played out for two years, took a two year break, and have been back together since 2013.

Spin Magazine listed Soul Low as one of “Five Artists to Watch in May 2015.” How does it feel to know your music is being supported on a broadening level?

It feels very rewarding to know that big people are paying attention to what’s going on. We’ve been receiving a lot of emails we don’t normally receive, most of them being attributed to that particular post. I don’t know. What’s tite for us is bodies at shows. Hopefully those kinds of bigger posts continue and help pack more bodies at shows across the US. We’re just tryna dance with some people.

“Sweet Pea,” the band’s latest EP was released on May 26th of this year. Can you talk a little about it?

“Sweet Pea” is the result of a handful of demos Jake made about a year ago. When Jake sent them out to the band, we initially rejected them for other material we’d been working on. A few months ago when we were on tour, Jake put the collection on in the car and we found ourselves getting really into the songs. From there things moved very quickly: the week we came back we started practicing the new songs, shortly thereafter booking studio time with our good friend Harrison Colby, co-founder of Gloss Records. We spent a day with him and knocked out the songs. That urgency really lent itself to the EP. Because Harrison worked so closely with the songs, he asked to release it on our behalf. We agreed and now we have a 9-song EP on tape that comes with a download card and a limited edition Soul Low temporary tattoo. Whew.

What are your plans for the rest of the summer and the rest of the year?

Our plans for the rest of year include a handful of Milwaukee festival shows, some regional touring and some East Coast touring. We try our best to stay busy; we’re not the kind of band to sit still for too long.

Thanks! Any final comments?

Thank you for agreeing to chat with us about our nonsense 🙂


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