Sol Crier, the talented lyricist and vocalist from the alternative rock band WoeTorch, is no stranger to channeling intense emotions through music. Inspired by the likes of Tool, Linkin Park, and Evanescence, Sol and the rest of WoeTorch use their music as a safe space to confront their past traumas and express themselves in a cathartic and powerful way. In this exclusive interview, Sol shares the story behind WoeTorch’s music, their creative process, and their mission to create a community of empathy and understanding through their music. Get ready to delve into the mind of one of alternative rock’s rising stars!
What first got you into music?
I had family in the music business, so I was surrounded by it my
whole life, but what really drew me to want to pursue music was
noticing how it could change how it could make me feel and gave me a
safer outlet than punching something or starving or cutting myself.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I, personally, have created a variety of works ranging from folk to
jazz to what you more typically hear from WoeTorch, a hard rock and
alternative vibe. Alternative is definitely my favorite genre to work
in and listen to. The power behind the driving instrumental work and
raw vocals is super cathartic and, I believe, supports my lyrics and
topics of interest quite well.
What is your creative process like?
I love poetry. I have written poetry since I first learned to write
and even used to read through an old rhyming dictionary I had for
fun. So that’s where it starts-with the words. Oftentimes, I end up
with a jumbled mess, searching for a way to express how I feel or
something I’ve experienced. Other times, the words fall to the page
as if inspired or like they had been hanging there somewhere between
my brain and my hand, waiting to be unleashed. Once I have the
words, I might start playing with a chord progression or melody on my
own, but my favorite way to transfer words to song is through
collaboration. That’s why I’m so grateful for all the people I have
and still get to work with in the creative process.
Can you tell us a bit more about your favorite song and what inspired
you to make it?
My current favorite, from the vocals to the instruments to the video,
is Not the Gods. I speak about this a bit on the WoeTorch website,
but, in summary, I was inspired by the pain of religious trauma and
trying to fill the void with other “gods”, so to speak. My household
had a strict view of religion and a “wrath of the angry gods”
mentality, and I grew up to fear God, religion, and spirituality.
The lyrics to this song came to me at a time in my life when I
wouldn’t say I was deeply religious nor anti-religious but exploring
my understanding of what God was and was not to me. There’s a lot ofpain there, and anger, which can be heard in the varied vocals and
ripping guitar part.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
Linkin Park, Greenday, Hoobastank, and Nirvana were integral parts of
my youth and growing love of the alt rock scene. Tool is absolutely
magical and I still find their music inspiring and a go-to when I’m
in a writing rut. But here are a couple that may seem surprising:
Lady Gaga and Lizzo. They are both talented artists and activists in
their own rights. Lady Gaga has spoken extensively about mental
health and Lizzo has lifted other women up and continues to be a
positive role model for so many in body image, confidence, and self
expression. Plus their songs are poppin. I could be feeling horribly
unmotivated then flip on “Just Dance” or “Juice” and I’m dancin
around doing whatever I was procrastinating.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
You know, the American justice system is a funny thing, isn’t it?
Someone might call in and get hauled away to jail for legitimately
defending themselves. Honestly, though, I think I’ve had scarier
run-ins with my own family members when “getting in trouble” for
talking back or questioning their beliefs. One such occasion ended
with multiple bruises and lacerations, and a good bit of PTSD.
Overall, though, I would say I’ve been a good little human, despite
my dangerously explosive internal rage, vented only through violent
animes, sweaty workouts, and music production.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
“Don’t take yourself too seriously.” I cried so often and laughed so
rarely that, when I finally put this phrase to practice in the middle
school and chortled at a sarcastic comment made by a schoolmate, the
the whole group of 7th graders froze and stared at me, wide-eyed, and one
of them said, “wow. They actually laugh?” I feel like being able to
laugh at ourselves and life, in general, is a great coping mechanism.
It’s when I’m out there in the real world, on the road, at home,
wherever, and expect or demand the respect that my perspective on life
starts shifting in a negative direction.
What’s next for you?
Well, I love working on WoeTorch. I feel like we’re maybe starting to
reach some people who share some feelings and experiences that we’ll continue to share about our music. We have another song coming out at the end of February. It’s a bit of a ballad and touches on some
concerns many of us have about our children and the coming
generations. After that, I plan to keep creating, singing, and
sharing with WoeTorch and elsewhere, and, who knows, maybe we have
some live performances in the future. The road ahead wants not in
Find them on youtube