Arms adorned with tattoos, colorful pins decorating trendy jackets, slick pairs of shades to tie everything together — these guys look like they were born to be in a band.
The members of SolaFide! (pronounced sol-a-fee-deh, so-la-fee-day, or really anything but so-la-fyde, as they’ve become accustomed to letting you know) have been making music since before they graduated high school, splitting off into duos and recording instrumental demos until the final lineup of Joseph Arns (vocals), Chase Barrett (bass), Devon VonBalson (drums) and Jonas Miller (lead guitar) was solidified. The group is just coming off the release of their sophomore EP The Sun Makes Your Day! and is gearing up for a summer return to live shows after over a year-long hiatus.
Q: Sola Fide — “by faith alone.” Where did you guys come up with that?
DV: I was sleeping during my world history class, and when I woke up, my teacher was going through all of these Latin doxologies. I don’t know a ton about all that history, but I did like the way “Sola Fide” sounded. I didn’t really put much thought into it, it just stuck with me. I think that same day, Jonas and I were just hanging out and I was like, “Hey, what about Sola Fide?” He was like, “That sounds cool, let’s just do that. That’s it!”
JM: Over the years, the name has definitely changed what it means for us. “Sola Fide,” “by faith alone,” all that has had new meaning through our lives. We all met through church, so we had a lot of church influence that came into it. We had a few people come in and out, and when we finally landed on the group, it just felt the most right. It felt like “by faith alone” was a good motto for us in a lot of different ways.
Q: What was the recording process of The Sun Makes Your Day! like?
JM: This EP was very different from what we did normally. With “Brookhaven” and even “Stuck!” we had studio time and we just got everything done. Cole Rieger was our producer. We had a vision, and he’s what created that vision and put it into life. We had all these ideas production-wise and didn’t know how to do it. We would be like, “Cole, we want [electronic noises],” and he would just sit down and do it.
CB: It was kind of the opposite of what some people will do, which is a live recording. It wasn’t just at different times, it was at different buildings across the city. We’ve never done a live recording where we’re all playing at the same time, but we’ll typically do it all in the same place at least. This was very spread out. Vocals was someone else, drums was someone else, guitars we did a lot on our own.
Q: Who are your influences?
CB: What really brought us together was our love of the same type of music. Early on, big inspirations for us were bands like Hippo Campus and Young the Giant. Part of what I like about us is that we don’t really pick a band or a genre — we love to take from everything. Even talking a lot about our first EP versus this EP, in Brookhaven you hear a lot of Hippo Campus, whereas this one it’s more like The 1975 or some Maggie Rogers.