Images by Solstice
Originating from Knoxville TN, the band Solstice’s music carries undertones blues, rock, and more. This diverse band stays true to their roots through their music. Solstice is made up of a group a friends consisting of Marty Gee 17 on vocals and guitar, Maddox Frazier 15 on bass, Jacob Greene 17 on keys, Jackson Frazier 17 on lead guitar, and Grayson Strader 16 on drums. Despite their young ages, Solstice draws inspiration from old-school hits and artists providing a competitive edge sure to lead them to success.
I had the chance to talk to Marty Gee as we discussed how Solstice met, their sound, and what is to come in the future.
How did you guys meet each other?
I (Marty Gee) used to be in a band before Solstice. We had a show coming up but the only people who could make it to the show was me and the drummer. My mother and Jackson and Maddox’s Dad work together. He saw on Facebook that the show was only going to be the two of us and asked if we wanted Jackson to fill in on guitar and Maddox to fill in on bass. I of course said YES because I had seen videos of them playing and was amazed by their talent. We also all coincidentally had the same guitar teacher at the time. Jackson and Maddox had known Jacob since they were little and asked if he could play piano with us at the show. We got together and practiced some songs and I instantly felt that something special happened when we would play. I had never played music with these guys before and the very first time it sounded like we have been playing together for a long time. We played the show and it went great. After the show I asked them if they wanted to start a band together and they all said yes except for the drummer from my old band. Grayson has been one of my best friends since 6th grade and I knew he started playing the drums when he was only four years old and thought he would be a perfect fit. I called him up and he wanted to join. We all got together at my house, started playing, and knew we wanted to become a band.
How did you come to name the band “Solstice”?
The first time all five of us were in the same room playing music together was on the summer solstice.
How would you describe Solstice’s sound?
When we play at restaurants and bars, we play all sorts of different genres to please everyone in the crowd. The music we prefer to play/write is Blues, rock, alternative, and somewhat indie. Our sound is a combination of these.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration and why?
I cannot speak for the other guys but my personal biggest inspirations would have to be Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Michael Jackson. When I was in elementary school, I would come home every single day and jump onto the home desktop and listen to their songs for hours. Those guys made me fall in love with music. Our inspiration for the band is all over the place because we each like different artists, but I would say if it all had to be boiled down to one person, we would say John Mayer. We love how he plays blues but also adds in some more mainstream pop vibes here and there.
How was the song “Birdhouse Blues” made/ What is the story behind this song?
We were sitting in Jacksons basement and he was playing a bluesy lick over and over again and we stopped talking and just listened to him. Then Grayson started to drum behind him and we were really grooving. Then it just kind of happened. He told us the notes and chords and we started playing. As for the lyrics it took us some time to figure out. We knew we wanted to have the lyric, “the (something) blues” in the song but we couldn’t figure out what to say. We had a show coming up in downtown Knoxville at this place called the Birdhouse and I said, “The Birdhouse Blues” and we wrote on from there.
Check out “Birdhouse Blues” here:
What is your favorite thing about making and performing music?
There are so many amazing things about making and performing music. My favorite part is just being with the guys and all playing together. Music has always been a big part of my life and getting to experience that with my best friends is unmatched. Also getting to share our music with the world is incredible. When we pull up to shows people don’t expect a couple of teenage guys to be that good, but seeing the smiles on their faces when we play is a great feeling. Knowing that people enjoy the sounds we create.
If you had to listen to one album on repeat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
If I could only listen to one album for the rest of my life it would be The Wall by Pink Floyd. I love the sound of the album and all the metaphors and meaning of each song. It tells a story about Rodger Waters crazy life. It’s also really unique that the end of each song is the start of the next so it’s almost two hours of nonstop music.
What are some goals you would love to accomplish in Solstice as a band?
We plan to release another single soon and are working on recording an album. We want to try and keep our band together throughout college and just see what happens. Of course we have the dream of getting big, but regardless to what happens in our future it all comes down to our love and passion for music.
Listen to “Birdhouse Blues” here.