Self-described as a “Middle Eastern progressive rock band,” Soleo features Amir Gholizadeh on vocals and guitar, Tynan Evans on bass and Nick Golias on drums. The band came together after Gholizadeh created and shared his own bizarre guitar-tuning style with Evans and Golias. That, and a compelling concept about Gholizadeh’s family history, became the inspiration for their unconventional take on prog rock.
The band merges western progressive motifs and a dash of stoner metal with traditional Persian music Gholizadeh grew up listening to. The blend creates a larger-than-life, epic sound. Soleo, as a whole, has the cinematic feeling of classic works like Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy, though to say they necessarily sound like those bands or like their progressive contemporaries is imprecise. Simply: To know Soleo, you must listen to Soleo (to love Soleo.)
The full album, which will be released on Tragic Hero Records later this year, is inspired by the true story of Gholizadeh’s family fleeing their home country in the wake of a theocratic government takeover in the '70s. While the album follows that specific journey, the band also says the music functions as a standalone concept. Gholizadeh explains, "To say this is exclusively my family's story would be short-sighted. A lot of people leave their homes and start a new life somewhere else—some of them under better circumstances and some under worse. So, although the story is unique, the concepts are pretty universal. When I listen to the album, I hear my family’s story, but our hope is that other people will draw their own stories from these songs.
"I think everybody, at some point, feels out of place, whether it's physically out of place like my family was, or if you’re an outcast at school or you just don’t feel like you belong anywhere. That’s a big theme of some of the songs."
Soleo has contemplated and developed ideas and elements for this album over the course of nearly a decade. It’s been a voyage, and they are now ready for listeners to immerse themselves in it.