LotusLand: Hey there, friend. Can you introduce yourself?
Aidan: I am Aidan Bugliarisi, hardly known as Sol Speech. I am an experimental musician from Vancouver, Canada.
LL: So Aidan, your music is very different, and usually local music in Vancouver is referred to Indie Pop musicians, such as Said the Whale or the Zolas. Experimental artists in Vancouver are not really heard of, and so who has inspired you?
Aidan: That’s a tough one, cause really the inspiration for all my music is what I’m listening to at the time that I’m writing the music, and it always changes, the only static one would probably only be Joy Division, who I was introduced to by my dad, and I’ve never stopped listening to Joy Division, and I don’t really know if you can tell that from my music, but they are my main inspiration.
LL: Obviously, many different artists of different genres have inspired you, but as an upcoming artist who would you compare yourself to musically?
Aidan: I wouldn’t compare myself to anybody, but for the sake of this interview, my current stuff is probably most similar to maybe Shlohmo, a lot of people from wedidit such as Groundislava, D33j, and maybe some of my witch house-y stuff can sound a little bit like Salem.
LL: Also, while we’re at it, that’s a really nice shawl.
Aidan: Thank you, it’s a Chanel bandana, that I found in Value Village.
LL: Wow, I’m really proud of your thrifting abilities. Is that where you get most of your clothes from?
Aidan: I get nearly every item of clothing from Value Village.
LL: Which Value Village has the best finds?
Aidan: The best one I think is the one in New Westminster, second would be in Coquitlam. Always go when they’ve just stocked.
LL: What day of the week is that?
Aidan: I think Tuesdays at like noon.
LL: I’ll keep that in mind. If you were to label your music under one genre, of course this will be very difficult, what would it be?
Aidan: Does it have to be a genre that already exists?
LL: No, you can definitely make it up.
Aidan: Ok, it can be a totally out there, very Pitchfork sounding genre.
LL: I definitely have not heard of that one before.
Aidan: I’m being completely sarcastic, I actually hate Pitchfork. You don’t have to put this in the interview you know.
LL: We’ll be the judge of that!
Aidan: I guess, like, if it was a real genre, the only one I would use is experimental. Like, experimental is a very broad name. The main principle of experimental is that you’re like breaking the rules of conventional music, and that is a really key thing in my music, so. And it really makes sense.
LL: Define conventional, like breaking the rules of the time signature?
Aidan: Anything, really. Just uh, it’s difficult to describe, breaking the rules of time signature, key signature, or anything else that breaks the general laws of music theory.
LL: And when Sol Speech is searched on YouTube, a video of a young girl in grade 5 named Sol reciting a speech, advocating for social change comes up. Is that what made you chose your name?
Aidan: Haha, yes, that’s definitely what inspired it. I will definitely sample it in the near future, in one of my newer tracks.
LL: What actually made you chose that name?
Aidan: Honestly, I was sitting around one day trying to think of a name, and I somehow came up with “Sol” and “Speech” and decided to put them together. Um, I don’t know, I like to talk, and I like the sun. It can be interpreted in a lot of ways, some people think of it as your soul talking.
LL: I haven’t really come across a band with great meaning behind their names. So you recently joined the music collective Mountainous, how has joining a group of fellow local experimental artists help you, especially when you didn’t really know anyone that made the same kind of music as you?
Aidan: Um, I met the members of Mountainous Collective last year around this time of year during a show at Luckie’s comics. It was there that I met the creator, Jacob Sexsmith, stage name the Oneiroscopist and Brody, Slippery Jibberish and they were pretty nice, and I started talking to them there, and I showed them my music, and eventually Jacob just messaged me “hey do you want to join the collective” and I said “yeah totally”, hung out with them a few times after that. Actually, I just hung out with them once after that, and actually I should mention that I knew Paul, also part of the collective, Phantom Head Trip and he was the reason I originally went to the show and met everybody else.
LL: You seem like a pretty busy person.
Aidan: Yeah, I’m a really busy guy. I’m only 15, turning 16 in a few days, so I still have to go to school.
LL: How will you spend your 16th birthday?
Aidan: I’m going to have chamber choir bright and early in the morning, then I’m going to watch my younger cousin’s basketball game, and then I’m going to go out for dinner with my girlfriend, then come back home.
LL: It’s really hard being “different” in a suburb. It’s difficult to find people with the same interests as you. How has living in a suburb shaped both who you are and your music?
Aidan: Honestly, there’s really no one I talk to in the suburbs except my family, I don’t have any friends here, everyone I know is from the city. It’s mostly the environment here that effects my music.
LL: That leads to my other question, how has the stillness in the suburb played a role in your music?
Aidan: It’s pretty nice, it’s a lot quieter in Vancouver, which is great for me. I wouldn’t be able to write music if I couldn’t hear myself think. Very quiet, people here are very friendly, even though I don’t talk to them. Often times I’ll go outside and walk just by myself, go into the forest purely for inspiration, for my music. I don’t know how it inspires me, I’ll think about the sounds or the things I’m seeing, and somehow it’ll be relevant to my music. Musically, I prefer the suburbs, it’s a lot more of a comfortable environment for me to write music in, other than that if I’m just hanging out I prefer Vancouver. It’s a beautiful place with beautiful people.
LL: Other than the forest, where are you most creative in? I know you’re a big fan of the sky train.
Aidan: Yeah, that’s true. The first, most creative place that I’m in is my bedroom. I don’t know, it’s strange because the atmosphere in my bedroom actually makes me more angry.
LL: Why is that?
Aidan: My room is placed right above the garage, so however the temperature is, it will be the extreme of that in my room. If it’s relatively cold it will be freezing in my room, if it’s relatively warm it’ll be boiling in my room. And then that anger, it fuels me initiative for making music. It’s cool, but also strenuous. Second most creative place for me would be my girlfriend’s bedroom, because it’s the most beautiful place in the world. The way the lights hit the walls, or the lack thereof. And if no one is speaking in the room, there’s absolute silence. I’ve never been in a more quiet place in my life. It’s intriguing, and beautiful.
LL: I’m guessing it also has to do with her being there too.
Aidan: Of course, having her there is an inspiration too.
LL: Have you been to any recent shows?
Aidan: Toro y Moi, which was super good. No local shows though, the most recent one would be actually the show I met my girlfriend Mairin, the full Mountainous crew show, before I was into the collective. You know it’s actually kind of crazy, when you think about it. I was just there, watching as a fan, and um, all of them were performing. And yeah, so that was cool. Three weeks later, I get a text message asking to join the collective, it was amazing.
LL: As a young artist, it must have been really great to see people were appreciating your music and thought of it good enough to be part of something bigger.
Aidan: It was definitely the highest point of my career, or lack thereof. I was freaking out, I couldn’t even grasp what was going on. I would jokingly say I wish I was part of Mountainous Collective before hand, and it was really surprising for me.
LL: Who are some local artists in Vancouver you’re really into, other than the members of Mountainous?
Aidan: It’s difficult because I can never go to shows in Vancouver, but recently I’ve been really listening to Johnny de Courcy and the Death Rangers. I saw an Evaporators show as well, on record store day.
LL: You’ve released 3 albums this year, computer sounds, your self titled and R.I.P. Are you going to come out with another one in the near future
Aidan: I think I’ll come out with an EP first, with songs I’ve already released like “Saw You There”, then throw in something I haven’t released yet.
LL: And you’re playing your first gig, really soon!
Aidan: Yeah, my debut is happening with the rest of Mountainous Collective at the Russian Hall on the 21st of December. I’ll be playing a set where I’ll be debuting my R.I.P album. If you’re available that night, you should definitely come and support your local musicians, only 5 dollars.
LL: What advice do you have to give to other artists?
Aidan: The most important piece of information I can give to anyone else about to play a gig is that to make sure they’re making their set on the computer they’ll be using during the gig, it’s incredibly essential. Right now I’m working on my desktop, and the one I’m eventually going to play on is a Mac and mine is a PC, so it’s going to be very difficult, and I’m kind of worried that things won’t work out perfectly. Technology hates me so much, there are so many songs that would have existed if FL Studio had not crashed.
LL: Any last words for our readers?
Aidan: Don’t be afraid to pursue what you want to do, don’t conform to what people say you should do. You’ll have a better time. Once I decided to do what I wanted to do, life become a lot better. Rock and roll.
LL: Thanks so much for having us Aidan.
Aidan: Thank you for having me!