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  • Isaac Gutierrez

Meet the Music: Soul Low



Soul Low, Born Loser's band of the week, has established themselves in Milwaukee's local music scene in recent years. Composed of Jake Balistrieri (vocals, guitar), Sam Gehrke (bass), Charlie Celenza (drums) and Sean Hirthe (sax, keys) , Soul Low is making noise in their hometown and around the nation. The band can brag about multiple accolades including Milwaukee's "Band to Watch in 2017" from the Milwaukee journal. The band recently released their latest album Cheer Up earlier this summer. The album immediately grabs you attention with upbeat melodies and catchy hooks, but buried underneath are relatable,thought provoking lyrics. Soul Low has quickly become one of our favorite bands, and will surely become one of your favorites too. Check out our latest interview with the band.

Isaac Gutierrez for Born Loser: To start off every interview we like to ask some rapid fire questions. Just say the first thing that comes to your mind.

  1. On a scale of 1-10 how hot is Shrek after he drinks that potion in Shrek 2? His face is a 5 but his body is a strong nine.

  2. What is the most useless fact you know? Corn is technically a type of grass.

  3. Who keeps watching Jane the Virgin on my Hulu account? My ex wife

  4. What conspiracy theory are you convinced is absolutely true? The Denver Airport

  5. Have you ever looked in the mirror and stared at your eyes and realize that you’re looking at your eyes with your eyes? This human form is limiting.

  6. My friend Tani has an unhealthy, crippling obsession with the movie Wall-E. Do you have any advice for him? I wish it to consume you entirely, Tani.

  7. Who is cuter? Me or Baby Grinch? I love that baby Grinch and I think he was treated very unfairly by his peers.

  8. Emoji Movie? GIVE ME THE FORMIOLI

  9. Which Wrestler do you think you could beat up? Tobey Maguire in the original Spider Man

  10. Will growing out my mustache boost my confidence and help reduce my social anxiety? Yes.

Isaac: For those who aren’t familiar with Soul Low can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Soul Low: We were all born and raised on the Southside of Milwaukee. Sam and I were preschool homies and we met Sean in 5th grade. We all learned our instruments together (playing Green Day covers and such) and became Soul Low when we met Charlie during junior year of High School in 2009.

Isaac: What is it like coming up in the Milwaukee music scene? And how do you feel it has shaped you as a band?

Soul Low: It was cool because Milwaukee is a mid sized city which means it was accessible but we could also stay busy.

Isaac: Your lyrics very relatable and resonate with listeners. What is your writing process like?

Soul Low: I (Jake) write the lyrics. I get a general feel for the vocal melody and syllable pattern by practicing with the band and then I write the lyrics while I'm going about my day. Sometimes it takes me a long time to come up with something I feel is perfect for the song and sometimes it doesn't happen at all in which case I have to phone it in for the recording.

Isaac: Do you think writing helps you process things you’re personally going through? Soul Low: Yeah, when I finally get the lyrics carved out they become little anthems in my head that help me get through my day, or at least until they are recorded and I get widely sick of them.

Isaac: What would be your dream tour?

Soul Low: A tour where every hotel has a pool and I don't gain several pound of Mcdonald's weight. I could tour rural Indiana endlessly until I die I would live a fantastic, fruitful life.

Isaac: Talk to us about your latest album “Cheer Up” and how is this different from your previous work? Soul Low: “Cheer Up” is uniques because the theme and recurring melody that appears several times throughout the record were the guiding forces behind the writing. It was also one of the least stressful to make because we had really realized our roles in the songwriting process.

Isaac: The album cover for “Cheer Up” immediately caught my attention. It looks like a dope shot from a Wes Anderson film or something. Can you tell us the story behind it?


Soul Low: We thought trying to have fun at a waterpark in the dead of winter was a pretty good metaphor for trying to feel good while dealing with depression so we did just that. We booked a shitty motel in the Wisconsin Dells, brought a really talented photographer and got wasted. We weren’t expecting the photos to look so sirene.

Isaac: What band has influenced you the least?

Soul Low: Probably Rise Against because I’m not a jabroni ass narc chud.

Isaac: Yo, Sam. (This is for Sam. Nobody else read this.)

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Any advice for keeping my mustache looking dope?

(Sam didn't answer me, but I take his silence as an answer. Maybe, I shouldn't base my mustache's worth on other's opinion of it. Maybe what gives my mustache its worth and what makes it "dope" is it believing in itself)

Isaac: What are your future plans as a band?

Soul Low: We're looking to drop 2 new videos in the distant future, play shows, chill & sip cold suds 💯

Listen to their music here! You have to. If you read this you legally have to. It's the law. I will call the police.


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