Interview with Thug Metal Band ‘Solus Deus’


Solus Deus LooBrutal Heavy Metal from Columbus, Ohio w/ just the right amount of Thug. Solus Deus includes members of Bleed the Sky, Chimaira, the Elite, Living Sacrifice. A self titled 4 track EP was released in September 2012. Currently they are preparing the release of their new album, which carries the title “The Bloodtrial”. Let’s have a chat with the guys of Solus Deus:

TMR: Hey guys this is ‘The Metal Resource’ from Holland, how are things going there ?

They’re good thanks, and thanks for the interview as well man we really appreciate it.

TMR: Will you introduce yourself and the band please.  (name and instrument)

Jey Collins – Vocals
Wayne Miller – Guitar
Rocky Gray – Guitar
Tony Aiello – Bass
Austin D’Amond – Drums

TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Solus Deus’

We are just some friends that came together to write some brutal heaviness.

TMR: Why the name ‘Solus Deus’? Is there a story behind it?

Jey: I liked the way that it sounded and I liked that it meant God alone. I learned in my own personal life that God was the only one who could take my problems away and the only one who can judge me. So the name is personal for me.

Solus Deus Studio 2014TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Solus Deus’? (a) How do you get in the mood for writing music? (b) And which bands/situations have influences you for your writing music and lyrics?

Jey – It’s really a collaborative effort. And a lot of bands say that but for us it’s really true. We write together and contribute to all aspects of the songs, of course we are all responsible for our individual roles, but the writing process is truly a collective, creative experience.
Austin – My first steps usually come from the guitar.  As unusual as it may sound, the beat doesn’t usually strike first. The beats usually orchestrate parts if the guitar work needs bolstering but generally when I hear a riff that I love and I like it to the point that I’m sure I want to use I just build the story around that. If there are 2 riffs that appeal to me well that naturally will navigate the structure of where I will go on the drums.

TMR: You describe the style that you play as ‘Thug Metal’. What exactly is Thug Metal?

Austin – Thug Metal, to me, represents a new sound. I believe I’ve been given a feel that brings a whole new vibe to metal as we know it. My feel comes from within the heartbeat of the streets. The soul of the sound comes from the evil dissonance of metal. When you mix those poisons together you get one hell of a cocktail that takes you on a journey to the depths not yet explored. Head bang if ya gang bang.

TMR: What are some key principles or phylosophies that you hold onto as foundational stones as who you are as a person?


TMR: What can you tell us about your upcoming EP (album title, the songs, release date, record label etc?)

Well, it’s entitled The Bloodtrail, there are 6 tracks including the recorded version of The Bloodtrail , which we initially premiered as a video on YouTube. We are releasing the EP ourselves, September 1st is our release date.

TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘Solus Deus’?

Rocky –It’s a blast getting in the studio with these guys. Their song ideas are fresh and exciting and I’m always ready to get back in there and see what leads I can throw down on their brand of urban inspired metal.

The BloodtrialTMR: And the worst things were? (if there is one).

We haven’t really had any bad experiences with each other. Yeah, we got nothing.

TMR: What is the last album you bought?

Tony – Protest the Hero
Austin – Gojira
Wayne – Origin
Jey – Madchild The Lawnmower Man
Rocky – Charlie Clouser Dead Silence

TMR: What makes you laugh?

Austin – Wayne! He’s like a kid in a candy store and his sense of humor is funny for how intelligent he is.

TMR: What are some of the things you like to do away from the band?

We all have so many interests and projects going on all of the time the best answer for all of us is spending time with our families and friends.

TMR: How do you promote your band and shows?

Word of mouth, social media, pretty much the same methods that other bands use to get their music to the masses.

TMR: How do you prepare for a show?

Austin – (*laughs*) Umm, no matter how big or small the show is I always get butterflies whether I’m ready for them or not. I always do a warm-up. It’s relaxed and really just about how I feel at the time. I might play some hip-hop and free jam on a table with practice sticks or play some rudiments or just kinda jam which is not a stretch considering it is how I typically write. From there it’s a little more about going with what gets me simultaneously comfortable and pumped. Comradery with the group is important too; if there are any vibes I get off someone I call them out and make sure we are all ready and we are going to go out there and give the people the show of their lives. I pride myself on the fact that I’m always ready though. Butterflies or whatever I’m always ready, I love to do this.

TMR: Are you visiting many gigs? What do you listen to these days?

Yeah, we go to shows quite a bit. A few of us tour and play shows regularly so naturally we are there by trade as well. We are musicians because we love music – hearing it as well as playing it; it’s rewarding either way.

Wayne – West Side Connection
Tony –  Protest the Hero, Killswitch Engage, Demon Hunter, LeCrae, Andy Mineo, Jesus Culture
Rocky – Metallica, Rob Zombie and Movie Soundtracks
Austin – Trap music
Jey – Slipknot, TechNine, Carnifex

TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live (past and future)

Rocky – All the bands I’ve played with have been equally great.
Tony – POD, Blindside, As I Lay Dying, Impending Doom/Future: Slipknot, U2, Rage Against the Machine
Austin – Meshuggah in Australia
Wayne – Decapitated
Jey – Meshuggah, Wu-Tang, POD

TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked?

We appreciate everyone that shows interest in our music and we honestly do not believe that any sincere question is dumb.

TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands? What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Austin — As cool as it is being on a label you still have to watch what you’re doing. I’ve learned that you can and should utilize yourself a lot longer. Kids with stars in their eyes tend to be easily manipulated but my advice is to hold on to your own situation as long as you can. The phenomenon exists more in metal but it’s not like you need them, they need you. Don’t settle so quickly. When you are being approached by the industry understand that it’s because you have something fantastic, know that and remember that. Know what you are. I want to get out the right information. I am not in this for myself. I’m in it for all the right reasons: because I love music and it is my contribution to the world.

TMR: What are your plans for the near future? (European Tour/full length album maybe?)

We are in the process of scheduling some Southern California dates for late Fall, and we are in the process of writing more material.

TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview. We wish ‘Solus Deus’ all the best…Is there anything you wanna say at last? (any final statement?)


“Solus Deus” EP (2012)
“The Bloodtrial” (2014) [coming soon]

Weblinks: Facebook / Twitter /Website  / Bandcamp

Lyric video below ‘Thug Metal’

Video below ‘The Bloodtrial’


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