Asaan “Swamburger” Brooks
Solillaquists of Sound’s saga comes to its natural conclusion
‘The 4th Wall’ completes the group’s epic listener’s trilogy
Published: January 8, 2014
“As soon as that started to happen, I went back to our oldest of email lists – a thousand people – and I wrote this big, long letter and was very honest and talked to people and said, ‘Hey, look, I just wanted you to check this out. But really, more than anything, I wanna just know that you exist.’ And the responses I got back were amazing. And it was cool because I actually heard an echo. I didn’t just hear me yelling into a cavern. I actually heard someone call back. And that has been the greatest experience about all of this, was the fact that, yeah, if I’m not gonna have all the money that all this work would equate to, at least give me some feedback, good or bad. At least give me something that makes me feel like I did do work.”
Having fulfilled their label contract, Solillaquists self-released their new two-disc album through fan funding.
As usual, Solillaquists wanted to deliver their work in a lavishly tactile way instead of simply digital, and the group wanted to see if the public agreed. They did. Instead of the shoestring budget that DIY typically implies, their Kickstarter campaign shattered its $12,500 goal in two months (ultimately earning $16,393). And this release comes in their most luxe packaging to date, more hardcover box-set book than standard CD case. They may be back to the grass roots, but they’ve come a long way.
“The thing is, we never stopped being DIY,” DiVinci says. “We had somebody’s logo to put up on our stuff, but our [personal] efforts only increased, you know what I mean? And I guess that was kind of the frustrating part, because with the increase in our efforts, we didn’t see too much of the industry saying ‘Oh yeah, yeah, let’s match that.’ Or, ‘Let’s even try to get 40 percent of that.’ It doesn’t feel any different.”
With the conclusion of their trilogy, Solillaquists are doing the full reveal and rolling out everything that went into – and behind – their story. The double album comes accompanied by a 24-page listener’s guide for the trilogy that’s part manual, part manifesto – essentially a blueprint to the astoundingly complex Solillaquist world. It’s a completist’s fantasy and a booming defiance of a compressed and facelessly digital age.
“We want to give people an experience,” he says of the trilogy saga, which is also now available as a box set. “We didn’t just put out an album, because that didn’t match up to what we were trying to say. What we were trying to share, really, was this experience. You can’t do that just through music … we couldn’t achieve that in one album. We barely achieved it in three. And we tried everything else, like hiding stuff in artwork, and creating this mystique and this whole science behind everything, just so that if people wanted to go deeper with it, they could.”
Now, Solillaquists are in the home stretch of a grand concept that’s taken them far in art, travel and career. When asked to measure the group’s certified success against his personal expectations, DiVinci replies with typical and unforgiving frankness:
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