Frontman Pierce Jordan weighs in on so-called gatekeepers, the changing landscape of hardcore and finding a creative ally for their latest video in queer porn director, Ava LaPrima.
For Philly hardcore outliers Soul Glo, 2022 proved to be a pivotal year. In fact, that might be a polite understatement given that their full length Epitaph Records’ Diaspora Problems turned out to be the kind of acclaimed record that transcended genre.
Though the band seemed unaffected by the kind of universal critical acclaim the project tallied, landing on several year ending Best of lists, the real metric of the immediate impact was directly correlated to the size of shows Soul Glo began to notch. On the strength of Diaspora Problems, Soul Glo harnessed the same small room, DIY space stage energy the band had become synonymous with and introduced their brand of hardcore to the masses.
Substantiating their hype with not only an album that seemed to get better with each rotation, but a live set that was pure combustion, Soul Glo steadily racked up a succession of W’s. Domestically, the band delivered with memorable showings at Coachella, Pitchfork Fest and Adjacent Festival just to name a select few.
Internationally, Glo increased their global reach with highlight festival sets at Download, Outbreak, Primavera and Hellfest. All this in addition to the band’s relentless touring schedule that included their own headlining plays (Soul Glo’s first ever trek to Japan on the horizon).
Celebrated for their combination of insightful wit with scathing social critique, backed by frenetic riffs and the compelling vocal purge of Pierce Jordan, Soul Glo craft the kind of compositions noted for intellect as much as intensity.
The band’s ability to straddle volatility and bring the audience along for the ride is directly attributed to their meteoric rise. The kind of emphasis that permeates between the lines of their fiery stanzas is what substantiates the spectacle of the live set and offers something that sticks well after the show has ended.
There is a standard of quality that anchors Soul Glo’s brand, a set of strict criteria that that maintains the integrity of hardcore punk, while moving the culture forward. Or, as Pierce Jordan explains, if is has Soul Glo on it, it’s gotta slap.
Set to begin the next era following the cultural shift brought on by Diaspora Problems, Soul Glo have delivered their first showing of new material with the provocative single, “If I Speak (Shut the Fuck Up)”. The confrontational track places an emphasis on being authentic in art, while dismantling the people that spend more time posturing than actually putting in the work.
True to form, frontman Pierce Jordan pulled no punches in a conversation with Knotfest. He spoke candidly about the strides the band has made in the last year and the kind of toll paid in the process. He explained how the band found an ally in queer porn director Ava LaPrima, to craft a compelling visual that likens being disingenuous with dickriding. He also offered his forecast, touching on the band’s current tour with ZULU, the changing landscape of hardcore and the slapworthy future of all things Soul Glo.
Diaspora Problems catapulted Soul Glo to a completely different level. Given the kind of strides the band has made and the places that album took you, how did that impact you as a songwriter?
Jordan – It impacted the fuck out of my mental health which always makes for good future material, right?
A byproduct of that success is reaching a bigger audience. Do you feel like the message in your music is even more important now given more people are paying attention?
Jordan – The message is important whether people decide to care or not. Always has been, and will be again when people inevitably start to think it doesn’t matter anymore
Soul Glo toured incessantly over the last year and a half. With that kind of perspective, how do you see the landscape of hardcore and punk shifting – be it good or bad or both?
Jordan – It feels like more and more kinds of people wanna get onstage and discuss their experience through music, the question is whether or not it’ll be treated with the validity and respect it deserves or if peoples identities will be treated as a fad by the powers that be.
“If I Speak” definitely speaks to authenticity – actually being about it rather than posturing online. What was the impetus for track? What did you see or experience that compelled you enough to speak on it with a song?
Jordan -“Internet discourse” as it is commonly called online, usually just consists of the stupidest most ill-informed opinions being shot back and forth like missiles. It gets old, and people spend more time on it and on dickriding artists they want to emulate than on practicing their instruments and expanding as people.
How indicative is the single of what is in the works for the next album? What is your collective headspace like for this next effort?
Jordan – You can never expect what we will do next, only that whatever it is will slap.
So… the video. How did you link with Ava LaPrima to see this to fruition?
Jordan – What we were looking for was a queer videographer from a porn background in order to get the shots in a way that would maximize gratuity.
The amount of purple dildo in this video suggest that there is some intention there. Not even just what is going on with use of the dildos, but all of em are the same color. It’s all very uniform in addition to being provocative. What is the symbolism here behind the initial shock factor?
Jordan – The dildos represent the concept of dickriding and how many people think thats what you have to do to make your voice heard and your perspective noticed in the world of music, art, and entertainment.
There are people who benefit from you thinking this. So called gatekeepers want this power because they never had it when they were developing and are horny to subject others to that same treatment while also making money off of it.
The band is currently on the road with ZULU. Do you feel like this tour has any added significance given both bands have really done well in changing the status quo of hardcore and punk?
-That is exactly how I feel.
Soul Glo x Zulu Tour Dates
Sept. 13 – San Francisco, CA – Neck Of The Woods
Sept. 14 – Santa Cruz, CA – Santa Cruz Vets Hall
Sept. 15 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre
Sept. 16 – Pomona, CA – The Glass House
Sept. 17 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
Sept. 19 – Austin, TX – The Parish
Sept. 20 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
Sept. 21 – Houston, TX – The End
Sept. 22 – New Orleans, LA – Toulouse Theatre
Sept. 25 – Memphis, TN – Growlers
Sept. 26 – Nashville, TN – Exit In
Sept. 27 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Sept. 28 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall
Sept. 29 – Washington, DC – The Howard Theatre
Sept. 30 – Richmond, VA – The Canal Club
Oct. 1 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
Oct. 2 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
Oct. 5 – Toronto, Canada – Velvet Underground
Oct. 6 – Detroit, MI – Tangent Gallery