D’Ante (vocals, keyboards); D’Nez (vocals); Sam (guitar); Rick (bass); Helios (tenor sax, vocals); Yasha (drums); Justin (baritone sax).
CITY OF ORIGIN:
Check out this mix, which ranges from King Curtis, The Who, Prince, Michael Jackson, Robert Plant, Etta James and Billie Holiday to Jimi Hendrix, Funkadelic, Fishbone, Oingo Boingo, Merle Haggard, Black Sabbath, Duran Duran and Arcadia. Whew!
The Killers had a field day in 2004 with their Hot Fuss album, which spawned hits such as “Somebody Told Me” and “Mr. Brightside.” But it was the album’s next single, “All These Things That I’ve Done,” that found vocalist Brandon Flowers’ layered, punctuated and oft-repeated refrain of the bridge—“I got soul, but I’m not a soldier”—as the song’s most memorable point, which has reportedly been inserted into songs from other artists, including Robbie Williams, Coldplay and U2.
That play on words from the aforementioned track finds parallels with the band name Souldier, held by a local septet that’s been performing in the area for the past couple years. These Riverside music vets (members have been in notable area groups such as RiverSoul, Tribal Lust & the Horny Natives and The Voodoo Glow Skulls) are undeniably soulful (seriously, just look ’em up on YouTube). But these same folks are also the real soldiers, embodying that combatant “warrior spirit” with hopes to challenge all that’s musically bad.
“We fight to protect your ears from the clutches of evil,” saxophonist/vocalist Helios notes. “We storm the shores of your heart to spread the freedom of funk and fill your mind with the thrill of victory.” Indeed, these are promises that we couldn’t have said any better ourselves.
Leading the charge out front are vocal siblings D’Ante and D’Nez. With their authoritative leads, robust pipes and a stage presence that’s resoundingly more than simply being present, the unit is armed for battle in the arena of what bari sax player Justin describes as “explosive soul-core funk.”
And if you hear a sonic boom emanating throughout the battleground of downtown Riverside this Thursday evening, don’t be alarmed. Armed with mics, horns, drums, keys and axes, Souldier will be gunning it out for your attention on the front steps of the Riverside Metropolitan Museum during the art walk, with a show set to dazzle both the ears and the eyes (plus, it’s free).
“It’s soul music, but more aggressive,” says Helios. “It’s definitely not lounge-y. We design it to excite. It’s not background music, but an engaging, full-sensory experience.” (Waleed Rashidi)
Souldier at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, 3580 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, (951) 826-5273; www.riversideca.gov/museum. Thurs, Aug. 5, 7:30PM. Free.