Soul Switch Talk Uproar Tour, Early Influences and Stealing Their Music – Interview

Tom Huestis of Soul Switch, winners of the Tampa Florida Rock Star Energy Drink Battle of the Bands contest called into Zoiks Online to talk about winning the regional contest, what’s next in the national phase of the contest, meeting cool bands like Korn, Tremonti, Godsmack and Staind and where you can steal their music from. Zoiks! Online officially has two ponies in the Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Battle of the Bands contest. First we got Three Years Hollow winner of the Tinley Park contest and now we’ve got Soul Switch, we wish all bands in the contest, but really hope one of those two can pull it off. Tom from Soul Switch was a really cool guy, you can listen to the extended interview here:


Zoiks! First off I want to say congratulations on winning the battle of the bands and being able to play the Tampa Uproar stop. What was that experience like?

Soul Switch: Thank you first off. It was so much fun. We met so many bands out there. Everybody from the beginning of the day all the way through out was just super cool. The people there were really responsive. We played pretty early in the morning. I think we went on about 12:30. We kind of expected it to be a smaller crowd, but everybody there really got into it. We stayed at our merch table through out day, we were selling a lot of stuff, meeting a lot of people, taking pictures, signing autographs, everybody really seemed to dig it, it was good.

Z!: What’s the next step in the contest?

SS: What they do now…I’m not 100% sure when we find out, but I’m going to assume early October or so. What they do now is take the winner from each venue, and I believe there are 28 venues, they check them all out and the judges decide which band from their live performance was the best one and the winner of that get $10,000 worth of gear, you get to record three songs in LA with Jay Baumgardner and you get to perform next year during the whole festival.

Z!: You’ve played some big shows before, most recently Tremonti. What was that experience like?

SS: We have, that band, they’re so down to Earth, such great people. Tremonti is a tremendous guitar player. We actually have another show coming up where we’re opening up for them again. We’ve played two shows so far and we’ve actually gotten pretty close with him and the drummer. Besides that we’ve done a bunch of other festivals, we’ve done the Earth Day Birthday four times in Orlando, we’ve done the Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville and we just keep trying to get on big bills as much as possible.

Z!: Do you have a favorite experience so far?

SS: I’m going to have to say my favorite experience was the Welcome to Rockville Festival. That one we were able to get backstage and talk with as many people as possible. We were able to meet Godsmack and Staind. We met Korn, we were just right side stage of them talking with Fieldy and Jonathan Davis, it was cool. There’s just a lot of good networking at that venue. It didn’t matter where you went you always met somebody. We just tried to network and make as many friends as possible and get closer into the music industry.

Z!: How would you describe your bands soung?

SS: I would say we’re radio friendly, we try to keep it hard, because all of us love metal, but we realize that if we want to get our name out there we have to tone it down a little bit, but just be as energetic as possible on stage. A lot of people have considered us to have a little bit of a Breaking Benjamin sound. I’d say that’s pretty close with a little Chevelle and maybe Forty Below Summer, but definitely keeping it hard rock.

Z!: We all have our influences and motivations. How do you keep your motivations satisfied?

SS: Motivations in general is definitely not a problem for anybody in the band. We all keep as busy as possible; we practice at least two to three times a week. That’s really with all of us together, besides that everyone practices their instrument everyday. As for me no matter what I keep a pen and paper by my bedside. If I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea I’ll write it down, wake up in the morning keep writing.

Z!: When you’re starting a band and honing in on your sound, do you say this is what we’re going to sound like or do you just start writing stuff and see where it takes you?

SS: I think when we were honing in on our sound, especially on the first album, we didn’t really know what we wanted to sound like, we were all over the place trying to figure stuff out. Now, and it’s kind of funny, when we start writing a song, it never ends up sounding anything like we wanted it to be. We’ll be like, ‘let’s make a really heavy song that will really get the crowd going,’ and by the time it’s done it’ll be a soft rock ballad, like how did that happen? If it sounds good, it sounds good and we’ll move on to the next song.

Z!: Do you remember your earliest musical experience?

SS: I would say my earliest influence in music would be my dad. I remember growing up and we’d be in the living room sitting there listening to records for hours. He really got me into blues. My favorite guitar player is Stevie Ray Vaughn. We’d sit there and listen to that over and over again, Michael Jackson, we had all of his records. That’s my earliest influence is listening to music with my dad growing up.

Z!: Where can people go to hear your music?

SS: They can go to any social media site, twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation. We have our own internet site which would be Definitely come to one of our shows, we definitely won’t disappoint. Besides that you can get it online, we’re on iTunes and I’m sure there are a whole bunch of bit torrent sites with cheap ways to get it (laughs).

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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