Music is always present. The world is a crazy place and music is the one thing Slow to Speak can rely on. For Camden Stolarik (vocals/guitar), Mason Pena (vocals/bass), Kevin Neilsen (guitar), Cole Craycraft (drums), and Xris Karaplis (guitar), it just makes sense. Three guitars play in perfect harmony with arresting vocals, impressive drum fills, and a strong bass line are making Slow to Speak a Cleveland favorite.
Songwriting is chemistry. The collective formal education in music gives Slow to Speak an advantage in composing top notch songs. All the members, save one, have been classically trained and continue to learn about theory, composition, and more, bringing their individual accomplishments to the music. Nielsen says, “You have to see the band as a whole. What we do is, literally, everyone puts in their own part. That’s what we mean by chemistry, the ability to all work together on something.” Pena, the one member without traditional music education, brings a different approach that Slow to Speak values. Nielsen explains, “We need that outside perspective (from Pena). With how we write, we will write something and be (thinking) how does this work theoretically. He comes in and says, ‘Stop thinking about it.’” A song will never be perfect to the musician, there is always a piece to change or a bit to add. Pena provides the reality check in knowing when a song is just right.
It’s time to move on. The overall theme for their 2014 release, Always, Forward Motion, is moving on. At some point, we must realize that we are not defined by the mistakes we make, but what we do after a mistake is made. The song, “Hollow Eyes” states, “It’s not mistakes that make us shameful/But the lack of will to change/If we can’t change our past/We’ll make a better future.” Once something is done or said, it cannot be rescinded. However, even when errors, or lapses in judgment seem irreparable at the time, it is critical to grow with each experience and move forward.
Music is for all seasons. The song, “All Good Things” wraps around the listener like a warm blanket on a Winter night. The haunting vocals in “Vitals” remind me of beach dancing on a hot, Summer night. “A Man’s Word” is as invigorating as the first day of Spring. The music provides an ebb and flow that enchants the audience at once. Their live performance is engaging and emotional, with instrumental passages that lead to flights of fancy, and at times reckoning. Their fans have many different reasons why they have the band on replay, but one thing they all agree on is that they like Slow to Speak because the music makes sense.