Persian-infused prog rock band SOLEO signs to Tragic Hero Records

By Cassie Whitt

Soleo: Band Promo Image


July 8, 2022 - Progressive rock band SOLEO (FFO: System Of A Down, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Caligula’s Horse) and alternative rock/metal label TRAGIC HERO RECORDS (Warner/ADA) have teamed up to release the debut single, "Green Movement" from the band’s upcoming eponymous album. Soleo’s signing comes as the first from Tragic Hero this year. The label felt they were just too good to pass up.

"We’re very excited to be working with Soleo, and bringing a rich, deep perspective to the indie-prog music scene. The new album is a masterpiece, and we can’t wait to introduce Soleo to the world," says Tragic Hero Records president and founder Tommy LaCombe.

Self-described as a “Middle Eastern progressive rock band,” Soleo features Amir Gholizadeh on vocals and guitar, Tynan Evans on bass and Nick Golias on drums. The band came together after Gholizadeh created and shared his own bizarre guitar-tuning style with Evans and Golias. That, and a compelling concept about Gholizadeh’s family history, became the inspiration for their unconventional take on prog rock.

The band merges western progressive motifs and a dash of stoner metal with traditional Persian music Gholizadeh grew up listening to. The blend creates a larger-than-life, epic sound. Soleo, as a whole, has the cinematic feeling of classic works like Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy, though to say they necessarily sound like those bands or like their progressive contemporaries is imprecise. Simply: To know Soleo, you must listen to Soleo (to love Soleo.)

The full album, which will be released on Tragic Hero Records later this year, is inspired by the true story of Gholizadeh’s family fleeing their home country in the wake of a theocratic government takeover in the '70s. While the album follows that specific journey, the band also says the music functions as a standalone concept. Gholizadeh explains, "To say this is exclusively my family's story would be short-sighted. A lot of people leave their homes and start a new life somewhere else—some of them under better circumstances and some under worse. So, although the story is unique, the concepts are pretty universal. When I listen to the album, I hear my family’s story, but our hope is that other people will draw their own stories from these songs.

"I think everybody, at some point, feels out of place, whether it's physically out of place like my family was, or if you’re an outcast at school or you just don’t feel like you belong anywhere. That’s a big theme of some of the songs."

Soleo has contemplated and developed ideas and elements for this album over the course of nearly a decade. It’s been a voyage, and they are now ready for listeners to immerse themselves in it.
Soleo - 'Soleo' Album Cover
Their first single “Green Movement," which depicts protests that broke out across Iran in 2009, is OUT NOW on all streaming platforms.

"This song is about the Green Movement, which was a political movement that took place in Iran after their presidential election in 2009," says Gholizadeh. "Because the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was highly unpopular, most people questioned the validity of the election results when the Supreme Leader of Iran (who favored Ahmadinejad) claimed he won in a landslide victory and was re-elected.
"The color green was initially used by, and associated with, the campaign of the opposing candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, who was heavily favored to win. After the election, the color green became a symbol of unity for those pushing for a revolution— one that would remove the oppressive government and bring about better leadership dedicated to helping its citizens prosper. I think it makes sense thematically because green is also associated with nature and symbolizes life and growth.  
"Within the context of the album, this song is specifically about this Green Movement, but I recognize, and wanted to highlight, the parallels this movement had with other moments in history, including what’s going on in our world today."

Their next single (TBA) is set for release July 29.


ABOUT TRAGIC HERO RECORDS: Established in in North Carolina in 2005 with their first signing, now-scene-legends Alesana, Tragic Hero Records is home to current bands Dwellings, Set To Stun and Soleo, as well as to an eclectic host of alumni that includes Motionless In White, letlive., He Is Legend, Strawberry Girls, A Skylit Drive, ERRA and Invent Animate.