Minnesota-based metalcore band, Reflections, officially released their third album, The Color Clear, on September 18, 2015. The four person band features two Lao Americans, guitarist Patrick Somoulay, and bassist Francis Xayana. LLOTP caught up with Francis to find out more about their latest album and life on tour.
Tell us a little bit about Reflections. Who’s in it? How did it get started?
Reflections has been a band since 2010, but didn’t get active until 2012. It started off as a project between our guitarist, Patrick Somoulay, and our vocalist Jake Wolf. I came into the picture soon after and also our drummer, Nick Lona. I play bass for the band, but I also take care of the business and branding aspects. Our genre is metal.
What’s it like to be a Lao American kid in a rock band?
I never once felt like I ever had a disadvantage in being in a band because of being Lao American. I suppose it doesn’t really make me feel special or different than anyone in that sense. But as of late, I have realized my cousin, Patrick, and I are setting examples for future generations. It’s very humbling to see the Lao community be supportive in what we are doing.
As a musician, I love the feeling I get when we are connecting with people at our shows. You see it in the way they move and the way their eyes light up. Nothing beats that feeling when you see someone sing their heart out. With that being said, there are definitely challenges being in a touring band. I’ve learned that a perfect tour does not exist; something will always find its way to make tour more difficult than it needs to be. I’ve learned you’ve got to be realistic and handle things level headed. I’ve grown and learned a lot being thrown out into the [touring] world – life lessons that I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life!
Congratulations on your latest album release! Tell us a little bit about your creative process. What did it take to get it released into mainstream avenues?
The creative process for our latest record, The Color Clear, was very long and thought out. We thought out every detail you can imagine – from the instrumentals to the lyrics, to the artwork, to the song titles, etc. The songs are usually written by Patrick and Jake. Nick, our drummer, is also a huge contribution to the writing process. I also throw my ideas in as well when I find it appropriate. As for getting on iTunes, it is a mix between our management and our label (eOne). They help us get out there and make sure we have a professional release.
If you can offer one piece of advice to Lao America, what would it be?
My advice to Lao America is to follow your dream and work hard for it. I encourage parents and future generations to embrace talent and creativity rather than shun it as “just a hobby.” With a little luck, good timing, and a lot of hard work you never know where you could end up. Believe in yourself, because it’s the first step to getting everyone else to believe in what you do.
Reflections is a metal band based in Twin Cities, MN. Their latest album, The Color Clear, is now available through iTunes or MerchNOW. For updates on releases and tour dates, follow them their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
– Leslie Chanthaphasouk, email@example.com