All posts filed under: Minnesota

On tour: MN metal band debuts “The Color Clear”

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 …

5 years later: Reflections on Laos, Bombs and the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions

In 2010, I was part of a delegation from Legacies of War that joined 1,200 other participants in Vientiane to attend the first meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It was the most significant international disarmament agreement in decades and it was unexpected – that this dynamic and fast-moving international process, initiated in Norway, and negotiated in Peru, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Uganda – would enter the important phase of implementation in Laos. On the one hand, it made perfect sense. Laos was the most affected country per capita by cluster munitions, but on the other hand, Laos was one of the smallest state parties to join the convention, and historically did not play a key role on the world stage. But under the bold leadership of Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, of the Lao PDR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with support from other governments and civil society members of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, Laos had the honor of hosting the historic gathering. As I joined in the celebration with other …