Solar Eyes is the psychedelic, cosmic musical project of Glenn Smyth, aided by like-minded collaborators Seb Maynard Francis and Tom Ford. The group originally formed in April 2020 as a way of escaping the harsh realities the trio found themselves in, Glenn Smyth as an NHS worker, Tom Ford, a paramedic’s husband, and Seb Maynard Francis shielding for throughout the whole pandemic. With new single Acid Test out, The Fountain caught up with Glenn to discuss this music test and how Solar Eyes came to meet.
TF: You have a new single out, what can you tell us about the Acid Test?
It’s our first single, so I guess it’s like an acid test…ha ha! But yeah it’s sort of a cool psychedelic 90s Chemical Brothers vibe, well that’s what I had in mind. But then someone ruins it all and says it sounds like someone I don’t want it to be like hahaha…But yeah I wanted it to be quite trippy and although a nod to the past – also in the moment. It was all recorded in my loft in last year’s blazing heat – so you can hear the warmth coming through the record. It’s cool.
TF: And how did Solar Eyes come to meet?
I’ve known Seb Maynard Francis and Tom Ford for years, literally ten years. I see them as vital conspirators – plotting with me. I write the tunes and get it going, basically doing mad things to the tunes with anything I can get my hands on. Then those guys put their superior musical abilities over the top and make it all sound 1000 times better. Jeff Knowler then mixes and hey presto. Although I guess Solar Eyes is my project – without those guys – I’d still be messing with a guitar part on about our third track.
TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, after this release?
So we have a thing in place with AWAL to release music through them as and when we choose, which is cool – so it’s all ready to rock and roll. Singles, EP’s and an album. To be honest I’m already close to finishing album 2 – I’m quite prolific and I have bad OCD – so can’t leave things unfinished. All good though – I just really enjoy being creative…. And putting my energy into things I value.
TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?
Ah gigs – the last one I played, was at the Etihad before Celtic played Man City in the champions league a few years back when I did a little EP. That was cool – but you can’t beat a packed venue with a good vibe and cool people. No lairiness or throwing drinks around – god knows what that’s all about haha…I’d like to play the 100 Club though, all the history in there… fascinating. It’s going to be very strange when we do eventually get on a stage. But one thing I think we’ve all learnt is not to take anything for granted again – which can only be a good thing.