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Great Northern could be the next act that keeps Silver Lake’s magic working.
Hailed as the heart of the Los Angeles alternative-rock music scene, Silver Lake already has produced hugely successful bands like Jane’s Addiction and Beck.
Now it’s Great Northern’s turn. Influenced by The Beatles, ELO, David Bowie and Pink Floyd, Great Northern has developed the kind of ethereal sound that incites reminiscence. And, with a two girl–two guy formula—plus the romantic involvement of founders Solon Bixler, 30, and Rachel Stolte, 32—Fleetwood Mac may come to mind, as well. “Hopefully we won’t go through what they went through—that would be tragic,” Bixler says wryly.
The band, which released its debut album, Trading Twilight for Daylight, in May, spent the summer crisscrossing the country on tour, has a video accepted by MTV2’s Subterranean (which is also currently on rotation on MTVU) and an upcoming fall tour.
After a two-year stint playing guitar in Jared Leto’s band, 30 Seconds to Mars, Bixler decided to start his own with the help of his longtime friend Stolte. “We started writing almost four years ago, passing our four-tracks back and forth,” before finally getting in the studio together, explains Stolte.
With Bixler on guitar and Stolte on keyboard, along with their harmonized vocals, they soon added Davey Latter, 43, on bass. A year ago, the group moved Latter to drums while they found a bass player. “It had that feeling that fate threw us together,” says Ashley Dzerigian, 24, of getting the job after meeting Bixler and Stolte. Shortly after the group was complete, Great Northern, named after the Great Northern Hotel from the television series Twin Peaks, signed with Eenie Meenie Records. With so many bands emerging from the same area, it’s difficult to stand out. But this doesn’t seem to be a problem with Stolte’s edgy, cropped auburn hair highlighted by her Hollywood smile; Dzerigian’s raven locks paired with ruby lips, and Latter’s tattooed arms and Fu Manchu mustache. Bixler apparently likes to change it up, having gone from clean-shaven with a dark Trent Reznor–like hairdo to a more natural cut and color, sporting stubble and a mustache.
“We’re four people who have a very specific idea of how we should look. We want the whole band to be a theatrical experience,” Stolte points out.
Success is coming fast, but the group is up for the challenge. “It’s amazing to be able to see the world, play every night and grow as a musician,” Stolte notes. “It’s pretty rad.”