From the office to the stage

Local band frontman is a lobbyist by day, rock star by night

Hard Soul is gaining a strong following in the Capital District and beyond.

Hard Soul is gaining a strong following in the Capital District and beyond. Submitted Photo

— “I love my job and politics is a big passion of mine but music is just as big, and in some cases, bigger,” said Salka.

Salka played in his first band in high school. Back then, he picked up guitar “because of girls,” but soon discovered his musical talent went far beyond scoring dates or looking cool.

“I realized music was a lot more fun to just play and I started writing my own music,” said Salka.

His songs used to mimic his nine to five job, laced with politics and social commentary. But the tracks he now pens for Hard Soul take a different angle and are more personal.

“They’re more about relationships and conceptualize longing; not quite despair but second chances and redemption,” said Salka. “A lot of songs are about actual people I know. They might not know songs are about them but I’m inspired by certain situations I’ve been involved in or seen my friends go through.”

Salka describes Hard Soul as having an “old school rock and roll sound” and a cross between Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, the Beatles and Thin Lizzy, mixed with some modern rock.

“We’re very guitar and vocal oriented,” said Salka.

Hard Soul will turn 1 years old in September but they already have a strong following and broad fan base.

“We’ve had some really good shows where they keep asking us to come back, like Bayou Café on Pearl Street … and Villa Valente in Troy,” said Salka. “(The audience) runs the gambit. We play generally in front of a younger crowd but I think everyone finds enjoyment. At the end of the day, it’s about the songs and the music.”

The Capital District has a healthy rock scene, which is why Salka said he consciously tries to make Hard Soul “as legitimate as possible” to stand out from the pack. From regular performances to the band’s online presence to the music itself, Salka gives it all he’s got.

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