By Zach Collier
This week, Grey Glass released a surprise single entitled “Soldier in the Sun.” This is their first new release as a band since they announced their breakup on January 7, 2019. Over the last three years, the bandmates have seemingly moved on from Grey Glass, teaming up in various configurations across notable local projects like Drusky, Brother., Bathyscaphe, Idiot Kid, and more. Grey Glass frontman Tal Haslam has also released solo music, and has been gaining a solid following on TikTok (go follow him – he’s my favorite TikTok personality).
So what got the band back together?
Nate Calaway, one of the band’s good friends and a huge fan of their music, was sexually assaulted by his supervisor, Justin Thomas Nielson, at work. Even though he was a minor, Calaway’s case wasn’t treated as seriously as it should have been.
“I found myself having to explain the laws about a special position of trust to the prosecutor’s office, and I’m not even a lawyer,” Alyson Calaway, Nate’s mom, told KSL last September.
Instead of being sent to prison for 15 years for assaulting a minor, Nate’s abuser was given only 3 1/2 months jail time as part of a plea deal. The Calaways were opposed to this, but could do nothing to change it.
“We have been traumatized by Mr. Nielson,” Alyson Calaway said, “and we have been retraumatized by the criminal justice system.”
Tal Haslam got Grey Glass back together to release this song in honor of Nate. They want to raise awareness about his case and the double standards members of the LGBTQ community face when it comes to sexual assault.
“After I heard the news of his assault, the lyrics poured out of me,” says Haslam. “We had the riff and the song structure years ago, but I always had writer’s block when it came to the lyrics, so we never recorded it. I honestly feel that this song was meant to be released in Nate’s support, and that’s why I was stuck before.”
“Soldier in the Sun” is a Bandcamp exclusive until it hits streaming services on April 9. Listeners can purchase the song for any amount they choose. All proceeds will go to Nate Calaway and his family to help them heal. You can listen to the song below, and purchase it on Bandcamp here.