Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 74 - Interview with Stone Broken

STONE BROKEN

Interview by Mike Newdeck

Walsall Modern Rock band Stone Broken has caused quite a stir on the British Rock scene: an upcoming appearance at Hammerfest, a newly released debut album, airplay of first single 'Not Your Enemy' on Planet Rock and a nomination as best new band in the awards for the same radio station. The future looks bright for the band. Fireworks chatted to lead singer Rich Moss about the debut album and the band's well deserved exposure.


Stone-Broken Interview


Why have you decided to include the whole debut EP, 'The Crow Flies', on the album and not record totally new music?

When we went back in to the studio we had every intention of recording a second EP. It wasn't until we received the mixes back from Romesh Dodangoda (producer) that we thought we would listen to them back to back with the tracks from the first EP and see how it sounded. After listening to them it just seemed obvious that we needed to release it as a full album rather than two EPs, the songs just married together so well... it was quite an exciting moment actually.

What's your reaction to the criticism that you sound like Nickelback/Theory of a Deadman? Isn't that really a positive?

I think that these days it's difficult to listen to a band for the first time without trying to draw similarities to other bands, especially as music is more accessible now than it has ever been. Do we think that our music being compared to the likes of Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman and others is a bad thing? No, most definitely not.

Have these bands influenced you or are the comparisons purely luck?

As a band we have a huge range of influences, probably much wider than you'd imagine; and it does include those bands mentioned earlier. We don't intentionally lean on any one of our influences, we just write music that we love, music that we would want to listen to ourselves.

Do you think that there's a niche in the UK for a retro modern sound?

There is definitely a market for our style of music out there. Our fan base is growing day by day, so it's either that we are doing something right or people dig the genre per se.

How much attention do you pay to what critics have to say?

We always listen to what our critics have to say, whether it's the good points or not so good points, and I think it's important to do that. Whether we act on them is a different matter, of course. We are only one album into our career so there is still so much more for us to naturally discover when writing future albums, so for now we just need to keep doing what we are doing.

How did you get Romesh involved producing the album, and why him?

We first made contact with Romesh when we were looking to record the first EP; he liked how we sounded and we were all fans of his work. The EP turned out much better than we could have imagined at that time so it was a no brainer to go back to him for a follow up. One great thing about working with Romesh is that he will put ideas forward, even if those ideas don't work out. It's important to have that sort of input because it makes you really think about song structures and layers.

You're one of the few Rock bands with a female drummer. Is that helpful to the band do you think?

I think people are always intrigued when they find out that we have a female drummer... purely because it's quite a rare thing. People soon realise that she hits 'em as hard as any guy on the circuit and it's always cool to see their reaction. Robyn has her own group of fans but I don't think it's just down to the fact that she is female, it's because she is awesome at what she does.

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How did the band form?

The band started with just me, Rich and Robyn. We had been in a couple of bands together and we wanted to begin something new, so we started jamming out new material whilst looking for the other members. We heard via Robyn's parents that there was a guy [Kieron] who worked in the local rock pub who played bass and had just become available, so we got him in to try out and it really worked. Kieron had just come out of a band and he called his old guitarist [Chris] to see if he was interested in this new project, so he came along and completed the line-up in 2013.

How did your management deal come about?

It was late September/early October when we were playing with the idea of seeking management but we weren't actively looking. Our manager [Peter] happened to approach us and said that he was looking to take on a band to manage, having had many years experience in band consultancy and journalism, but this time he wanted full management. We have known Peter pretty much from Stone Broken's inception and knew that he knew what he was doing, so after a couple of conversations we agreed that it would be great to have him onside and we signed a deal in October 2015.

Modern rock from Walsall. It's not something you hear very often is it?

Haha, that is very true, and it's a reaction we get quite a lot when we get asked where we come from... which is cool because it means that at least we are doing something different and I don't think there are too many bands out there at the moment who are playing this genre, especially in the UK.

How did you get the call for Hammerfest and how did you feel?

It was actually last year that we knew that we would be playing the festival. We were entered in to a competition by a friend called Simon Yarwood, who was the scout for our area for Hard Rock Hell festivals. After getting through a private vote we were invited to take part in the Highway To Hell live final in Sheffield and we won the spot at the festival! It was a great weekend and we are really excited about opening the Mainstage at Hammerfest!

What can people expect from one of your live shows?

We exist for playing our music live, there is nowhere else we would rather be than on a stage! It's really where we bring the album to life. The audience soaks up the atmosphere and really get involved, which is awesome! We make the audience feel as though they are part of the whole thing and the energy is incredible!

Gigging low down on the small venue scene can be pretty unforgiving. What has the support been like and how have you coped with any apathy?

The support has been incredible, we have been blown away. I've said it quite a lot in the past that we seem to have been embraced by fans; and other bands too for that matter, which has made it a lot smoother for us. We go in to every new area knowing that we have got to make an impression and win over the new audiences and so far, so good.

Planet Rock has had 'Not Your Enemy' on rotation. How did you feel when you first heard it on there?

It was quite surreal. I mean the very first time we were played on Planet Rock it was on the breakfast show with Paul Anthony; drive time gets the biggest audience. I was busy and I just remember my phone going crazy with everyone telling us they just heard us on the radio.
The first time that I actually heard it was a couple of weeks later as I was getting ready to go to a gig. I just stopped what I was doing and listened to it from start to finish, it was great.

What's in the future for Stone Broken? Is it your ambition to share stages with the likes of Black Stone Cherry?

Tours, tours, tours! We will be hitting the road hard and I can't see us ever stopping. we are already making plans for our first year of touring and they are shaping up nicely. Of course it's every musician's dream to survive by playing music and that's exactly what we want. We are work horses and we love what we do, so why hold back?
We would love to get to the stage where we are presented with the opportunity to play shows with the likes of Black Stone Cherry, it would be a dream come true — especially for Robyn, she idolises John Fred Young!

Stone Broken are currently on tour in the UK.

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