10 Questions With… A series that delves into the musical careers of some of our favourite artists, local and afar. With a particular focus on our Melodic Distraction friends and wider community, this lil natter gives us an insight into their musical escapades when they’re in their studio, not ours.
This week we sit down in the middle of a field with Fin and Elliot of STONE on the road. Backstage at the award winning Barn On The Farm festival in Gloucester, we talk about the state of social culture, the creative process, and making a name for yourself and your city.
1. Hey STONE, could you tell us about the origin of the name?
Fin: The name STONE is from my mother’s side of my family, her last name is actually Stone-Power. When I started the band I pitched the name, and even though it’s a family name for me, we all just thought it fit as a band name and liked the idea of all capitals.
Elliot: I remember my first instinct was ‘How are we going to show up when you search for us?’ to which Fin told me ‘We just will. We’ll be big enough’. I liked that optimism.
2. You’ve recently released a single, could you tell us about that?
Fin: I Got A Feeling was written when me and Alex went out the night of the Grand National and how hostile the environment in the bars was from people dressing like plastic gangsters and also being jumped up, coked out and losing money on bets. The song is thematically about that toxic masculinity and bravado that you see on nights out, and portrays how I related to the often fragile ego these people can have but how liberating it is that I have escaped that mentality.
3. What would be your go to record to cover?
Fin: A Day in the Life by The Beatles.
Elliot: Changes every day for me. We recently tried out a cover of Toxic by Britney Spears which I found quite fun, but think I’d love to give anything from Pixies album Doolittle a go. Debaser!
4. What have been your most spun records as of recent?
Fin: Stonecutters by Dope Lemon
Elliot: Been rotating a lot of the same songs obsessively. Here’s Your Future by The Thermals, Night on Earth by Jerkcurb. Also been listening to a lot of Wunderhorse since Barn. Been back listening to some Reuben records too.
5. What’s it been like playing further up the schedule compared to last years festivals?
Elliot: It’s been mad. It’s been great to climb the ranks and for the crowds to vary so much and to it’s been amazing to come back to this festival, it is such a great wholesome atmosphere. The ethos of these types of festivals is about catching bands early, and we’ve loved playing them whilst on this trajectory.
Fin: That’s why I was so excited to come back. Last year here at Barn it was quite a magical little festival to play, we love the community kinda family festivals. So much has happened since we were here last year, we’ve moved, we’ve swayed, we’ve grown and evolved into a more mature version of ourselves as a band.
6. What influences, musical or not, are inspiring your current writing process?
Fin: I’ve always been a poet and tried to pull from the modern world and social culture, but this year I feel like I’ve been pushing to voice that social commentary into a melody and through the music. I think we’ve just wanted have a voice full stop and STONE has given me that platform.
Elliot: I’ve drawn my influences from those post punk and shoe gaze bands, big guitars y’know like My Bloody Valentine, Pixies, Sonic Youth etc. There’s something about that kind of music that is a perfect conduit for a lot of energy that I always wanna bring to the stage. Also, honestly, I think being a part of elevating Liverpool’s music scene is where I draw a lot of energy and inspiration, whether it’s catching new bands & friends or dipping my toes into more electronic territories, all of it is just making me psyched to be here making music.
7. How do you find the collaboration process when it comes to translating your ideas?
Fin: Me and El have two separate processes, they don’t always work together but when it comes together you get songs like Money (Hope Ain’t Gone) y’know, a complete co-write from start to finish. I’m definitely more methodical, almost mathematical when it comes to writing. Whereas I feel Elliot is more instinctual, like a true artist. And as we crack that code more and more, we’ve definitely got many many years of songwriting in us together.
Elliot: I wanna bring the noise and the chaos but the other side of that writing is carrying a great melody through it as well which Fin brings. Fin might voice an idea and I’ll just run with what I think and we’ll just chip away at it with our own approach till we get there.
8. How do you feel about the Liverpool music scene?
Elliot: Over the years we’ve seen the wider areas like Birkenhead pouring into the Liverpool and influencing the scene which has been great. Covid created a broken scene everywhere, but I can see this collaboration and uniting across the city especially in like the dance scene. There is always a competitive nature whichever city you’re in, but I’m just psyched to hear new stuff coming out of Liverpool.
Fin: I mean, I wave the flag for Liverpool, for the culture and the people, I just feel very safe there. I think the music scene in Liverpool is seeing a sort off, Scouse-Folk revival in the way of bands. I’d say we’re different to that, I wouldn’t say we’re pushing against it I think it all co-exists. But I do feel we’re very much that we’re carving our own path, and that maybe it was Covid that created that path and sort of isolated our sound so maybe at the time we missed out on having y’know ‘our’ scene.
9. What has being an artists in this day and age taught you about the music industry?
Fin: Long as we can get ourselves out there I’m happy, but it’s forever evolving and you never know what’s round the next corner. I do wish it was the way it used to be a but you gotta move.
Elliot: The way that we consume music is so different to how it used to be. I think the next challenge is being able to navigate these new platforms in a way that the artist can leverage their own way of communicating what they producing, as well as longevity. The flip-side is how powerful social media is in giving spotlight to artists that were once underrepresented, and doing so more on the artists’ terms, is so good to see the tide turning. The art will prevail.
10. What’s on the horizon for the rest of 2023?
Fin: We’ve got a lot of big plans that we’re working towards. This year we’re just going to be progressing towards the goal of creating a body of music that represents us.
Elliot: As part of those plans we also have a UK tour starting in October that we’re excited for. We sold out our first European headliner in Belgium!
For updates on STONE’S upcoming tour follow @stoneliverpool
And a special shout out to @barnonthefarm for enriching the upcoming artists of today!
|| STONE ||