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STONE ANGELS INTERVIEW
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
James Innes (Lead guitarist): Honestly, that would be tough to say as every fiber of my being since I was 13 was to be playing music or at the very least be working in some shape or form within the industry, to the point that I’ve set up my own company (White Lightning PR) & Festival (Pride Rock Festival). Gun to my head though, I would probably say acting, I do a fair bit of background work for film & TV and before I could play the guitar, I knew I wanted to be on the stage and not in an office.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Niall Kersey (Frontman): I ride motorbikes, I have a regular group of friends that we all go out riding the nice back roads and usually end up in a biker café of some kind! Motorcycles and rock music go hand in hand really, those driving guitars and drums are like a soundtrack to the day and lend themselves way to riding off into the sunset.
How long has your band been around?
N: We originally started over 10 years ago now in 2011, but have had many line up changes along the way setting us back but never deterring us from what we do best!
J: We’ve had more drummers than Spinal Tap!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
N: We’re all based out of the Brighton and Hove area, Brighton itself is known to be one of the biggest areas for live music with many bands and venues in the area, so we’ve all gone into it with that love for live music and striving to make us sound the best we can. On a personal level, I’ve been seeing bands since I was 6 due my dad being ex security at a local venue so I would see a lot of big artists from such an early age, which has just fuelled my passion for doing this.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
J: I originally came up with the name, because of The Darkness spin-off group Stone Gods, at the time their album “Silver Spoons & Broken Bones” was a desert Island record for me, it was and still is a phenomenal record. To me their name did what it said on the tin, no nonsense Hard Rock, and so I decided to work down the deity hierarchy and that’s how the name came about.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
N: Our shows we did with Skindred are certainly ones I’ll never forget, getting messaged out of the blue to see if we wanted to go up to Bedford and support them on that show, then later being asked to play on one of the sold out local shows in Brighton was the icing on the cake, not only are they one of the best live acts to see now but they’re also incredibly nice people too who really have helped us along the way!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
J: For me, it would have to be the Concorde 2, in Brighton. When I first moved to the city, I went to see Supergrass play there, and I made a promise to myself that I would one day get on that stage. Fast forward, as a band, we’ve been lucky enough to play there twice, and we will be playing again later this year. It’s just such a good venue, with a big stage and always a killer crowd. Bucket list places to play would have to be festivals like Download & Bloodstock, they are always so much fun to go to and it would be great to experience it from the other side of the guardrail.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
J: That’s a tough one, how many bands can we have on the list? I guess sticking to a three band bill the top ones for me would be AC/DC & Alice In Chains, obviously they would be our support acts, hahaa!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
J: Have fun and don’t be too controlling, it’s an exciting thing starting a band, but as I’ve experienced in previous outfits, once it stops being fun, it’s over.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
J: Plan better. When we released our debut album “Give In To Temptation” we were very green, we rushed the whole writing/recording process and then just threw it out there. While I am very proud of the record that we put together, we had no plan in place on how to promote it. This time around, we have a pretty solid release strategy in place for our new music.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
N: Off the first album, it’d have to be ‘Last Goodbyes’ as it’s a very personal song to me and represented quite a heavy loss in my life and helped me to get through and process it. Off the new album it would have to be ‘Hold On’ as it's one of those songs that as it's developed it's grown stronger and stronger, it’s a very bouncy song and once it fully kicks in it’s very in your face and driving.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
N: ‘Hold On’ has become a personal favourite to play live, as said in the previous question, it’s a really bouncy song with its tempo so it really gets everyone up and moving, Loz gets that big drum intro to get everyones’ attention and once sam kicks in with the bass it just sets the tone really well for the rest of the set and let’s everyone know that they’re in for 30 mins or more of a big rock show! ‘Freebird’ gets shouted a lot at us but we don’t actually know that one so it doesn’t get played haha, but ‘lines In The Sand’ and ‘Last Goodbyes’ off our first album get requested quite a lot.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
J: While everyone contributes and leaves their mark on each song, it would be fair to say that Niall & I are the primary songwriters. We have different approaches to our songwriting, he’s very good at bringing a much more fleshed out nearly finished song to the group where, I might bring a riff coupled together with a first verse and chorus lyrics to the group, I find that while the rest of the band are learning those parts it helps me to work out where to go with the song. Inspiration strikes in every direction, it’s hard to pinpoint as I just never know when it’s going to hit. It could come from the porcelain throne, walking the dog, or freak encounters.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
N: Our main message that we always try to convey in not just the music but in the live shows too, is no matter how lost you are feeling, if you’re feeling low and down, if you even feel like you don’t belong, at our shows and with our music that will never be the case, you are seen, you are our family, you’re part of the band, you’re part of the show, we wouldn’t be where we are without you listening or buying the tickets.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
J: Being in a band is like being in a committed long term relationship with 3 other people, it can be tough, but thankfully we all get along like a house on fire and any disagreements get put to a vote.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
J: We are planning on releasing a steady flow of new music over the next year, check out our NEW single and video ‘Where The Crows Fly’ now. With that we are aiming to tour/gig extensively for the remainder of the year and into 2024, with hopefully, a couple of festival dates thrown in to be announced…