STONE are one of the most current and exciting new bands on the Liverpool music scene right now, merging genres from rock and indie to post-punk and house. The band aim to share their experiences and views, including very real social and political issues in todays society, through song. We caught up with them before their performance at Neighbourhood on Saturday..
Introduce yourselves! Where are you all from and how did your band form?
Elliot (guitarist) says “We are STONE – frontman Finley Power, Elliot Gill on lead guitar, Sarah Surrage on bass and Alex Smith on drums. All from Liverpool, except for Sarah who moved here from Oxford to study music. Me and Fin met at age 17 at a party and shortly after we were a kid band trying to play whatever shows around the city for a few years. Alex joined in 2018 but we decided to form STONE in 2019. Sarah joined at the start of 2020, meeting Alex in uni.”
Describe your music in three words
Elliot (guitarist) says “We got called ‘Post-apocalyptic Scally Rock’ on a YouTube comment once and I have never got that out my head.”
Who are your main influences and how would you say they’ve shaped the music you write today?
Elliot (guitarist) says “We all bring in different influences that all vary and inform our music. Between us we all have a huge hip-hop influence which definitely influences our spoken-word style we use sometimes. Classic hip hop cuts like Ice Cube, Public Enemy, MF DOOM. I take a lot of sonic cues from alt-rock bands of the 80s and 90, from post-punk and new wave to shoegaze and grunge. Pixies, Sonic Youth, Joy Division. Then there’s some 00s indie in there – Interpol, Bloc Party. We love a bit of big beat house, Chemical Bros and The Prodigy. The Streets is one of Fin’s all-time favourites. I think we also just have an appreciation for good pop music if you know what I mean – like hooks and good writing.”
If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Elliot (guitarist) says “I feel like this is probably a popular answer but I think it would be incredible to be in a room with The Beatles back in the day – the late 60s album era. I think it’s just the entire mythos behind them. Four talented Scousers from a completely different time. I was coming home from practice and watching 3 hour episodes of Get Back of just them practicing.”
What’s your most pinch-me moment you’ve had in your career so far?
Elliot (guitarist) says “Had some pretty great moments this year and seen some beautiful places, the shows are all so amazing, seeing festival crowds fill up, but it’s little moments whilst seeing the world, like swimming in the sea in Malaga and Newquay, and visiting Rome for the first time. I think just knowing that songs that are conceptualised in a bedroom or practice room finally have the power to start taking us to other parts of the world, and connecting with different crowds, playing as the sun sets over a field, it’s pretty special. Those are the moments I can’t take for granted, cos it’s finally happening for us. I’m so excited for it to keep happening.”
Tell us what your recent release ‘Waste’ is written about? Is your songwriting process always the same?
Fin (lead singer) says “‘Waste’ was written about being sick of people judging you without knowing anything about you. Opening lyric ‘you probably hate me’ refers to the fact that I started to find it easier to assume people disliked me from the outset, instead of being caught off-guard by negative energy. The chorus is about how the need to be liked or loved can become almost an obsession that is dangerous to my mental health.”
Elliot (guitarist) says “The songwriting process can vary song to song but we find it important that we demo everything ourselves, self produced before we take it to the studio. Sometimes Fin has lyrics and chords on an acoustic before the rest of us build around it and write our parts. Sometimes me or Alex will come with an instrumental. Me and Fin have co-wrote our next single. A couple of tracks on the EP actually come straight from our laptop demos. We are really trying out and experimenting different styles, all while maintaining this central STONE feeling with each, and it’s beginning to get noticed. I think that’s really good for us creatively. It’s important how hands-on we are with our writing and demos so we have a real intimate understanding of the song by the time we get it to the studio, and that’s where things really come together.”
What has been your favourite gig you’ve played so far in your career?
Alex (drummer) says “I always love Reading and Leeds man – something about the festival feels like home. Our set on the ‘BBC Introducing’ stage was sort of the kick off point for us and to get to play it again this year was great. The crowd didn’t disappoint either, it was definitely a special moment for me and the band.”
You’ve recently been added to the Neighbourhood lineup. Are you guys excited to play? Is there anyone else you’re looking forward to seeing?
Elliot (guitarist) says “Made up to be there – looking forward to returning to the Albert Hall, one of my favourite venues. Not sure if we can catch everyone, but it would be nice to watch The Snuts and Baby Queen, and hope to bump into Eli Smart and Seb Lowe, who have both joined us on tour this year. Also recommend Courting and Rats who also are coming out of Liverpool at the moment. But I would love to catch an artist I haven’t seen before.”
Can we expect new music from you any time soon? Anything else exciting in the pipeline?
We’re working on a debut EP, and will soon tour with Inhaler and The Wombats. Lots of gigging and lots of writing.
Listen to STONE here and grab your Neighbourhood Festival tickets below!