They’re destined to become one of the biggest British rock bands of the modern era with infectious hooks and singalong choruses underpinning a determination to succeed.
Yep the Stone Gods have it all – a brilliant debut album, a charismatic frontman, experience of the highs and lows of the music biz and a new single out this week. You can purchase Start Of Something from the usual outlets and in the meantime enjoy the first part of rushonrock’s exclusive chat with Richie, Dan, Robin and Toby.
rushonrock: So you’re enjoying being back on the road?
Dan: Yeah, it’s been too long off the road really. We were out for a large part of last year with the likes of Airbourne and Black Stone Cherry and loved every minute. But we’re on a headline tour now and selling out and it’s great. The hard work is really paying off.
rushonrock: Airbourne and BSC were two high profile support slots but no guarantee the fans who saw you then would come out again in March?
Robin: Not at all. But we have worked hard. We were lucky to be given the two best support slots for a band like this at the best time and we played well, I have to say. That’s demonstrated by the fact that we played to 200 people in Newcastle last year and there were 400 this time around. It means we’ve snagged a couple of hundred people from Airbourne or BSC or both and that’s kind of what it’s all about as a support band. That’s all you can do – entice a few people to your shows. But we’re very happy we got this headline tour and we’re very happy it’s working out.
rushonrock: There are some great hard rock bands doing the circuit right now and there are some good fits for a band like Stone Gods looking for support slots.
Robin: Yeah, there was very much common ground between ourselves, Airbourne and BSC – their crowds and our crowd like the same stuff. But I think we’re more or less done doing support slots for this record unless something major, major comes through the door.
Richie: There is that offer from Lily Allen…
rushonrock: Taking a fourth single from Silver Spoons And Broken Bones suggests the record’s still got some legs in it yet?
Dan: It’s basically done its job. When you’re starting out and building a fan base every act is pretty much treated the same but if your debut album warrants a fourth single release then you must be doing something right.
rushonrock: It’s uncommon to release so many singles from one album these days…
Dan: The first single was a limited edition EP which was an introduction to the band and one of the singles was download only so it’s important to put out at least two physical singles from your first album when you’re a new band.
Robin: If you’re an established band then you can be pretty confident that you’ll sell the bulk of your records right at the start of release. You put out a couple of singles and then do your tour. But a lot of the time it’s down to record labels and if they’re going to put out a single then it means they’re going to have to spend some money. So we’re very fortunate that our record label has confidence in us. I think we have a name now which means people are looking forward to the next Stone Gods’ record.
rushonrock: New single Start Of Something appears to have a pre-emptive pop at your critics and yet the band’s been very well received since you wrote that song. Have you been surprised at the positive reaction to Stone Gods?
Richie: I can see exactly where you’re coming from and I suppose in hindsight you’re right but at the time it was just a very positive statement of intent really. It wasn’t foreseeing any kind of press backlash – it was purely us sitting down in a room and feeling positive. SOS lyrically is a real hands in the air, you try and stop me motherf**ker kinda song. I think that summed up our midset at the time.
Robin: It’s a nice song to end this chapter of our career on. It’s a message to everybody out there that the band is real, we’re here to stay and it’s time to start looking forward to another record. That’s what the new single’s all about. This little UK tour is just to thank everyone for supporting us. We had a nice lump of people at the front of each of our shows with Airbourne and BSC and it was like our little show. The lyrics in that song reflect that situation. We’ve created a relationship with a bunch of people in a few cities and we’re trying to cultivate that.
Richie: Newcastle in particular is a case in point. The first gig we did on Tyneside last January was in a very sparsely filled room. But it was just great. It went off. Newcastle is like a spiritual home for us and it feels good to come back. None of us are from the city but we really wanted to play the main Academy venue and we did it on the support tours last year. We did it twice and the fans didn’t let us down. It was awesome.
rushonrock: Have you been pleasantly surprised that your Darkness past hasn’t overshadowed the Stone Gods?
Dan: I guess it’s gone very well really. It’s not something that’s been too much of an issue. It could have been. We could have had people gunning for us.
Robin: I think that might have been the case if we’d sounded like The Darkness. But it was pretty obvious as soon as you listened to the record that nobody would associate Stone Gods with that band – apart from the occasional guitar bits which are more trademark Dan than trademark Darkness. From that point of view I don’t think anyone with any kind of musical brain could lump the two bands together. You can say yes there’s two members of The Darkness but that’s as far as the association goes.
rushonrock: But there’s no point ignoring the good work Dan and Richie did with The Darkness and is it a case of finding a happy medium between glorying in the past and celebrating the present?
Dan: I was in 15 or 20 bands before The Darkness and you just finish one band and start another. You really don’t think too much about it. If you did dwell on things too much then you wouldn’t be a musician. I just wanna rock.
Robin: The time is always now. You can’t live in the past and you can’t be in the future. You’ve got to do what is relevant to you now. Whatever has happened has happened.
Dan: When Rich and I got together immediately after The Darkness had finished and initiated stuff we just didn’t look back once.
Richie: It’s certainly not something that we’ve shied away from but at the same time we haven’t ridden off the back of it. I think anybody who was involved in that project is hugely proud and rightly so.
Dan: They were great times, we made some great music and we had a right f***ing laugh.
Richie: It was great but it’s great doing Stone Gods. I think Robin hit the nail on the head when he said live for the moment. Our moment now is Stone Gods.
* Look out for the second part of our Stone Gods exclusive very soon and don’t forget the boys are on the road all week.