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By Interviews

We talk to Stonefield about their new record, creative evolution and the importance of being ‘nanas’ on the road

Most things in life aren’t certain, but one thing that’s for sure is that Stonefield have been plating up some of the most enviably feverish rock ‘n roll in the world. With sass, 70s vibrations, and fuzz galore, these small town gals have entered a void of all things psychedelic rock upon the release of their latest work, As Above, So Below.

We chatted to the band’s drummer and vocalist, Amy about their upcoming sophomore LP, their collective evolution, being ‘nanas’ on tour, and how opening for Fleetwood Mac has altered their spirits.

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Photos by Jack Stillman – @jackcstillman

For bands in Stonefield’s position, the only way is up. Whether it’s taking on a new psych direction or touring around the world, the girls are killing it!

HAPPY: You gals are about to release your second LP, and have just released your second single Changes. You say this is a change of direction for the band. In what way are things different? And are there any particular people, or musicians who have inspired that change?

AMY: Yeah, for sure. I think it’s just different because our music has really developed a lot since the release of our debut album in 2013. It’s been a while since we had new music out, and I guess naturally in that time our song-writing, and our musical abilities have progressed. I think that we’ve gotten better, because we spent a lot of time working on this, and taking the time to develop the songs. We wrote a whole heap of them, so that we would have a bunch to choose from.

I think, as well, you grow up as a person in that amount of time, especially for my younger sister, Holly, who turned 18 at the start of the year. Her life’s completely changed recently, becoming an adult, and being able to go out, and party, and not be kicked out of any gigs after we play.

I think all those types of things contribute to the way we write, and what we write about. Also, spending time with Kram [producer] was really good for us in that way, just because he really encourages you to push the boundaries, and embrace ideas that you’re not necessarily comfortable with at first, and that automatically gets you writing outside the box, and doing things you might not have done before. He was an integral part of that.

HAPPY: Definitely. So, how would you say As Above, So Below compares to the last record? What can we expect to hear on the LP?

AMY: It’s really quite different. There are a lot of dynamics, and a lot of light and shade. It sounds like our songs have matured, and gotten better, really. It’s not the straight out 4×4 rock kind of thing, it’s definitely exploring different aspects of rock music – there’s psychedelic stuff, there’s slow jammy kind of songs, there are a couple heavy, almost stoner rock kind of tracks. We also added some different textures, like acoustic guitar, and stuff like that. It’s definitely got a whole lot more light versus shade.

HAPPY: Are there any particular records that have inspired the bands’ latest LP? What were you listening to at the time of recording it?

AMY: We’ve been listening to lots of bands like, WITCH, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Ghost, Black Angels, all the kind of new bands that I would say have been inspired by the same music we grew up listening to. Over the last couple of years especially, we’ve discovered a lot of new music like that. Touring, as well, and playing with local bands can blow your mind sometimes. It’s exciting when you play with bands that you feel you really connect with, and quickly.

HAPPY: You’re are about to embark on a string of east-coast shows, do y’all have any on tour rituals? And what’s your favourite thing about being on the road?

AMY: Rituals? I don’t know, we’re kind of like nanas when we tour (laughs). We treat things in a professional manner, meaning we don’t like to party and stuff when we’ve got shows the next day, we want to be at the best we can be, and put on a good show, because that’s what the audience is there for.

We like to look after ourselves, and try to eat as well as we can when we’re touring, and not party too much unless it’s the last night of the tour, and don’t have to do anything the next day. We really love touring, that’s our favourite part of playing in the band, for sure. We’re excited to get back on the road, especially after being in America, it’s nice to come, and tour back home. We’re really looking forward to it.

HAPPY: Nice! So as you’ve mentioned, since the release of your debut in 2013, you’ve toured internationally, played renowned festivals, and opened for Fleetwood Mac, which is absolutely incredible! How have those experiences altered your music, and who you all are as musicians?

AMY: I think its really just broadened the music that we listen to. We’ve discovered lots of new bands from doing all of that, and have definitely become better players, from playing so many shows, and playing with Fleetwood Mac, that’s definitely one of those gigs where you get nervous before playing, so it definitely strengthens your ability as a musician.

I don’t know, you experience a lot of things, and not just from the music, but from travelling around, meeting new people, and seeing new places – it’s all quite inspiring, so I think all those things helped develop our songs, and what we write about.

HAPPY: Definitely. What has been the highlight of your career thus far, for yourself and the band?

AMY: Playing at Glastonbury, and supporting Fleetwood Mac are a couple of the big ones. I think the idea of being able to travel around, play our music for people, and have people turn up is a pretty mind blowing thing. We really think of ourselves as very lucky that we can do that, and have people show up.

Even going to the States last month, and having people over there come, and see our shows really shocked us. We weren’t expecting it to be quite as good as it was. It’s great, it makes it all worth it, when you see people coming out, and seeing the appreciation on their faces. It’s really nice.

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Photos by Jack Stillman – @jackcstillman

HAPPY: I can imagine! So, do you gals have an ultimate goal, or would you say you’re living the dream at the moment?

AMY: I think our ultimate goal would be to release our music worldwide, and get to the point where it’s all synced up to be released at the same time, so that instead of just an Australian album tour, we could tour the whole world, and not have it be an investment going overseas. To do it, and make a living! I think that’s kind of the ideal goal.

HAPPY: Wonderful! So, I have one last question, what makes you happy?

AMY: Family, friends, and everyone around me being happy – that definitely helps with how happy I feel, and music, obviously. Yeah, music, hanging out with friends, and family, and just having a good time!

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July 14, 2016

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