Quick Questions With Stone Robot

Quick Questions With Stone Robot

Out of the ashes of previous bands like Independent Idiot, Phallic Medallion, Valiant Effort, and My New Shell…a new project is born.

Amongst the 2020 chaos, these long-time friends still satisfy their need to create by virtue of a shared google drive labeled only…Stone Robot. With influences stemming from various genres like Alt-Rock, post-punk, avant-garde, metal, synth-pop, industrial, and hip-hop, the band likes to categorize themselves as a new brand of music- avant-pop. These seasoned musicians pump out content as if they wouldn’t survive without it. And now, they want to share their work with the world.

Formed out of necessity, this group of earthbound misfits were birthed by fire and an unrelenting passion to create. Even if it means they are forced to record an album remotely, and across three state lines, their insatiable thirst for an artistic outlet proves to be too great to be hindered by such petty obstacles. Their sound blends the best of raucous overdrives, dynamically mellifluous drums, crystalline-cavernous synths, and a rollercoaster of soul-piercing vocal melodies to deliver surprises of all textures in perfect timing. They don’t believe in boundaries when they write their songs. If it sounds cool, they lay it down. Genre be damned. Their debut album (available now on all platfforms), “Planned Obsolescence,” is the ultimate culmination of that very philosophy.

Quick Questions With Stone Robot

Quick Questions with Stone Robot

1. Who inspired you to start playing?

JW (guitars): Dave Murray of Iron Maiden via the influence of my childhood neighbor (and later band mate) Eric Franco. We used to listen to Maiden all the time, and when Eric started playing guitar it became inevitable that I would try to pick it up as well. I never got nearly as good as Dave, or Eric for that matter, but I’ll be damned if I don’t keep trying.

JAMessiah Rockwell: My father left his guitars within reach as a child. And he had also been custom-building a Telecaster-Les Paul hybrid with an American Chestnut body while I was in high school, that I very fortunately received as a gift when I graduated. I felt obligated to learn at that point. And for whatever reason, probably the primitive World Wide Web of MIDI and tabs in 1998, I tuned into Robert Johnson and Carlos Santana first. But in full disclosure, my earliest guitar influences were C.C. Deville of Poison and the late, great Prince Nelson Rogers. Since I struggled to sound remotely like the aforementioned greats, I got into bass guitar a quick year after picking up a six string and fell in love. Then I turned to Flea, Claypool, Bill Gould, Trevor Dunn, and all the funk, blues, jazz and soul bass players for guidance.

2. Which piece of equipment couldn’t you live without? 

JW: When we were playing out a lot, I probably would have said the strap locks on my Les Paul. But since we did the whole Planned Obsolescence record remotely by trading .wav files across three states, I guess I’ll have to say I couldn’t live without my Izotope plug-ins.

JAM: Lately it’s been my Peavey Classic 20 mini tube amp. I use it for anything with strings, for live jamming and recording. But the equipment I really can’t live without are my ears, fingers, and imagination. That’s all a guitarist or bassist really needs to rock anyway.

3. What’s your favourite album of the year so far? 

JW: Gojira’s “Fortitude” has got to be my favorite major label release, although Royal Blood’s new one is probably a close second. Then again, since Stone Robot’s “Planned Obsolescence” was released in March of 2021, I’ll shamelessly pick that.

JAM: I shamelessly ditto JW! I fell behind the curve during the pandemic. I just recently listened to the Tomahawk’s latest release, Tonic Immobility, thanks to a reminder from my Stone Robot brethren. I think Dunn and Denison did a particularly fantastic job on this album!

4. If you could have a lesson from anyone, alive or dead, who would it be? 

JW: I would love to learn from Ken Andrews. Not necessarily about the technical side of playing but about the art of sonic layering and music production.

JAM: It would have to be Robert Johnson for me. The intrigue of his early tragedy, mysterious sabbatical, and confident return as the most skilled blues guitarist on the earth (at the time) fascinates me. I’d like to crib from his technique, but I’d love to know what happened at the crossroads.

5. What is your number one tip for any new player? 

JW: Don’t get discouraged when you try to emulate your favorite players but fall short and plateau. You’ll progress and inevitably plateau again, but if you stick with it, you can find your sound.

JAM: I’d second J-Dub’s tips and add a little something about creation. Never count out a little idea, record your noodling and review it with a friend/musical co-creator. Me and B.Steels (Stone Robot’s lead vocalist) would create new songs together about 3 per week on average just by bouncing lyrical and musical content off each other. I feel like I progressed the most as a bass player by this partnership, but just as importantly by jamming hours on end, mostly improv, with a human drummer. Nothing can develop critical timing and feel like improv with a percussionist, whether you play guitar or bass.

 

You can find all of our collective work on our website at www.stonerobotband.com

Our debut album, “Planned Obsolescence” is available for purchase both physically and digitally on our website or just digitally on apple music: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1559502844?ls=1&app=itunes 

Or Stream us everywhere on:

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1559502844

https://open.spotify.com/album/54rYQEJQN9j8dI1l64YULT

https://pandora.app.link/DaJHEzeREhb

https://deezer.page.link/kgRVWSsJcPBtheiT8

or any other streaming station!

Also, if you want to see some of our music videos you can check out our youtube channel, which we continue to update, at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbihY7Y-cuAdDNO88PL5-Pg

Then look us up on social Media: www.facebook.com/stonerobotband

www.twitter.com/stonerobotband

www.instagram.com/stonerobotband

and on www.tiktok.com/@stonerobotband