StoneWire recently released their long-awaited sophomore album ‘Life As We Know It’, now packing a second guitarist, it’s the sound of a band reborn. Frontwoman Sky Hunter filled us in on the lengthy process of finding a second guitarist to fit the band, what fans can expect of album number two, and what ‘FTM’ actually means! Read on…
New album ‘Life As We Know It’ comes five years after your debut album ‘When The Crow Flies’, what was the main reason for the wait? And what emotions were going through your head in the run up to its release?
Well, the main reason was that we had about four stop/starts with second guitarists. We knew after ‘When The Crow Flies’ that we wanted to be a five piece but we had not much luck with the second guitarist and ended up with three different ones before we finally settled with Duncan (Duncan Greenway). We could have written the second album again as a four piece, but we wanted to have that “together” sound so we were waiting on the fifth man so to speak. As it was a long wait, we were very excited to finally bring new music out however, ‘Crow’ had such great reviews it was also a bit nerve wrecking to see if ‘Life As We Know It’ could live up to it.
It certainly does! How long had the ten songs featured on the album been brewing for?
Some like ‘Hero’s Journey’ and ‘Monkey Talk’ were there and waiting for three years, but after Duncan joined we wrote more. All together I’d say it took us about eighteen months to finish the writing process and the final touches came during the recording.
‘Life As We Know It’ is a fantastic guitar album, were the songs written from a dual-lead guitar perspective now that StoneWire are a five piece?
Absolutely, that was one of the reasons it took us so long. We needed the right person on the second guitar to fit with Gaz (Gaz Annable). We write together as a band so one brings a riff, I’ll bring a melody, and we build around it. We needed the second guitar in the room for it to become a whole.
Was it StoneWire drummer Rob Glasner that produced the album? It’s a fantastic production, the guitars are really crisp and sound amazing, but aren’t drummers supposed to be the daft ones in the band?!
Ha, let’s not tell him that 😉
Yes, Rob did a fab job on producing and recording the album. He has this unique ability to step away from the band and listen to the songs from an outsider’s perspective. We wanted a raw, live sounding album and he captured us very well.
‘One For The Road’ is a particular favourite, the killer guitar groove throughout screams Aerosmith to me, what’s the story with this one? And what came first – the groove, the riffs, the lyrics?
The riff came first and as the song was building we added slide guitar, I felt that was a great song to play homage to all the Southern greats that have left us over the past few years. When you listen I reference several bands and songs inc. The Allman Brothers, Skynyrd, Blackfoot, Eagles…
It is a great song, what about ‘FTM’? That’s quite a politically-charged song, ‘FTM’ – fuck the man perchance?
Ooooh very close but not quite! I’ll give you a clue, I wrote it after a certain PM made a mess of things and stepped down. The next one called us (Rob and I are originally from Germany) queue jumpers and citizens of nowhere.
Ah now I get it! Current single ‘All That Matters’ is more hopeful, more uplifting, it also features an incredible video from Ashley Miles from Hot Frog Animations, you must have been buzzing when you first saw the finished product!?
We are very pleased with the video. Ashley is a super talent guy and he understood the vision of what I was trying to say in the lyric. Totally got the meaning of it. We love the uniqueness of the video.
You’ve opened for quite a diverse bunch of acts – The Cadillac Three, Michael Schenker, Gotthard, as well as Bernie Marsden. Is this a testament to how versatile StoneWire are in the live setting?
Very much so, as we are five people with different tastes, our songs are also diverse. I’d say that is one of the trademarks of StoneWire, so we can adapt to whomever we work with. We now have enough songs that we can pick our set accordingly.
What are your memories of playing the O2 Arena in London for Stone Free Festival a few years back?
It was great, to be on the bill with such big artists was a real honour. It was only the small stage but still, we were there and Kilimanjaro (the promoter) came to us, we didn’t have to hassle for the gig. Steve (Steve Briggs) our bassist was in heaven to be on the same festival T-shirt as Megadeth lol.
You also play HRH XIII this weekend, who are you looking forward to catching over the weekend?
Unfortunately we will only be there for the Saturday, but we are looking forward to Doro – the first lady of Metal, and a lot of cool bands on our stage, Samarkind and our friends The Rocket Dolls.
It should be quite the weekend! What does 2020 look like for StoneWire?
We are planning on gigs and festivals as much as possible. We need to get out there and be seen. As much as we like writing and studio work, live is where we really shine. We love being on stage and doing our thing. We will also start working on new material so that we don’t have another 5 year wait for the next album.
So there you have it, all up to speed with StoneWire, ‘Life As We Know It’ is officially launched with a gig on November 14th in London at the Hope & Anchor. All relevant information can be found here.
Interview – Dave