DozenQ – Stone Foundation

This entry is part 2 of 20 in the series DozenQ 2

Stone Foundation are a seven piece band who hail from the Midlands and are inspired by a Modernist meeting of Rock n’ Soul influences, their sound combines the punch of a three piece horn section alongside whirling Hammond organ driven along by a dynamic ryhthm section and topped off with powerful emotive vocals resulting in a spirited, exciting, uplifting, heartfelt combination. The band have recorded 4 albums and have worked alongside the likes of Soul Legends Nolan Porter, Steve Calloway and Joe Harris of Motown’s Undiputed Truth. Last year they were invited as special guests of UK Ska Legends The Specials on their tour of UK arena’s picking up more followers and supporters of their music along the way. The band will release their new as yet untitled album early next year 2013…

01 How did your band get together?

I was uninspired and dissilusioned with my previous band for various reasons, I felt the need to get back to basics and start again afresh and remind myself of why I wanted to make music in the first place. I’d met Neil (jones) when I seen him perform in London, he was in a band that supported us at the old Laurel Tree and he stuck in my mind and that was the first call I made when I was looking for a singer and someone to front the band and it was his presence, enthusiasm and ultimately friendship that sparked it all off again for me.

02 Where did your name come from?

I had the name before I even had the band. I was reading Grand Royale, the beastie boys magazine publication, and there was an article on Andy Newmark the first white drummer/musician to play for Sly and the Family Stone and the heading of the piece was “Stone Foundation” and it just stuck with me. In fact my original plan was to call the band (a) Stone Foundation like the (a) Certian Ratio idea but I thought it may become too confusing in the long run.

Our Sponsors

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

With Stone Foundation I wanted to get back to very things that first made me want to pick up a guitar and form a band so I re-connected with all of that – Dexys Midnight Runners, The ethics of the Jam and The Clash fused with Soul Music, like many British youths we have always been facsinated with Black american soul and roots culture but we are mindful to use those influences in a creative way as opposed to being derritive and pastiche.

I’ve kind of given up wasting time on thing like hatred and loathing things that are not to my tastes. I obviously find the celebrity driven aspect of our country as grating as most with the Simon Cowell’s of this world dictating what people should find acceptable but that throw away pop culture has always been present even in Golden periods. I find equally tiresome the fact that a record company would put out a new or re-packaged Toyah Wilcox or Blancmange record and then pass something like ourselves by!

04 What drove you to make music together?

I think all of us have the same intentions, we are like hopeless incurables, addicted to the creative process. Slaves to the Ryhthm ! I myself have been at that crossroads on a number of occasions where I have questioned if it is worth carrying on when I’ve been at a low but I have grown to realise and understand that it is part of what makes us as people, it defines who we are to some extent, it’s a way of life to us now.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Well you won’t see a show, it ain’t no act or theatre workshop production, if you pay your money to get in then you are going to see 7 people giving everything they’ve got, every time we step on stage we are looking for that spark, that magic to happen. We get as gutted as anyone if it doesn’t feel right, thankfully more often than not our gigs do catch fire, it’s where we feel most at home. I like to think that we have built up a good relationship with our audience over the last few years and it seems to growing stronger.

06 Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Most of our ideas and songs filter through Neil (Jones) and myself but that’s not to say that the rest of the band don’t have their input or contribute, whether myself or Neil have the bare bones of an idea or a fully structured song it will still change as it gets put through the arrangement process with the rest of the band. Lynn (Thompson) has very clear & strong ideas for brass arrangements and our drummer Phil (Ford) more often than not will see things that we haven’t and has a great ear and feel for arranging music.

Neil has a more traditional and orthodox approach to writing and is actually quite prolific, he probably throws more away as he does bring to the band where as I’m probably more experimental as an ideas person but it can take me forever to get my songs out there. Also Me & Neil don’t have a stranglehold over the creative process if someones got an idea or a song and it’s good then we would do it no matter who initiates it, there’s only two criterias – it’s either good and bad and just so happens that up to now we’ve written all the good ones!

We like to make our subject matter believable and something that people can relate to and could be open for their own interpretation.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing together?

Well, we didn’t have the horns for a start and also me and Neil had to go through a few line up changes before we hit upon the right balance and assembled the right band and musicians that now are integral to Stone Foundation. Our first recordings where we just finding our feet and our sound were a little too “American” influenced for my liking, so we did make a concious decision to make sure that we made music that was representive of our background and surroundings, we re-assed the things that we wanted to do and what was important to us and from the “In our Time” album onwards our sound began to develop and blossom into the band we wanted to be and  I am convinced that our next record will be our most complete and important work yet.

08 What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

I think our biggest challenge to date arrived when we were invited to support The Specials on their UK arena tour of 2011 last year, it’s something you can only dream about like a Jim’ll fix it moment going from playing pubs and 200 capacity venues to 10,000 sold out arenas all over the Country. But, it’s also something that we, like every band, always thought wouldn’t it be great if we had that opportunity to go on a big tour but when that moment does arrive I don’t think that many could actually really rise to the occasion and the reality of it, you either sink or swim and it’s something that I’m really proud of that not only did we embrace the moment, I feel that as a band we really, really delivered every single night and that was evident in the response and reaction we got from those massive audiences every night. The key is to not get over awed by the sheer size of the event, it is just another gig but with a few more people in attendence and we will give as much at the Ricoh Stadium as we would at the Barfly. We actually felt comfortable on the big stages and I’m so grateful to have had that experience and once again it’s certainly made us a better band.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We don’t do many but I think it’s always good to throw in one or two in the live sets and funnily enough we are just in the process of changing them around again and I’m currently considering what to put in, maybe something to end the set with. We had been doing Tell me when my light turns green by Dexys on the last tour but now their back in business themselves playing unique and stirring shows so we no longer have to be the torch bearers for that legacy, it’s time to move on. I’d quite like to do “It’ll never be over for me” by Timi Yuro or “You’ve got to earn it” By the Staple Singers… good statement songs!

10 What do you love and hate outside of music?

We love clothes, Football and our families although not neccessarily in that order. Hate seems such a waste of energy, I was once an angry young man but I no longer see the point in holding grudges and despising things or people that you cannot change or affect, I’d rather channel those emotions positively.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Nick Lowe!

12 What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

We are currently recording our next album which will contain our best work to date, that will be out early next year, in the meantime there are plans to release a limited number (500 CD’s only) of an official bootleg recording of our gig with Nolan Porter at the 100 Club from July. It recently came to our attention that someone had recorded the gig and we are now in possesion of the tapes and have the option of putting it out ourselves, it’s such an honest & exciting document of the night and our collaboration with Nolan that it’s seems silly not to make it readily available.

Thanks to: Neil Sheasby – Stone Foundation – August 2012


*All images © stonefoundation and their own photographers


Originally posted 2012-08-08 16:39:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Series NavigationDozenQ – Tav FalcoDozenQ – Folk Grinder

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker