I’m thrilled to be introducing you to London rock band Stags today. I’ve been wanting to interview this band since I first heard their music last year. I love their sound. They were hard to track down, but I recently managed to get hold of them and send over some questions.
Stags recently released an awesome EP “Night Time Voices”, which I’m currently addicted to.
You can get a copy on Bandcamp: http://wearestags.bandcamp.com/ or iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/night-time-voices-ep/id1139236550
Stream on Spotify.
INTERVIEW WITH STAGS
It all started after Chris lost his football scholarship in the USA for “unknown reasons” and was sent back to England. He then decided to enrol to university in London where he met Alessio, who had just moved in from Italy to expand his musicality and also start university. George (Drums) and Oisin (the former bass player), joined the band right afterwards.
We then spent our time in student accommodation, where we jammed, wrote and developed our sound. “Stags” was a name that materialized out of a few drunken brainstorms, it actually has zero connection to the animal.
Your music is great, it seems to harness the qualities of ’70s rock and blues and take that to a new level with a modern twist. Which bands/musicians would you say have influenced you musically?
Only the best really… Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Doors, UFO… the list goes on.
That’s a great list! 🙂
You’ve been getting some wonderful reviews in the music press (well-deserved!) and have built up a strong following. What have been some of the highlights of your time as Stags, so far?
Being able to tour is always great; nothing better than allowing your music to let you travel to new places and meet new people. We recently spent two weeks in Italy writing material for a new album. That was deeply satisfying. Not to mention the wine and pasta on a daily basis.
Sounds lovely 🙂
You’ve released a few singles, and of course the awesome new EP. Who writes the songs, and what was the recording process like?
The Songs are written by Chris and Alessio. Chris with the lyrics and Alessio with the music. Normally we meet in the studio and Chris and Alessio will bring their ideas to the table and we will hash it out until a song is formed. Then our music producer, Muca, comes in to give some input, until everyone is happy with it.
Where does your songwriting inspiration come from?
Well, what’s more inspiring than love? The emotion of which we will never be able to control. Also failure and temptation is always on our list, as Night Time Voices’ lyrics.
Yes, all of that definitely comes across. Brilliant lyrics and music!
What comes first for you, lyrics or music?
Well, this question will never be answered without a five-hour debate. Lyrics are very important, they’re something which the listener can relate to, and connect with on a personal level. Whereas the magic of music is something that evokes any emotion without saying a single word. It’s very equally matched.
You’ve been touring as a band. Do you have any favorite venues that you play, and any upcoming gigs that you’re particularly looking forward to?
We love playing the small personal venues, ones where we can see the crowd and bounce off them and be with them in the gig. Unfortunately, most of these precious venues are being closed down due to mass redevelopment. The Music Venue Trust is fighting back so check that out.
We are also releasing our EP on Vinyl, and we’re having a very intimate and special release for it on a vinyl shop in Shoreditch. (What other place would be better to release your first vinyl than a vinyl shop?).
That is cool! And I hear vinyl is becoming more and more popular these days.
We are also playing on the 13th of October at The Blues Kitchen in Camden, its gonna be real personal.
If you could play any venue in the world, which would you choose, and why?
I wouldn’t choose a venue, I would choose the crowd. You could play Wembley Stadium, but if the place is empty…
Just keep playing like you’re playing, the crowds will come!
Which social media sites would you say are the best for bands to use to promote their music?
Ha, ha! 🙂
What are your favorite songs to play live?
We are a real live band, so there are plenty of songs we really like playing live and we can see the connection with the crowd. At the moment I’d say “Night Time Voices” can get pretty rowdy.
If you could tour with any other band, who would you choose?
Would be cool to play with this up and coming band “The Rolling Stones”. I keep hearing good things about those kids.
LOL 🙂 Maybe they read this blog… you never know 😉
Any other news for your fans?
Our news can’t be seen here… you gotta come to the shows.
I’m sure the live shows are amazing! 🙂
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Wishing you continued success!
If you’d like to find out more about the Music Venue Trust, mentioned by Stags in the interview, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/musicvenuetrust
The trust are putting on an event “Fightback!” at the Camden Roundhouse on 18th of October. Here’s the official announcement from the Music Venue Trust:
OFFICIAL LINE UP ANNOUNCEMENT
#FIGHTBACK at Roundhouse
Tuesday 18 Oct.
19 artists. 3 stages of live music. Featuring:
Everything Everything, PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING, Ed Harcourt, Jake Isaac, The Leisure Society, London Contemporary Orchestra, The Spitfires, Recreations, Billy Lockett, Rory Butler, The Wholls, Awate, JUDAS, Pat Dam Smyth Music, The Carnabys, SISTERAY, Soma, Samantha Whates, BANG BANG ROMEO
FINAL TICKETS ON SALE NOW PRICED £30: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2016/music-venue-trust-fightback/
Doors at 7pm SHARP.
Music Venue Trust was created in January 2014 to protect the UK live music network. Its immediate focus is on securing the long term future of the iconic venues which make up the grassroots circuit, venues like Southampton Joiners, Tunbridge Wells Forum, the 100 Club, Exeter Cavern, Hull Adelphi, Manchester Band on the Wall etc. These venues have played a crucial role in the development of British music over the last 40 years, nurturing local talent, providing a platform for artists to build their careers and develop their music and their performance skills. The Music Venue Trust has a clear 5 year plan to ensure those venues continue to play their vital role in supporting the British music success story.
You can catch Stags at The Blues Kitchen in Camden on 13th October. Details: http://theblueskitchen.com/camden/whats-on/nutsmag-3/
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