Stoneberry brings their eclectic beats to Spreaker and the world with their Oak Tree EP. We spoke to the band, based in Moscow, Russia.
Do you mind introducing yourselves?
Ilya: I’ve been in the band since we decided to form it together with Grant, during our school years. At first I was excited to play guitar, and was deeply influenced by David Gilmour, but since we never did find a bassist, I tried it out and have enjoyed it ever since then.
Grant: I’ve been playing drums for 7 years, and it is quite funny how I came to it. We decided to form a band and I simply said “OK, I’ll be the drummer”. At school I had met my first drum teacher, and now drums are my life.
Anton: I tried singing out when I was 12. At that time I started playing classical guitar, which I had received from my father. He was my first guru to the world of music, and he taught me to play guitar and piano. At that time I wrote my first songs.
How did Stoneberry start?
Ilya: Stoneberry finally gathered over 4 years ago, but since we came up with the spontaneous idea with Grant to play musical instruments at school, we went through years of looking for members. I became acquainted with our guitarist Fedya in University and after we were three, Anton found us on the Internet.
Anton: Yeah, the guys tried several vocalists but it all came to nothing. I had also had a band at school, but it broke up as I was looking for a new one. After some unsuccessful attempts to form my own band, I saw they were looking for a vocalist. Since then, we’ve been Stoneberry.
How would you describe your sound? Who and what have been your personal influences?
Grant: Our music is a mix of different genres, because every one of us has different musical influences and frequently they are dispersed. But our compositions are the intersection of our musical tastes. As for myself, I was influenced by my first drum teacher, who gave me my first boost.
My influences are absolutely diverse, for example I like bands such as Gretchen Parlato and Animals As Leaders. But personally, I’m more inspired by individual musicians such as JP Bouvet, Ruslan Gadzhimuradov, Steeve Gadd, Aaron Spears etc.
Anton: I agree that in Stoneberry we can combine all of our ideas and influences, and that’s why I think we always vary in musical genres, play with song structures, apply new instruments, etc. This musical flexibility allows us to create something very exciting and unusual, and it could be why it’s attractive to people.
As for personal influences, I enjoy classic, unfading bands and solo musicians – and there are too many to list, but I also always try to find new names. The latest that have impressed me were soul singers Lianne La Havas and Rhye. My vocal style is mainly formed on Thom Yorke, Neil Young and Jim Morrison.
Ilya: We can’t describe our sound as a certain genre and though, as Grant said, we listen to different music, we can still correlate with each other. I’m inspired by bands such as Pink Floyd, Dredg, Porcupine Tree, and the Russian band In A Nutshell.
You are based in Russia, but have you had a chance to bring your music abroad?
Anton: We haven’t yet had a chance to play abroad, but with the help of social networks like Facebook and mainly Last.fm, we can be heard in different countries and sometimes get feedback. I think that one day we’ll play live somewhere in Europe or wherever and bring our music to foreign audiences.
Do you find audiences abroad take in your music differently?
Grant: Perhaps, yes. Foreign music sets a high standard for composing and performing, and it’s really hard to gather pace with it. Plus, in developed countries people are more accustomed to these higher music standards. In Russia there are fewer professionals and it’s easier to amaze the audience, although people are still not as eager to discover something new.
Anton: However the situation is changing nowadays and the new modern tendencies are beginning to penetrate Russian music markets, too.
Are you touring now, or will you be touring soon?
Ilya: No, though we have some local gigs booked in Moscow and in the suburbs. We are currently concentrating on preparing studio recording sessions for a new single – the starting point to our first LP. After that I think we’ll plan a tour in Russia and enlarge our audience.
Congratulations, guys! We wish you all the best!