Friday, 21 August 2015

Feature: Stone Foundation (21/08/15)


Stone Foundation are one of those rare British gems, the band of eight musical talents from the wetlands of the Midlands, are now back with their fourth studio album 'A Life Unlimited'. Following last year's album 'To Find The Spirit', which was easily their most successful, seeing the band reach the Top 40. They've toured with The Specials and had their own headline shows in Japan, sold out London's Jazz Club, signed to the prestigious P-Vine label and appeared at Fuji Rocks Festival. The first single from the album, 'Beverly' was the title music in the award winning film (Best Film at the Portobello Film Awards & East End Festival) and when you've heard the song and watched the music video, you'll understand why everyone's loving it! 

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
I was 14 and started a band whilst at school, it seemed the most natural thing to do for me. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by a handful of kindred spirits that took it as seriously as I did. 
We were soon up and running, playing gigs at local youth clubs at first. I caught the bug and never looked back. 

2. What is the most inspiring music performance you've ever seen?
There's been quite a few over the years for different reasons. I was inspired to pick up an instrument after seeing The Jam and the impact of that experience will always remain but I've been fortunate to witness some truly magnificent gigs over the years from Prince to Brian Wilson, Bowie, John Martyn, Jeff Buckley... tons of different things really. 

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Kamasi Washington - "The Epic" a sprawling three hour jazz masterpiece!! 

3 Qs for Stone Foundation:

1. What musical era do you find most inspiring/influential and why?
I don't really confine my taste to one particular era or decade. I do kind of miss that tribal youth culture thing though. Growing up it was a very exciting time for British music, I cold walk into my local record shop and be totally over awed by incredible new music - I'm glad I grew up and got immersed and obsessed with music when I did. 
The late 70s/early 80s was awash with eclectic creativity - XTC to The Specials, Sandinista to Kilimanjaro, Linton Kwesi Johnson to Dexys Midnight Runners - an incredible few years and fashion/street culture went hand in hand with that. 

2. How different was the process of creating your latest album 'A Life Unlimited', compared to your previous releases?
As always right from the off, we knew exactly what we didn't want to do. It was important that we didn't hide behind the previous album, 'To find the spirit', neither myself nor Neil saw the point in retreading the same ground, we both realised our new work needed to be a close relation and a continuation but we were at no point interested in playing it safe, we had a vision and needed to realise it and I think we've achieved that. We worked far more cohesively this time and for that everything came together much quicker. 

3. Where is/would be your favourite place to tour and why?
Japan is thus far the best country we have visited, the audiences are tremendous too, they just just get it from the off. Tokyo is mind blowing, we hope to return again next year. I also think we'd like tot tour the States, I think our music would be much appreciated over there. 

Random Q:

Digital, CD or Vinyl and why?
Vinyl. Without being pretentious about it, music is an art from right down to the way it is presented, you would get books on cover art of LPs and I think visually it shouldn't be compromised, I love all that stuff. Plus the ritual of putting a vinyl record on a turntable. The sound a needle makes on a rotating piece of plastic wax still fascinates me. 

'A Life Unlimited' Review:
The single 'Beverley' is the perfect combination of soul, jazz and funk, an easy song to listen to, leading the way for the rest of the album. The lyrics resonate with the listener and force them to lose themselves into it. From the album 'Pushing Your Love' also stands out as another easy listening song, full of soul and it's a slower track with a gospel undertone to it. I also wanted to point out 'These Life Stories' as a song to listen to from 'A Life Unlimited', a little more upbeat and horn led with an awesome drum section and still brilliant! I'd definitely urge you to have a listen to the full album and find your own personal gems, the album is full of them and well worth a listen! 


Stone Foundation's Links:

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