Sisters, Sabbath and Aliens: A chat with Stonefield
It’s no secret that the trend of the 70s is on the brink of coming back. More flares are gracing the stage than ever, hair is flowing and riffs are getting made great again, but with the Greta Van Fleet’s taking up the newsfeed with their phony Native American head dresses and Coachella bubblegum rock, it’s sometimes hard to find the diamond in the rough. That’s until Stonefield came along. To put it short, Stonefield are; four Aussies that just happen to be all sisters, big riffs accompanied by stunning melodies, bellowing vocals and an unmatchable stage presence. The Findlay sisters are the essence of hard rock that’s been missing, and in a brief break from their hectic touring schedule that’s seen them hit the road with the likes of King Gizzard and King Tuff, we spoke to vocalist/drummer Amy to see what’s going on in their world.
Hi! How’s it going today?
Really well thanks! Currently chilling before heading into the studio. We are in the middle of recording a new record which is pretty dang exciting!
It seems you guys are taking a break from your busy tour schedule. How’s the time off treating you?
We are having a little break, although it's not going to be long at all before we are heading to Europe and the UK for May and June. Time off for us is almost as hectic as touring, we always try and make the most of our time by working on new music and catching up with friends and family we miss while we're away.
You’ve been touring the release of your record Far From Earth and it’s been pretty extensive. You’ve done dates alongside the likes of King Gizzard and Frankie and the Witch Fingers. How’s the reception been live to the new material?
It's been great. The heavier stuff always goes down a treat and that's what we are enjoying playing the most as well. I think spending so much time playing live has really shaped our writing for the next record.
There is quite a difference in sound between your early material compared to As Above, So Below and Far From Earth. There’s a definite growth of maturity in the sound and has seen you go down a more heavy psych route. Have you been conscious of this or do you think it’s been a very natural growth?
It's definitely been a natural growth, as it always is for every artist. I think every record you make should feel better than your last and a snapshot of where you're at. Making Far From Earth was a much more natural and easy process for us than AASB. We had way less people sticking their finger in the pie and it was great.
You’ve got a rare line-up being all sisters. Does family have an impact on your music? Have you always been playing together growing up?
We have been playing together for over a decade and never played in any other serious bands. I think it would have to have an impact on our music. The way siblings communicate with each other is completely different to how you would be with just a friend. We sort of live in our own little bubble, which is both good and bad.
You guys have a pretty impeccable 1970s vibe around you, from the heavy, Sabbath-infused rock to your style and image. As an artist do you think there’s importance around image - be it from how you dress to stage performance or music videos?
For sure. I think an authentic image is really important… If you’re creating something that is you, what you visually and sonically love, the realness of that is what people connect with. We have been inspired by that era of fashion, music and imagery our whole lives and love incorporating that into what we do.
Far From Earth was recorded at Ultrasound Studios in Downtown L.A. How was it recording so far from home?
It was actually quite overwhelming to begin with. LA is so incredibly different to where we are from. We finished writing in a little space in what felt like a bit of a sketchy area, and it was when we were sort of fresh to the hardcore overseas touring. We had given ourselves a bit of a deadline, but actually thrived off of putting pressure on ourselves. I think that was because for once we didn't feel like it was coming from someone else and that was a really liberating feeling. Ultraound is a great studio – it's a big bright open space with lots of instruments to play with.
You worked with Stephen McBean of Black Mountain on the record. How was that?
Stephen is a legend. You couldn't meet a more chill guy. He totally got what we were trying to do and was amazing helping us achieve what we were after. The whole process felt super easy and natural with him.
It’s stated that your record is “a collection of sounds and imagery intended for future humans or whoever may find them.” Are Stonefield setting us up sonically for some sort of extraterrestrial apocalypse? What do you know that we don’t? Is it something to do with the strange stone formations near your home that’s also mentioned?
I wish we knew more… We're obsessed with documentaries and stories about aliens. How can there possibly be no other life out there? We are just a tiny little speck in this universe.
Do you reckon aliens would be into Black Sabbath?
Despite the possibility of a forthcoming alien attack, what’s the future holding for Stonefield?
As I mentioned before, we are currently in the studio working on the next record and we will soon be heading off on this monster tour for a couple of months… Certainly the biggest tour we have ever done! Hopefully we don't kill each other.
Catch Stonefield live, dates can be found here.