Well I’m back! I have been away traveling foreign shores looking for talented indie bands in need of promotion. But for my next Band of the Week I didn’t have to travel far. The Glasgow based garage rock band Stonesthrow are brothers Derek Murray (lead vocals) and Andy Murray (lead guitar), and their cousins Paul Smith (bass) and Gary Smith (drums), also brothers. Stonesthrow have a brutally hot sound that combines the guitar rock sounds of classic bands from the '70s and '80s with a modern, super-cool alt.rock twist.
They have been gigging in and around Scotland and England for the last couple of years garnering much attention from fans and journalists alike. With a fan base now in excess of 20,000 and growing, Stonesthrow would seem to be poised to take over the Scottish music scene and from there the world at large. With the release of their debut single, that dream seems to be one step closer. Recorded at London’s Atomic Studios and mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios their debut EP Gold Rush is a magical, musical rush of energy, scorching guitar driven hooks in an almost orgasmic explosion of talent.
But these guys are not letting all this potential power and fame go to their heads. Down to earth, funny, charming and not hard to look at, Stonesthrow would seem to have everything they need for superstar success. I recently met with three of the guys from Stonesthrow – Derek, Paul and Andy — at Glasgow’s renowned venue/pub King Tuts Wah Wah Hut for a couple of pints – that is a LARGE glass of beer for our American brethren — and a chat. The sarcasm flowed as freely as the beer, as it always will when talking to any Scot. I laughed so hard I almost peed.
Tell me how Stonesthrow got together.
Derek: I think we were all just born.
Andy: Do you mean how did we become a band or how did we meet?
Well you met because you’re cousins right?
All: (laughing) Yeah, yeah.
Derek: Yeah we met through our mothers.
Paul: We were actually all in other bands before this, playing away. And at many family parties we just started talking. And we just sat down at a table together and decided to do this.
Derek: It was a coming together of everyone’s talents basically.
Andy: We were all in different bands. And because all four of us, well us three, weren’t in a band at that time, that’s why we decided why not.
Derek: And one night at a [family] party we thought why don’t we make a band? So…
So the name Stonesthrow is not because you are two sets of brothers who grew up a Stonesthrow from each other?
Paul: (laughing) It is now!
(laughing)How many other reasons have you heard?
Derek: How many stones throws have we had? We’ve had because we are a stones throw from Glasgow.
Andy: Oh yeah I forgot about that one. A stones throw away from fame. And there was another.
Derek: And now a stones throw away from each other. They’re all wrong.
They’re all wrong? So how did you get Stonesthrow?
Derek: You’ll never find out.
Paul: It’s such a boring story that no one will ever tell. Too many people want to know but will never find out.
Derek: Actually we only have a rough idea how.
So you have no idea, is the answer. Just one day you were like “Oh are we called Stonesthrow?”
Paul: You have done psychology! (all laugh)
Derek: It’s nice to know it wasn’t a waste of time.
So you are just about to release your debut EP Gold Rush.
Derek: We released the first single on Monday [Monday 26th March 2007].
The single is “Want To Know” and was available for download on Monday. Right? It’s very good. Is this your first single?
Derek: We’ve had EP’s but they were more demos. This is our very first single.
Paul: We didn’t have a drummer for the first year. We had to train our Gary to play drums.
Andy: I was the first drummer. For six months or something. It came to a stage where we decided that I was either going to be the drummer or the guitarist. And I’m better on a guitar really.
Paul: He trained Gary.
Andy: And he picked it up very well.
Paul: We are hoping this single release will help us get picked up or at least some financial backing. There is only so far you can go on your own. You know?
If you had to define your sound how would you do that? If you had to genre yourself what genre would you be?
Andy: Pop is the worst word that you could ever use! I HATE POP! Indie rock or rock, not pop. I hate the word pop.
Paul: Everyone in the band has a different opinion.
Andy: The problem is it’s a five minute conversation to try and define us but nobody actually can.
What do you want? What do you want from this band, this single, this EP?
Andy: Ideally, to take over the world.
Paul: We have a kind of central idea of how successful we want to be.
Andy: We want to do this as a living, rather than… We just want to make it. It’s not a fame thing, it’s not a money thing, it’s self gratification. (laughing)
So it’s like ego masturbation? (all laugh)
Derek: I’m not remotely interested in being stars. I just want to be heard.
Andy: It’s because since we were eight this is all I have wanted to do… like masturbation. (all laugh)
If you would like to listen to Stonesthrow’s energetic and updated take on classic guitar rock you can find them at their MySpace space, and the Stonesthrow website. Or you could just go and download their Debut EP Gold Rush which is available from both i-Tunes and Napster, just to name a few.