The Stone Eye Interview

LOMMHey guys. Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up? 
The Stone Eye: Hey there. The Stone Eye was formed back in 2014 after I (Sephen) had been jumping around projects until finally settling with our now drummer, Jermiah Bertin. From then on we have released nearly an LP a year (spare 2019), and plenty of tour/other releases in between. At the moment the band consists of myself (Stephen), Jeremiah Bertin, Christian Mechem. All three of us met in High School, though Christian joined the band in March of 2019. 

LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
The Stone Eye: We’ve been holding up alright. Been trying to stay productive- finished our follow-up record to our 2020 LP Ventura. On top of that, we recently released a split with Puerto Rico based Moths, have done a number of livestream events, and have released 39 live tracks (The Quarantine Sessions Volume 1+2) officially since all of this Corona stuff has begun. Whilst it sucks not being able to tour and general earnings have been down, we are fortunate to still be active!

LOMM: So you seem to have had a productive time.
The Stone Eye: Yup! Very.

LOMM: Modern sounds are my thing J How about you? What does your genre means to you, why did you choose this genre?
The Stone Eye: Honestly, I’m more into retro sounds mixed with modern sensibility if that makes sense. Nothing beats the raw studio sounds of the 70’s through 90’s- when it felt like you were in the room with the band listening to them play back the record. In regards to what our genre means to us- the short answer is it doesn’t really mean anything to us. We started out playing a heavy style of music because that is simply what we enjoy. As our tastes have changed overtime, so has our style and I think that’s apparent if you go back and listen to our 2015 release “Virtues of Oblivion” and then listen to our latest record “Ventura”.

LOMMHow did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
The Stone Eye: Through chemistry between the band, through growth as a person. You want to challenge yourself as a songwriter or else things get boring. As you grow up, your tastes change. Things like that really. 
: Are you happy with your product? I mean, what aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve
The Stone Eye: I am happy with our product. You know I sometimes listen to our older releases and think “Man, what if I did this or that”. And sometimes we do re-record material as a result. But overall I’m happy with where we are as a band, what we have achieved, and it’s cool to hear yourself four years ago and then now and be like “wow, this and that sure have changed drastically”.

LOMMHow has the overall reception been?
The Stone Eye: It’s been good! You know, we have critics here and there but we also have fans here and there so as a whole things have been solid. 

LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
The Stone Eye: That’s honestly the toughest thing about this Corona stuff- not being able to really tour. We actually were on tour for our latest record Ventura when all of the lockdown stuff came down, and had to cancel it two days in. On top of playing live being one of the greatest perks about being a musician, it also is a major source of income for us. So yeah it hurts from both a financial as well as mental standpoint- feeling as though the breaks have been halted on all of your bands momentum. 

LOMM: What do you see for your future? How is it looking?
The Stone Eye: It’s looking good! We are currently jamming on ideas for the follow-up to the follow-up record, have completed the follow-up record, and yeah just are getting ready for a world that’s mostly returned to normal so we can pick up where we left off. There may be new music in the coming months, we may wait a little longer and ride out the Corona stuff- time will tell.

LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
The Stone Eye: So I (Stephen) write all the lyrics. Honestly, the lyrics come last in the writing process and do not affect the song or melody in 99% of cases. Generally, I write a melody for a tune and I hum random words/phrases along with it. In some cases, these random words or phrases become the anchor for the lyrical theme of the song. In other cases, I tend to write my lyrics based off of a theme or mood that the music invokes. E.g if i’m listening to a song and I am picturing a barren landscape, I will write lyrics that help invoke said mood within the listener. 

LOMMWhich is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
The Stone Eye: The road is more exciting just due to the nature of being on the road and exploring the world whilst meeting new people and spreading your art, but being in the studio can be more fun and also very exciting if you’re in that creative mindset which drives you as an artist. Sometimes they both can be shit though if, say, the tire pops in some random Minnesota town or you feel writer’s fatigue and have no desire to explore your creative side. Just depends really.

LOMMWho is composing the songs?
The Stone Eye: In the past it was mainly myself (Stephen), but as of late it has been a much more collaborative effort involving the entire band. 

LOMMWhat bands do you draw your inspiration from?
The Stone Eye: I could lie to sound cool, but I’m not going to. Michael Buble. Nothing more, nothing less. 

LOMMWhat’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
The Stone Eye: By far music for its own sake. In the end, it’s still the same people writing the music and it will still in one form or the other, sound like us. So I hope stylistic changes don’t scare people to much.

LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
The Stone Eye: Honestly, just to be able to say that we are at the point which we are at- whether it be the touring, the prolific amount of releases, the discipline we have as band members to give this our all. It’s a great feeling.

LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
The Stone Eye: Keep your eyes peeled: a new release cannot be too far off in the future. And as always, thank you for the support.

Lady Obscure: Entirely a pleasure!

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