FROM: BRIGHTON | FOR FANS OF: LAMB OF GOD
Brighton’s Stone Hand are the latest rising stars in a new wave of groove, experimenting with different heavy sounds and blending hardcore and metal with the retro vibes of the 90s groove era. With an album in the pipeline and big things on the horizon, we put some questions to vocalist Connor Cottrell about the band’s plans and influences.
FIRST OFF YOU HAIL FROM THE SOUTH COAST OF ENGLAND, OF WHICH USED TO BE A PRETTY BIG HOT BED FOR NEW HARDCORE AND HEAVIER BANDS. HOWEVER, DID THE DEMISE OF BANDS SUCH AS DEAD SWANS AND LAST WITNESS IN THE MID 2000S IMPACT YOUR LOCAL SCENE?
We think the demise of these bands and other big names at the time impacted scenes everywhere not just Brighton. This definitely changed the style of hardcore that was being played. We’re lucky enough to be from a city where live music is in no shortage. The punk scene has always been huge here and has definitely become bigger since the end of said bands but hardcore and metal both are still alive in Brighton. We actually had the pleasure with playing in Brighton with Dead Swans back in April.
AT THE MOMENT HEAVIER GENRES OF MUSIC ARE ONCE MORE ON THE RISE IN THE UK. SO WHAT IS IT YOU’RE DOING TO ENSURE THAT STONE HAND STANDS OUT?
All of us bring a different style of writing to the band, for example Gav’s style of writing is influenced by the best parts of 80s and 90s metal whereas Sam’s influences are more modern so it creates this really nice balance that I don’t think many other people are doing right now. This allows us to capture a wider age range that will rate our tracks.
AT THE SAME TIME HOW HAS HEAVIER MUSIC BECOMING MORE COMMERCIAL AND ACCESSIBLE ALLOWED BANDS SUCH AS YOURS TO THRIVE?
Social media and streaming platforms like Spotify have had a huge impact on the music scene in general. People all around the world can find you at a click of a button, which is just an extra way of getting exposure while still playing shows.
DO YOU FEEL THAT WITH SO MANY BANDS CALLING THEMSELVES HARDCORE THESE DAYS THAT IT HAS ALMOST PIGEONHOLED THEM TO SOME EXTENT?
Yes and no. A lot of bands are quick to slap the hardcore label on themselves as it carries a certain image and it kinda gives people an idea of what they’ll be like before they’ve even heard them. However I feel there are a handful of bands at the moment really pushing the boundaries and breaking the mold of what people think a band that label themselves hardcore should sound like. Which we think is really healthy for the genre.
YOU CROSS OVER MORE METALLIC SOUNDS INTO THE GENRE TO CREATE THE SOUND OF STONE HAND. WHERE DID THE IDEA OF THIS COME FROM?
As said we have all come into the band with different influences but the biggest similarity is the 90s groove era which is a huge part of our style.
DO YOU OFTEN FEEL THAT PEOPLE DON’T THINK THIS KIND OF ‘GROOVE’ SOUND AND STYLE CAN EXIST WITHIN HEAVIER GENRES?
We don’t believe people think it can’t exist, we just don’t think people have seen it done in such a long time that they forget that some of the heaviest bands from the 80s and 90s had elements of groove. We‘re just trying to bring it back. Obviously we can’t cater to everyone but we hope what we put out has enough of everything for a vast audience.
OTHER THAN JUST OTHER MUSICIANS, WHAT INFLUENCES THE SOUND, LYRICAL CONTENT, AND OVERALL STYLE OF STONE HAND?
Life’s fucking shit. We think everyone can agree. Day to day struggles build up a lot of anger and aggression which is clearly visible in the upcoming LP.
DO YOU FEEL THAT STEPPING AWAY FROM THE LABEL OF ‘HARDCORE’ HAS ENABLED THIS BAND TO BE MORE OPEN, BOTH CREATIVELY, AND WITH THE OPPORTUNITIES YOU’RE BEING OFFERED?
We definitely feel like it has offered us a wider variety of shows and we get to play with such a wide range of bands. Made some really good mates from shows in both the hardcore and metal scenes since playing in this band so I definitely think it was a good choice.
ON THE OTHER HAND WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR STONE HAND SO FAR?
We’ve all played in previous bands for years so we all know what to expect. We all work full time which makes it harder and we had a member change late last year which took a little while to adjust.
DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU’VE LEARNT A LOT FROM THESE EXPERIENCES, AND THAT THEY’VE HELPED TO SHAPE YOU BOTH AS MUSICIANS AND AS A BAND?
As said in the last question we’ve all played in bands before with the same situations. Generally being in a band you learn a lot from experiences. We get to see places we wouldn’t usually ever go to and meet people from places away from home. Musically we’re always pushing ourselves to put out something better than the last.
FINALLY WITH NEW MUSIC ON THE WAY, WHAT ELSE CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE BAND THROUGHOUT THE REST OF 2019?
So yeah we have a full length coming out late this year which were close to finishing the pre production which has been our main priority. Until then we have a bunch of shows coming up over the UK. And will be dropping another single and video closer to the LP dropping.