INTERVIEW: The Everlasting Power of the Stereophonics
    • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017

    • Posted by: Chris Deverell

    Few artists have had the fortune of success and longevity quite like Stereophonics. Together for 25 years, the band is on the precipice of releasing their tenth studio album, Scream Above the Sounds. In anticipation, they've released two singles, including today's release of "Before Anyone Knew Our Name". I caught up with bassist Richard Jones to talk the new album, and what 25 years in a band looks like. Give the new tracks a listen, and check out the full interview below, because Stereophonics is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

    Scream Above the Sounds
    is out October 27 on Parlophone Records.


    CHRIS DEVERELL: How did you approach this album to try and keep things fresh and new?

    RICHARD JONES: I think we go into every album trying to find something new, it usually takes two or three songs for us to, you know, find that kind of flavor, that sound that we're searching for. And with this album, we hit upon it with the sounds of "All In One Night" and the lyrical positivity from "Caught by the Wind" and between those two tracks it kind of paved the way for how the album feels really. We're always really looking for those moments and when they happen, it's a great time.

    CD: How do you think the sound has evolved on this new record? What can the audience expect to hear?

    RJ: I think the main difference for this is there's a lot less of edgy guitar sounds on this compared to the last album. It's a lot more layered than the last album. The last album was slightly more stripped back. It's gonna be interesting to see what people think.

    CD: Even all these years later, you keep attracting a newer and younger audience, do you think that plays a role in influencing you?

    RJ: Yeah. We first saw a big shift in the age of the audience when we released our fifth album, songs on that album like "Dakota" and "Superman" shifted the way people see the Stereophonics. And when we released Graffiti on the Train back in 2011, we found a new audience again. I'm really thankful for fans getting new people into the fandom and I'm always thankful for the people that keep on listening. That's kind of the name of the game, trying to get more younger listeners into listening to your music. When we're recording the album there's new sounds and the new kind of feel that you haven't had before because that drags people in from everywhere else then.

    CD: After all this time, how do you make a record that still feels personal and honest to you?

    RJ: We never wanted to be a band that just got a one album success, we wanted to be a band that creates a big catalogue of work; we knew we wanted to be here for the long run. Twenty years later, ten albums, we're still finding new things about what we can do. I think it just goes back to our upbringing around lots and lots of musical tastes. We're not a band that just listens to one artist, there's such a vast array of albums and artists that we love, we can kind of take our inspiration from so many different places. We can keep on changing and evolving to different things.

    CD: How does 25 years of life outside of the band affect you as a musician and affect what you put into the new record?

    RJ: The change that I think all of the band has gone through, is having partners and children and the responsibility that comes with having a family. I think as artists and musicians you've always got that passion to be the best you can possibly be. The best band you can possibly be, the best musician in that band you can possibly be, and I don't think you ever lose that. We're always striving to find new things and new ways for people to see our music and new ways to perform it, those things always push us forward and finding new things about ourselves. We've all got our priorities quite good.

    CD: Do you ever look back and long for some of the early days? Or have you embraced the international level which you're known on?

    RJ: I think we're really fortunate because we've had success wherever we go. Like in the U.K. we're playing big arenas and stadiums but then we can go to middle America and we can be doing the clubs there. We've got that kind of range from small, thousand-capacity clubs all the way up to stadiums. I think we've grown into dealing with the bigger venues all the time, but the passion and the energy you get when you play those small venues, you'll never lose that feeling.

    CD: What would you like to see going forward?

    RJ: It would be great for us to continue to write and record well into the future and broaden our listenership and see if we can take our bigger productions elsewhere across the globe. It's only the limited people in the U.K. that get to see us do those big shows but it'd be great to take that worldwide. Also, finding new things out about ourselves that we can show other people as well, that's what we try and do on each album.
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