After what seems a whirlwind past year for the young Victorian psychedelic rock outfit Stonefield, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon, a spot on Glastonbury Festival, a quick recent jaunt to LA, and back home to commence a month long single launch tour this weekend in Adelaide and Western Australia, and will also see them cover the rest of the country in the coming weeks, there’s no signs of slowing down. Cassie Walker recently caught up with Amy Findlay, drummer / singer and the eldest of this band of sisters to see how this fast rise to popularity is treating them. See below for the interview and the tour dates. The band’s single ‘Black Water Rising‘ is available now.
First off I really want to know about your childhood, what did you do growing up?
Well we lived in a country area, not full on country but country enough for there to be not too much around, we lived on a hobby farm and I guess I spent my childhood listening to music or being outside riding our bikes, rolling down hills in the paddocks and things like that and then about five and a half years ago we all picked up our instruments and spent a lot of our time playing in our shed.
And what sort of music did you listen to at that time, what music do your parents listen to?
Well we grew up listening to mostly 70′s rock but they listen to a variety of things the main things are probably Frank Zappa, my Dad’s a huge huge fan, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, just a whole heap of different things.
From winning Unearthed High at JJJ, to touring the UK, what’s been the highlight of the journey so far?
It’s kind of hard to pick the highlight because everything has been a highlight i guess but winning JJJ Unearthed High has been the start of so many amazing things we’ve been doing, so I guess in a way that’s the highlight but then nothing really beats playing at Glastonbry.
And how do bands react to you overseas, not only are you an Australian band but it’s been a really quick leap to success.
Most people are pretty supportive and everything, I dunno, a lot has happened but we’re in a weird way not thinking about it to much and just going with it, but of course we are very appreciative and greatful and overly excited, but I guess if we think about it to much we’d go crazy or something.
And do you think that being with your family has kept you grounded rather than if you were with friends?
Yep definatly. I think being in a band with friends would be much more of a challenge when you’re touring and everything like that, well in any aspect, song writing and whatever if we have a fight we just get over it straight away it’s not an issue where as with friends you know there’s awkward tension if something happens so we’re pretty lucky with that.
Now what challenges have you faced being an all female band?
I guess people kind of tend to assume before listening to us or seeing us play live that we are girls so we musn’t be that good but things have gotten a lot better since we’ve been doing all these things but before we were on JJJ Unearthed high and all that stuff, I remember we’d walk into a venue and people would just look down on us so much and expect us to get up and play like some sort of country pop or something like that and look at us differently after our set, there was always that thing where we’d look down upon walking into a gig but it’s much better now.
Your first headlining national tour is about to commence and runs for over a month, is this the longest time you’ve been on the road?
Yes that will be the longest time but it’s kind of good because it’s spread out over a while so we are mostly doing weekends and the other girls have got school in between so yeah it should be good.
Now being the eldest sister do you feel you have to be the more responsible one on the road?
Yeh i guess i generally take that older sister look after the others kind of thing but we’re all pretty good, like we just tend to look after ourselves and make sure we get lots of sleep and stuff like that kinda of thing, we don’t really party hard or anything.
Hey! You’re old enough for that.
Well I am, and Hannah is, but with the others we just tend to go home and go to bed.
Good! Do you find though that you and your sister are having a lot of fun now that you are both over 18, on the road, meeting all these bands and touring?
I mean a little bit, but not so much when we’re playing gigs, it’s more when we just go out and have fun when we’re not playing because I guess when we’re playing shows that’s just the focus. I’m constantly thinking about my voice and you know if i’ve got a gig the next day I won’t drink the previous night and things like that but yeah, it’s awesome meeting all these people and we’re having fun.
The live show is very Rock ‘N Roll, I remember watching you at Cherry Rock Festival earlier this year and you outshone all of those rock guys on a massive line up and I remember the crowd was, as you mentioned earlier not expecting such a great show, what influences the live show?
Just any amazing live bands that we see. Pretty much everytime we see a band that puts on a show that makes you want to watch them it inspires us to go crazier on stage. It’s hard to say like from bands that are really young and even those metal bands that everyone’s got in their town that just put on a crazy live performance. We had heaps of them as we started playing music at local shows and it’s just watching bands that actually do stuff on stage is so much more exciting then just watching people standing there because you know you may as well be looking at the record.
I agree! Now what’s next for Stonefield, it’s pretty hard to top Glastonbury.
Well we’ve actually been asked to go to LA next week to play at the Sunset Strip Festival so that’s the next crazy, exciting thing that we’re doing. Playing at The Roxy which is really exciting because we went there for a family holiday a couple of years ago and we went down Sunset Strip and saw all these amazing iconic venues, The Whisky A Go-Go, The Roxy, The Viper Room, all that and we all said how amazing would it be to play there one day, and now were are so that’s the next thing then when we come back from that we start our national tour so that’ll keep us busy for a while and then we’re planiing on writing another EP before we go for an album, just so we can make sure we feel completely ready for an album and then work on our songwriting and let the band develop a bit more and that sort of thing.
Wow, well I do look forward to catching Stonefield live again and good luck in LA, I know you will smash it.
Thank you so much.