Introducing Stone Thieves

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Say hello to the Stone Thieves who are a four piece band bringing us their style of Blues Americana. This North London (Hertfordshire) band are made up of Aaron Gardner (guitar & vocals), Tom Reynolds (bass guitar), Micky Pearson (guitar) and Paul Archbold (drums) who give us music that they describe as ‘heart-felt songs with a band that is tighter than two coats of paint’. So far they have released the EP’s ‘New Mexico’ and ‘Brush off the Rust’ which I will talk about later in my review. They have also just released their new single ‘Little Charmer’ which prepares us for their highly anticipated upcoming EP release.

To give you a little more of an insight into the world of Stone Thieves I got Aaron from the band to answer some questions. We talked about the history of the band, their live shows, the new EP and a little more. This is what he had to say:

How did Stone Thieves come together and is there a story behind the name?

We came together from the ashes of past musical ventures. Tom and I worked together for a couple of years, and when that project went under we decided there and then to carry on playing. We both started with a few ideas instead of just playing for somebody else. From the first jam we had, it was more democratic, and there was some real freedom to allow us to discuss how we wanted to sound. I’m sure that in the first session we had together that we wrote half of our first EP! We also gave ourselves a name that day, after chucking around some stupid ideas. We were very keen on not having “The” in the title. We didn’t want to be “The Stone Thieves”. I don’t know why that was, and people still refer to us as that now! The name is kind of a reference to the whole concept of the band. We aren’t trying to do anything shocking or change the wheel. We play Rock ‘n’ Roll music and the foundations of that are set in stone. We just take little bits of this and that and sprinkle our own touch on it. We have a bit of a country/Americana twist, but at our hearts is guitar based rock. Archie joined us soon after on the sticks. Again, Tom had played with him in a group many years back. He used to be out on the piss with us fairly often, seemed like a good match!

We kind of stole Micky from another band. We’d played as three-piece outfit for a while, probably out of stubbornness. As we developed and gelled as players, and calmed down after the initial excitement of playing new material, the songs started to change and there was definitely space for another guitar. Micky was playing in the same bill as us, and he knew a friend of a friend. The line was cast and numbers were exchanged. I think he left his other group the day after!

How would you describe the bands sound and which musicians have helped influence this?

We call it Country-infused Rock ‘n’ Roll. It’s not quite southern rock, because we ain’t from the American Deep South, but that rootsy sound inspires us. I also take pride in trying to hold on to the British sound that we had early in. We all grew up listening to British rock bands, britpop and mod stuff, so there is a touch of that in there. We are all big fans of Neil Young, The Faces, Bob Dylan, Black Crowes to name a few, but Creedence Clearwater Revival is the biggest shared influence.

I get inspired by all types of music. I’ll have an idea and a way I want it to sound, but it always comes out sounding like us… I try not to directly insist on a way another instrument is played unless it’s a critical part of the idea. I think that’s the key to getting your own sound as a band. Give the others the book, let them open it up. 

Which is the bands favourite song that the band has produced and why?

The title track from our very first EP “New Mexico” – it’s the only song that we play every time we play live, no matter where, no matter when. It’s the one that people ask about if you decide to drop it. So in that respect, people wanting to hear it, that would make it a favourite. It’s cool groove for the rhythm section to play as well. When we lock it in, it gets quite hypnotic. The lyrics mean a lot to me too. It’s a deep song. I’d love to go into the studio and spend a few days or so re-recording it. It’s grown a lot now and I think a new version would be better still.

The two forth coming tracks are close contenders. Definitely in terms of the actual “production”. They are very crisp and very tight. I think we have captured the sound that we set out to get with the new songs, and we love playing them live. So I’m torn between the nostalgia of ‘New Mexico’ and the excitement of the new tracks.

If you were headlining a world tour and you could choose are 2 support acts, who would it be and why?

Hard question! Creedence Clearwater Revival main support. All the way!  Because John Fogerty is king and I could listen to his songs every night no problem. I recon he’d make us tea in the bus as well! Then I’d wanna take some buddies from home along too! There’s a few bands here that we work with a lot. They know who they are 😉 . I’d like to think that if we ever got to that level, we could still help out our pals, because I know they’d do the same for us. You get two or three good bands with similar vibes, goals and interests, then you have a tribe!

What are the future plans and goals for the band?

That world tour sounds like a good goal to me!! We’ve got some good things already planned this year, one of them includes an airplane and a different country! We just want to get this new stuff heard, and hopefully gather some new followers on the way. We want to gig wherever and whenever we can, and just get the message to people that like good music. I always believe that there is more to learn, and you’ll only get that knowledge from gigging. 

I want to start some demos at some point too, we’ve been writing and jamming a lot recently. Planning that for late Spring/Summer. The best part of the creative process for me, is seeing how it transfers onto record, or what the band can bring to a song after you give them a demo that only has one guitar and one vocal.

Then next year I want a Ferrari, a house in LA, a penthouse on the Thames, a pet tiger, a yacht, some golf clubs, a golf course, and a gold plated toilet seat. I’ll be satisfied then.

2013 saw the release of the band’s debut EP ‘New Mexico’ which started the ball rolling with what they have to offer. This EP has a different feel to the type of sound that I am used to from the guys. It is raw and the recording quality does not do them justice, but it still shows the talent that these guys possess. ‘Itchy Fingers’ and ‘Long Way Home’ were instant favourites of mine as their lyrical quality is clear to hear and prepared us for what was to come. If you want to check out this EP then you can head over to their Reverbnation page (click HERE) and listen to it in full or download it for free.

Their follow up release ‘Brush off the Rust’ (2014) was what I originally heard when discovering their music. Compared to their previous release this jumps ahead on the evolutionary stage as the quality of this release is so different and in a good way. This improvement shows how much their music means to them as they want to push and develop their sound to give the listener something special. Everything including the recording quality has been improved giving the listener a true showing of why the music of this band needed to become part of my collection. Musically the band have focused the type of sound that they want to deliver and the way they blend together to do this is wonderful to hear. For me it’s like a blend of Tom Petty meets The Black Crowes, but I can hear so many other influences each time I hear this EP. The biggest improvement is in Aaron’s vocal skills. I am not sure if it is a result of the improved production value but his voice has become stronger. The song ‘Lovin Light’ shows this off perfectly.

My biggest problem with this EP is that it is only 3 songs. When the EP finishes with my personal favourite ‘Shine On/Shine Bright’ it leaves me hungry for more. This song has everything that makes the band stand out for me. The lyrics have me singing along to it’s hook thanks to infectious feel which are helped by Aaron’s killer vocals. The band also sound so good on this track and it makes me eager to hear this performed live. I highly recommend that you head over to their Soundcloud page (click HERE) to listen to the EP in full. Their page also features their new single ‘Little Charmer’ which continues their impressive showing and strongest song to date. It shows that the guys are working hard to fine tune their craft and continue to bring us music of a high calibre. All their songs are available to purchase from the usual online stores of Amazon and iTunes, so go buy if you like what you hear.

Going off what Stone Thieves have released so far including their new single ‘Little Charmer’ and the way Aaron has talked about the new EP, the future is looking great for the guys. I can’t wait to listen to the new EP and when I do you can expect to read about it here. As a big fan of this band I will continue to show my support by spreading the word about their music on social media. I am hoping to catch one of their shows in the near future as the reviews they have been receiving sound like you are guaranteed to have a good night with their awesome sound.

To find out more about the band including gigs and future releases then head over to their social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. If you are loving the Go tell the world about Stone Thieves today!