ATWN Exclusive…Interview with Richard Jones of Stereophonics
For the first time since 2008, Stereophonics are back touring North America in support of their highly successful new release, Graffiti on the Train. I recently chatted with bassist, and founding member, Richard Jones about touring, their new album, inspiration, and what he’s been reading. Richard was so candid with his responses, I decided to let you hear them for yourself.
For those of us who’ve followed you since your debut album Word Gets Around, we know how religious the band has been about touring almost every year. What was it like taking an extended period of time off the road, and how do you think it impacted the recording of your new album?
For your latest release, the critically acclaimed Graffiti on the Train, you recorded almost thirty tracks. With a sequel scheduled for next year, and an accompanying film to follow, was that always the plan? Or did the music take you in that ambitious direction?
Staying with Graffiti on the Train, Kelly has been quoted as saying the album is like “Stand By Me crossed with Quadrophenia.” How would you sum up the sound of the record?
With you not performing in North America since 2008, what can the fans expect to see on the set list during your current tour of North America? And for those die hard fans going to multiple shows, will you be mixing the set list up from night to night?
“Raymond’s Shop”, “Carrot Cake And Wine”, “Maritim Belle Vue In Kiel”, “Surprise”, …Your B-side list is filled with a number of tracks a lot of fans would have loved to have seen on the actual albums they were written for. Is there a track you look back on now and think the band, or the record company, made the wrong decision in keeping it off an album?
Many bands have different creative habits when on the road, and when recording. Books, music, movies, video games, social media, to name a few. What are your habits like on the road or in the studio?
Having seen the band perform over a dozen times since 2000, I have to ask about the 2008 VirginFest incident in Toronto. The rumor was you were going to treat Toronto with a “Super-band” performance including you, Paul Weller, and Oasis. Is that true? And if so, do you remember what the track was going to be?
Some of your life-long fans, and Kelly, have labeled your debut, Word Gets Around, an album that will be hard to beat. The same has been said about Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, and Nirvana’s Bleach. What do you think it is about WGA that struck a chord with so many?
Sticking with North America, from a fans point of view, this market doesn’t appreciate great music sometimes from across the pond. I Am Kloot, Turin Brakes, Doves, Kasabian, the list goes on an on. From your point of view, what is it about the North American market that makes it so hard to duplicate the success yourself, and many others continue to have overseas? Does it bother you?
Sometimes when you write, you just let the subconscious take over. Do you have moments like that, where base lines pretty much write themselves?
Last question, is there one band and one author you would like to recommend to our readers?
Thanks again to Richard for taking the time to chat, and be sure to pick up their new release, Graffiti On The Train. For those living out on the West Coast, Stereophonics still have a few shows left on their North American tour before they head back to Europe for their arena tour. Trust me, it’s a live experience you’ll never forget so be sure to check them out. BTW, make sure you get there early so you don’t miss the fantastic openers, “The Wind And The Wave”.