Making a career in the music industry is no easy feat. Doing it when you’re in an all-girl rock quartet and half of your members are still in high school however, is a different ballgame altogether.
Over the span of their short career, Stonefield have compiled quite an impressive resume; they won Triple J Unearthed High back in 2010, played Glastonbury in 2011, and have enjoyed a string of impressive support slots as well as packed out crowds at their own headlining gigs. And now, the four Findlay sisters are returning to centre stage for the release of their latest single, ‘Bad Reality’.
Lip was lucky enough to chat to keyboardist and vocalist, Sarah, ahead of Stonefield’s upcoming single launch tour!
Describe your sound in five words or less.
Who are your most significant influences – both old school and contemporary?
We have so many bands that influence us but the main few would have to be Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa. Then there are the newbies – Band Of Skulls, Tame Impala, and Mutemath.
You’ve supported bands including The Foo Fighters and the Kaiser Chiefs; do you get intimidated or scared meeting such famous bands? Did any of them surprise you?
Yes, depending who we are around; we can sometimes be very shy. Foo Fighters are one of the big biggest bands we have played with so we were all a bit nervous and shy around them. They are such amazing musicians so it’s hard not to be! I guess it was a little surprising that they stuck around and watched a bit of our set instead of hiding away in their dressing rooms. Also, Dave came up to Amy and I and said that he enjoyed the show and that we were sounding good, which was very nice of him!
Has your songwriting process changed along the way?
Not our actual process of writing songs but every time we write it seems to come more natural. We feel our songs have improved a lot, especially from our last EP (Through The Clover).
What do you love most about having your family on tour with you? What do you like least?
It’s like a comfort zone. We can be ourselves all the time and tell each other anything. What I like the least is that we can’t get away from each other, so we do get sick of each other on the odd occasion which sometimes results in fighting. Especially between Holly and me! So we do look forward to having some space every now and then.
You’ve had quite a full on career already – how do you stay healthy and motivated on the road?
We try our best to eat well and make sure we get as much sleep as we can in between each show. Staying motivated is quite easy because we love what we do and each show is a new and exciting experience.
What would you be doing if you weren’t playing music?
If I wasn’t playing music, hmmm. I guess I would be focusing a lot more on acing year 12.
Who do you most admire?
I have lots of people and bands I admire. Pink Floyd are one of my favorites though. I love the way they capture their sound. As I play organ, it’s good to listen to and feel inspired by.
Greatest achievement to date?
I think it would have to be playing at Glastonbury in the UK. We had so much fun. It was one wild and fantastic experience that we will never forget. We feel very privileged to have played at one of the most famous festivals in the world.
A song I wish I wrote/played is…
‘Diamonds and Pearls’ by Prince. It’s an awesome song!
I couldn’t live without…
Chocolate… and music of course!
The best advice I ever received was…
“Do what you love.”
Do you think the music industry treats female musicians differently to male musicians? Do you think it’s more difficult for women to establish themselves?
I think it does in a way. When we were first starting off, I remember walking into venues and getting looked up and down as If to say, “what are you doing here?” I also remember someone coming up to Mum and asking “Oh so they are a band for little kids?” So we felt as though we were getting judged and looked down on quite a bit.
I don’t think it’s more difficult for woman to establish themselves in the music industry though. Once people realise that we can play just as well as guys it can work as an advantage as there aren’t as many female musicians out there.
Is there anything you’ve always wanted to be asked?
Surprisingly no! Most interviews usually cover it all.
To find out when Stonefield will be hitting your city, check out the Facebook event page for full details of the ‘Bad Reality’ tour!