I think its a great pic! He looks cool with longer wavy hair and
make-up. I dont see why the embarrassment. Mind you, thats
coming from someone who walks around Coventry shopping centre with bright
pink glittery ankle boots on much to everyone elses amusement!
Jones, bassist with the band tells me Stuart used to be in another couple
of bands years ago although Stuart actually started Stereophonics with
lead singer Kelly Jones about ten years ago. "Stuart had a drumkit
for Christmas and Kelly had a guitar. They formed the band in Kellys
garage, and about five years ago I joined." The band have virtually
known each other all their lives. Richard was born at the same hospital
as Kelly, and they went to the same schools.
plumping for the name Stereophonics, the band were known as Tragic Love
Company and were likened to the Black Crowes. "Yeah, we did a few
Black Crowes covers" Richard admits "And Lynnard Skynnard".
Rockers they were, with lovely long hair! "It was only about December
last year that I cut mine off" he says of his locks.
Love Company became Stereophonics after a big gig in Aberdare in 1996,
when they were support to Catatonia.
three-piece have been gigging for an eternity, or so it seems. Whether
they are supporting better known acts, or headlining their own shows,
the Stereophonics have been up and down the country more times than
they probably care to remember. Today were in the midst - or to
be more precise, coming to the end, of a smallish headline tour of pubs
and clubs. Monday they played Bristol, Tuesday it was Manchester, tonight
its Wolverhampton of course, and the final date is tomorrow in
Liverpool. I ask how the tour has been.
tells me "Really well, except for Manchester. Our van got broken
into and all our clothes got pinched. It was a nightmare up there. Our
sound engineer and the roadies got their stuff pinched as well. But
apart from that its been great. We did two sold out shows in Wales
first, and most of the shows in pubs have been sold out".
support to other bands theyve picked up quite a few new fans.
Your darling editor is one prime example! Besides Skunk Anansie, the
band have supported the Manics, Ocean Colour Scene and The Who as well
as partaking in numerous festivals and other big events such as the
Hillsborough concert and The Big Noise in Cardiff. "When we did
the Manics there was a German girl who used to follow the Manics around.
She saw us support the Manics and she follows us around now. Shes
from Germany. It took her two days for her to drive to see us over here
on our last tour. Its really good cause weve supported
Skunk Anansie, The Who and the Manics and we can appeal to all of their
audiences. Not just one type of crowd"
dont really have a particular type of fan because you get all
the teenagers from 12 - 16 right down the front; the teenyboppers. The
further back you get the more serious they are. There are couples in
their forties watching us as well."
names Skunk Anansie as the best band to tour with "cause
they were such nice people". He tells of their first night in Scotland
when Skunk Anansie left two bottles of champagne in their dressing room
as a thank you for coming on tour with them. "The Manics were really
nice as well" he adds. "The Who was good, but I think Skunk
Anansie must have been the best. They came to see us in London; Mark
and Ace. They really liked us and they asked us to do the tour."
any amusing tales to tell from the road?
ponders and then comes up with the one about when they went on a sight
seeing tour, courtesy of their van driver, around the red light district
in Hamburg, Germany. "As we were driving out of the red light district
there was a big bridge, and we were going underneath the bridge. There
was the cameraman and we all had our heads out of the sun roof, and
this bridge was coming towards us. Missed our heads by about two inches!
We broke the camera lens!
also had a £1000 bar bill in Scotland. It was a wild night!"
this gig the band were to play a couple more big festivals including
V97 and Reading. Richard says hes looking forward to them. Hopefully
they wont only be doing three songs like they did at the Brighton
Essential Music Festival. Of that he says "We did a gig up in Sheffield
the day before and had to travel through the night to our hotel just
outside Brighton. We only had about 4-5 hours sleep that night, and
from the gig the night before, Kellys voice didnt have a
lot of rest. We went on, sang two songs and at the end of the second
song his voice just cracked up and nothing was coming out. So rather
than give a bad show we said "Terribly sorry" and cut it short.
In Kerrang! they said it was the most unessential start to an
essential festival! But these things happen. Weve only ever
cancelled two gigs. I think they were all within two weeks of each other
cause we werent getting any rest at all. We were just driving
to the next gig. We had to tell our manager to slow down with the promotional
work and everything. I think we had a week off then."
rest after these gigs?
think were going to America to do some promo stuff. Its
not too bad if youre doing promotional work. Its just doing
interviews and getting your face everywhere. Weve gotta do the
same as in Britain, and do that in every country."
were the opening band on the main stage at Reading, and at most of the
other festivals were the second band on, so theyd play early on
and would have the whole of the day free. Did they ever stick around
to watch some of the other bands sets?
Glastonbury we watched Radiohead, Dodgy and Ocean Colour Scene. We enjoyed
the three of them but Radiohead were kind of a downer for a festival
because they just played all of the new album and threw in The Bends
at the end. If theyd mixed and mashed them it would have been
a really good show. We played with them in Belfort as well and we got
into them and The Smashing Pumpkins. We tend to try and watch a few
bands if we like them. If we dont, well just go and get
drunk" he jokes.
night before the Wolverhampton gig the band were already in Wolverhampton
for their album playback party, also at the Varsity. Richard says it
was really good. "We did one up in Manchester as well the night
before. Im trying to think which one was which! There were quite
a few people there. We just went and mingled."
album is entitled Word gets Around. So what words does Richard think
will get around about it?
Hopefully the right ones. There are twelve songs on there and they are
all individual songs. One song doesnt sound like another one.
Its kind of a best of album for us cause they
are the best songs that weve got. We recorded about 22 songs for
the album and the other songs will be used as B sides of singles."
there any one message that you are hoping to get across with the album?
a message in so many words. The albums all about how rumours start
and how they change when one person hears it and tells somebody else,
and how it changes from that. Like if you win a pound in a bandit, by
the time you tell someone in the next pub, youve won ten pounds
or twenty pounds.
Visit www.stereophonics.com for more info.