It’s tough for a new band starting out these days in music. The industry is still trying to adjust to illegal downloading and how it’s effecting album sales. New bands are faced with even more challenges than before as they try to make a name for themselves. How do you make yourself stand out in a pond full of musical fish and become one of the bigger fish?
Exposure to the masses is always a big plus for a rising band. Stars In Stereo, hailing from Los Angeles, is creating a buzz for themselves. They captured a spot opening dates for The Used and now for Blue October. I caught up with lead vocalist Bec Hollcraft and guitarist Jordan McGraw before their show in Charlotte, North Carolina to get caught up to speed on the goings on with this rising band.
Music Is My Drug of Choice: You know, I tried to do a little research to prep for our interview, but there’s not much on you guys out there. You’re kind of a mystery. Can you start by giving me a little history n the band?
Jordan/SIS: It’s kind of funny because we just figured out the exact date that we started recording for the first time. It was 6-6-11.
Bec/SIS: Which is pretty awful! You know, just one more six in there (laughs).
Jordan/SIS: Before that date, the other four dudes in the band had been making music in another band and we decided to take that apart. It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, so we started to individually write. We were still friends and still hanging out and we started to hear each other’s stuff and it sounded similar. We decided to that everyone was a good fit to start on another project and we started to search for a voice, a front woman. We found Bec and she was absolutely perfect. Literally, two days after we met, we went into the studio and started writing music together and doing the whole thing.
MIMDOC: So, did you guys find Bec or did she find you?
Bec/SIS: I was signed to Sony Japan before meeting these guys and my contract had just ended earlier that year. I had never been in a band before and I was open to just about anything. I was contacted by a friend who told me that they were looking for a singer, so I decided to go meet them and sing for them and see what happened. I was expecting this at all! We all ended up having the same vision and things just really worked out amazingly.
MIMDOC: So today, according to your Facebook page, is the official release date of your EP or album preview as you have called it. What can you tell me about that?
Bec/SIS: Yeah, we’re calling it an album preview because it’s four songs from the album that will be coming out early next year. That way you can get four now while we are finishing up the whole album. It should be out in February.
MIMDOC: You just released a video for one of those songs, “The Broken”. Did you pick that or were the suits involved on the choice? Also, was that the first video that you guys have worked on and what was that experience like for you?
Jordan/SIS: We’re actually doing this one on our own, so we didn’t have a label to answer to. Although, we do have people who do advise us and put in their own two cents worth. Ultimately, at the end of the day, we picked what we thought was out strongest song. We picked it because it’s kind of a mission statement for the whole album as well as for the band. We put together an image in our head as we were working on the song of how we wanted it to look. So, when we went to do it, it was kind of a no brainer for us.
Bec/SIS: The video was really interesting and definitely alot of hard work. It took a while before we found what we really wanted for the video. It was awesome, to be able to take your music and make it visual. It’s such a creative process.
MIMDOC: So, you guys did a few dates with the Used and now you’re opening for Blue October. What kind of plans do you have after this tour is over?
Jordan/SIS: We’re going to be playing some shows in LA. We’re actually from LA and we’ve only played one show there.
Bec/SIS: Yeah, it was our very first show! So, it was pretty nerve racking.
Jordan/SIS: We haven’t really had a chance to play for our local people, so we’re going to use the time after this tour to do so. The first date that we’re going to play will be at the Viper Room. That’ll be fun; I’m really excited for that one.
MIMDOC: Wow, the Viper Room is pretty awesome. There’s a lot of history inside those walls. There have been some pretty amazing bands that have played there. Speaking of history, who would you consider to be some of your influences?
Jordan/SIS: We all have really different influences. U2 is definitely a big influence, the Foo Fighters. I’m a huge Daft Punk and Blink 182 fan.
Bec/SIS: 30 Seconds to Mars. I also love the 80s.
MIMDOC: What about great road stories? I know you haven’t done a lot of dates, but I’m sure something fun or crazy has probably happened?
Bec/SIS: We had a day off in Montana and the venue we played at was also a movie theater. So, our bassist Justin and I walked up to this theater to watch a movie and there was this huge line of raver kids. There was a Renaissance them and they had on crazy outfits. So, there was actually a rave going on at the venue while he and I were watching this movie. We keep hearing this pounding bass throughout the entire movie. So, afterwards we decided to go check it out. It was pretty incredible. It was like an ambient rave and everyone was having the best time ever.
MIMDOC: I’m going to put you on the spot Jordan. What’s the first thing to come to mind when I ask you to describe Bec? Careful; I don’t want you to get smacked.
Jordan/SIS: She’s the most talented singer that I have ever seen or worked with.
MIMDOC: Now, it’s your turn to describe Jordan.
Bec/SIS: I would have to say thoughtful and passionate.
Jordan/SIS: Awwww……we’re gonna hug later (laughs).
MIMDOC: Last question for both of you and I always like to ask this one. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one CD, it has to be an official release and not a mix CD that you made, what would you want with you?
Jordan/SIS: Ray Charles “Hit The Road”.
Bec/SIS: The first thing that comes to mind would be Cyndi Lauper’s “Greatest Hits”. It’s so happy and she also has the amazing ballads in there to get you all emotional.
MIMDOC: Well, that’s about all I have for you guys. Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me and I am really looking forward to the show tonight.
Bec,Jordan/SIS: No, thank you. We really appreciate the opportunity and we hope you enjoy the show. Let us know what you think!