Bristol’s Stone Theory describe themselves as blue grooves and heavy roots and they certainly capture the zeitgeist of that style. There is a depth and timelessness to their sound that make them an interesting proposition. Funnily enough when listening to their EP E F**Kn’ P released earlier their year it is actually some 90’s acts that they initially remind me of. There is a touch of Reef but it is the indie blues rock of Gomez that really springs to mind especially on a track like ‘Gaggin For It’. It is Jack Delve-Roberts’ vocals that give this impression, that smoky, deep sound like they lived a lifetime, not just setting off upon the journey, and like it worked for Gomez this vocal / band combination really works for Stone Theory, albeit with a heavier and more musical style. Check out ‘Back Door Man’ from the same EP to really hear the band at its most rock and roll, with psychedelic grooves and incensed vocals.
Ahead of their semi-final appearance in Bristol’s The Underdog competition at The Fleece on Friday 4th August we caught up with the band and put them through our Band of the Day interview.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We are all living in Bristol, it’s a cool place to live, live music is everywhere and the culture is huge.
How did you meet?
We all met at DBS College in Bristol, and have gotten to know each other through practice, jams and hanging ya know?
How long have you been playing as a band?
We must have been playing for around eighteen months now. Our first gig was just a set of two Doors covers which we somehow dragged out to last about twenty minutes. A few months later we had an opportunity to play a proper gig at The Tunnel in Bristol so long as we cobbled together a set in a couple of weeks. Boom – Stone Theory was born.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We went through a couple of names prior to Stone Theory. Kris, our bass player, was the creator of the current name, based on a theory from Terence Mckenna called ‘The Stoned Ape Theory’.
What are your influences?
We all hail from very different tastes and influences. Each member can reel off a completely different list of influences to the others, and you can hear this in each member’s playing. It transposes through to the music which adds a real sense of originality. Classic rock, punk, blues all the way through to funk and gospel. A few names in the pot would be Led Zep, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Motorhead, The Doors, Queens of the Stone Age and so on.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
It’s difficult to put a finger on a genre or description, with so many different elements it has its own jive going on ya know? Hard rock – blues, but with a certain element of groove thrown in there too. People keep on cropping up and saying new things on the sound such as funk, psychedelic and more, it keeps us interested in a sense to hear that too. We’re loud, fast and fairly hard hitting with our delivery. Nothing beats playing on a stage and throwing our stuff out across the room.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Women, work, politics and more. All the good stuff.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We love gigging, it gives us the opportunity to really show what we’ve got to people – for us, that’s where it counts. Big volume, big solos and musicianship, connection with each other and the crowd and a ridiculous amount of sweat. We’re not tame on stage and like to show that to the crowd, there are too many people who just play to people, we like to taunt each other as much as entertaining the crowd – when you have a good time, other people see that, and that’s important.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Ooh, now there’s a question. We’ve had drum kit dives, drinking competitions, accidental toilet moment, falling over, a mega bonfire that choked out the entire crowd and so on.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
We like big noise, big volume and tone to smash out. The riffs are strong in the band, and are part of our sound, humbucker guitars, big amps and big drums are all in the mix and essential for us. Temmy’s hits on the drums are huge, and follow suit with massive riffs and melodies on the guitar with Ryan and Kris on bass.
- 2016 Gibson Les Paul 50’s Tribute with some custom work
- Homemade Tele with p90’s
- Marshall dsl100 through a 4×12
- Only effects are a wah used for boost and tone control
- 80’s Westone Bass with an Ashdown combo
- Gretsch Catalina Club kit
- 17 inch Meinl Classics Custom
- 18 inch Meinl Classics
- 18 inch Meinl Soundcaster Fusion
- 21 inch Sabian AAX Ride
- 16 inch Zildjian ZHT Trash Crash
- 12 inch Meinl Classics Custom Trash
- 14 inch Avedis Custom Hats
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Simple – gig where we can and get our music on record and get it in people’s ears. We’re a grafting band and we want to smash it.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Another difficult question, we’ve played with so many bands. I think it would be difficult to actually say who we’d like to open for us as we’re not like that, but in terms of bands we’d love to play with, Pilgrim – who have sadly disbanded, Husky Tones; who we are actually playing with later this year and are one of our favourite Bristol bands! Temple Kings are another great Bristol band. Tough question!
From previous Band of the Day Jukebox Monkey – What is the local scene like in your area, and are you confident in your future prospects?
Bristol is a tricky one, it carries a big history with its great venues and culture it holds, however it seems the rock scene isn’t a lucrative one around here. There are great opportunities to play great shows, but actually trying to get by moneywise in Bristol being an original rock/ blues band – like most other places in this time, until you’ve made it, you’re not able to live off of it. Either way, we’re in it for the long haul and we think we’ve got something worthy.
From another, We Fall Slowly – If you could change one thing in the world today, what would it be?
Social media, it sounds hypocritical as we have to sell ourselves every day on it, but it is the source of a ridiculous amount of problems in this day and age.
Finally, courtesy of Westmoor – Out of all the things you could have chosen to do, why do you play music?
Why not? You get to write these pieces of you, form somewhat of a brotherhood with your mates and smash it out at high volume on stage in front of people for them to enjoy it. I’m sure if you ask each of the band members, they’ll give you a more in depth answer and their own opinion, but we just do it because we love it.