We’re almost at the end of the week and it’s time to get to know another band. So let’s see what The Strays have to tell us.
We are all from in and around Gloucestershire. Although one of us is originally from Hungary…
How did you meet?
Over time! It started with Sam and Stella playing as a duo, Stella met Gaz who happened to play some mean drums, then after a short spell performing as a trio they decided it was time to take it to the next level. And to develop songwriting, they would have to get a bassist. After a little bit of searching they found Kris, a very keen and talented bassist and the lineup was finally complete!
How long have you been playing as a band?
Kris joined us about a year and a half ago, but we have been playing our original music for about three years now.
Before you get sick of being asked… Where does the band name come from?
People always guess it’s to do with Stray Cats. But no… It’s simply a reflection of the fact we are a strange bunch, who don’t really fit in anywhere completely!
What are your influences?
Each member has very different tastes. Collectively the main influences are Imelda May, No Doubt, Green Day, Chuck Berry, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rev Horton Heat, Creepshow, B52s, Elvis and many more.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
The fact we don’t fit into one genre really makes our sound unique I think. We definitely have 50s and neo rock’n’roll sentiments, but layered with loud punk & rock instrumentals, and pop melodies and lyrics. I don’t think I’ve heard any other band that sound the same as us, so to us that’s a great thing. Who wants to sound like everyone else?
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Just day to day struggles, social observations, humorous things that happen. Nothing too heavy. They say write what you know, so that’s what we do. Some of our songs are serious but we enjoy conveying things in a lighter “tongue in cheek” way. You really can make a song out of any subject!
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Over the last two years we will have racked up close to 200 shows. We love playing live, and there is nothing better than seeing the crowd getting involved and becoming part of your show. We go full throttle from start to finish, and you will often find one of us out in the crowd. We leave everything on stage, sweat, tears, blood, laughter, you name it.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Stella has a habit of running off to find somewhere obscure to sing from, we played a venue once that had a balcony at the other end of the room and she ended up singing a song from up there. Also Sam went through a stage of randomly falling over during guitar solos. To be honest we never know quite what will happen.
We are always developing and would love to keep pushing things within our live show. We recently went to see Skunk Anansie, Skin was amazing and walked out on top of the crowd as if she was walking on water. Everyone held her up and she had full control of the crowd. That is where we want to get to!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Gaz plays a Taye kit with Zildjian cymbals. Sam has a beautiful white Gretsch Penguin, Kris plays a Marcus Miller Sire P7.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Tour, tour, tour! Our album was released in July, we had an epic album launch party but now it’s time to take it round the UK! Starting in Worcester on the 6th of September, we have around 22 dates. Can’t wait.
What are your plans for 2019/20?
With our album having been released on Western Star Records, we have had a few new and exciting opportunities arise. Firstly, we have recorded a Christmas song which will be on the Western Star compilation, and we plan to bring out a video later in the year, so watch this space! Also we are honoured to be added to a great event next year, Psychobilly Blitz in June, and our plan is to really try and get on as many of these great events and festivals as we can. Plus writing new music of course, that should never stop!
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!
If we’re talking bands we’ve seen/played with, then we would love to support Creepshow again, they are lovely people and a powerhouse of a band, and would probably bring our friends The VHTs along as they are a completely unique band from Redditch who we love.
If we’re talking pie in the sky ideas… We would love to support Reverend Horton Heat, if they ever come to the UK!