Recently, we reviewed the most recent release from French metal outfit Stonebirds, Time. After our favourable review, I was lucky enough to be able to have a chat with the band, and catch up on some of the real intricacies of their newest release, even gaining some insight into the inner-workings of Stonebirds. I spoke with Fañch, lead singer and guitarist of the band, who revealed a lot not simply about Time, but also the past and even future of the band. Let’s jump in.
Where are you guys from?
We’re from Brittany, North West France.
Where did you meet?
On the Internet. Sylvain answered our ad and we answered Antoine’s one.
How long have you been playing as a band?
The band started in 2008 as a school-friend reunion to smoke weed and drink beers during the weekends. It took a more serious turn in 2012, when we started working on The Kreiz-Breizh sessions, a split album with Stangala.
Where did the name ‘Stonebirds’ come from?
It comes from our countryside. The main thing you’ll see along the roads, except trees and cows, is those big stone crosses, and there are always a couple of crows on it. We liked the duality that stone and birds expressed.
What are your influences?
It goes from Sigur Ros to Converge, we don’t have a band who influenced us more than others.
Now to get a little more in-depth. Describe your musical style; why do you play the way that you do?
That’s a hard question. We play the way we do because it’s the only way we know, I think. If we really had to define our music, I would say emotional, slow, and loud music.
Do you have any lyrical themes?
Not really, but death is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Mankind and nature would be the secondary themes, but they are all linked, and I think death is always the outcome to anything. I’m quite obsessed by that.
What makes Time so special? Did it feel like an important album to the band?
Time is special for now because it’s our new-born baby, but I see this album as a step forward for the band. We are really happy from the reviews [of the album], but in a way, the time of Time had ended the day it came out. Hopefully, we will go on tour to make it live on [the] stage but, in my opinion, we ended the best part, which is creation. So we’re now beginning a new cycle and I’m more excited by that than the feedback or reviews of Time. Insidiously, there’s an emergency to create something new.
Was the album meticulously planned, or were you more free-form in your writing process?
There was just one main theme: time. I tried to express our relation to that concept, how we try to control it. After doing some research, I simply injected my feelings and emotions in to music. The background had to be planned, [but] the form had to be free and honest, that’s the way I like it.
What are your live shows like? How many have you played? (Any chance of visiting Scotland?)
Once again, a hard question. I’ve never seen Stonebirds live! We try to be as faithful to our albums, but as we like do a lot of arrangements on our songs in the studio, there are some differences, like some mellotron parts are done with the voices. We would really like to work with a light guy or a VJ to create something more, but as most small bands, we don’t have the money for that. There’s sometimes a strange atmosphere. I remember some shows, [such] as Hellfest or the Into the Fog release show, as [being] something really peaceful, relaxing, and emotionally intense. We don’t get to play live a lot, but we are impatient to take to the road for a proper tour. It would be a real pleasure to come to Scotland, especially more if we have 2 or 3 days off to visit the country.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen at a live show?
What, if anything, are you plugging at the moment?
We are still looking for a label to press Time on vinyl, and we are working on the live aspect of Time.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017, and into 2018?
Releasing Time on vinyl, a tour, and working on a new album.
Time is out now and available to buy here.