An interview for Mess+Noise. Excerpt below.
Interview – Stonefield: Rock ‘N’ Roll High School
Forget gimmickry, Stonefield’s Amy Findlay tells ANDREW MCMILLEN the all-sister quartet from country Victoria want to be known for their music.
There’s an endless fascination associated with staring into the musical past, as evidenced most recently with the Critics’ and Readers’ poll-topping debut by Perth-based psychedelic rock act Tame Impala. Seemingly from that same well of inspiration spring Stonefield: four sisters from country Victoria, aged 12 to 20 years old.
Brandishing a youthful take on 70s-inspired rock, they won last year’s triple j Unearthed High competition, and have since secured a booking at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival in the UK. Richard Kingsmill, music director of triple j, could be heard singing their praises at the One Movement festival in October last year: “They’ve just had an absolutely brilliant musical upbringing,” Kingsmill enthused. “They’ve got very wide and considerable depth in their music knowledge. They’re four sisters who can really play, and who can really belt it out. They’re already great live. I think they might be a band that might evolve into something.”
Ahead of their Glastonbury Festival slot in June, the Findlay sisters are booked to play the St Kilda Festival, the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and Pushover 2011 in the same month; a gruelling schedule, considering that half of the band members are still school-aged.
You’ve got a pretty full gig calendar coming up. Will it be a struggle to fit in rehearsal and gigs around Sarah and Holly’s school commitments?
Amy: Well, we managed to do it throughout last year when we had a lot of stuff coming up, but I think we’re going to have to do a bit of time management to fit in rehearsals after school. They’re going to have a few days off, obviously, and if it gets too much, they’re probably just going to be switching to home-schooling. So we’ll see how we go.
What does the band’s typical weekly schedule look like?
At the moment, because everybody’s on school holidays, we’re just practicing as much as we can every day. This month hasn’t been too full-on with gigs, so we’ve had lots of time to write, and rehearse old songs. But when it goes back to school, it’ll be band practice every afternoon that we can, and on the weekends, playing gigs as they pop up. And interviews during the week.
Of which you’re handling most. You’re the mouthpiece.
Were you elected into that position, or did the others not want to do it?
I just ended up doing it because I’m the older sister, I guess. It naturally happened that way.
Where do you rehearse?
We’ve got a shed on our farm, so we go in there and make as much noise as we like, and no-one really hears. Unless it’s a windy day, and the sound travels. [Laughs]
I saw a post on your MySpace blog where one of your wrote that you’d been “warned to look out for “sharks” in the music industry”. Who told you that?
A lot of people in the industry; managers and things. When we first won the triple j Unearthed High competition, I got as many phone numbers as I could and spoke to them, and got some advice. A lot of them said that there’s “sharks” in the industry that we should look out for. There’s also good people, of course. We haven’t really come across any of those sharks, just yet.