What made you decide to start a band / become an artist?
Paul – My Dad started teaching me Guitar when I was about 7 years old then when I discovered Nirvana that was it! All I wanted to do was to form a band with my school mates and become a musician.
Stix – It all started for me when I started learning the drums in primary school, as I grew older I started listening to heavier music such as Metallica, that’s when I decided I wanted to become a professional drummer and have a career in music! I don’t think I’d be where I am today if I didn’t listen to them.
Jake – Die hard love of music and the parents raising me to be a pure rocker
Introduce us all to the members?
Paul – singer songwriter and guitarist
Stix – Drums and backing vocals
Jake – Bass Guitar and backing vocals
Julie-Anne – Co-Songwriter & Manager
What one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Paul – You can ask us as many questions as you like! We always have a REYT!!! good laugh when were together were just grateful for the opportunities we never get bored ha ha ha
Stix – To be honest, I don’t get sick of being asked any of the questions. It’s fun, it’s always a different experience from one interviewer to the next one.
Jake – Anything pointless and mundane! I want weird questions like what’s your favourite dinosaur.
What is the unsigned scene in Birmingham like at the minute?
Paul – Birmingham was a hive of activity before the pandemic! There’s lots of great bands coming through, lots of great promoters and venues supporting new artists. At the moment things are pretty slow because of the restrictions, a small amount of opportunities are opening up now for socially distanced seated gigs which is a start we have a gig planned for 30th of October so stay tuned.
Stix – The unsigned scene in Birmingham is very different to what it used to be before. There were so many great bands coming out of the city back in the day, Heavy Metal was born in Birmingham with Black Sabbath, It’s harder to find good bands these days, but there are some great bands around you just have to do some digging and get out and go to gigs.
Jake – I haven’t been down the Midlands very long but from the bands I’ve discovered so far it’s a happening scene, I just want to get out on stage and start smashing about!
What good bands are coming out of Birmingham at the minute?
Paul – lots of great bands at the moment and lots more to discover, current favourites are the Y!kes (we love those guys, top lads and a great band, you must check them out), we’re also digging Pagans S.O.H, The Novus, The Clause and The Cosmics.
Stix – The one band that comes to mind straight away is, the Y!KES. Absolutely incredible people, can’t get enough of them you should all check them out.
Jake – the Y!KES, comics, pagans S.O.H
What support is out there for new artists in Birmingham?
Paul – We’re very lucky here in Birmingham there’s lots of support from great promoters like Sonic Gun, Birmingham Promoters, The Catapult Club, Surprise When Your Dead, Jo Jeffries and the team at Birmingham Music Awards. MAS Records run funded support and master classes for unsigned artists Robert Plant and Micky Wilson are Patrons, plus there’s lots of local Producers offering unsigned band rates for recordings, Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz from Vanadian Avenue PR offer constant support and networking opportunities for unsigned bands. Rawsound TV, Local Radio Stations and BBC Introducing, there’s lots of support within the Midlands.
Stix – The support that new artists receive in Birmingham, are from amazing promoters such as Birmingham Promoters and The Catapult Club, with smaller/upcoming bands they always give them opportunities to play in iconic venues with bigger bands. So a big shout out to them!!!
Jake – The lads have pretty much covered everything in their answers Next !!!! ha ha ha
How easy or difficult do you find picking up new fans to come to your gigs?
Paul – It’s a constant battle getting people out to shows you can get 1000s of views or likes on a band video, but getting people out is more off a challenge. We’re quite a new band before the lockdown in March we had 700 fans and could usually sell around 30- 40 tickets. Since the lockdown we have been working hard to keep engaged. Since our new releases we now have over 2000 new fans and its growing all the time, so fingers crossed we will get more of ‘Marstonians’ out to the shows when all the restrictions have been lifted and meet all of our new fans.
What useless talent do you have/ party trick?
Paul – I have fun playing around with accents, currents favourites are American, Indian, Spanish and Russian Mafia ha-ha
Stix – Ha ha!!! Well…I can fart with my armpits, it’s very entertaining promise?! and it can be very useful in certain situations.
Jake – I can dislocate my shoulder, leaving my arm hanging free then pop it back place (you won’t be doing that at any parties in the near future mate – Julie-Anne)
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Paul – I’d say two things – watching the crowd bouncing to your songs and trying to smash up my cheap custom made guitars. I have 3 projects now M1-M3 made especially for smashing, the problem is I kinda like them all now ha ha ha.
Stix – Every show is fun! I can’t compare which one is better than the other?
Jake – Diving off the stage in to a mass of cheering people and jumping off my amp into the cymbals
(I better up our Public Liability Insurance – Julie-Anne)
What was the worst experience on stage?
Paul – I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience playing live, maybe no water on stage when I’m going hard at it? or broken strings in the middle of the song ( happens to everyone at some point)
Stix – Either breaking sticks during a show, or my fingers bleeding from playing so hard?
Jake – Having sound issues on the very first note on the very first song. Proper nightmare!!!
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Paul – I was born in USSR!!! I started learning English in an Irish Bar, then continued in Scotland and now (finally) in England which has been my home for years now.
Stix was scared of Metal and Rock music when he was younger because of the way people dressed, but look at him now! He’s one of those Rock and Metal lovers and likes to dress up all the time ha ha ha
Jake is bit of a Bear Grylls!!! If he’s not with the band or in the pub he’s out hiking in the wilderness with a pocket knife and a tent, in fact he always carries a tent in the car just in case ha ha ha. “He once walked the length of Hadrians Wall in the winter just in a pair of shorts the Mad Man!!!
Julie-Anne’s family history is connected to aristocracy she actually has claim to a ‘Coat of Arm’s I better be careful in case she sends me off to the Tower ha ha (Paul)
Best drink to have on stage?
Paul – Probably water I’d say, there’s always plenty of drinks after the show, personally I prefer to stay sober on stage for a better performance
Stix – I used to just drink a ton of water while playing, but now I’m starting to drink JD and coke or rum and coke, which is a lot more fun on stage!
Jake – All of them!!!
Who is the biggest named band you have played with?
Paul – The Last Internationale from New York
Stix – Marstone ha ha ha, I haven’t played with anyone who’s big yet! I’m looking forwards to the day that comes. There’s so many big bands out there that I’d love to play and become friends with (Especially Metallica)
Jake – Percy and The Piglets
Tell us a funny story from backstage?
Paul – Mmmmm let me think? Probably me trying to spray paint my hair green in a tiny backstage room just before we went on stage that was a struggle and then trying to write the setlist on the back of my T-Shirt for Stix ha ha ha
Stix – Me getting into a female Elf costume including wearing a full length red wig for our Christmas gig last year.
Jake – Busting my nose wide open on a door then going straight on stage covered in blood freaking everyone well and truly out that was awesome ha ha ha
What goes into your favourite sandwich?
Paul – Whatever is in the fridge, usually cheese and ham or a toastie
Stix – I have two favourite sandwiches: chip butty and a crisp sandwich.
Jake – I’m from the North East EVERYTHING in a sandwich is my favourite sandwich
What advice would you give your younger self
Paul – Definitely practice more as I still suck at shredding ha ha ha
Stix – I would say you better work your ass off little boy! Or you won’t get anywhere in life and start saving money so you can buy a professional Tama Drum kit for your 18th Birthday.
Jake – Stop putting yourself down, everything going to be alright!
What makes you stand out as a band?
Paul – Our Music as it can’t be pigeonholed into one genre we have lots of elements to our music. Then I’d say it’s probably ‘the bouncing energy’, when everyone in the room shares the same energy – the outcome is so great, you just want more and more (that’s why after a gig I feel absolutely exhausted but happy ha ha ha).
A gig isn’t just music, it’s all about the delivery of the show it’s a visual experience as well, I’ve customised 3 guitars now specifically for smashing so people know what may, or may not happen at the end of the show. “Will He? Won’t He? Ha ha ha
Stix – I agree with Paul our music and the amount of energy we have on stage, obviously I love dressing up in lots of outfits as it makes it more fun for me and creates a theatrical presence, which I believe more bands need these days, to many shoe gazers out there ha ha ha
Jake – That Je ne sais quoi?! That raw energy that makes you want to just lose your mind and PARTY!!!!, so as long as people are moving and screaming our songs back, I call that a win!
Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus 🙂
Paul – Definitely my day job, I wish I could just do music 24/7 that’s my goal!
Stix – Nothing is pissing me off at the moment, I’m just loving life as I should be all the time.
Jake – The stress of Uni and moving home has been mental, but I’m focused on music and getting back to work.
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?
Paul – Every time we’re together it’s a laugh, no joke! Marstone HQ is a Mad house!
Stix – Whilst having a beer trying to record a short Vlogg for a radio station we lost it (AGAIN!!!) and got the snotters and giggles, pratting about as usual, I think it took us like 20 takes and nearly half an hour to record a 30 second video.
Jake – Every jam, every phone call, but I think the band seeing me running through the streets of Birmingham ecstatic that I have a kebab whilst rather intoxicated after the Pagans and Y!kes Gig when I got lost in Digbeth made everyone laugh!
Tell me about your new single and how it came about?
Paul – We had a demo of the song couple of years ago (the song was pretty much the start of the band), but we weren’t happy about the arrangements and lyrics, we played it pretty much at every gig, changing the structure and its genre each time until finally we recorded it with Alex Vine at AVR Music using a live string quintet, great recording with Alex and magical mixing/mastering from Gavin Monaghan. I’m happy now finally ha ha ha
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Paul – oh yes, the best of Marstone is yet to come, we all have been working really hard through this pandemic and the amount of new material is just “mind blowing”, big plans for the future, new music, new people and endless opportunities and of course massive thanks to all our fans who supported us since the very beginning. Were excited about our single launch gig we’ve planned for Friday the 30th of October in Birmingham so keep an eye on our pages for official announcements.
Stix – I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us, come to our gigs, buy our merch and CDs and who support our live streams. If you haven’t done already, check our recent single End Game on all music platforms follow us on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter @wearemarstone for further updates.
Jake – Get listening to our music and most importantly, spread the love and good vibes there’s too much shit going on in the world for people to give up on each other
Julie- Anne – I want to thank the lads for keeping it real and creating great music and delivering high energy shows and making me laugh daily! You’re more than just a band your family. Everyone at RGM for all the overwhelming support for new and upcoming Bands, to all our fans out there thank you for all your support and a big shout out to all the promoters out there for making things happen for new music, and to everyone else who supports us here and across the Pond in America especially our new Friends at Outlaw Renegade Nation Radio for all your support and BBC Introducing for consistently supporting and playing our music, hope to see as many of you as possible on the 30th of October in the meantime stay safe, peace and love.
Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch