The Download Tapes: Stone Broken


In possibly the worst case of bribery and corruption since the 2014 World Cup, Mark Bestford chatted to Stone Broken about their new album, touring with Living Colour, and working with Mötorhead’s producer. Thanks for the cupcake.

Your album came out last January, have you started on any material for a follow-up album yet?

Rich: “We have, we’ve just come out the studio, so the recordings are complete and we’re awaiting mixes to start coming through but yeah, it’s all written and it’s recorded so it’s well on its way to being there.”

You’ve got a European tour lined up with Living Colour, as well as supporting Cheap Trick. How stoked re you for that?

Rich: “You know what, it’s crazy man. We’ve landed so many tours that are going to work out brilliant for us. I mean we did Glenn Hughes at the beginning of the year and we’ve got Cheap Trick coming.”

Robyn: “That’s going to be just stupid.”

Rich: “Yeah, it’s absolutely incredible. And then Living Colour. Again, we get to go back over to Europe and tour over there before we come back to the UK so yeah, it’s brilliant.”

What was it like getting such a huge response from the crowd in the tent?

Rich: “I’ve still not gotten over it.”

Robyn: “Nothing prepares you for that audience. It’s like you know it could go really well and that like exceeded everything.”

Chris: “We didn’t know what to expect because obviously Dead Daisies were playing at a similar time. We thought everyone will be watching them and we’ll get half a tent. But to look out and see that crowd, it was amazing.”

Rich: “It was literally bulging out of the entrances, I was playing and then more people were turning up and I was like oh my god this is incredible. And then not only did we have a load of people there, they were all up for it, you know, and you sort of vibe on that and you do a better show.”

Your music is getting a lot of airtime on the rock radio stations, how does it feel to actually hear your music on-air?

Rich: “You never quite get used to hearing your own song on the radio. The best ones are when you’ve got the radio on, you’re not expecting it, and it happens. And you just stop what you’re doing, you just sit there and listen to your own track. It’s brilliant, and you’re just not going to get used to it.”

Chris: “It’s surreal, it’s something you dream about when you’re a kid. And to actually hear your own song on the radio, like Rick said when you’re not expecting it.”

Robyn: “But you’ve always got to stop what you’re doing and actually sit down and listen to it. Like we play it so many times, you’re not going to get used to it at all.”

There’s a resurgence in the hard rock genre here in the UK, what’s it like being part of that?

Rick: “It’s cool man, like rock shows are coming back, people are coming out to shows, and people are really getting behind younger bands. There’s probably the thought in people’s minds now that who’re going to be the headliners of the future, the people who are going to sell out arenas. You look at KISS, when they came round and they were selling everything out, who’s going to go in and replace that. And now I think they’re investing more in younger bands and getting behind them. We definitely feel the love coming in so it’s great to be a part of the scene right now.”

You’re at Download, how important is it, career wise, to be playing festivals this size?

Rich: “It’s career changing is what it is.”

Chris: “Download’s that festival you always dream of playing whenever you start playing music. One day if only we can get to Download and then you’re here and it’s so surreal.”

Your album was recorded with the help of Romesh Dodangoda, what was it like working with someone who has such a pedigree?

Rich: “You know what, the first time, because we used him on the first record, and the first time that we went in there, it was quite nerve-wracking because of his calibre, you know. But then within 45 minutes to an hour you’re kind of relaxed, you’re chilled out and he’s just, he’s nice to work with. He gets the best from you”

Robyn: “Yeah, he’s got a lot of patience.”

Rich: “Which is important.”

Robyn: “Yeah, for me especially. But at the end we were all having a laugh, eating cookies, it’s a great vibe.”

 With everyone involved in the band does anyone take point music and lyrically or is it more of a collaborative effort?

Rich: “I write all the lyrics in the band and sort of 80% of the ideas come from me because I’ll sort of write them all as one thing so I’ll orchestrate the music and the melodies will fit on top. And then the guys sort of put the icing on the cake with their parts. So basic drum beats I’ll write down and then Robyn will go in and change her bits, and Chris will do the same, and Kieron will do the same. But I would say 80% of the song’s core comes from me.”

The hard rock style is more usually associated with a more mature audience, but what influences have you brought into your style of music?

Rick: “We take influences from everywhere.”

Chris: “Yeah, it’s such a wide variety of music we all listen to, everyone listens to different things, from like Slipknot to Elton John, to anyone really.”

Rich: “I spent a lot of my younger years listening to Motown funk, because that’s what my parents put on in the car. So you mix that, the huge melody lines and hooks and stuff and you mix in the music that we’re all kind of into, which is like the Black Stone Cherries and modern rock, and that’s sort of how we arrived at our sound. We didn’t set out to sound a particular way, we spent about an hour, no, about a year working on the sound of Stone Broken, making sure it was right and making sure we got the balance right and I think we’ve sort of nailed it.”

So onwards onto bigger and better things for the future then?

Rich: “If we can carry on, on the trajectory that we’re on then I’ll be stoked, I really will be. I’ll be so happy.”

Considering how full the tent was today, do you think you’ve expanded onto one of the bigger stages next year?

Rich: “I don’t want to say, but you know what, we would love to. If we were offered to play Download again we would jump at the chance because it’s an awesome festival. Like second stage would be awesome obviously, because it’s the proper open air, but we’re just happy to play Donnington, you know. It’s just saying it out loud.”

Chris: “It’s just playing Download, it’s your dream to play at this festival.”

It’s happened with other bands, so you never know.

Rich: “Obviously we want to progress all the time, so the ultimate goal is to try and land on the main stage, sometime in the distant future, but for now we’re just happy to be involved.”

Review by: Mark Bestford