Stay Voiceless recently released their single Those Kids Have No Idea Whatsoever Of What Went On At Stalingrad. We caught up with the band to find out more about the song, and asked them to introduce themselves to us. Check it all out below…
Can you introduce yourselves and tell me a bit about the band?
Cerys: I’m Cerys, I play drums.
Andrew: Hey I’m Andrew. Most know me as Eddie, I play bass and make noise.
Chris: This is all a bit formal haha. I’m Chris, I mistreat the guitars whilst singing. We’re based in the South Wales Valleys via Cardiff and like to make a racket.
How did you get started?
Chris: Like most bands that are over the age of 19 these days I guess. Former bands split, you mope around for a while cursing music, then realising you can’t live without it you write a load of songs before finding some friends that can play that have the same drive. It all just comes together when it’s right.
Cerys: Chris asked around if there were any drummers going spare, and I was. I hadn’t done anything with a band for a while.
Andrew: Well, I knew Chris and Cerys from previous bands (Midasuno, Along Came Man) and we shared stages when in Haddonfield. I went to see them supporting Jetplane Landing in Cardiff and was joking with Josh (former bass player) saying he stole my job, and thought they were great and different to what was about at the time. After Josh left, Chris dropped me a message asking if I fancied joining. After a long break from the industry I didn’t know if I could go through it again, but here I am!
You’ve just released your new single – Those Kids Have No Idea Whatsoever Of What Went On At Stalingrad. Can you describe the writing and recording process for it?
Chris: I had the intro riff kicking about for a while, and was just something I came up with during a sound-check. A repeated pattern to plan whilst the soundperson tells me my amp’s too loud. The more I played it the more I realised it had a better purpose and the melody came after I returned to some unfinished lyrics scribbled down from 2011. I tend to have a rough outline in my head of where the songs need to go and home demo the bare bones tracks to send over to the others for feedback/contributions etc.
Cerys: Chris sent me the basic tracks with basic patterns on them, then when we rehearsed it I just added my own parts and played my own grooves.
Andrew: Being the most recent member to join, there were already pre production demos recorded, so I had to go in and put my stamp/sound on what was already there and add a few of my own ideas.
Chris: Once everyone had embedded their identity in the track we headed to Stompbox Recording Studios to get it down properly. Todd (Campbell) just seems to “get” what our band is about, the message we’re trying to deliver, and manages to nail sonically sounds we can hear in our heads that are pretty much impossible to articulate. Probably deserves a medal for that actually.
The artwork for the single is stunning – who is behind it?
Chris: My friend Jack (Skivens) who used to be in The Red October. He’s a great artist and I noticed he’d been uploading some things he’d done by hand with Indian ink. It was beautiful, so I literally just sent him the track and asked him to do something based on his interpretation of the lyrics.
Would you say the track is representative for what fans can expect from your upcoming debut album, or is it more of a standalone piece?
Andrew: It’s difficult to say at the moment as our debut single Comfortable is quite different to this one and other songs in the set are a mixture of the two together, we are always writing and changing ideas, but you can pretty much guarantee huge choruses, dirty riffs and loud pounding drums.
Cerys: I think it’s quite representative of our other songs. It’s heavy with a tune and lots of filthy bass.
Chris: There are songs we’re working on for the record that aren’t in the set yet that are the complete opposite end of the scale to what we’re playing at the moment but the consistency between them is melody and substance. If we don’t believe in it, we won’t play it. How can you?
What has been your best experience in the industry so far?
Cerys: Probably getting such positive feedback from our live gigs and recordings to date. That’s made me very happy.
Andrew: In all honesty just people giving us the time of day, coming to see us live, sharing our songs.
We owe a great debt to people like Adam Walton (BBC Radio Wales) Chris Philips and Ceri Davies (BRFM) and other community radio stations who give new and up and coming bands a chance.
Chris: Exactly that. It all caught us off guard really, we weren’t expecting such a positive attitude towards the band so early on. ‘Zines like yourselves, AltScribe. Little Indie Blogs, we’re truly grateful for the support that’s been shown so far. Getting approval from Michael Sheen himself to sample part of his empowering speech at Bedwellty Park is up there too.
And what’s the most difficult thing?
Cerys: So far, I don’t think I’ve had many difficulties!
Andrew: This is a tough one, it’s just getting gigs and getting people to give you a chance. The scene is a lot different now to when I was in a band previously, so it’s starting from scratch, but it keeps us on our toes!
Chris: Troubleshooting our equipment! Another thing you can guarantee is that something won’t work when it needs to.
What inspires you as an artist – who are your role models and idols?
Cerys: I like a lot of different music and have always listened to a huge variety, but I think punk, rock, hardcore and metal are my favourite genres. My role models are Chad Smith, Brody Dalle, Samantha Maloney, Igor Cavalera and Shiela E.
Andrew: Just live music in general, I enjoy going to gigs and the time I spent away from the local scene made me miss playing in a band. As for idols/role models etc, the first time I heard In Utero I was blown away and always go back to that album. Scott Shifflet (Face to Face), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio) and Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) all have an influence on my bass playing (I’m not as good as them mind!) I’ve met two out of three and they are really nice, genuine guys too.
Chris: The older you get the more you realise your idols are the same as you. They have jobs to do, people to please and they look up to others the same way you look up to them, and when that penny drops, you start to appreciate them in a whole new light. I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone to learn that Manic Street Preachers have had the biggest influence on me, not just musically, but socially, lyrically, everything. They’re much more than just a band to me. What they stand for, their attitude, their passion and brutal honesty, I can relate to it all.
What can fans expect from a Stay Voiceless show?
Cerys: Not much talking and lots of noise!
Chris: Integrity, intensity…
Andrew: Chaos, tinnitus and carnage. We’re a 3 piece so gotta make as much noise as a 4/5 piece band. Bring ear plugs!
Have you got any gigs in the works?
Andrew: We have! At the moment you can catch us at the following:
5th May – Fuel, Cardiff.
13th May – Dragonffli, Pontypridd
14th May – 2 Pigs, Cheltenham (with Emp!re)
19th May – The Scene Club, Swansea (with Emp!re)
3rd June –The Dolls House, Abertillery
29th July – New Wave Festival at The Garw, Abertillery
Chris: It’d be great to see you there.