MEET: Stonefield, Melbourne's Coolest Rock & Roll Band
If you haven't heard of Melbourne band Stonefield by now, you've truly been missing out on a slice of heaven. The retro-as-hell, rock & roll outfit made up of 4 sisters - Amy, Sarah, Holly and Hannah - have been creating meteoric waves across the Aussie music scene since taking out the Triple J Unearthed High competition in 2010.
Their atmospheric jams have made their way onto 4 studio albums, a handful of EPs and graced countless Australian festivals and international stages.
Fresh off the back of their massive worldwide tour with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard & ORB, the sisters continue their run of shows in Victoria, set to headline Kyneton Music Festival this weekend. We caught up with drummer & vocalist Amy for a quick chat...
YH: When did Stonefield start and how old were you all?
We started playing together in 2006. I was 16, Hannah 13, Sarah 12 and Holly 8. We started the band fairly soon after we could fumble our way through a song on our instruments and shortly after started writing our own music.
YH: I have two sisters myself, don’t know if I can imagine being in a band with them. How often do you see eye to eye on things?
We surprisingly do see eye to eye on a lot more than you would think, however occasionally when we are writing Holly is generally the one with a different opinion. She is quite stubborn, so that generally causes a bit of an argument, but we work on majority rules after exploring all ideas.
YH: What was your musical upbringing, where does the inspo come from?
All the classics from the 60s and 70s. Lots of rock and roll - Zeppelin, Zappa, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, Deep Purple, etc.
For us, this kind of music feels like a part of us. It was the soundtrack to our childhood and so it’s what naturally influences the music we write. Nowadays what we listen to is obviously a little broader than what we grew up on... psych, rock, stoner, kraut, experimental and soul.
YH: Did you grow up gigging together & what were some of the first gigs you remember going to?
Yep, from the first year we started playing together. We played at our own New Years Eve party (haha), open mics, Youth FReeZA gigs in our area, Battle of the Bands and headline shows to 10 people in whichever venues in Melbourne would allow underage bands.
YH: What are some challenges you’ve faced (if any) being an all-female band?
Plenty - sexist and inappropriate comments from stage crew and audience members, patronising comments from industry people and unfortunately the worst result is self doubt as a young band. It’s something that we learnt to use as fuel for the fire.
YH: You’ve just come off tour with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, playing some massive venues. What’s it like to tour with one of the biggest bands to come out of Australia?
It was such an amazing experience to be a part of a huge Australian crew, travelling the world and playing really incredible shows every night. It felt truly special and we are so proud of the guys and thankful to have been a part of it.
YH: Australia’s seen a ton of acts break out onto the international stage like Pond, King Gizz, The Murlocs, Amyl & The Sniffers, The Dead Love, You Am I, Body Type. What’s something that surprised you about touring internationally?
Touring internationally makes you realise how small the industry is in Australia and how important it is to put a focus on international touring, especially if you play a niche kind of music and don’t have a #1 hit. We wish that this had of been more of a focus for us from the get go. Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely love Australia and have slogged it over here for years. We played with the idea of moving overseas, but there is no place like home.
The biggest surprise was how different touring is overseas in terms of logistics. In Australia, you are typically flying a lot.. Overseas there is a hell of a lot of time spent in a van and so many places to play night after night.
YH: Is there a place you’re most keen to tour next?
We would love to explore South America.
YH: You're headlining Kyneton Music Festival this year, alongside some stellar acts. Will this be your first time playing this festival? Who are you keen to catch?
Yes, first time at this festival, but not our first time playing in Kyneton. We have a fond memory of a regional Battle of the Bands final many moons ago, as well as supporting Children Collide back in the day at the Town Hall. It’s such a great lineup and we are so stoked that the festival is bringing some amazing music to the area. We’re very keen to check out Jade Imagine and have a boogie to The Putbacks.
YH: What’s in your packing essentials when hitting up a camping festival, are you a tent band or is it strictly vans?
We generally go for a tent over the van.. Absolute essentials are face wipes and hand sanitiser.. Actually, they are touring essentials!
YH: Are you coming to Sydney any time soon (please say yes)?!
We don’t have any plans at the moment, but I’m sure something will pop up... If not, we will be working on new music over the summer while we have a little bit of a break from touring and we will for sure bring it up your way when we are done!
Whether it's distressed denim or mahogany corduroy, this is a family that can dress well & create good, timeless music - like Hanson, only far cooler and no roller blades. Catch Stonefield this weekend, alongside Ali Barter, Jade Imagine, Hobsons Bay Coast Guard & more at the 8th Annual Kyneton Music Festival.