From: Bromley, UK
Lazy equation: Mastodon (or how they sounded about a decade ago, at any rate) bundling Lamb of God into the boot of a battered Ford Escort because they lost a bet.
URLs: Facebook // Twitter
We hear about bands in the strangest ways. Our Deputy Editor’s tattooist, who in addition to playing in a pretty damn awesome band of his own, also happens to share a tattoo studio with Jason Smith, vocalist with Stoneghost. Due to a series of fortuitous coincidences, we happen to have an interview with Jason, as well as the band’s drummer, Cris Finniss, just after they’ve inked a brand new deal with Mascot Entertainment, aka the industry machine behind Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society.
Describe your sound in 3 words
Cris: In your face
Jason: Unsympathetic, reckless passion
How did you meet?
Cris: Jason and I met as teenagers in our home town, back when my brother was the band’s drummer. Andrew [Matthews, guitar] was gigging with another local band at the time and eventually left and joined our outfit. Jamie [Nash] came to audition for us when were in need of a bassist.
What made you want to start a band?
Jason: I suppose once you get into something so much, you end up wanting to create your own version of it! At the point when I wanted to get into it, I didn’t even know how to tune a guitar, but went for it anyways, with no regards to anyone’s hearing. Haha!
Cris: For me it was wanting to emulate people I was in awe of growing up and once you start, you realise how much more the whole experience gives you, travelling, gigging, meeting new people and all the adrenaline and excitement you get from hearing your art come to life…….Also the bitches…..
Where did the name come from?
Jason: This sounds bad, but it’s just two cool words put next to each together…
Cris:…yeah.. and a lengthy democratic process!
Where did you grow up? How do you think it’s affected your music?
Jason: Bromley – which has no affect on anything! It was the people, the experiences and the other places that built our character and manipulated the music into what it is today.
Cris: The place hasn’t affected the music so much, more the people that live here, be that positively or negatively. People can provide ultimate inspiration for a certain song or the emotion you want it to portray.
What are your non-musical influences?
Jason: I’m a tattooist/artist, so I find a lot of inspiration in visuals, which also translate well to lyrics, finding ways to set scenes/experiences through lyrics is just as fun as painting them.
Cris: Booze, drugs, mentality, emotion, people and space aliens…..
So far, what has been the best thing about being in a band?
Cris: For me it’s completing an album, and hearing how your ideas transform from the rehearsal space to how they eventually translate on the finished product. The exciting thing is that it always comes out slightly different to how you imagined it and therefore you’re never sure of what you as a group are really capable of which is exhilarating.
Jason: You ‘have to’ meet your best mates at least once a week….whether your wife likes it or not. Haha!
With which band would your dream support slot be?
Jason: I would have loved to have supported Queen back in the day, if only just to witness their energy first hand.
Cris: Probably Tool. They’re incredible. But I think for a band with our sound, playing with Gojira or Mastodon would be very exciting.
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
Cris: Diesel King, Ilenkus, Silas, Profane And The Sacred, Alternative Carpark, Silhouette of a Ghost…there’s loads of great local bands that we’ve played with and they’re all true gentlemen.
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
Jason: Nothing and everything! People find us hard to pigeonhole, yet I recon we sound like everyone…it’s weird. We’ve been labelled as classic rock through to progressive technical metal….
Cris: Our character…..it’s something I can’t really put my finger on but there’s always been something about the way our live shows turn out, that feels like we stick out like a soar thumb and I fucking like it that way…..
What would you say to someone who says “When we’ve already got Bison B.C, High on Fire and Godsized, why do we need you?”?
Cris: We don’t what we do because we feel like we’re needed, we do it because we need to do it.
What’s the best – or the funniest – show you’ve played?
Jason: The stories of Stoneghost have not had time to develop, but the amount of shit that went down in all the other projects we’ve separately been apart of is far to much to right down now. The strangest was a pub in the middle of an estate. We had an audience of one man, who whilst we were playing tried to show me his vinyl collecting (comprising of mostly Britney Spears) while smoking a cigar that was stuck up his nose. True story.
Tell us a joke.
Cris: I thought this interview would show that I’m not a funny guy……. Ask Jason, he’s full of profound nonsensical gibberish…….
Jason: No time for joking here man, shit is getting serious!
Stoneghost release New Age of Old Ways on 27 April 2015 – keep an eye on their official Facebook page for more details of gigs and stuff. You know the drill by now. You’re grown adults.