STONE on recent EP 'punkadonk2' for DIY's Class of 2024

Interview Class of 2024: STONE

Liverpool’s next great guitar hopes, heading into their debut LP with raucous energy and creative hunger to spare.

One of the biggest things in life is knowing yourself and it took me a long time to start knowing myself,” begins STONE frontman Finn Power. “I was quite nervous on stage [at the start], and then I was like, how do I battle the nerves? Do the opposite. Go on stage like a bull in a china shop and dive in the crowd. Punk rock. That’s what I did for a while, and I still do that. But I’ve definitely started understanding how to just get into the vibe of the song and naturally unleash.”

‘Naturally unleash’ might sound like something of a paradox - aggressively visceral yet organic; hard yet soft - but it might just be the perfect term for the Liverpool quartet. On one hand, they’re a hedonistic rock’n’roll band in the truest sense of the word; four mates who love making a big noise, worshipping at the altar of the hook, and setting the stage ablaze. On the other, however, their songs are increasingly pushing forward from what some old-fashioned associations of the genre might imply. Recently released second EP ‘punkadonk2’ includes the track ‘Am I Even A Man’, a reckoning with masculinity that exemplifies this idea, while their forthcoming debut - recorded and ready for release in 2024 - is set to crack them open even further.

“The album has love songs on it, which we’ve never released before. There’s parts of the album that are about facing addiction in my life and there’s more vulnerability,” says Finn. “[Writing it has been] the opposite of pushing. It’s finally sitting down for a second and breathing in the fresh air and allowing the world around me to spin.” “I think it’s really healthy to be introspective and understand the male condition and the way we operate and the way the patriarchy permeates everything,” picks up guitarist Elliot Gill. “I’m not really a dude’s dude, so it’s nice to know there’s a better place for that now than ever and that masculinity can take so many different forms and be a positive thing.”

STONE on recent EP 'punkadonk2' for DIY's Class of 2024

“People have always talked about boxes and with STONE, we’re like, what box? We’re boxless.” - Finn Power

What’s remained steadfast since the beginning, however, has been STONE’s commitment to pushing their own boundaries. Across their two EPs to date, there are nods to The Streets (‘Left Right Forward’) and the Prodigy-esque side of the dancefloor (‘Moto’) alongside the guitar roots that sit at their core; recently, on Radio One’s Live Lounge, they thrashed out a very solid cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’. “A banger is a banger and that song’s just pop music at its finest,” shrugs Elliot.

The son of celebrated Liverpool musician John Power - formerly of The La’s and frontman of Cast - Finn is understandably determined to carve out his own lane. “Growing up around it, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t inspired and I don’t think it’s a bad thing; I grew up with access to the art world, so I’m lucky,” he says. “But there was definitely an element that I wanted to do my own thing and make my own statement as a human being, as my own carbon life form and collection of atoms floating through space. I want to be myself and not be compared.”

Heading into a debut that Elliot describes as having “emotional range, some anthems, bops, bangers, and hooks left, right and centre”, STONE have laid all the groundwork for what could - and should - be an incendiary opening statement. “People have always talked about boxes and with STONE, we’re like, what box? We’re boxless,” Finn nods.

Tags: STONE, Class of 2024, From The Magazine, Features, Interviews

As featured in the December 2023 / January 2024 issue of DIY, out now.

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