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Meet the Band: Interview with Stereosparks

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Today I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Storey and Marcus from the band Stereosparks. They gave some deep insight into the band and their creative process.

First off, tell us how Stereosparks got its start.

Storey: In a nutshell, Stereosparks got its start when—how long ago was it?

Marcus: Well, Stereosparks—

Storey: Yeah! It’s the year anniversary of us coming out, if you will. Stereosparks was born from us kind of feeling rejected and defeated by music and the music industry, and basically it’s cheesy but the “sparks” part is having a spark of hope and chasing it. So we changed our band name and our vibe and our message and that’s essentially where it was born was from some pretty dark times.

And when did you decide to branch out from the cover songs that you’ve done to writing and recording your new material?

Storey: Well, we’ve always been an original band, and we enjoy doing covers, so the covers are actually more secondary to us doing original material. Given the resources it’s expensive to get your own music recorded and produced, and it’s easy to record somebody else’s song on your computer and record it with a camera so we have more of that online just because of how easy that is. But we’ve always been an original band.

How long did it take you to write and produce the songs on your album The Secret EP?

Marcus: The Secret EP we worked on—I mean we had some of those songs up to a year before we actually recorded them, but the actual recording process we took about a month and just kind of got in the studio when we could. When you’re working on a budget you get in when you can when everybody else has left and you just kind of make things happen as you can. It was about a year in the making and about a month of actual sitting down in the studio and getting it done.

Just yesterday you guys released a new single from your next EP, titled Misfits, which is probably my new favorite song. What inspired that song?

Storey: Thank you. That song is inspired by—It’s hard to be a human. I think it always has been, especially if you’re “different,” and that can apply to anybody. It’s not isolated to one group or another. We, Marcus and I, have always identified as a little bit different than the mainstream, and we—with James Farrell, the co-writer and producer of the track—sat around and said “Let’s write a song that means something to us and hopefully means something to others.” Everything just kind of flowed easily. I think we wrote that song almost a year ago, and it started out as a very acoustic, almost folk-sounding song, and then it evolved into this pop anthem and we’re really proud of it. But it just came from authentically being a human and wanting to celebrate diversity and being different.

How did you go about casting the players in your video for Misfits?

Marcus: Those were all friends.

Storey: Yeah.

Marcus: I mean, we really just wanted to incorporate the people we hang out with are interesting people and we wanted to represent them.

Storey: There was only one person in that entire video that we met that day and that was the incredible dancer, whose name is Shelby Jo, and we met her through a good friend. She was truly the only one we didn’t know and we’re so happy that we got to meet her that day. She brought a lot to the music video through her movement. She’s an incredible professional dancer. But yeah, everybody else—we were friends, and they just did it for the passion of it. In fact, the director, Zack Pritchart, and the producer, Anna Appell, they did it as a passion project as well. It was something that a lot of people were a part of because they believed in the song and the message, so we were really, really fortunate that we had such cool people around us.

I understand you guys just celebrated an anniversary recently. Is it hard on the relationship when you work so close together, or does that strengthen the bond for you?

Storey: That’s you, you answer it.

Marcus: We’ve been in bands together pretty much since we started dating. To be honest with you, we started dating and we came together through music and started bands shortly thereafter and it’s always strengthened what we’ve felt. It’s a common interest that we both take really seriously that the level of passion that we have for it is kind of insane. To have somebody that wasn’t involved with it could appreciate or understand as much as we do with each other—we always have something to talk about, that’s for sure. We’ve always got something that we’re working on together it keeps us—we interact well together, we work well together and we love writing and performing together, so it’s really cool.

Storey: It’s definitely a passion project, and I think that it’s good for us to have something to dream about and build together.

Marcus: And honestly we bring the best out of each other with it. Not to say we don’t argue or disagree about things, like the direction a song should take or imaging or stuff like that, but we’re always fighting for what’s best for the project so we always end up with the best possible thing, whatever that might be at the time, and we work well with that, I think.

I saw on your website that your makeup is provided by M*A*C cosmetics. Do you have a favorite product of theirs, like this eye shadow or lipstick that you just absolutely can’t go without?

Storey: I like a lot of their stuff. I’m really into lipstick. They have a red shade called “Ruby Woo,” and I always feel a little bit more dressed up or elegant when I wear that, but all in all their pigmentation in their product is so awesome. Their colors are really, really bright, and it’s great for stage and real life as well. I was really excited when they offered me a sponsorship opportunity. They were a big part of the makeup crew that day that we shot the video and they continue to sponsor me outside of the video as well.

We also have some questions from some Twitter followers. Mindy says: I’d love to ask about the differences in the Nashville and the California music scenes and the hardest parts of each of those.

Marcus: I think the hardest part is leaving each one for the other one. Playing with all the cool bands and whatnot that we did in California and then leaving to go play in Nashville, leaving all those folks behind like “Oh, there’s no way we’re going to find cool music like that in Nashville, it’s all going to be some sort of—“ We’re not exactly the biggest country fans in the world, there’s some we love, but no, we’re just going to be around a bunch of country bands. And we got there and we’re like, oh man, these bands are amazing. We made a bunch of great friends there. And then we moved back to California just recently and having to leave all those guys again was like the same thing over except we knew were coming home to good music again as well.

Storey: The biggest thing is friendship and bonds and the amazing people that are a part of the journey along the way. But as far as the actual industry or the music itself I think because of the Internet and because of how connected everyone is these days, every place feels the same because people—we’re able to connect on so many different levels: in person, on the computer, on your phone…it’s kind of equalized. It’s made it so we can release a song like we did yesterday from Chico. We could have released it from Nashville, but we’re still able to get it across the country and to people all over, and that’s because of the Internet and because we’re all connected in ways we’ve never been before. And it’s just going to keep growing like that, and I think that’s kind of cool because we can do things that you wouldn’t expect in a small city that you’d think you can only do in a big city. It’s definitely leveled the playing ground.

And finally we have a question from Jennifer who asks: Who are your musical influences?

Storey: That’s a common question, and I totally get why it exists, but it’s such a hard one to answer because there’s so many influences. For me, everything from musical theater to Queen to Beyonce to Beatles—it all inspires. Even Enya. It’s just like—music is different for everybody and it can inspire you in so many different ways. I’d say for me, my biggest influence would be Freddie Mercury from Queen, if I had to pick one. Marcus, what’s your answer?

Marcus: Yeah, we’re both very much agreed on Queen. I grew up in the Nirvana era. I was very big on the Nirvana and Soundgarden thing, and now playing Ben Harper and even Muse, I really like how progressive they are, the sounds they are making, the music they are making. That’s where I’m coming from.

 

Written by AJ Mullican

AJ enjoys reading, writing, TV/movies, music, art, and cosplay. She has self-published poetry, short stories, and a novel. She is currently penning her second and third novels.

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