Meet the four fresh-faced Findlay sisters who make up the electrifying group Stonefield. Since their formation in 2006 they have won triple j’s Unearthed High competition, undergone a name change (formerly Iotah), and have been described as “the best high school band in the country”. Now with an EP in the works, they tell us about the experience so far.
Please introduce us to the four members of Stonefield, and what each member brings to the band.
Amy, 20, plays the drums and sings. Hannah, 17, plays guitar and is the quieter one. She’s very focused on what she does. Sarah plays keys and has a crazy personality when she is in a comfortable environment. We are waiting for the day when this comes out on stage! Holly is 12 and plays bass. She has a pretty bold personality and is always full of stories and ideas, always contributing her thoughts to what we are doing.
Tell us about winning triple j’s Unearthed High competition. What was the experience like, and what things have come out of it?
It has been the start of a lot of big things for us. We uploaded our song the night before the competition closed and pretty much forgot about it because of the ridiculous amount of talent entered in the competition. The day that the finalists were announced mum rang Amy and said that we were just on the radio and we had been announced as finalists. Before we knew it we got a phone call from Tom and Alex on the brekkie show telling us we had won. We couldn’t believe it. There were so many great bands that we didn’t think we really had a chance. We won a concert at our school with British India, which was amazing.
It all started to sink in when we played on stage to a screaming audience. We also got flown to Sydney to record “Through the Clover”, which was so much fun. Most of the things we are doing now probably wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t win the competition. We have had a lot of interest from all sorts of people and were lucky enough to be able to talk to everyone that we could and absorb all the information they were giving us. From all the interest, we could choose what would be best for us, which is something we are so grateful for.
Has your perception of being a part of the music industry changed in the past year? What have you learnt?
The main thing we have seen is that as many bands as there are, the music industry is actually quite small in that everyone knows everyone! We have come across connections all over the place. There are a lot of people out there who will give you good advice and help you, but we have been warned time and time again of the sharks in the industry. A lot of people are simply in it for their bit, and don’t have the same passion for music and the actual musicians as others do.
You’ve played with established bands like Children Collide, The Spazzys, Tex Perkins, The Cat Empire and Ash Grunwald. What has been your favourite show so far?
Our support gig with The Cat Empire is our favourite show so far. They are also our favourite band that we have played with. It was at the Prince Bandroom, which is an awesome venue and it was sold out with people lining up two blocks down the street. We all felt we played really well and there was just so much energy in the room which gave us all really good vibes. Also the guys from The Cat Empire were all so cool and just lovely people. Their set was amazing.
Later this year you will be releasing your first EP through Shock. We’d love to hear about it! Who are you working with, and where will it be recorded? What can we expect on it?
We recorded four of the tracks at Atlantis studios in Melbourne with Greg Arnold from Things of Stone and Wood, and Dave McLuney who has worked with Dan Kelly and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. “Through the Clover” will also be on it, which we recorded at triple j with Greg Wales, who was amazing to work with. As our first release, these tracks are basically introducing our band as what and who we are. They have a raw, organic sound from using old recording equipment. Whilst most of the tracks are upbeat and very rock, there is one track on the EP which is more laid back and bluesy which we are quite excited about. We can’t wait to release it and be able to hold the finished EP in our hands.
Stay up to date with the latest news from Stonefield at www.facebook.com/stonefieldband