In honor of Stay’s new album, ‘American Cherry Bomb’ (due out Spring 2011), which the band just finished recording with producer/engineer John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance, Brand New, Just Surrender), we decided to talk to guitarist Steve Ackles. For those unfamiliar with the band, they’ve been featured in Alternative Press, Substream Music Press, PureVolume’s Top Unsigned Bands of 2009, Seventeen Magazine online and AbsolutePunk.net’s The Absolute 100, among other places.
The band, made up of Anthony Rainville, Alex Gaynor, Andrew Elliott, Nick Crist, Steve Ackles and Anthony Amorelli, hails from Massachusetts and has had multiple 400+ sold out shows in New England markets. Check out the interview below as we discuss their music, their new album and more!
We Got This Covered: Tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the band.
Steve Ackles: My name is Steve and I play guitar and do my best to handle all of the business stuff within the band. I’m addicted to my BlackBerry to say the least.
WGTC: How did the band start?
SA: The band basically started after the break up of past bands. We all grew up in the Massachusetts music scene going to local shows in halls and met through playing shows in our previous bands. We all sort of kept in touch while playing shows in our other bands and when those bands broke up, we formed Stay.
WGTC: Tell us a bit about your new album and what fans can expect from it.
SA: The new album is called “American Cherry Bomb” and it’s going to be 11 tracks. We’re really excited about it. I think it’s got a more “in your face” style and it’s definitely really honest lyrically. Many of the songs are based around the struggles of an unsigned band and things we’ve had to overcome while furthering our band.
WGTC: What about shows and tours? Any upcoming plans?
SA: Definitely! We’ll be touring for the majority of the spring. We’ll be performing at the Never Say Never Festival in Mission, TX with Travie McCoy, Neon Trees, All Time Low, The Ready Set, Cartel, and many more. We’ll also be announcing a tour for April very soon!
WGTC: When do you think your first big break came?
SA: Haha I’m not sure if we’ve really had a big break but I think the best times have just been a bunch of small accomplishments coming together to begin to paint that “bigger picture”. We’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage with a lot of great bands over the past year. We’re also really grateful to be releasing a full-length record…we’re always working on the band and pushing to the next level. It’s amazing to see people follow our music and the band and we’re really thankful for that.
WGTC: Out of all the songs you’ve done, what is your favorite and why?
SA: I think my favorite songs are on the new CD that is yet to be released. They’re called “Arson In The Suburbs” and “Machine Gun Summer”. I’m a big fan of these songs because they’re really fun and I love the vocal melodies.
WGTC: Any tips for aspiring musicians out there?
SA: The best advice would be to constantly work on your music and make sure your songs are as strong as possible. Most people would note that this goes without saying but I think a lot of bands get anxious to play shows and “get big” and forget that the songs are the most important. Also, I’d say you really have to think of creative ways to go above and beyond in order to make an impact. We’ve been spending a lot of time on the Internet researching and finding ways to get our music out there.
WGTC: Where do you see yourself and the band in five years from now?
SA: I hope that we’re still a band playing bigger shows than now and recording more and more music. The music industry is so messed up at this point that all you can really depend upon is your music and your fans/supporters. I know we have no intentions of stopping, we’re just getting started.
WGTC: What do you think makes you guys unique and sets you apart from the countless number of other bands out there?
SA: I think we have a few different musical styles mixed into one within many of our songs. A lot of our music draws influence from rap/hip-hop and we definitely like to have fun with that sort of style while also playing rock/pop songs. We spend a lot of time crafting the catchiest vocal melodies.
WGTC: How would you describe your music, what genre does it fall under?
SA: I’d say it falls under the pop/rock category. We do try to put a swing on things though. Check out a show near you!