I like the vibe created by this from the offset, the effected bounce of the synth, or what could very well be a didgeridoo or otherwise exotic instrument; it’s satisfying, and it offers a hearty groove. What follows isn’t what was expected, but that’s always a good quality – never to be predictable or reminiscent of a multitude of other artists. The vocal talks to you, quite literally, and there is the occasional creative burst wherein the artists have added something to break the cycle and surprise you; a short spray of audience laughter, for example.
The story sounds utterly bizarre at times; as is life, I suppose – thus the relevance of the underlying concept of a revolution rerun. Pretty clever song writing when you break it down. Among the chaotic lyricism and the rhythmic backing track, the collective melody produced by the two voices colliding for the chorus adds that much needed element of familiarity; to keep you feeling informed, involved, in the loop.
The whole atmosphere created by this track is actually quite hypnotic, I felt enticed and a little addicted after a few listens. The simplicity of it makes it easy to get into, then the vocal storytelling lures you into a state of contemplation; a reflective mood, slightly confused, maybe, but at the end of it all you feel like you want to know more. What’s next?
Billy Stark Stone is no beginner in the world of music. Prior to this he was the lead singer and founding member of New York’s original teen punk band The Blessed. He’s experienced in the world of punk rock, as well as that of song writing and creative exploration. This latest release is actually a collaboration effort with former band mate Rico Blythe. In relation to their musical progression, Billy said the following of this new project; “Everything I have done up to now was a dress rehearsal..now it’s SHOWTIME!” Rumour has it there are plenty of new songs and videos to look forward to, so tune in if you like what you hear.
Travelling musician and writer from Manchester, UK.
Exposed Vocals: How did you hear about Exposed Vocals? What made you decide to sign up?
Billy Stark Stone :I came across Exposed Vocals on Twitter and we started following each other and they asked me to do this interview
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Billy Stark Stone: I was born in Connecticut and my father who was a photographer lived mostly in his studio in New York City I would travel back and forth and when I was 11 years old I officially moved to the city. I was about 10 years old when I decided I wanted to be a Rock and Roll singer when I grew up. I think before that I was planning to make movies in some capacity or other when I grew up. I wasn’t having a very good time in Connecticut and one thing led to another as I was starting to really get seriously into music that I did the proverbial moving the furniture in the the living room aside and miming or lip syncing to some records and doing the moves and it just felt RIGHT This is what I want to do and this what I was meant to do. I don’t know about being an ‘Artist’,that word always seems pretentious to me and anyway that’s not for me to decide but others if they wish to
Exposed Vocals: How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
Billy Stark Stone: Well that’s easy Billy Stark Stone w/ Rico Blythe is our names.Billy Stark was my stage name when I started out and Stone is my real last name and when I got on social media I just combined the two so people who knew me as one or the other would know who I was or what have you. Then it just stuck and I liked it.Rico Blythe is his real name
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free?
Billy Stark Stone:I’m on the fence about this one. I feel as far as the internet and social media etc we (meaning everyone) have barely scratched the surface.I think there is so much potential and exciting things that can be done.Having said that we are like everyone else trying to figure out where/what the ‘Music Industry’ IS and where it’s GOING.It’s still very much the wild west out there and I again I don’t think the technology has even begun to reach it’s full potential.But it’s nothing newevery form of communication/entertainment that has come along struggled to find its place and deal w/ obsolescence or drastic cultural shifts and makeovers.From the beginning, medicine shows and the birth of newspapers “The Penny Presses” through theatre and vaudevillemotion pictures to radio to tv etc etc. and especially w/ music from Tin Pan Alley and sheet music to the Victrola and again radio and 78’s and Lp’s etc etc. I think it’s a really cool time and challenging and like the other forms I mentioned before there is still plenty of areas to explore and help define and try and make it as exciting as possible and try to be on the vanguard of wherever we’re headed. I must say I do find it rather unusual that there are those who will stand on line for days and pay $18 or whatever to see the latest Super Hero/Scifi blockbuster Movie in imax/3D/SmellOVision..but balk @ spending 99 cents on a download.But I DO somewhat understand it and I could go on and on about this @ length.So to answer the original question..The internet IS a great way to get your music out there and our stuff is avail as both a download and streaming and on internet stations etc.Once our website is up and running we will def.be making things interesting ( or @ least trying to )and offer all kinds of things that people who like us or are just interested will find agreeable.The only thing we are limited by is our imagination itself
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Billy Stark Stone: Ha! See above question We along w/ everyone else are trying to navigate and figure out this whole new game and I can just say WE are trying to make it as exciting as WE possibly can There have been too many groups making claims they were going to revolutionize everything and do this and do that and blah blah blah so I don’t want to go down that same road and and come up short.We’re just are going to TRY and makes things as exciting as much as we can.I don’t know about giving adviceI think the best advice is NO advice If you really want to do ityou’ll find a way but I will say that if you are doing it just to become famous or get rich or be more attractive to women( or men or whatever).then it’ll just be a job for you. You have to REALLY REALLY REALLY want to do this and NEED to do it.The rest is just icing on the cake and perks.It’s a lot of WORK ( and that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable and fun) BUT IT IS A LOT OF WORK.Otherwise go get an education and become a professional and find a vocation.That would be a LOT LESS WORK and this whole having something to fall back on I don’t believe in inevitably YOU WILL fall back on whatever and you need to do this as if your life depended on it because it does. Of course all I have said cannot be a blanket panacea for everyone but for those who hear what I’m saying will get it
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Billy Stark Stone: Me make on a mistake on stage???!!..WHY NEVER Ha Ha! OF course you make mistakes sometimes.That’s one of the many facets of doing a LIVE SHOWworking w/o a net so to speak. I’m not going to address those that use backing tapes in whatever capacity or lypsynch or those groups who have to sound EXACTLY like their recordings.that’s their business and whatever works for them knock yourselves out.But getting back to our situation, the trick is not to DRAW ATTENTION if you do make a mistake. Most of the time people won’t notice unless you bring attention to the fact.As far as a total train wreck onstage occuringwell if it happens it happensfix it and move on.I was once asked what I do if I drop the mic ( y’know doing some kind of move or what have you ) and I told them.listen,there is a very secret lead singer industry inside trick that I was lucky enough to be privvy to I said to this person and now I’m going to share it w/. all of you but SHHHH! it’s just between us ok? What happens if I drop the mic???……….I bend down and pick it up.!
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Billy Stark Stone: No we are not touring right now.Some of my earlier bands I was in did do some one nighters out of town but not any full on tours.We hopefully will be touring @ some point but that also begs the question …..Will we ever play live? Are we capable of it???? ( Wink Wink)
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Billy Stark Stone:Honestly I have no idea where I gather inspiration fromwell I do but that’s a whole other conversation.Not to sound like some other musicians who have stated this but it’s so accuratethey just come to me they already exist in some form or other and you just have to have your antenna up and always be ready for ‘Incoming’ I know it sounds corny but I sometimes feel weird saying ‘I WROTE’ this or that.They are just there and using me to get it down.Some of the stuff I write I think ‘No way I could have written that’ I know that sounds really full of myself or whatever but there ya’ go.When I first started writing everything would come to me just like it was already written and I’d just write it down VerseChorusVerse Verse etc and that would be it one fell swoop.Now I usually have a title and idea and some lines and spend time and research and work on them. I love the research part.making sure I KNOW what I’m talking about and that everything is copacetic.As far as Rico and I are concerned, we usually use a wide array of methods we have devoloped over time and we are a true partnership in that he tells me this or that is or isn’t working and vice versa.But our actual songwriting method is a melange of every technique out there.and also trying to invent new ones
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
Billy Stark Stone: We are currently working on our website.We use all the usual social media that’s out there, FB Twitter internet radio blogs and as soon as our vid’s are finished naturally Youtube
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
Billy Stark Stone: Here’s the thing about that I would say none.Only because I don’t believe in that whole ‘This is cool and that isn’t’ elitist attitude. I listen to what I want and absolutely don’t care what anyone would think. You can only be embarrassed if you care what people think about that sort of thing and I don’t give a flying ice cream truck about that so I’m not embarrassed by anything I listen to.Now, would people who know me be SURPRISED by some things I listen to? ABSOLUTELY
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Billy Stark Stone:Obviously I would give a lot to charities and what not.I would put the rest into the band and record and make vids and tour etc etc .I don’t need a year off right now, we have too many things we want to do. A year isn’t ENOUGH time to accomplish our goals
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Billy Stark Stone:No upgrades on my end right now Rico hasn’t told me about any upgrades he might be making but he’s always knows the time and score so we’re good .HA HA ! We are very happy w/ the process we have now and the studios and mixers and mastering engineer we have in place
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Billy Stark Stone: You can refer to one of the above questions to this,,,,,we are like everyone else navigating the minefield and maze that is the state of the ‘Industry” today and hoping to forge our own innovations and/or ideas and bring them to the playing field.But as of now we are using the usual suspects.FB,Twitter,internet radio,blogs and soon our own website.We do have a Soundcloud acct but we haven’t really been pushing that one much as we use it mainly for sites that require a link. That will probably change ,we’ll just um play it by ear
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Billy Stark Stone:I mulled over this question for a bit and I have to honestly say,musician wise I really cannot think of anyone that I have a deep yearning to work w/. well ok there are some that I have my eye on to flesh out our band but not going to mention them here HA HA! Actually I AM working w/ who I want to be working w/ so……… Oh yeah , I would love to work w/ Charlie Sox ( RIP) who was our Drummer in the beginning and passed away way too early so yeah I’d love to play w/ him more for the fact that that would mean he was here w/ us and also Brad Barnett (RIP)same deal.I guess there are some producers I’d love to work w/ but again we are happy w/ the setup we have now.But working w/ ANYONE living or dead I would have loved to work w/ Buster Keaton and Chaplin and Harry Langdon and Roscoe Arbuckle and Tod Browning and I could go on and on. As far as performing anywhere…………………of course we want to play EVERYWHERE but that will happen when it happens.or will it???? ( stay tuned Kiddie Winkies) but to answer the question I’m playing w/ exactly who I want to be playing w/and working w/ great studios and engineers and our mastering engineer
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Billy Stark Stone: We have a photo shoot and a vid shoot coming up ( and another vid we’re working on that will be out BEFORE the official vid for our current single ‘Revolution Rerun’) our website should be up soon and we recorded our next TWO singles which we need to finish up ( Mix’n’ Master) so all in all we are very busy.You should like our FB page and follow us on Twitter ( links below) to keep on top of when all these things are up and running espec. our official website.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Billy Stark Stone: Probably absolutely nothing. I have had gaps where I wasn’t doing music and tried the ‘GrownUp” thing for awhile but it drove me crazy ….literally…. so I opted out of that .I don’t have any what do you call it ? skills or anything that would make me employable so this is it. It’s’ either this or nothing
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Billy Stark Stone” I honestly do not remember the first album I bought wow, I have been saying the word honestly a lot in this interview as if otherwise everything would normally be a lie HA HA! but a lot of records I had when I was real young were movie soundtracks I’d listen to and then I started getting into Rock ’n’ Roll and everything else .I have two older sisters so they always had stuff that they were playing.Everyone in their own room playing their stuff.The older of the two I remember had a huge collection of 45’s lots of 50’s and 60’s stuff doowop and everything else and I loved looking @ all the different labels and playing them. She also played a lot of Motown espec.her fave The Supremes There is also a picture I had of me of when I was two or three years in which apparently I had a little section w/ my toys and a record player and all these 45’s scattered about on the floor and everywhere and I’m asleep on the record player standing upI can’t find the pic but wondering if those were MY records or my sisters or who knows.Oh yeah If anyone reading this doesn’t know what a record player is, Google it HA HA!
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Billy Stark Stone: I don’t have any responsibilities so it’s not a problem.Well, I do have a few personal ones of course but in the general sense that you are asking…….I have none. I’m free and unfettered to give this band my full and undistracted attention
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2016?
Billy Stark Stone: What I mentioned in the ‘What’s next?’ question photo shoot a couple of videos our website our next two singles and I’m sure more exciting things as things move along. As I said the best thing to do if one is inclined is to Like our FB page and follow us on Twitter and any and all new developments as well as when our website is up and running we will certainly be posting.
Thanks for asking me to do this and look out Kiddie Winkies…………………….IT’S SHOWTIME!!!!!