Stonefield – Drawing The Line (Part 1)

Written by Marc Zanotti on 12th July, 2012

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Considering the parallels between the careers of Findlay sister rock band Stonefield and solo songstress Brooke Addamo, better known as Owl Eyes, it seemed only inevitable that the two emerging Australian musical acts would join forces for the co-headlining Winter Road Trip: a regional tour kicking off in August.

Both Stonefield and Owl Eyes are signed to Wunderkind; both are riding the success of their respective current singles; both are working on their debut studio album; and both were approached by the government initiative The Line: a campaign that aims to promote healthy and respectful relationships amongst young people, and the driving force behind the Winter Road Trip.

For Stonefield the band’s current single Bad Reality is a fuzzed-out jam indicative of the throwback rock ‘n’ roll that has brought the all-girl four-piece so much notoriety. When speaking to Music Feeds in April Stonefield’s Amy Findlay said Bad Reality was a story of rebellion that didn’t necessarily stem from any personal conflict. Now a few months since its release, Findlay is thrilled with the public’s response to their latest single, which has received plenty of radio play and continues to be a fan favourite live.

“It’s been really good (the response to Bad Reality); I think especially with the video clip being a sort of choose your own adventure type thing, that’s kind of helped it,” Findlay considers.

“It’s one of the songs that gets an instant response when we’ve played it live before we even released it. So yeah, it’s been great.”

Not content to rest on their laurels, Stonefield already have another single ready and waiting. Lifted from their Bad Reality EP released earlier this year, Ruby Skies plays at a more deliberate pace than its predecessor but is still a howling affair bursting with energy.

“We’ve just made a video clip for that song (Ruby Skies)…which we’re really excited about,” Findlay reveals.

“There’s been a little of a delay because the director had a baby a little bit sooner than expected. So it’ll be very, very soon, probably within a week or so.”

With Bad Reality out and Ruby Skies soon to follow, Stonefield are now focused on the writing and recording of their debut LP. Demoing tracks in their partly constructed home studio, Stonefield’s debut is tentatively slated for a February 2013 release. As Amy explains, the time required to record a full album’s worth of music leaves the songs more susceptible to outside influences.

“We’ve finished a couple of songs and we’re just in the process of setting up a little home studio so that we can demo the songs that we’ve got ready, and I guess put more time into them at home before going into the studio.”

“I think the main thing that you kind of see (when creating an LP) is a change in songs as you’re exposed to new music (during) touring and whatnot in-between. So I think this album’s going to be a lot more broader than our EPs,” Finlay proposes.

Stonefield’s hectic tour schedule has given the girls ample opportunity to encounter new music whilst on the road. This year alone the family band has already completed an East Coast Australian tour and performed at triple j’s One Night Stand: a night that will most likely be remembered for the weather as much as the music.

“We were quite lucky to get our set in before it got all rained out. It was a full-on experience to see that many people come together for the concert. People travelled from Melbourne, from Perth, and absolutely everywhere, so it was huge. It was a really, really fun experience.”

“It kind of started raining halfway through our set and then it just got heavier and heavier until we stopped. So by the time it was halfway through 360’s set that was it. Things started not working and the mixing desks were standing in a foot or water, so it was just completely unsafe.”

“So it was a bit sad, but you know I guess it makes it more memorable,” Findlay begrudgingly laughs.

With little time to rest, Stonefield will soon be back out on tour with Owl Eyes for the Winter Road Trip. However, the national tour isn’t just bringing music on its 17-stop journey but also a message. The Line Initiative is a government campaign that attempts to help youths ‘draw the line’ and treat themselves and eachother with respect. The project also promotes zero tolerance towards violence against women and children, with one in three Australian women reporting as being a victim of physical violence and almost one in five reporting as being a victim of sexual violence in their lifetime, according to The Line.

“We were interested in being ambassadors to get the message out there. To us it seems like a really valid thing for us to be talking about and supporting,” Findlay affirms.

“I think this is something that relates to everyone in a way and it’s a much bigger problem then I think people realise. So hopefully by doing this tour it will sort of get the message out there a bit more.”

“The overall message is ‘respect’ and where to ‘draw the line’. I guess it makes you think about where you draw the line and it’s good to be involved with something that I think is such a big issue, and everyone has some involvement with it in someway.”

For Stonefield, figuring out how to cope with disrespectful behaviour has been a necessary learning curve as the band continues to successfully gain the public’s attention. The young sisters have on occasion encountered the unsavoury comments of faceless ‘keyboard warriors’ who have little regard for the emotional turmoil that can be inflicted by their crass words.

“I suppose cyber bullying is something that’s been…an issue for us at one point. I mean, I guess when people start saying things on your YouTube channels and things like that, that’s obviously quite hurtful, but for us it was a huge learning experience because we took that and realised there’s no point listening to all that rubbish that’s being disrespectful and isn’t even relevant to music,” Findlay poignantly remarks.

Although the Winter Road Trip comes with a strong message, music listeners would be well served to not dismiss the tour as ‘preachy’. At the heart of the show are two very talented and entertaining musical acts that continue to win over legions of fans across the country.

On the chance to finally tour with longtime friend Brooke Addamo, Amy Findlay says she’s excited to share the stage with her contemporary, and that showgoers should expect a fun onstage collaboration between Stonefield and Owl Eyes.

“We kind of met each other a while ago being label buddies. We’ve done a few things together, but we haven’t done a full Australian tour yet. So it will be a lot of fun and it’s always good to have a girl that’s your age that’s at the same point of her career as we are.”

“We’re going to be working on a song together, so that should be good. We’ll be looking at a cover to probably raise a bit of the message of what it’s all about.”

STONEFIELD & OWL EYES – Winter Road Trip 2012
proudly presented by The Line Initiative, Music Feeds and Channel V

Wednesday 1 August – KAROVA LOUNGE – BALLARAT, VIC
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Thursday 2 August – KAY ST – TRARALGON, VIC
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Friday 3 August – MACGILLIVRAY HALL – BENDIGO, VIC
**UNDER 18 ONLY**
tickets: City of Greater Bendigo Lyttleton TRC Office – 03 5434 6000
tickets: Bendigo Musicman Megastore – 03 5443 3299

Saturday 4 August – WESTERNPORT HOTEL – SAN REMO, VIC
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX

Wednesday 8 August – STATION RESORT – JINDABYNE, NSW
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX
tickets: The Station Resort, Jindabyne – 02 6451 4800 – www.thestation.net.au
tickets: Perisher Tickets, Jindabyne – 02 6459 4498
tickets: Perisher Tickets, Perisher – 02 6459 4418

Thursday 9 August – ZIERHOLZ @ UC – CANBERRA, ACT
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX

Friday 10 August – ORANGE EX SERVICES – ORANGE, NSW
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX

Saturday 11 August – SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY – LISMORE, NSW
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX

Sunday 12 August – HOTEL GREAT NORTHERN – BYRON BAY, NSW
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Thursday 16 August – ART GALLERY OF WA – PERTH, WA **OWL EYES ONLY**
tickets: www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/artbar

Thursday 16 August – NEWPORT HOTEL – Fremantle, WA **STONEFIELD ONLY**
tickets: www.heatseeker.com.au

Friday 17 August – SETTLERS TAVERN – MARGARET RIVER, WA
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Saturday 18 August – STUDIO 146 – ALBANY, WA
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Thursday 23 August – MONASH UNIVERSITY – CLAYTON, VIC
tickets: www.monashstudentassociation.com

Saturday 25 August – TOWNSVILLE UNI BAR – TOWNSVILLE, QLD
tickets: 07 4781 4111

Friday 31 August – WHALERS HOTEL ¬– WARRNAMBOOL, VIC
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Saturday 1 September – SOUTH EASTERN HOTEL – MT GAMBIER, SA
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

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