Phil Freeman of RoadrunnerRecords.com recently conducted an interview with STONE SOUR guitarist Josh Rand. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
RoadrunnerRecords.com: What was the genesis of [the new STONE SOUR album, "House of Gold & Bones Part 1"? Did Corey [Taylor, vocals] just come to you and say, "This is what we're doing next"? What was your initial response?
Josh: Well, really, it all started last year. In October, I went over to his house and he played me a couple of songs he had written on or had put together, and he explained the whole concept or story of doing this concept record. And I immediately was excited, because I felt like from a musical standpoint it would allow us to do whatever we wanted. Not that we haven't done that in the past, but I really felt like it could really open some doors musically. And how we write as a band is, all of us contribute from the music side of things, and he's always written the lyrics. So the biggest thing for me was, I wanted us to be a lot more aggressive than "Audio Secrecy". Can we go in that direction? And he was, like, "Yeah, let's do it all." And that was when I really started giving him the stuff I had written on, later on in the year, like December. I flew down to Jacksonville, and Jim [Root] just jams, that's how he writes, so it's usually me that'll sit down and go through all the stuff he records, 'cause he's very much an improv player. And I started pulling a couple of ideas from that, and Roy [Mayorga, drums] started submitting stuff, and we got together in January in Des Moines and just started putting everything together.
RoadrunnerRecords.com: Was everybody in the band on board from the beginning, or did some people take some convincing?
Josh: We were all on board. Our approach, when I look back on it basically a year later, it was almost a '70s vibe, where we wanted to be more experimental for ourselves and grow as musicians, and tell a story and have it be more than just "Here's our 10 best songs." And in my opinion, a band doesn't even do that anymore, it's like, "Here's the song we're gonna push on radio, and eight to nine filler tracks." So our approach was, we wanted to make sure everything got the same amount of love. Going into it, we had no idea what would be the singles. Credit [producer] Dave Bottrill for that, 'cause he came in and he's like, “We're gonna do it as a big piece of art, and it's gonna be this big thing from start to finish, and if there's songs in there they wanna take to radio, then so be it.” But he really helped also with the musical landscape of the record.
RoadrunnerRecords.com: You're not seen as a concept album kind of band; were you worried that some fans might hear that phrase and think, "Yeah, maybe I'll check you guys out again on the next one"?
Josh: I don't think so, because I still think it's us. We never said that we would be GENESIS or DREAM THEATER or YES or any of those types of bands. We're not a prog band. We said, we're going to adopt the ideas of those stories and stuff, but it's still going to be a STONE SOUR record, where you can still pull those individual songs. We just wanted to offer something more — in a world where it's all about singles, we just wanted to do something different. We've always evolved from record to record, if you listen to our entire catalog. It was another way of challenging ourselves and making it interesting and fun for us to make. When we did "Audio Secrecy", a lot of people feel like the difference between that and "Come What(ever) May" is that we mellowed out. Well, going into "Audio Secrecy", our whole goal was not to make "Come What(ever) May" again. Which we didn't, for better or for worse, depending on who you talk to. And that was the same mindset going into this, except for now we have this story and musically it felt like the handcuffs had been taken off a little bit. From a heavier approach — we had gotten away from that over the last 10 years, so it was kinda cool to bring that aspect back into the band.
Read the entire interview from RoadrunnerRecords.com.