When it comes to making a new record, the best approach for a musician is to write music they enjoy. It usually abides by a certain style and a number of influences, but it makes it more fun and often when the musician is having fun, the listener is as well.
Warwick native Andy Stone does this in excellent fashion with his new album, “Every Single Day,” which came out on May 19. There’s a blend of new wave and power-pop with a vintage rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic. Anyone who enjoys a quality guitar riff is going to love this release.
Stone and I recently had a talk about the making of the album, one main influence behind his songwriting, filming music videos while quarantined and a special livestream that’ll be happening.
What's your main artistic vision behind “Every Single Day” and what was it like working with Emerson Torrey on the album?
Working with Emerson was great, this is actually the second time I’ve worked with him. The main artistic vision is with the songs I write coming to fruition and it was a really wonderful collaboration with Emerson and the other people involved in making the record. It’s always about what the best representation of your songs are, I’m one of those guys who believe a good song is a good song whether you take all the production off of it or not. If it’s a song that you can play with a band but also around a campfire on an acoustic guitar, that’s what makes it good. If you can do that and still engage with people, it’s a good song.
Emerson really respects that, he really respects the art of the song and the integrity of the song. The main vision was to get that approach out and see which ways we could do it using various sounds, instrumentation and arrangements to bring out the best version of them.
The album cover is a bit of a collage of different photos and bright colors. Who came up with the idea for it?
I have a good friend named Mike Bavaro up in Boston, and he’s designed all my album covers. We both came up with a basic idea together and he ran with it. The original idea when we named the record “Every Single Day” was to do something like a calendar and have it be a musical day in the life of myself. Then we figured we would scribble things in like you would do with an old calendar like appointments or whatever. Then it became more metaphorical and not as literal as an actual calendar because it was kind of boring.
We had all of these great photos that another friend of mine named Sonja Lemoi took and they came out great. All of those photos relate to me in some way – my full band is in one picture, my dog is in another, and so on. It all became this day in the life kind of thing with this metaphorical calendar.
From listening to it, there’s definitely a mix of new wave and power-pop within the record. Which acts would you say inspired you to go that musical route?
AS: I’m a huge Beatles fan and growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, I listened to a lot of new wave. The bands I love are The Cars, Squeeze and XTC, and of course they were inspired by The Beatles. The music I wrote is pretty much a fusion of those two decades for the most part.
You also released a music video for the single off of “Every Single Day,” called “Take A Step,” on the same day of the album’s release. Did you do all the filming yourself?
Yeah, I had to do it that way because we’re under lockdown because of COVID-19. I had no choice (laughs) and I had some editing software so I knew that because I was doing it all by myself, I’d have to give some motion to it with some visual effects. I just sat down and put the camera on a tripod while filming in different angles and I edited it together. I had to really get outside the box and get creative with it and it’s actually the third one I’ve done. I was able to learn how to use the editing software by doing that.
What are your plans for the next few months during the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you plan on doing a lot of livestreaming?
Yeah, I’ve actually been livestreaming a lot ever since the pandemic hit. I’m also doing a virtual release party for “Every Single Day” on June 5 and I’ll be playing songs from the album along with some older tunes and some covers. After that I’m going to be livestreaming every two weeks and I also plan on continuing to write new tunes.
To learn more about Andy Stone, visit www.andystonerolls.com.