Sunday, March 04, 2012
Seven questions... with Steve Jones aka Stylusboy
Image :: Richard Harrison
When I get followed on Twitter I check out the follower... I'm a curious chap and I like to check out what a person is all about. This is especially true of musicians... if they have a bandcamp page I will check it out or have a wee nosy around their website.
Getting to know Steve Jones aka Stylusboy came from just such a nosy... I was curious and my curiosity paid off big time when I discovered his music. I predominately listen to ambient, electronic, post-rock and neoclassical soundscapes... lately I have been reviewing music in this genre for Alternative Matter and The Future Elements. This takes listening from solely a pleasure to a pleasure and a role... and there are times when I need to rest... to take the foot off the pedal and coast. The music I tend to listen to... when I am coasting so to speak... varies from classic rock music to sacred choral music... from opera to film soundtracks. I also have a real soft spot for acoustic singer/songwriters... it comes, in part, from my father's love of Simon and Garfunkel... and also from a love of stories and storytellers.
Stylusboy really tickles this soft spot for me... his music is wonderfully jaunty in a lo-fi, indie kind of way... upbeat and honest... with an earnest authenticity that I can really connect with.
His recent EP - Whole Picture - is a breath of fresh air... it features Jones on vocals, guitars, bass and glockenspiel; Rachel Grisedale on vocals; Tim Bowes on drums; and Chris Smith on keys; It has a roundness that is wonderful... a completeness that makes me scratch my head in wonder - how can Noah and the Whale be out in the mainstream and these guys aren't. The music industry doesn't make any sense sometimes.
Take the third track - "Left to hide" - for example... it features the cello of Peter Wilson and a real low key vibe... it is simply stunning... it builds in intensity as it unfolds and displays real musical talent. It is independent music at it's very best... and a poignant reminder the Britain does indeed have talent... it's just not on the reality TV shows.
Watch this video of the sixth track - "Dave's Song" - to get the gist:
Anyway... I took the opportunity to ask if Jones wouldn't mind answering my wee interview... he jumped at the chance... here is what he had to say:
1) Who are you and what do you do?
I am Steve Jones aka Stylusboy, a singer songwriter from Coventry. I play music that has been described at "enchanting lofi folk". Lazy Acre Records release my music on a 'pay what you want' basis. I make all the cd sleeves myself by hand which is really important to me.
2) What are you working on at the moment?
My latest release is a live album called Four Walls which is a collection of songs recorded at various house shows I played last year.
I am also working on a collection of songs which will go on my debut album. I am really excited about this project.
3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
- Name place that has inspired you.
- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
Being a dad to two amazing children, so the thing is their birth!
4) What drives you to do what you do?
Writing songs soothes my soul. As cheesy as that sounds it really is part of who I am. I love the full process of writing, right from the very beginning of a song through to completion. Recording and releasing the music and then communicating the song to people. I love how songs than take on a life of their own and have new meanings through the people who listen to them.
5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
A sense of hope. A lot of my songs ask questions about this journey of life. I also write quite a lot about love and family. My songwriting now is becoming a more collaborative process with my good friend Rachel Grisedale. We are writing a lot about sacrifices and determination.
6) What role does community play in what you do?
Community is hugely important for me. As a musician, fellow musicians are often friends and playing new songs to each other is a great way of developing. Also the online community through twitter and Facebook is brilliant. Twitter has created a amazing support for my music.
7) What is next for what you do?
Writing more songs for my album and starting to demo them. Also recording couple of live sessions, one for a German blog and one for a radio station in Indonesian! All very busy and exciting....
Please follow his links... make contact and, most importantly, support fantastic independent music like Stylusboy. I've embedded a couple of his releases after the links... have a wee listen and, if you can, throw him a couple of quid or whatever you think his music is worth.