Before Hard Rock Hell Was Over We Had To Get A Little Wicked As We Caught Up With James+ Ryan From Hard Rockers Wicked Stone
WeRockWebzine:: Hi thanks for joining us.
Wicked Stone:: Thank you for having us.
WeRockWebzine:: Is it your first time here?
Wicked Stone:: It’s our first time playing here, I’ve come here before and seen a few other bands live, even roadied for one band, like an old band of mine which was quite fun, but it’s the vibe you get in this place it’s just unreal, it is especially for our sound of music as well our kind of genre you’ve been listening to, it fits perfectly with our line up.
WeRockWebzine:: How does it feel to play such a big event like Hrh?
Wicked Stone:: Absolutely incredible but we won’t know until after we’ve done it (laughing) yeah we all hope it goes well but just the feeling you get walking out on stage and you can just see a sea of people there you just go bananas on stage and have the best time ever and that’s some thing i’ve always found as well with our shows we always just give it our all and mainly just have fun but the more fun we have on stage it seems the more fun everyone else has as well. I’ve just got to look at your face and i’m in hysterics man honestly it’s so much fun, such a charmer this one isn’t he (all laughing).
WeRockWebzine:: You have had experience by big shows, Rambling Man Fair last year,
Wicked Stone:: Oh that was awesome, and do you know that was only our 7th ever gig as Wicked Stone, we were very lucky to get on it and it opened up a whole new channel for us and it was the people that saw us that booked us in to Rambling Man, i mean they obviously saw some kind of potential in us, and we went on stage and we didn’t know what to expect but playing a show of that magnitude and we were quite lucky we were fairly early on in the day but we had so many people there but because we had gone around with flyers and like people that were coming in to the gates we were like we’re Wicked Stone you’ve got to come see us if your around and all this, there was over 50 people (laughing) i thought there was three pairs of people (all laughing), it was so cool you couldn’t of dreamed of a better gig, how many e.p’s did we have, the singles, a couple of hundred and we announced on stage if you would like one there free come and help yourselves and we were all coming off stage and we didn’t even expect anyway and the security guard went up to the singer Joe and said are you going to come and talk to everyone because people want Cd’s and he said he went out there and there was people everywhere hundreds upon hundreds of people we were just signing everything it was awesome, it was so surreal like for where we’ve come from like into this band and we just wanted to make great music not just for ourselves for everyone in general but just something we enjoy, it’s doing that then going back to your day job a couple of days later your on site somewhere laying bricks and you think no-one knows i was playing in front of 3000 people.
WeRockWebzine:: Your relatively new as Wicked Stone, how did you all meet?
Wicked Stone:: We’ve all known each other collectively for years i mean me and Joe have worked together and I’ve known him probably 8 years now, i actually, we were only talking about it last night, when i met Joe i always remember going round his house and i was like how are you not in a band and he was like what do you mean cause he is rock n roll through through I’ve never met anyone like him and he had such an amazing voice and i was like you need to be part of a band and i said to him i know a band that’s looking for a singer do you want to give it a try, so he’s gone along and he’s ended up going on this tour of the UK with them were you part of them at that point, yeah i was that’s how i met Joe, i’d never met Joe in a rehearsal studio cause he was working out in France so i only heard rumours of this singer and it turned out he said he’d come on the Monday to rehearsals never showed up so he’s a proper singer (laughing), so we had a gig coming up it was the Red Lion in Gravesend, never met him and this guy walks in and i thought what is that and it’s the singer, Joe walked in he had short hair then and he had like this Steel Panther-eresque mate it was full on wig, spandex trousers (all laughing) and he was like I’ve just come from Halloween and i was like alright i’m James your guitarist and he was like i’m Joe and that’s how we met and it sort of pushed on from there but you was doing your other project weren’t you, this is the thing like all of us together we’ve all been in all different bands but we’ve all known of each other and for me i feel Wicked Stone is kind of a super group out of all the bands locally and it’s growing into what it is now and it’s amazing.
WeRockWebzine:: Who does the songwriting?
Wicked Stone:: You know it’s quite a collective thing because especially me and James we have very different styles and i’m very much into bands like Down, Pantera a bit more sort of darker a bit more grungier as well and James mine mainly you’ve got AC/DC, classic rock, Iron Maiden as well and I’ve got all my blues my heavy blues like Joe Bonamassa, The Three Kings, Larry Cole and all of them so for me that’s been my style of playing it’s just been classic rock and blues, i mean i like heavier stuff as well don’t get me wrong like Metallica and that stuff, but when we bring it together our own individual playing styles you get that kind of darker heavier ridge on the rhythm then you’ve got like this bright sheen lead stuff and also just the flare like i’ll come to rehearsals with a riff and James will go no that’s awful (laughing) but James will go what about this and will put something over it or just adapt it slightly and i’m going you know what i never would of thought of that straight off the back and James has and it sounds incredible and it just works and it’s so nice to work with another guitarist that you’ve got two completely different styles but they just gel most of the time, it’s like Ollie said in a interview a few weeks ago he said i don’t want to sound cheesy but you know when the stars align and you get that magic mix with everyone and you just go,, i mean when you play in a studio someone goes just play something and everyone just looks at each other and goes fuck dude that’s so good and you just know it from then but it’s so good when 5 of us can get on and write whatever, except for my case sometimes 4 of them like it and i go actually can we just do (all laughing) but that’s a different ball game.
WeRockWebzine:: Your debut album ‘Ain’t No Rest’ is out now and it’s received high acclaim how pleased are you with that?
Wicked Stone:: Oh man Kerrang said it was rarer than unicorn shit, which i thought was really nice, hard rock hell they put a review in next to Bigfoot in the magazine and they said stone cold classic absolutely loved it, it’s just being able to write an album with 4 other friends and release it and people go that’s awesome just that feeling alone it’s so good that’s why your in a band isn’t it just to write a load of crap and people like it and you go man that’s so cool, that’s the thing i think with what we do because we write it so we enjoy it personally it’s kind of if we enjoy it there’s gonna be at least one person that personally enjoys it but then when we’ve put it out there and finally released it, it was like so many people going like where’s this come from it’s amazing, it’s kind of i feel we’re sort of the borderline between, you’ve got the softer hard rock and then you’ve got the metalheads where you’ve got a bit more screaming and shouting sort of stuff like that and i think we’re bang in the middle and because of that we’ve cornered quite a market, it’s really got quite good appeal but then again it does have it’s downfalls in terms of we might be too light for one magazine and too heavy for another one.
WeRockWebzine:: Who would you say your main influences are?
Wicked Stone:: As a band or individually?
Wicked Stone:: Oh man for me individually you’ve got Angus Young, Adrian Smith from Maiden but all 3 of them for me are awesome, Joe Bonamassa, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Slash, Gary Moore shame about him man, you know what i can’t list them cause there’s honestly too many, do you play an instrument?
WeRockWebzine:: I’ve tried Guitar, Drums, Bass.
Wicked Stone:: Yeah yeah so you’ve obviously got a guitar so that’s Joe Bonamassa for example he uses a lot of alternate picking he likes to hit every note, then you’ve got people like Slash who does one handed pull off so there both different styles, i try and mix the two up and think that’s mainly cause when i was in a pub band lets say my solo’s never clear enough and i always thought if there not clear enough you know i like Brian May he plays with a sixpence so i try with a 10p turns out i was getting poorer every gig cause i’d lose it a few of em i’d break strings so i stopped that and thought well Joe Bonamassa is such an influence man i found his alternate picking which is hit every note and just try and make it sing, where as you don’t play with a pick, yeah i don’t use a plectrum i never have and for me my nails are a tad longer.
WeRockWebzine:: I’m the same play with my fingers.
Wicked Stone:: Yeah and even when we’re in the studio like we used a guy called Oz Craggs at Hidden Tracks Studios he’s an amazing producer and i’ll be playing a riff and he’ll be like can i just hear that with a plectrum, i’ll play it and he’ll go you know what it sounds exactly the same don’t bother using a plectrum, but for me my influences I’ve always loved, a big favourite of mine is Wes Borlan Limp Bizkits guitarist, something i find with him which is what i find with a few other bands like especially like Down who there guitarist you’ve got Pepper Keenan from Corrosion of Conformity and also one of the guys from Crowbar but there sound is very you really feel it and for me it was like with the Wes Borlan stuff it’s like more than thinking of just what scale can i do and everything else, it’s more about the actual sound that you created whether it’s through an effect or just the way you actually literally playing your guitar and for me that’s what’s developed, for me my favourite sound and the way i go with stuff i like that impacting sound that’s got a real groove and feel to it.
WeRockWebzine:: So you like to be influenced but put your own input into playing?
Wicked Stone:: Yeah certainly it’s just a personal touch, i mean everyone has there own technique don’t they, i mean you get people that play exactly like the recordings but for me that’s never been an interest really, if someone’s got to record, if it’s like Still Got The Blues actually for me i’d like to play that note for note cause it’s Gary Moore and that’s cool, but even when it comes to solo’s i like to try and doing something a bit different. That’s the weird thing for me I’ve never learnt covers i don’t know a single cover song, i couldn’t play you anything by anyone else but me, probably a bit big headed in some ways just knowing my own stuff but i sort of just developed my own sound from what i like to hear and it just went from there.
WeRockWebzine:: Who would you most like to share the stage with?
Wicked Stone:: That’s an interesting question. Existing bands or?
WeRockWebzine:: Alive Or Dead.
Wicked Stone:: Mine would be Guns ‘n’ Roses i personally think that would be a good one but obviously every bands gonna say that erm AC/DC, Iron Maiden man there’s so many bands, i could literally say so many bands i listen to, it’s quite a tough question especially when you listen to a lot and you’ve got such a lot of people in high regard that you’d be in awe to meet. People like you’ve got a guy called Matt Schofield who’s a blues guitarist but i don’t think our music would go down to well with him cause he is just straight up blues you know a Kenny Wayne Shephard sort of feel to him, but there’s so many bands Shinedown for example i love them and Metallica. For me personally i think Down would be quite a big one for me because of the way there a super group of a few different bands i really loved like Pantera, Corrosion Of Conformity, Crowbar joining in to create Down that is for me that would be amazing to play with them especially as kind of where i love there sound and I’ve idolised my well there whole careers, that’s one band I’ve never really heard, see this is why we have such different styles, yeah i suppose your right, that’s where our stamp comes from, but obviously we are lucky where Ollie our drummer the giant he’s 6”5′ but he’s still growing he’s only 8 (all laughing) but he plays in another band aw well and he plays guitar so having someone like himself who can play all instruments man it’s such a help, he’s such an accomplished guitarist as well as such an accomplished drummer he’s incredible.
WeRockWebzine:: Each one is as hard as the other to actually accomplish as i know I’ve been trying for years and i’m still rubbish (all laughing).
Wicked Stone:: You’ll get there, yes you’ll get there.
WeRockWebzine:: If you could play a major festival what would it be?
Wicked Stone:: Download Donington even, I’ve never missed Download.
WeRockWebzine:: If it was Donington still?
Wicked Stone:: Yeah yeah, Donington man yeah straight up but then is it Wacken, Download as well man Rock am Ring if you had Scorpions headlining and we was on like an hour before in case your in for a band (all laughing), for me it would definitely be Download.
WeRockWebzine:: Guns ‘n’ Roses headlining next year.
Wicked Stone:: Arghh man don’t I’ve had to ask permission for next year from my wife i said can i go she went ask Santa sort of thing, i’ll take that as a no then (all laughing) that’s it we’re either going to see Download or we’re playing it, i like to think we’re opening up for them, i think we should we would do really good, it’s in our heads. The thing is when we go on stage together we absolutely tear the fuck out of it we really bring people together and that’s such an incredible buzz and i think that’s why we’ve got as far as we have in such a short space of time.
WeRockWebzine:: Dream big.
Wicked Stone:: Yeah, i think the other thing is though, i don’t want to retract from your question but the fact when we go on stage and people always the same answer we have is people are having fun and we go on stage and i’ll look at him and i’ll start smiling and looks and does this stupid cheesy grin and you look at the other guys and there having such a great time and you just can’t help but smile and your sort of thinking this ain’t happening and i know every band says this even major bands they go i can’t believe i went out there and people liked the music and this and that even if it is there 20th album but you get on and just have fun and i don’t want to be in a band that’s all serious it’s no fun man, that’s not our vibe. We haven’t come 9 hours in a van to sit down and play acoustic man i’m gonna get up and jump around a bit, when i get on the stage later i’m gonna do something stupid, i’m not gonna hurt anyone but i’m gonna do something stupid, I’ve only had 1 hour of sleep and we’ve come here just done the acoustic set then we’ve got to wait till 22.30 or 23.00 tonight to do the proper set and then you know, i’m on my 4th drink already in the space of an hour ( all laughing) it’s got to be done. Great questions by the way.
WeRockWebzine:: Thank you very much, and the future for Wicked Stone?
Wicked Stone:: Just bigger and bigger, there gonna make there own rock n roll hall of fame for us, the thing is it’s so hard to tell how it’s gonna turn out in terms of what’s gonna happen next but i do feel the future is very very promising from everything we’ve heard and everything we’ve done and it just seems to be constantly going up and up and up, well personally i’m hoping for big things you know the big picture for me is i would love to tour the world and just play in every country and share what i love with everyone else and if they love it as well then obviously that would help, as i say you know when your kid and you have that dream and you can just see it, i don’t know what yours would be, go on what was yours when you was growing up say like 10 years old what did you want to do when you was 30?
WeRockWebzine:: I think originally i wanted to be an actor.
Wicked Stone:: Oh right cool and hows that going now?
WeRockWebzine:: It’s not, i then got into music .
Wicked Stone:: OK that’s not a bad thing then.
WeRockWebzine:: It was Billy Idol then Dio then Gary Moore so i wanted to be a guitarist, singer or drummer.
Wicked Stone:: Ohh yeah a shame about Dio man, but do you know when you believe in it right that’s what i had when i was 10 or 11 and even now when you just wake up and you know it’s gonna happen it’s not if it’s bloody when you know that’s this band you know, but obviously the future it would be good to have some management have a bit of help behind us so far we’ve done it all ourselves.
WeRockWebzine:: Have a bit of direction?
Wicked Stone:: A bit of direction yeah your right just trying to find you guys, it’s a table round the corner and i got lost you know what i mean (all laughing) i think that’s just a personal thing (laughing), but yeah the future is promising in my head and i’m sure in Ryan’s and the other guys heads we just wanna have fun, but the thing is we put 100% heart into everything we do to make it get that far and i feel if we, I’ve known so many bands that they believe in there music but there just so lazy about it and it’s a real shame cause there’s some great underground bands out there they never get the exposure they need but if you want to get somewhere you’ve got to push it harder than anything in the world.
WeRockWebzine:: I must say it’s like you guys i’d not heard of you until doing this show, it was 3 days ago when i got asked to do the interview, i haven’t had chance to check your music out but i will.
Wicked Stone:: Yeah if you get time no pressure but do it.
WeRockWebzine:: Have you brought any merchandise with you?
Wicked Stone:: Oh yeah we’ve got the new t-shirts, albums might have a few ep’s left guarantee when you hear it you’ll wanna copy.
WeRockWebzine:: I’ll Definitely go and buy a copy actually.
Wicked Stone:: Wickedstone.co.uk Facebook we’re on, twitter, instagram, even if it’s not uploading new pictures there’s always stupid videos, whether we’re in rehearsal in the studio we’re all meeting up to do something, we just try to keep as active as possible so people know where we’re gonna be.
WeRockWebzine:: That your still around.
Wicked Stone:: That’s it yeah just keeping it fresh for people like we’re gonna do a gig here or we’re rehearsing tonight. Our future gigs obviously we’ve got tonight, we’re at Canterbury on the 24th November then we’ve got Wolverhampton early December we’re playing with Those Damn Crows, Edenthorne and Mason Hill all of them fantastic man we did that last year blimey man it was crazy Christ i was drunk after, literally we pulled up opened the boot, knew there was a bottle of whiskey in there, opened the boot whiskey fell out and smashed single malt whiskey it was like 4 or 5 hours you’d been waiting in the car to have your whiskey and it smashed everywhere, but honestly that was an awesome night, all the bands we’ve been playing with are like the nicest guys go backstage and your having a laugh and a drink with everyone like you’ve known them for the last 10 years and everyone is so approachable that’s mots music now isn’t it, of course i remember going to Download 2009-2010 i was standing in the queue for chips got there went to get my money out and £2 fell out of my pocket i turned round man and there’s this 7″ giant he was like Eddie the beast stood there with stud implants in his head and he went excuse me mate you’ve dropped £2 and i went cheers mate but honestly that environment it’s like being at home with your mum. Everyone we meet on the journey there beautiful people we just have a laugh with people and be nice man that’s what it’s all about, you don’t want to do something you don’t like, same as your selves you wouldn’t be asking us these questions if you didn’t enjoy asking them.
WeRockWebzine:: Yeah being here meeting all the bands it’s just,,
Wicked Stone:: I bet you hear some stories tell us one.
WeRockwebzine:: I do have a story, the first interview I’ve ever done in a gents toilets.
Wicked Stone:: Really was that here, who was that with do you want to do one in the ladies? (all laughing)
WeRockWebzine:: Yeah it was Killcode.
Wicked Stone:: Oh Killcode nice. So what’s your dream interview who with?
WeRockWebzine:: David Lee Roth.
Wicked Stone:: Really yes yes and yes now that’s a good one, i’m a huge Roth fan so i’m bang on with what your saying.
WeRockWebzine:: It would be an interesting interview.
Wicked Stone:: Yeah yeah OK what about your location?
WeRockWebzine:: I’d like to say outside Cabo Wabo. (laughing)
Wicked Stone:: Oh man that’s awesome.
WeRockWebzine:: With Sammy peeking out.
Wicked Stone:: What do you think your doing here Roth, (all laughing) OK that’s your dream chase it. I’m out now i’m taking all your sweets, you could of saved me one. Roth’s the man. Are you a huge Van Halen fan?
WeRockWebzine:: I am yes even got there tattoo.
Wicked Stone:: I love em absolutely love em, yessss. Lets show some tatts.
WeRockWebzine:: I’ve got ‘One Life One Soul’.
Wicked Stone:: Nice so I’ve got the Hendricks one ‘When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace’. I’ll tell you what our band logo is a Wicked Stone logo that i created on the back of our t-shirts it’s like an emblem i based it on the Van Halen one with the lines coming out.
WeRockWebzine:: The angel one.
Wicked Stone:: Yeah that one.
WeRockWebzine:: When they made it more rounded that was the Sammy Hagar version.
Wicked Stone:: I love that actually.
Wicked Stone:: Is that it are you happy with that anymore questions you can think of.
WeRockWebzine:: I’m happy with that thank you very much.
Wicked Stone:: No problem, if i can just add definitely check us out at www.wickedstone.co.uk we’ve got Facebook, twitter, Instagram, soundcloud all the social medias YouTube everything so if you want to hear the music before you buy it you wanna see what merch we’ve got or what we’re about, we’re everywhere.
WeRockWebzine:: We will be sure to check you out live.
Wicked Stone:: Please do honestly if you get the time please do it will be nice.
WeRockWebzine:: Thank you very much guys cheers.
Wicked Stone:: Thank you very much.