Artist Spotlight - The Blue Stones
We had the opportunity to interview emerging alt-rock group The Blue Stones. Composed of Tarek Jafar, guitar/vocals/lyrics and Justin Tessier, drums, this two-piece packs a punch with their music, pulling in elements of blues influence into their alt-rock sound. This influence can be heard in their guitar work and in their vocals. If you haven't had the chance to listen to them yet, we're telling you, you're missing out! Give 'em a listen and check out what they had to say below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"For me (Tarek), my mother was a piano teacher when I was young. She was my biggest musical influence early on, and spurred my interest in piano and guitar while I was a teenager. I ended up sticking to the electric guitar when I was 12 years old, and have not stopped since".
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"Usually, I’ll write a riff on the guitar first be it while messing around at home, or if I have a melody stuck in my head. I’ll then record it roughly on a laptop, and send it to Justin who will develop a beat or loose rhythm. We then come together in rehearsal and work through the song. After that, I’ll write lyrics to the music, or if I have lyrics I’ve written separately that fit, I’ll match them to the song".
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"We listen to such a wide-range of music that our influences come from all over the map. To name a few of the big ones, they would be: The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, MuteMath, Jay-Z, Kanye West, J. Cole, Medeski Martin and Wood, and Death from Above 1979".
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"I use a good amount of guitar pedals on stage. Some of them include a ZVEX Double Rock (For my super gain-y, pounding guitar distortion), a EHX Canyon (for some ambient synth like tones and delay) and an EHX Holy Grail Reverb (to give me depth and overall beautiful reverb on stage). I prefer beefier amps, usually 100-Watts or more played through a 4X12 stack, although I originally began playing Blue Stones music through a small, 50-Watt Combo. Finally, Justin uses a drum-pad on stage for some of the sound effects that we’ve tracked on the album".
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"At our live show, we give you 100% effort every time. Justin and I will leave the stage sweating our asses off, because we put every ounce of energy into our performance. We are very passionate about our music, and want people to feel the same. The best part of any venue is it’s ability to bring people together in a contained space, and encourage people to let loose during the show".
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"We want you to know that we are very passionate about the music that we write, and have always tried to be true and authentic to our sound, and who we are as musicians. When you listen to the album, you should also know that the first track that is recorded for every song is a live recording of Justin and I playing through the song at the studio. That way, when you eventually see us live, you will already have a feel for the tone".
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"We are currently writing demos, and will hopefully have some new material to share with the world in 2019. Other than that, we’ll be playing loads of shows, and festivals in 2019. There’s always new stuff in the works, and we’re constantly writing and developing".
FMI on The Blue Stones, visit their website at https://thebluestonesmusic.com/.