MUSIC INTERVIEW: Life On The Road With…Stoneghost
This week sees metallers Stoneghost hit the road with Raging Speedhorn, so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to catch up with drummer Cris Finnis to hear the band’s top tips and stories from the road.
Favourite thing about touring:
I think my favourite thing about touring is having the opportunity to reach out to new audiences. We spent a lot of time at the beginning playing in a lot of the same places and to the same people, it’s always nice to see how you translate to different people from different cultures.
Least favourite thing about touring:
I think it’s generally just missing out on the usual home comforts. Sleeping is never easy and trying to maintain your energy night after night can be a challenge. But you learn very early on, that those challenges are worth overcoming for the rewards you get at the end of the day having played a killer show.
Five essentials for the road:
Beer, headphones, painkillers, food, and personal space.
Your favourite way to pass the time:
I enjoy listening to music and writing, but I think the important thing is to keep each other entertained. When you are travelling a long way in between gigs, it can become very monotonous and draining if you can’t make each other laugh. A balance of that and some well timed sleep will fill the time nicely.
I think my most memorable moment was playing Wacken Festival in Germany. They can’t get enough metal over there. I think the one thing that always sticks in my mind, was during sound checking the bass drum before we went on, the crowd were already roaring everytime I stomped my foot. It was amazing and really pumped us up for show to see everyone so ready to throw down even before a single note had been played.
I remember playing Hammerfest in 2011 I think, and we were having a great show, the crowd were getting really into it and we were thriving off that energy. We got to the last song and I remember looking up at Andrew and giving each other a nod of approval before the last breakdown. We kicked into it and as I looked back up Andrew had disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Needless to say I was baffled. On further inspection, I realised he had got so into it that he had stacked it on stage and was lying on the floor, flat on his back, trying to finish the song! To be fair he styled it out pretty well, mainly because no one could see him anyway!
We’ve had a few… I recall our backdrop on the main stage at bloodstock 2010, being embarrassingly small in comparison to the other bands… So seeing this minuscule banner rise up on this huge stage was not our finest moment! We have since invested in a larger one… Only ourselves to blame for that moment!
Again, it has to be a memory from Bloodstock… Jason, our singer had acquired a water pistol that was in the form of, for lack of a better word, a penis. He had decided to stroll around the festival, drunk, with it sticking out of his trousers. After doing this for a little while, we ran into Simon Hall (Beholder, Bloodstock organiser) who said he had been informed of a drunk man harassing festival goers with a plastic penis. I think his exact words were ” I knew it would be you fuckers!”.
My most drunken moment would probably be a gig we did a few years back in New Cross. I got off the drums mid way through a song, gave my sticks to the sound-man and asked him to play drums while I proceeded to shake our guitarists hand. Not my finest moment. As a band, there has been so many drunken moments it’s hard to single one out! Falling in bushes on the way back from Brighton, a ridiculous night in a Manchester, Andrew jumping in a bin at the request of thrash band Municipal Waste…. It’s all good character building stuff!
I remember playing Russ Russell’s festival, Wrongstock at the Underworld in Camden this year, and there was quite a touching moment when a guy approached us and asked if we’d be willing to have a picture taken with her daughter who was to shy to ask. We’ve had pictures with people before, but I think it was all the more rewarding to see a father and daughter at a show together. That’s the spirit. Everytime we step on stage, we feel privileged and lucky to be up there. We try and make every show count and enjoy it as much as possible. Rewarding is absolutely the right word to describe the experience. And even more so when you know that the torch is being passed on to the younger generation, embodied in that one moment with that father and daughter.
Catch Stoneghost on tour with Raging Speedhorn at one of the following dates:
Fri 15th – COLCHESTER – Arts Centre
Sat 16th – CARDIFF – Clwb Ifor Bach
Sun 17th – LIVERPOOL – Arts Club Loft
Mon 18th – GLASGOW – O2 ABC 2
Tue 19th – LEEDS – Key Club
Wed 20th – BIRMINGHAM – O2 Academy 3
Thu 21st – PORTSMOUTH – Wedgewood Rooms
Fri 22nd – OXFORD – The Wheatsheaf
Sat 23rd – LONDON – Underworld