Comprised by Bec Hollcraft (vocals), Jordan McGraw (guitar), Frogs McCormack (bass) and Drew Langan (drums), Stars In Stereo excel at creating anthemic rock full of surging riffs and strong melodies, as displayed on their 2013 self-titled album. With Leave Your Mark, though, the quartet sought out to record an album that further reflected the raw yet vibrant elements of their performances, the type of shows that helped them win over large audiences nationwide while touring with the likes of Halestorm, Bullet For My Valentine, Flyleaf, The Used and Foxy Shazam.
Stars In Stereo will be embarking on a worldwide “virtual tour” in support of its sophomore album, Leave Your Mark, available June 17 via Hundred Handed Inc. Starting June 10, in an effort to offer fans a sneak peak of the entire record, the L.A.-based group will premiere a live performance video of each song from the album through eleven different websites. In each video, the band has hidden a SinS Tarot Card. The first 10 fans to find and click on this card will win a special prize from the band’s web store.
Ghettoblaster recently spoke with guitarist McGraw about the album. This is what he told us.
When did you begin writing the material for your recent album, Leave Your Mark?
We are always writing on the road. The ideas for “FireStarter” and “Bed of Thorns” kind of started off the vibe we were looking for. After that, during the first break we had, we hit the ground running and were cranking out three at a time.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
They all came pretty easy once we had solid outlines for the songs. It’s getting to that point that can be a bit troublesome at times. That one was probably Bed of Thorns for me. We all liked every part of it… It was just a matter of putting the pieces together the right way.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
Oh man… They all grow so much through the process. I think “Fall Forwards” wins that prize though… It started out just a piano/vocal kind of vibe and we just kept building. More of an evolution than a change. That one may be my favorite on the album.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
We didn’t. We wanted this album to be a reflection of how we’ve grown as a band. We wanted it to be us through and through. We learned a lot from touring so much and with such great bands… We wanted to push that new element of ourselves.
Who engineered, produced and mastered the record? What input did they have that changed the face of the record?
Our friend Eddie Jackson has been engineering and co-producing with us since the beginning. We went back to that. He’s one of us… He pushed us to be ourselves and trust our instincts. Kept it all in house… Literally. We recorded the album in our home studio.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new LP that ties the record together?
The songs on this album are more personal than the first. They’re about being honest with yourself about who you are and how you are, getting yourself through tough spots, learning how to pick yourself up… Being you and telling anyone who doesn’t like it to fuck off.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We have played most of them live at this point… Sneaking ’em in on people to test ’em out. “Leave Your Mark” always gets a crazy reaction. People always ask “what was that song about sex?!” It’s great. The end of “Fair-Weather” too… That hits hard. Check out the digital tour! You’ll see them all live.
(Pre-oreder the album here:
Virtual tour dates:
6/10 – “Echo” @ Yahoo Music
6/11 – “Fair-Weather Friend” @ Metal Insider
6/12 – “Firestarter” @ Noisecreep
6/13 – “Bed Of Thorns” @ ARTISTdirect
6/16 – “I Can’t” @ Thought Catalog
6/17 – “Wasted” @ Alt Press
6/18 – “Leave Your Mark” @ Metal Sucks
6/19 – “Not A Shot” @ Revolver Magazine
6/20 – “Vacancy” @ CraveOnline
6/23 – “Fall Forward” @ Loudwire
6/24 – “Turn Me” @ Kerrang)