After the excellent "You Better Hold It Right There" Stem and The Dead Smokers are back with a new project that will captivate the biggest fans of Alternative Rock and Contemporary Rock Music!
Magnetic and engaging, Stem’s songwriting brings us towards new soundscapes with the incredible collaboration with The Dead Smokers. Their upcoming album, “OverWorked & UnderPaid”, which blends the best vibes of Blues, Classic Rock, and Alternative Rock is available everywhere Friday the 31st of May!
Today we had the pleasure of discovering more about Stem and The Dead Smokers, diving deep into their sound, and exploring the behind-the-scenes of their upcoming project with an exclusive interview!
Hi Stem, thanks a lot for being here with us today. Your latest single, “You Better Hold It Right There!” is such a powerful and captivating track that shows the band’s versatility and artistic maturity. We are thrilled to know more about your artistic journey so, let’s start from the beginning of the artistic fusion between you, Stem, and the guys of The Dead Smokers. How did you meet and when did you decide to start this project together?
Thanks for having me on with you guys and great question to start with. “You Better Hold it Right There” is very much on the hardcore side of things; It’s got a Solid Arrangement; it’s also got wonderful screaming guitar solos, all the Lead Guitar work was played by Chainsaw Blues, been knowing him for over 25 years since a little kid, And The Same with my friend who’s now my Bass Player Matt Miller; Myself & Matt were already in a band over the years So when it was time for me to start something new I also wanting a Band to be able to play with me Live in the Studio as well as taking them on tour, Sometimes The songs have only Myself and Maybe another Member, I’ve worked with Session Musician and it’s a great experience. Things get accomplished.
Let’s talk about the band’s debut release, the excellent “The Hardest Times Ep!” Five tracks that carry a lot of your previous work but perfectly blend the energy and vibe or the fusion with The Dead Smokers.
Yeah, that Ep is a great listen. You can also gage the Growth of my Songs & the songwriting is, of course, a bit more on point than saying things I would have written years ago, as I get more elaborate with stories telling; This whole journey of music shows us going up and getting better with each new release, You first have the Ep & then only a few months later is “Winners or Losers” at the time after Ep was released. I wanted to make a new song something that would hold over the fans until the album came out I wanted to write a solid song with a coherent structure “Winners or Losers” has the same arrangement as ”You Better Hold It Right There!” Even the same Cords it’s just the way I attack it. “Winners or Losers” is a song that Every Man or Woman, kid’s young or old can relate to hell Who hasn’t Lost or Won In life? All of the songs are Played Top to bottom Live, We might Track by Track it, but the Actual Parts like the main Rhythm Guitar Parts, I played! Guitar in tune and All the way, not looping them and/or editing, I only Edit a song if it’s really needed or something like Speeding up the tempo. I don’t have a Mr Fix It button The Music sounds like It was played by someone who gives care. The Songs, you know, they really do have that “American Hero” type of vibe it’s got emotion and got it all. “Hardest Times” starting out kind of Dangerously; talking about how “I’m really trying my hardest to make it through but I don’t think I’m going to make it.” Then the Ramous kicks in with it, “That was then & this is now and I’m truly trying my best doing it all” In the end it all is about Turning it around in a man’s life. He spent his life doing Dirty and all You know it’s like a lot more than Loud Music going on…
In your latest work, you explore the Alternative Hard Rock spectrum, but in your music, we can clearly feel influenced by other genres, spanning from contemporary Blues and Rock Music. How important is it to keep your sound fresh yet maintain that sound identity that makes you stand out?
It’s very important to maintain that sound, When I make a new song it’s like it has to check all the marks You know? I want it to have our sound. I want it played on the radio. But also I want to break a rule or 2 and go outside the box that’s how we got to be here at this point. Not being afraid to break the rules and make it better, Yeah I definitely agree with you on this point. I definitely got the Blues in my soul I’m an Old School kinda guy. I’m really into the sounds of the 1950s and early 60s I also dig the classic rock sound of the late 70s late 60s …I could go on for years and talk about Music the 1st Single we had before the new one was “I’m never ever gonna(Let you go)” Now that was a bit more on the Rock’N’Roll side playing with Open Cords such as E-Minor The New Album has a lot going for it. It has a Hint of Rockabilly, it has a Hardcore alternative rock sound. It’s like I retrofitted 1950s Rock & Modernized it the result is simply straight-up Rock Music No pressure at all. I’m aware of the Old School Vibe. You Can’t Change who you are right?
“The OVERWORKED &UNDERPAID Lp” will be out soon, on the 31 of May. This project is the incredible result of the great songwriting and production, the awesome work of the band, sound engineers, and management. Are you also planning a tour in support of the release?
Yeah, I am Currently rehearsing the new songs for Live Shows, unfortunately, the Band is not available for Live Shows yet. We are still trying to find a drummer & I’m still breaking in my Bass player with Matt Miller who’s been a long-time friend and A music collaborator. I’ve been trying to find the right guys can sometimes take a minute. The drummer we had was already in a commitment with another Better Paying band( Laughs).
Where do you find your inspiration?
Yeah..inspiration You know when it strikes it hits hard. Hard to say I can’t truly describe it; More often when I captured Ideas that otherwise would be hard to imagine or even impossible it’s like the best songs kinda appear out of Nowhere I don’t want to ask why or asks too many questions because I’m in fear of it all going away it’s spiritual. It’s a great combination of both timing & Luck. I pick up the guitar and play it and when I get a few ear-catching cord combinations it’s intoxicating and off I go. It’s also a real combination of dedication and discipline. You gotta give to your craft, to get it right, and to take it as far as you’re reaching out at. Get the idea along with the concept all down in a demo I pick the guitar up to start working I also immediately get my iPhone & start recording. it’s like that a lot of the time; however, You know you are truly a lucky musician when the Lyrics come in at the same time as the music “Hardest Times” song was like that. I Came up with the riff & suddenly these opening lyrics came and I’m just like “Wow” It’s still a great feeling when It’s all done and have a great song, You know some songs arrive complete with only a little bit of work to improve it. I know I can make it all work. I’ll sometimes have a hard time finding a way into the song and I’ll go to my Portfolio where I Have a killer list of Titles and concepts and I’ll see if that works Hey It’s all about the songs you know what I mean?
Stem, you also are a founding member of Uhs Records. How important is it to you to be active in the industry and be involved not only in the creative process of music but also in the business aspects of the industry?
Oh, it’s Important truly, I find myself in a position of being the Artist and Producer of the project. You can certainly muck up your work and think your work is growing but in reality, you’re digging into a self-indulgent Rut. You have to Police yourself and call yourself out on Your own bullshit because it’s Not a Vanity project at all. You know if I have something and if it doesn’t work then I can’t go and just put It out. Credibility is something I respect and I find it shows that You stand for something with Integrity. For the last 20 years since I started Doing the Work that I do. I’ve had only a couple of people who have worked with me and they work truly well. The respect We get from contemporary is well-earned.
The two singles from the upcoming album show artistic maturity but also delineate a clear vision, this is important for fans to identify with a specific sound and vibe. Will the album follow the mood of the singles or we can expect some twists in the tracklist?
Yeah, they are all pretty involved with the other songs, you can tell they are related like brothers and sisters would be (Laughs) Some songs have the same Cord progression I’m just strumming it differently it’s all in the way I’m attacking it. It’s in the feel of it; You know it’s like Making love You gotta have a feel for it it’s gotta grove.
Your songwriting is dynamic and captivating. Can you reveal what is your creative process? How does your music come to life?
Well, Thanks for the comment about my work, I really enjoy writing songs and you know it’s half luck the other half timing and if it feels right, I pick up a guitar and I can start playing and suddenly a song appears. I think if I set out trying to make it happen I don’t think it would be as good, Hey don’t get me wrong, as a musician and artist you gotta have discipline and respect the craft, that means doing it in the mood or not but it’s gotta feel right. I get the Inspiration down and then after that, it’s all good I can start to go back to it again and work on it. That’s how it goes, it’s like a few different stages of development. You got the demo part, get down the idea I can’t stress that enough, so many times I started to play and I got a riff and suddenly it’s gone. As I’m reaching for the recorded.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, we got the Album out, I’d like to get a new Drummer and really want to get a solid following, are fans are really the best! I just wish it wasn’t so scattered around at this point My goal for this release is to get it in the Billboard Charts. You know that’s the goal, make a record and have it go to the top. The music is already where it needs to be for this to happen. I have some killer new ideas and so I know the next follow-up release will be a continuation of the growth of this outfit!
Stem, it was such a pleasure having you with us today. Is there anything you would like to say to our readers and your fans?
Please do check the New Album out. “OverWorked & UnderPaid” which is available everywhere Friday the 31st of May! And if you’re interested please check out the Website and get on the email mailing lists and get your information! You guys are a great team and thanks for having me on!!
Check the links below, discover more about Stem and The Dead Smokes, and don’t forget to add their tracks to your favorite playlists!
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