Featured Rock the Vote Artist
|1. All Together||Stars in Stereo||Single||Rock||3:21|
|2. Red Eyed Romance||Stars in Stereo||Single||Rock||3:05|
|3. The Broken||Stars in Stereo||Single||Rock||3:40|
Stars in Stereo
L.A. based Stars in Stereo are proving to be unstoppable as they approach the finish line of a string of sold out shows with The Used the band refuses to slow down and gears up for a 20-city trek with Foxy Shazam kicking off on June 15 in anticipation of their self-titled debut album coming later this year. Stars in Stereo are: Bec Hollcraft: Lead vocals, Jordan McGraw: Guitar, Justin Siegel: Bass, Ryan “Frogs” McCormack: Guitar, Drew Langan: Drums With a mutual desire to compose anthems that were meant to bring people together. The band’s first single, The Broken, available now at iTunes seems almost prophetic in its call to arms for “the strange, the disarranged, the possessed, the second-guessed,” with its rallying cry, “The secrets have spoken/We are the broken.” “We want people to leave our shows feeling like they are a part of something they might not have been before they saw us. Something they can be proud to represent. We want them to leave exhausted, sweating, and ready for more... an army of the broken.” explains McGraw
Tell us about your first concert experience:
> JM: My parents dragged me to a Celine Dion concert... I actually loved it though! The production was amazing. Definitely contributed to my itch for being on stage.
> B: Embarrassed to say that my first concert was the Backstreet Boys. I think I was 8 at the time, but I already knew that I wanted to be up there on that stage. I remember how excited I felt watching them.
> DL: I went to see Alkaline Trio in middle school. I was a late bloomer when it comes to concert-going so it was a concert to which my best friend had an extra ticket. I was so fascinated by the drummer and just knew I had to do that.
> JS: my first concert experience is very 80's embarrassing. Not quite as cool as the Backstreet Boys or Celine Dion; I snuck out of the house at a very early age to go see Bon Jovi and Skid Row at Giants Stadium. And yes, I still like Bon Jovi and Skid Row.
> F: I took my dad to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for father's day.
If you couldn’t be a musician, what would you be doing instead?
> JM: I've always said I would want to create and name candy. I would go name first though. It would be fun to get to decide what "Spizzle Lit Razzle Bang" would look like. Either that or do voices for cartoons. We have a muppet around all the time named Brian that I love being... I know I know weird.
> B: I would love to write science fiction novels or have a children's TV show. I love creating stories and characters. I have a very child like imagination still. > JS: I would be a psychiatrist or psychologist. I'm obsessed with analyzing the human condition and why we do the things we do, the walls we put up, the gut reactions we have, ect. That obsession definitely feeds my creative output.
> F: I actually did write a science fiction novel already. I'd probably do more of that.
If you could collaborate with one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
> JM: That's tough! Kurt Cobain would definitely be up there towards the top of the list. I'd say Jimi Hendrix but I think I would be too intimidated. Living, though, I would have to say Daft Punk for sure. I love everything they do. They just seem to have an ear for how things should sound that no one else has. The creativity is awe inspiring.
> B: This question is hard for me because I'm inspired by so many different people. I always go back to Shirley Manson from Garbage. I wish we could make some nasty/provocative rock song together and offend some people. She isn't afraid to speak her mind and she's beautiful and cool all at the same time.
> DL: Definitely John Mayer. I know that's strange coming from the drummer of a rock band, but he's the source of so much inspiration for me. He's such an amazing songwriter and has been the soundtrack for so many memories of mine.
> JS: Jim Morrison. He was such an intriguing character, his energy was so raw, he pushed the boundaries of excess and drove every audience to their limit when he performed live. I respect that kind of artistry, when it seems to flow effortlessly, we're so lucky to be on the road with The Used, they are a band like that. They just create, and it comes off that way, raw and real.
> F: I would want to work with a lesser known musician named Matt Mahaffey. Been a huge fan of his for a long long time.
If you became President, what is the first action you would take?
> JM: I would definitely put music programs back in to every school. I think it's an important part of education to have that interest as an option. Art seems to get written off as a hobby or a pass time but it's a huge part of our freedom to express ourselves the best we can. For some people (for me), that expression definitely comes through music and to not have been given the chance to develop that expression, I would be a completely different person.
> B: I'm the kind of person that wants to create a bubble of peace around me and I'm always concerned for people's happiness. I could never imagine being President because I would try to make everything better that was bothering anyone! I would want to make sure every country loved our country and that's just not realistic. I would want to make sure the less fortunate weren't suffering any longer. I would probably want to get rid of the monetary system completely.
> DL: I'd be inaugurated. Zing!
> JS: Ha! Nice Drew. So I suppose the SECOND action I would take as President would be to figure out our military positions in the world. It seems to me that we're a little scattered and all over the place militarily. I understand the fact that this is not a light statement, and there are more complexities to this issue then I could ever understand. I respect that there is more to the story then the public receives and the President has to carry that burden. But we are in a very dangerous time, with no clear cut boundaries when it comes to radical fundamentalists and we don't always know who we are fighting when we deal with these groups.
What social cause is closest to your heart?
> JM: Again, I'd have to stick with music programs being put back in schools. It's a shame to think that someone that wants to play music doesn't have the choice. Especially when that leads to them filling that empty time with something negative.
> B: I also agree with Jordan that the arts are extremely important. If I didn't have that growing up, I wouldn't have had a place to express myself. It seems that right when I left school, the funding for that became almost nothing and it broke my heart to hear the stories from my past theatre teacher and choir teacher. I've never met a person that doesn't love music and it can be a simple program that can change a life.
> JS: I'm not just saying this because this is a Rock the Vote interview, but this organization handles the very issue that I am most worried about in this country, it's not a social cause per say, but it is more of an issue or concern. That is getting the youth out to vote and to promote change. It can only come from us, it is very much our responsibility, and the more we can get that message out in the most digestible way possible the better.
> F: Animal issues are very close to my heart. Living in Los Angeles, animal control is very serious and contentious problem. Far too many cast/dogs/rabbits/etc are put down due to irresponsible human behavior. I would love to see the city, and the country as a whole, to be able to go to a no kill system of handling stray animals. Unfortunately we are very far from reasonably being able to do that.
What does the right to vote mean to you?
> JM: It's huge! It's the right to have a voice in the way things are run... Things that directly impact your everyday life. Without that voice I think it'd be really hard to have a sense of community or a sense of pride in where you live.
> B: It means freedom. It means a chance to make a difference. I feel that everyone should take their chance to make a difference, no matter how insignificant they think it might be. The attitude of thinking it's insignificant is a huge problem in society.
> JS: I think that the right to vote is typically undervalued by adults our age. It is everything, and I hope that the youth of the country can start to realize that if we do come together, we can actually create change in our country. Without the right to vote we have no voice in what happens in our country. I can't and won't ever take the fact that I am an American for granted. We are very lucky to be afforded this right and we should exercise it as much as possible.
> F: I feel that if I am (or anyone else) not educated of all relevent issues, and/or not voting, I have no right to complain about the state of things. I have always exercised my right to vote, even smaller elections. So naturally, I complain a lot.
What bands or artists did you listen to when you were in high school? And which bands or artists influenced your style the most?
> JM: I am a huge Blink182 fan. I think I saw them something like 5 times in one month my senior year of highschool. Their energy is amazing and the music is undeniably catchy. And, again, Daft Punk. Can't get enough.
> B: In high school I was seeking out every female singer from the past and present and trying to learn from them. I loved listening to Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, Heart, Garbage, Evanescence, No Doubt…the list goes on! Because these women could do it, it inspired me to want to do it as well.
> JS: I went through three different musical phases in high school I guess you could say. Grunge being the first, I was and am still massively influenced by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Mother Love Bone, Alice in Chains, ect. After that I got heavily into punk rock, Rancid, The Sex Pistols, Green Day, NOFX, Bad Religion, and later on I started listening to heavier music, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Type O Negative. And I can't list off influences without mentioning Mark Hoppus, he has been a huge influence on me as a bass player and is a very big reason I started playing in the first place.
> F: Biggest influences are: Radiohead, Tool, Primus, Nirvana, Self (the band, not me), and Muse.
> DL: I'm going to go to the complete opposite end of the spectrum from John Mayer here. The first thing that had a really important impact on me musically was Slipknot. The first time I heard their self titled album was a moment that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I grew up on really hard rock like that but in the passed few years, have completely immersed myself in the world of gospel chops. There is such a specific style and feel, that I couldn't stay away. Today, my biggest drumming influences are Aaron Spears (Usher), and Teddy Campbell (Tonight Show).
What activity or group were you involved with in high school that might surprise people today?
> JM: I was a pretty big Jock in highschool which seems to surprise people. I played a lot of lacrosse up until by senior year when I quit to focus on music.
> B: I did most of high school online and started playing open mics and shows when I was 14, so that's all I did!
> DL: Like Jordan, I was a huge jock in high school. I played football all four years.
> JS: Yeah, i'm gonna have to go with the dudes here and let my jockdom known as well. Like Jordan I was very much into lacrosse. Our team won the state championship twice, it was a big sport where I grew up in South Florida.
> F: I was a boyscout, and I studied martial arts. I also spent many summers as a camp counselor.
What's the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in high school? (could be personal or academic)
> JM: It was tough just for me to get out of bed and go haha. I definitely wasn't a fan of school. It's important though... I'm glad I put the work in. You don't realize how the things your learning will help later on. Still always fun to fuck with your teachers though. I definitely almost got expelled for a few pranks. Note to self: don't shock your teachers.
> B: I had to overcome the negative things that people would say to me. It was really hard for me when someone was mean to me, and a lot of people were. They didn't understand me doing music at such a young age and they didn't like it so making friends my age was difficult. I'm so lucky I had a great family who supported me through those angsty teenage years.
> DL: In my personal opinion, high school is an awful place socially and emotionally. I'm gonna go with Bec here. There are a bunch of assholes and learning to deal with their bullshit is a great life lesson.
> JS: I've known what I've wanted to do since I was 6 years old. Every since then, I have only been interested in music. This made any kind of schooling a challenge for me. Since the 2nd grade I found school cumbersome and boring. I know this is a common statement amongst young kids. But my attention was always on music. Playing, listening, it's where my focus was always. I bounced around a few schools until I found one that accepted and appreciated my passion and love for music. They really helped me develop as an adult and made going to school something I could enjoy while incorporating my musical obsession.
> F: When I was 16, my band at the time kicked me out and signed to a major record label shortly thereafter. It was hard watching dudes I had basically learned how to play music and be a band with go off and live the life without me. Instead I went to college.
Do you do any volunteer or community work when you're not on tour?
> JM: I work with a charity called Little Kids Rock. We put music programs back into schools that lost theirs but we do it with rock instruments!
> B: I would like to get more into it, but I recently helped out with promoting Pacific Standard Time in Los Angeles which was a huge collaboration of over 60 art institutions around southern California who held exhibits and programs displaying art from artists native to California. It was fun to help promote local art and I felt a lot of passion for it.
> JS: A number of years ago, my mother developed breast cancer. She has thankfully since beat the disease, but it remains a growing concern amongst females of all ages and races. Since then, my parents and I have gotten heavily involved in the Susan G Komen foundation. Most specifically in Israel and the Bahamas, where they are finding that there are genes specific to the people in these regions that can help detect females with heightened risk and have them checked and treated early.
What change would you like to see in our society in the next year?
> JM: I think the ban on gay marriage is fucking crazy. The idea that a group of people can be singled out and denied a right that everyone else isn't even questioned for is absurd.
> B: I also agree with Jordan. I don't get how it affects anyone who marries who. Everyone deserves the right to express their love for each other and denying them that is horrible.
> DL: I don't feel strongly about many things, but I DEFINITELY agree that this whole gay marriage thing is absolutely insane. I could go on and on about it but the point is, the people that oppose gay marriage now are going to look just as stupid in 60 years as the people who opposed African American rights 60 years ago.
> JS: I think that our party system is incredibly out of whack. The aisle between the far right and the far left has widened to the point of a congressional and presidential stalemate. There are a great many things that need to be accomplished in this country and soon. The politicians who are on the far side of both parties are holding us back, and I'd like to see more compromise so that we can function better as a nation and start to regain our footing on the world stage.
> F: I feel very strongly about getting the influence of money out of politics. It distorts democracy in so many ways, whether it is indirectly by spinning the issues until it isn't clear to many people how to vote according to their best interests, or directly through lobbying and campaign contributions. It all makes me pretty sick.