2015 has been an eventful year for the Las Vegas band Stolas. From touring as support (for Dance Gavin Dance) to headlining their own run of shows (with Eidola and Artifex Pereo). Then working through a lineup change and beginning to write and record what will be their third full length album.
R.J. Reynolds and Carlo Marquez sat down to talk with me about what’s been going on and what we should expect from the band in the new year.
N: When did you start playing drums and bass (respectively)? And do you play and other instruments?
C: “I started playing drums when I was 12 years old. My parents got me a kit for Christmas. I don’t play any other instruments but I’ve been singing as far back as I can remember.”
RJ: “I started playing in 2003. I remember I went and saw School of Rock with friends and that was the catalyst to make me want to start a band. My parents got me a bass that year for Christmas. I’m not proficient with any other instruments but I can play a little piano. I played all the piano parts on Allomaternal.”
N: What did you grow up listening to? What were your earliest influences?
C: “When I was really young, I remember thinking NSYNC was awesome. Then I got a little older and my tastes changed and Jason (Weiche) showed me NOFX which got me into rock in general.”
RJ: “I didn’t get into music until I was 12 or 13. My brother started showing me the bands he was into. I remember getting introduced to Blink-182 and then very quickly The Mars Volta and At the Drive In. Red Hot Chili Peppers was the group that made me realize that bass could actually be a cool instument to play. I began to get into jazz and classic rock like Led Zeppelin and Rush. I can also remember hearing Coheed and that being one of the first times I heard music that I wanted to be a part of.”
N: What have you been listening to lately that has inspired you personally?
C: “Circa Survive– Decensus has been on repeat for the last few months. That and Copeland’s new album, Ixora”
RJ: “Copeland- Eat, Sleep, Repeat, Snarky Puppy- We Like It Here, RX Bandits- Gemini, Her Majesty and Margo and the Nuclear So and So’s”
N: What are a few of your favorite albums of all time?
C: “Brand New- The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, every single RX Bandits album, and Circa Survive– Blue Sky Noise”
RJ: “Portugal, the Man- Waiter, “You Vultures!”, HRVRD- The Inevitable and I, Coheed and Cambria– Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, Snarky Puppy- We Like It Here, anything by Closure In Moscow, and Eidola- Degeneraterra”
N: What are a few of the best shows you’ve ever attended? (Not played)
C: “I remember the first time I saw NOFX I payed 10$. They played The Decline ( the 18 min. long song).
I saw Brand New in Pheonix and they played a bunch of songs off Your Favorite Weapon, all of Deja Entendu, and some of Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. That was a truly amazing experience.”
N: What’s your dream line up?
C: “Stolas, RX Bandits, Brand New, and NOFX”
N: What is the writing process of the new album? How is it going so far?
C: “Our writing process is pretty much us sitting down and bouncing ideas off of each other. Sergio and I come up with the crazy ideas and RJ comes in and makes it all make sense.
I’m writing the drum parts and recording them currently. With this new material, lets just say the live shows will be awesome!”
RJ: “It’s always a collaborative effort. One person brings an idea to the table (idea or part to start a song) and we go from there.
We are of the philosophy of building our songs as a unit.”
N: What can you tell us about the next Stolas album?
C: “Personally, I’m playing with new vocal ideas for this new album. When I start putting ideas down I begin wanting to change the music. So it becomes kind of a constant evolution.
The album right now is a child that’s maybe in the first trimester. We don’t want to rush this album. Unfortunately because of deadlines, Allomaternal was a little rushed and not exactly how we wanted it. This time we’re going to make sure we take our time.”
RJ: ” We have 4 songs pretty flushed out at this point. The song writing is a lot more deliberate this time around.
There’s more of a purpose for everything. Everything is necessary and intentional.
We wanted it to be more dynamic and less chaotic at certain points. Sort of a balance between those two elements of our sound.
We’re aiming to be in the studio by May and looking into tours for 2016.”
N: How will harsh vocals be handled on the new record?
C: “Sergio will be handling all the harsh vocals on the new album.”
We look forward to hearing from Stolas soon and I’m sure we will have a studio update for you in the near future. Big thank you to RJ and Carlo for taking the time to talk with me and for being so open with their stories.