I had the opportunity to speak with the folks in Stretford End about the band and their newest release, Letters On Sunspots: Siderevs Nvncivs. The California based band has really brought a lot to the table with this release by writing songs that contain extremely passionate vocals, great melodies and exceptional guitar playing. Fans of the alternative and modern rock genres will absolutely dig what these guys have done. Here is how the conversation went.
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Alexander: We all write the music. Someone will come up with a riff, chord progression or beat and once we have that foundation I’ll hear a melody for it. I write the lyrics after I hear the melody.
Prentice:: I suppose if you call apoplectic screeching a melody then yes, that’s what happens.
Joey: I write all the songs.
Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Alexander: A few are Green Day, Our Lady Peace, Johnny Cash and U2.
Prentice: I really draw from a lot of pop music artists such as Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake, as well as rock acts like 30 Seconds To Mars.
Joey: Your mom influences me a lot. So does your sister.
Check out the song “Drift”
If you could jam with any famous musician, dead or alive, from any century, who would it be and why?
Alexander: Billie Joe Armstrong, because he’s the best frontman alive.
Prentice: James Brown, ’cause he’s got soul and he’s super bad!
Joey: Prentice Daggs.
The name of the band Stretford End is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Prentice: A few years ago my buddy David Beckham and I were out golfing in London with our friend Gary Neville (I was winning, by the way) and I happened to mention that I was trying to come up with a good name for the new band I was starting. It came down to David’s suggestion, Stretford End, and Gary’s choice Mercyside Floppers so we made a bet: If I finished the 9th hole under par, I’d go with David’s choice and if I went over I would go with Gary’s. Needless to say, I’m downright splendid on the golf course.
Now that your brand new CD, Letters On Sunspots: Siderevs Nvncivs, is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Alexander: Yes we’re very happy with it. We hope that other people enjoy it as much as us.
Prentice: It’s not complete.
Joey: I played the Bass, no further questions.
You worked with Gus Cryns a very well-known well respected producer. How did you get in touch with him and what was it like working with him?
Alexander: Gus was working for John Feldman, another great producer, and came across our demo. He contacted us about working on a track.
Prentice: We were really blown away by his work and it’s been true love every since.
Alexander: Gus is amazing; he really understands the recording process from an artist’s point of view and is all about collaboration, rather than insisting on having things his way.
Joey: Who the fuck is Gus Cryns?
Prentice: He tried to get all “Roots” on me once, kept calling me “Chicken George” and I had to set him straight.
Did he push you in different directions?
Alexander: I wouldn’t say push so much as encourage. We’re all on the same page in the sense that we are always trying to do something different than the last time.
Prentice: Gus definitely tries to push us in an Avenged Sevenfold direction. If we try to question him he just screams incoherently and points to his platinum record.
Joey: He pushed me in a new direction…sexually.
Give us some insight into the record and the meaning behind its title?
Alexander: We’re currently in the middle of a 3-EP series, the summation of which is entitled Letters On Sunspots, which is in reference to a series of papers that Galileo wrote that stated, among other things, that the planets are corruptible, not simple smooth spheres as was common knowledge in his time. For attempting to speak the truth he got into a great deal of trouble with the Church, which claimed that the heavens were perfectly made in God’s image and the Earth was the center of the universe. “Siderevs Nvncivs”, which translates from Latin to “Starry Messenger”, is the name of the first of Galileo’s papers on the subject. Simply put, the record is about truth.
Joey: You know, he says that every time but I still think the record is about chicks & beer.
Prentice Yes, Alex really is a chicks, beer and Nascar loving kind of guy once you get to know him.
Times are tough these days. Do you have a job when you are not touring?
Alexander: Professional Wombat Wrangler.
Prentice: I’m a talent scout for Manchester United.
Joey: Cumulus clouds, always! Wait…what was the question?
Any touring plans lined up yet?
Alexander: We’re working on it; touring has to be financially feasible.
Prentice: Go to www.facebook.com/stretfordendband cause dates will be posted there.
Joey: The Beatles are opening for us September 24th at the Greek Theatre in LA.
Check out the song “The Fates”