Songwriting UK — Winter 2017

(Axel Boer) #1












“It’s interesting. I guess I just look and go
‘what am I trying to say? And what type of
song would I like to use to do it?’
“Sometimes you go by your standalone.
When I was writing the music for Rose
Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So
Am I) I was kind of saying to myself that I
would love to write a song that has kind
of a seventies vibe to it. And honestly, it’s
strange because it came out in a way that
didn’t sound seventies at all, but it kind of
has that old skool rock ‘n’ roll vibe to it.
“So the inspiration for that song for me
was everything from The Clash to Cheap
Trick. Those are two influences that I
haven’t worn as openly on my sleeve,
without people knowing, but without
those two bands I’d be nothing.
“So for me, being able to draw that
inspiration this many years later, from two
bands that have been with me my whole
life, and really kind of becomes something
more than I even thought it would be,
is pretty badass, to be able to create

something new and interesting that makes
the audience go ‘WOAH, where did that
come from?!”
“That’s where it comes from, that’s
where it’s at. The excitement.
“So I guess it’s a lot of different things;
my ears prick up when I hear something I
haven’t heard before, or feel something I
haven’t felt before, something that kind of
draws me in. That’s what gets me excited
about working on other people’s stuff.
“And when it comes to my stuff, it’s very
much about the vibe of what I’m trying
to put out. And then I just tap into it and
give it to the guys and let them take it
somewhere that I never thought it would
ever go.”

Will all of the songwriting for Stone
Sour begin with you?
“We kind of do it all. We all write
individually, but we can also jam together
and kind of let it happen. I know that
Christian, Roy, and Chow, have done a lot

of stuff together. And then Christian and
Josh have done a lot of stuff together.
“We can pull from any realm, from any
inspiration, from any type of exercise when
it comes to the songwriting. For us there
are no wrong answers,. It’s just music that
we’re not feeling, or music that we are
totally feeling.
“That’s where it comes from, man. If
there’s stuff we’re not vibing on, that we’re
not feeling immediately, then we put it
on the backburner. And we work on it
later. But we always try to focus on the
stuff that’s got our attention, that we focus
on, whether it’s individually, or as a band.
That’s what we try and follow into the
realm of inspiration.”

You were 17 when Nevermind and The
Black Album were released and you
started Stone Sour a year later. How
influential were those records/the
success that came from them in you
forming a band?
“The crazy thing is that I had my feet in
so many different realms musically; not
only did those albums come out, but a
couple of years before that you had Slave
To the Grind, Facelift, and then there were
the mainstays: Appetite For Destruction,
obviously being a massive Mötley Crüe
fan, all the thrash stuff, all the early 80s
hardcore stuff, I listened to everything.
“Then plus, coming from the Midwest,
you had Soul Asylum, Prince, Chicago (Big
Black)... So I had all these crazy influences
going around me and the thing is that
Stone Sour, when it started (and don’t
laugh because this is true!) I wanted it to
sound like a combination of Metallica, Skid
Row, and Pearl Jam. Those three bands.
“Those were the bands I wanted Stone
Sour to really draw from. And our early
stuff, when I was singing before my balls
dropped(!) it had that kind of vibe; it
was a good heavy crunch to it, and this
is back when I was singing and playing
guitar on everything. But there was a good
alternative bent to it, but we didn’t shy
away from the big, I hate to say hair rock,
but big hard rock choruses, and Skid Row
had that. And I’m still to this day one of
the biggest Skid Row fans of all time and
people can kiss my ass on that!
“That’s where we started. And I think
that mindset has stayed with me all through
the years - fuck what everyone says, fuck
what everybody thinks, and just write what
you wanna write, do what you wanna do,
sing what you wanna sing and don’t let
anybody tell you what’s right and what’s
wrong because that’s the way to talk
yourself out of a great idea, to let other
people decide whether a song is good to


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