They’ve toured with David Bowie, The Who, The Rolling Stones and U2. When recently asked what he was listening to, Bob Dylan replied, “Stereophonics.”
Rising from pubs to stadiums, Stereophonics’ accomplishments are near limitless, with six No.1 albums and 11 Top 10 singles, they are one of Britain’s best live bands…and they’re coming up North. Spring next year will see them embark on a major UK and Irish arena tour following the release of their new album, Scream Above The Sounds which includes recent hit singles, All In One Night and their latest single, Caught By The Wind, a rousing rock anthem inspired in part by the Bataclan massacre of 2015. The lyrics employ the listener to ‘celebrate everything’, to embrace life and live without fear while inspiring a strange kind of euphoria, despite the song’s darker context.
“We’re really proud of our new album. We push ourselves as much as possible. There’s nothing like finding new sounds. It’s one of those luxuries when you’re in the studio,” smiles bass player and founder member, Rick Jones.
“We’re all for being positive about everything; we are entertainers at the end of the day. Music is a release from the mundane, it’s a big part of people’s lives. People can lose themselves and discover hope through music. Seeing a crowd singing our lyrics gives me goose bumps and it just spurs us all on to put that extra percentage into the performance. We never take for granted what we do. We realise that we are really fortunate and we try and treat every gig like the first time someone has seen us.
“Music is a release from the mundane”
“Back in the day it was literally partying, now 20 years on, we respect that our fans are coming to see a band and not to see a load of dribbling fools on stage. We tend to look after
ourselves; we hang out a lot when we are on the road. If we have a day off we tend to go for strolls or try to be as cultural as possible.”
Back in the late nineties I was an avid Stereophonics fan, and after a few cider and blacks you would find me thrusting myself about on the dancefloor, in high boots and hotpants to one of my all-time favourite tracks, Bartender And The Thief, nowadays I’m more a comfy shoes and cardigan wearer, but, two decades on the Stereophonics are still creating terrific tunes and now it’s my teenage daughter who struts her stuff around her bedroom to them, while I put the kettle on.
“When you’re in the bedroom listening to music, you can get lost by yourself,” says Rick. Over the last three albums we’ve started seeing younger crowds getting into the band. We’ve still got those from day one but we’re still gaining fans, and that is one of the things we always wanted.
We never wanted to be known for past albums, we want to be contemporary and always moving forward. The digital age, it’s a blessing. We get to know where people are listening to us most around the world. And we wouldn’t have known that Mexico and the Middle East is a big place for us without it.”
How time changes everything, and that’s the magic of the Stereophonics, if music was a reptile, they’d be a chameleon. It’s very rare for a band on their tenth album to connect and engage with a younger audience, but these lads attract different generations to their gigs. “Over the last three albums we’ve started seeing younger crowds getting into the band. We’ve still got those from day one but we’re still gaining fans, and that is one of the things we always wanted. We never wanted to be known for past albums, we want to be contemporary and always moving forward.”
“We’ve always treated each other as family members. We don’t hold back on the truth”
Despite heralding from Cwmaman and sharing the same surname, Rick and lead singer Kelly Jones aren’t related. However, these two lads have spent their formative years together, from playing football on the backstreets to playing live to millions of fans worldwide. Rick has fond memories of them both attending a fancy dress party as Angus (Kelly) and Malcolm (Rick) out of AC/DC. Four decades on, and after spawning a multitude of hit records, getting wed, having kids, these two lads from the Valleys have nothing but brotherly love for each other.
“We’ve always treated each other as family members. We don’t hold back on the truth, we’ve known each other from the age of two. We were at nursery and school together and its one of those relationships where you don’t have to say a lot but we both know exactly what goes on and what needs to be said.
“We are all working class lads and we never take anything for granted, and when we got our first record deal, we knew that was the start of the hard work. You’re only as good as your last album.”
Northern Tour Dates
Fir 9 March, Manchester Arena
Sat 10 March, Leeds First Direct Arena
Mon 12 March, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena