Sydney’s very own grunge rockers The Violet Stones are back with their second album PIN that was released yesterday! Sarah, Louis and Jarrod had a chat to Jess from Moody Music and the band spilled all the tea on the album including the story behind the name PIN, their influences, tea parties with mannequins and the secret song.
First off, how did you guys become band?
Sarah: Jarrod and I met in high school, and it was actually our music teacher who put us together. I think that she wanted us to perform a few songs for the school assembly, and so she put a bunch of us together, so it was Jarrod and I and our ex drummer. So, we were like “the school band” and we were called Amethyst. It wasn’t until a year or two after school that we decided to start up again and changed our name.
We met Louis through one of my Dad’s friends, I guess.
Louis: it was a mutual music teacher who worked at my high school, and he asked if I was interested in playing with this band [The Violet Stones] and showed me some of their music, which was close to Nirvana. I thought that was pretty cool, and that’s how I joined.
What does the name “The Violet Stones” come from? I know that Sarah you mentioned ‘Amethyst’ is there a connection?
Sarah: We got Amethyst from my birthstones and we wanted something that sounded cool. But we wanted something a bit more unique, there are actually a few bands out there called Amethyst already. We changed it to The Violet Stones because it’s the same thing pretty much, but it’s a little more unique.
For the new album, PIN, you guys must be getting very excited about the release and it will also be your second album, following on from Exordium (2019). What was it like creating PIN? Was there any pressure or expectation on this second album?
Louis: I don’t think there was any pressure to be honest… well I didn’t feel any pressure, I don’t know about Sarah though haha. I think that we worked pretty well together during our first album. Sarah would write these songs and bring them to the band, and then we would all have a discussion around which songs we like and whether we put them on the album or not just depended on whether we liked it.
Sarah: There’s not really any pressure, I guess because we’ve had these songs for years, and only just this year have recorded them. We had uploaded live performances of us and demos with these songs, so people are expecting these songs to come out, so I guess there’s a little bit of pressure whether they are up to our fans standards of like what they are expecting, and there’s a lot of songs on there.
Yeah there’s 14! That’s pretty good for an album
Sarah: I guess there was a little bit of pressure with the timing. We did say that [PIN] would be out by 2020, cause that was our goal, so we are rushing a little bit towards the end, and the quarantine didn’t help at all because we couldn’t record. But we got it done!
The album title PIN, I think is very cool, I thought it was like a punk safety pin, but it actually has a much deeper meaning behind it. So it’s PIN Political, Injustices and Negligence. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of this to the band?
Sarah: Originally when we were trying to come up with a name to sum up all the songs, I wrote out all the songs and their general meanings, and was like “hmm.. what word could sum it all up?”. I wrote down Politics, Injustices and Negligence, and was like what word could mean all of those things? Then I was like “wait, PIN”.
I remember I was talking to Louis about it and we were like it could also have all of these other meanings to, like ‘pin of a grenade’ and ‘put a pin in it’, just all of these different phrases.
Louis: Or to even ‘pin something down’, like to suppress something. I think that it was a good word that summarises all the songs and theme of the album, as well as leaving enough room for listeners to interpret it how they want it with the multiple meanings behind it.
A lot of the songs talk about these massive topics such as racism, sexism, mental health, topic people in general and also religion. Why are those themes so important to include in your music?
Sarah: It’s issues that affect us I guess. I find it really hard writing about like shallow stuff, I find it boring. I’m really passionate about all these subjects and it’s just what I want to write about.
What are the musical influences behind the album, I know you mentioned Nirvana before, who else are inspirations?
Louis: For bass and drums, during the period in which we wrote the album, I was listening to System of a Down and quite a lot of nu metal and thrash metal like Korn and Slipknot, those three would be my biggest influences I was listening to at that point in time.
Jarrod: For me, I think I was mainly listening to Crossfaith at the time, and I think I was incorporating a few things from her work into the album. I know that I did try to bring a lot of the influence into GAP and another song. I would say that was one of my dominate influences.
Sarah: I think mine were like System of a Down and Korn as well. I had written probably a handful of songs years before I had brought it to the band, and I just used to like to Nirvana and Foo Fighters, all those grunge bands. So when bringing it to the rest of the band, we produced it more to sound like our current influences.
Louis: It wasn’t a conscious decision in which sound we kind of go off into, it was just what happened.
The latest single is Shark, what can you tell us behind the song and with the music video as well, do you guys often have tea parties with mannequins?! Where on earth did that video idea come from?
Louis: I directed it, we had this idea of fake people, which is what mannequins are, and us being involved with them and having tea parties with them, it’s like ‘you are who you hang out with’, and so when people hang around with egotistical people, they become egotistical dolls themselves. It was mainly to say that people with an ego are actually scared and they put on a façade, that was the idea behind the music video. I thought it was really fun to shoot at my brother’s place, and we had a lot of fun doing it.
What song or songs do you think that fans will be surprised by?
Sarah: I think probably What You Brought, I guess it’s a ballad and we’ve never played it live or shown anyone.
It’s the secret song!
Louis: it is!
Sarah: it fades out and then it fades back in at the end.
Louis: it’s a nice little surprise. I think it’s cool to have a song in there that isn’t known by the fans or have a live version of, We thought that was very different.
What are your favourite songs off PIN?
Louis: There’s favourites in terms of like what we are doing, whether it’s playing it live or the outcome of the production, like we really like the way it’s recorded. For me my favourite song is Stubborn, it just has an interesting and heavier feel to it, and the riff is really fun to play live.
Sarah: And you wrote it!
Louis: Yeah and because I wrote the riff!
Sarah: My favourite song would be Insane, it has my two favourite chords in it A to F, and there’s only two chords in the whole song, but I don’t think you could really tell cause there’s so much variation and dynamics. I think it’s really fun to play and listen to.
Jarrod: I would say Power Hungry, the main riff in that has a fun little groove it and then once we hit the chorus we then slap in this dark tone over everything.
Any final words or message you want to get out to fans?
Louis: Thanks to our fans, thanks for just supporting us. PIN is our second album and we are very grateful for the support we have received so far, even with our first album. We hope they really enjoy it and find some value in it, cause we worked really hard on it, and we enjoy it ourselves, so we hope they do as well.
That was Sarah, Louis and Jarrod from The Violet Stones chatting about the band’s new album PIN which is available now! Go suss it out and also check out the band’s socials below.
THE VIOLET STONES are:
Sarah Jane / Lead Vocals & Guitar
Jarrod Mazzacca / Lead Guitar
Louis Libran / Bass & Backing Vocals
FFO: Violent Soho, Dear Seattle, WAAX
THE VIOLET STONES Social Media
#moodymusic #moodymusicblog #moodymusicblogau #music #blog #blogger #alternativerock #altrock #altrockmusic #rockmusic #grunge #grungemusic #grungerock #newalbum #sydneymusic #pin #thevioletstones #sydneymusicscene SAT 12 DEC 2020