What started out as jamming in the family shed soon turned into something extraordinary for Stonefield. Coming from a tiny rural town just north of Melbourne, the four Findlay sisters – Amy, Hannah, Sarah and Holly, were just coming to the end of recording their first EP, Through The Clover, when their mum mentioned that they should apply for triple j’s Unearthed competition. Apprehensive as to whether their song, Foreign Lover, would make the competition cut, the girls – all aged between 13 and 21 – bit their tongues and entered the competition anyway. What did they have to lose, right? And just like they say with any great tale, the rest is history.
I spoke to guitarist and second-oldest member of the band, Hannah, about all things Stonefield, and the perks of being in a band with people that share the same gene pool.
“We sort of thought that there wasn’t much point [entering the Unearthed competition]. We didn’t think that we had a chance because we’d listened to some of the other bands, and they were all amazing. But we [entered the competition] anyway, and we won it. We were all really surprised and we were really happy with it – hearing our song on the radio was absolutely crazy, and having so many more people know about our band. It was amazing.”
From that time forward, the Findlay sisters have only gone from strength to strength, taking their sounds all around Australia, and spreading their love for music and rock‘n’roll across the seas. And with numerous accolades already under their belt, the girls continue to have their sights set on just what’s next on the Stonefield agenda.
“I think probably playing Glastonbury has pretty much been the biggest highlight of the band so far. It was a really, really good experience. Supporting Foo Fighters as well, that was really crazy. And just being able to go on tour around Australia and have people turn up to our shows, it’s all just been amazing.”
But as much as the sun has already shone down on the Darraweit Guim foursome, whose music diet growing up consisted of the likes of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, there is still much more to come from these sisters. Their latest single, Bad Reality, has been making its way around triple j radio and iTunes with rave success, further emphasising just why Stonefield are keeping the pure Australian music scene alive.
“I think [working with my sisters is] good because we know how each other works, we know when to give each other space. If somebody’s feeling a little bit frustrated, we try and just let them do their thing until they’ve calmed down a little bit, and then we can get back into it. We’ve always been really close, and have always hung out together, so I think we should be fine for a long time,” Hannah laughs.
“I feel like [over time] our song-writing has improved a lot and we’ve learnt a lot of things from past recordings – how we could make it better, and little things like that; trying to make everything sound as good as we can get it.”
Speaking to Hannah, it’s obvious that the most exciting and important part of the whole experience are the live performances. As she described it, “it’s just a pure rock‘n’roll show – lots of energy and just really fun.”
The band’s electric sound is yet to be further emphasised with their upcoming EP. Having worked with renowned producer Lindsay Gravina (Magic Dirt, The Living End, Rowland S Howard), Hannah admits that with every new dimension of the band’s progression comes a satisfactory step towards their continuing ambitions.
“I feel like our song-writing has improved a lot and we’ve learnt a lot of things from past recordings, but it also does have that same rock sound [that you can hear in] all of our other songs.”
One would assume that the Stonefield girls already have their year cut out for them. But everything aforementioned is just the beginning, with the sisters planning on releasing a sophomore record by the year’s end.
“We haven’t gotten really into [recording the album] yet, but we’re aiming to have it done by the end of this year. We’ve started working on it now, but we’re going to finish it in-between touring this EP and yeah, just taking every opportunity that we can get while working hard on writing.”
“Once we get the album out, we’re really hoping that we’ll be able to head overseas and tour over there as much as we can. And yeah, just keeping on improving our writing and playing as many shows as we can to hopefully bigger and bigger audiences.”
Stonefield fans, are you ready? It’s going to be as big a year for the girls, as it is for you trying to keep up with them.
BY SIMONE ZIADA
STONEFIELD launch their single Bad Reality at the Northcote Social Club on Tuesday April 24 (soldout) and Wednesday April 25. Tickets available from northcotesocialclub.com. They also play the all-ages Sounds Loud festival taking place at Queens Park in Moonee Ponds this Sunday April 15.