It’s hard to imagine that Victorian band Stonefield, that’s members range from 13-21 years of age, could be ‘veterans’ of St. Kilda Festival, but as lead singer and drummer Amy Findlay explains, they are.
“I guess you could say we’ve kind of grown up as a band at St Kilda Festival!” explains a genuinely excited Findlay. “In 2010 we played on The Push stage through a Freeza thing for younger bands, last year we played on the New Music stage on Acland Street and this year we’re doing the main stage down on the foreshore. So it’s really exciting to play there again and again, to progress each year!”
Amy Findlay is the eldest of the four Findlay sisters with Hannah on guitar, Sarah Keyboards and Holly, the youngest, on bass.
To gain insight into Stonefield’s dynamic and to have a wee bit of fun, Findlay is asked to describe herself and her sisters as though they were super heroes. “I’m the organisational freak one – my power would be to make everything make sense and work. Hannah is super serious, super professional, I’m not sure what power that would be but super cool,” with Findlay searching for a manifestation of her sister’s super cool and controlled demeanor it is suggested that some kind of ice related power. “Yeah something like an ice power, yeah that makes sense. Now, Sarah is like the super funny super hero. And Holly is a crazy party animal… super hero,” Amy giggles.
Coming back to the topic of St Kilda Festival, Findlay discloses that since last year’s festival appearance she has moved to the bayside suburb and loves it. Living closer to Carlisle Street in St Kilda East, Findlay talks about one of her favourite places to go. “Los Chicas just near Balaclava station is my favourite place to eat in East St Kilda.” Los Chicas is a very popular café renowned for its coffee but is infamous for its long waits to get a table. “They have awesome food – I don’t actually drink coffee but I know that it is known for that. But the food is pretty good. I’ve been lucky every time I have gone and got a table pretty much straight away.”
Since breaking through into the rock’n’roll mainstream after winning Triple J’s Unearthed High in 2010 and the runaway success of the single Through The Clover Stonefield have had many highlights with 2011 being a particularly strong year for the band. It started off with a raved about performance and Victoria’s super cred Boogie Festival and then peaked with a performance at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival. Findlay talks about the band’s Glastonbury experience. “It was so good. Both our parents came over with us and we all had such a good time.
“Backstage at Glastonbury was very professional but chilled out at the same time, if that makes sense. The whole backstage set up was pretty strict but you step out from backstage and everyone is just chilled out and having a good time – we found that out in the actual festival was the best place to be!”
However, with hype and success comes the pressure to follow it up with more quality releases. Talking to Amy Findlay one realises that Stonefield, despite their age, are an extremely professional outfit – four young people with the drive to become adept in all aspects of the professional recording industry. The band is just weeks away from releasing a new six track mini-album. Findlay discusses the mini-album and its producer Lindsay Gravina, who as in-house producer at Melbourne’s Birdland Studios has produced a multitude of successful Australian bands from The Living End, Magic Dirt and Spiderbait. “His biggest influence is probably teaching us to listen to mixes properly. He’s just really taken the time to make sure everything is done properly and explore all options and not just whack down your first idea and get the best out of the song.” Off this forthcoming mini-album, there is one song that animates Findlay because of its left-of-centre atmosphere.
“Ruby Skies is the song from the forthcoming EP that I am particularly excited about. I just like that it’s more experimental and not so typical. We’re doing a thing where the melody will be guitar and vocals doubled and then in the chorus I going to do some vocal layering and a heap of harmonies. I’m going to try and find some delays and stuff to put on the vocals and just experiment a bit more.”
For those planning to see Stonefield at St Kilda Festival there will be two new songs included in the set, “We will be playing the two songs from the mini-album Bad Reality and Move Out Of My Shadow!”
BY DAN WATT
Stonefield play at 1:15pm on the Main Stage at St Kilda Foreshore. Entry is free.