Mourning Stone is:
BOOTLEG METAL: So let’s get things started with the name. Who came up with the name and what’s behind it?
MOURNING STONE: Great question! Adam actually came up with the name. Our first band logo was of a huge medieval tombstone, with a sort of purple overlay. It was absolutely hideous! The name really fits our personalities. Most of our songs deal with fighting depression, anxiety, and loss; we simply draw from life experience. Instead of drab and grim as the name may suggest, we like to keep it as upbeat as possible… but that could change at any time, who knows? We’re not dead set on a method to the madness, how we should sound, or anything else. We thought it was a cool name and we’re simply just being ourselves when making our music. We make music that we love to listen to and if anyone else likes it, that’s a good bonus! Ultimately, all we can do is be ourselves when writing new songs.
BOOTLEG METAL: Where is the band from?
MOURNING STONE: Adam is from the United Kingdom, and I live near Houston Texas. We actually met in person once last year for the first time. We hung out in London for the day and had a great time! We visited some great places to eat, hung out in some music stores and jammed for a while, talked about music and where we were going with the project, but we were just simply enjoying each other’s company. At the end of the day, saying goodbye… that was one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve ever had to do. Not knowing when or if we’ll ever meet up again really sucks. We try and skype once every month or so, but we generally send a daily email, or two, or three back and forth.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is this the original line up and how did you guys find yourselves in the same band?
MOURNING STONE: Yes, this is the original lineup. Mourning Stone consists of just Adam and me so far. We’re on the lookout for a drummer, but it would have to be the right person. They would have to completely fit in with the friendship and our work ethic. It’s not a “must have” for us, we would be just as happy hiring out the percussion. We met on a musician networking site called Broadjam.com, where we have both collaborated with other very talented and inspiring musicians in the past. I guess we were both in sort of a creative rut at the time we met. I had written the music for a couple of songs and needed a vocalist/lyricist to help me out. I was had just started reaching out across the internet and we found each other on another site, I think it was Bandmix, and when he messaged me I said, “Hey, don’t I know you from broadjam?” What a cool way to meet up and begin a band project! We promptly started writing and recording in January 2015, sending our tracks back and forth through drop box. I guess we made Mourning Stone official when we produced our 6 song EP called “5 Ways to Broken” which was released in December 2015 and is of course available wherever digital music is sold. You can hear one of those first original songs on that EP that Adam wrote lyrics for and sang. The song is called “Give Me a Reason”, and we are very proud of that one. Not only because it was the first, but also because it’s such a cool alt-rock tune.
BOOTLEG METAL: Does everyone contribute to the writing process or does someone generally write the lyrics and/or music?
MOURNING STONE: Adam will generally have the lyrical ideas… sometimes I’ll have ideas for choruses but it takes me much longer to throw a complete song together. He will usually send me a full song demo and then we take it from there! I usually put my spin on it, help out with writing music and arranging the song as well as coming up with my own parts. Sometimes changing the song altogether and forcing him to rewrite lyrics to fit. He hates when I do that! But he’s so receptive to my ideas and just seems to run with them. Probably why we have such a great working relationship, we play off of each other’s creativity. He’s kind of like my launch pad, and we joke that we are musical soulmates.
BOOTLEG METAL: What are your songs about? Fact? Fiction? Personal experiences?
MOURNING STONE: Mostly personal experiences with some fiction all balled up together. I think there’s a very fine line meant to be crossed in telling a story within the lyrics. In my own writing, I usually start with what I know in my own personal experiences and observations of the world and may twist it to suit the music or make the story more interesting. Ultimately, we must serve the song to make it our best possible work each time we produce something.
BOOTLEG METAL: What genre do you feel (the band) fit’s in the best and what influenced your writing to get you there?
MOURNING STONE: Mourning Stone makes a solid fit within the Alternative Rock genre. We both grew up listening to 80’s hair metal and 90’s grunge, alternative rock, nu-metal and everything in between. We have sort of a Megadeth meets Guns N Roses and Bon Jovi sound. Adam has a perfect 80’s hair metal singing voice, when mixed with all of our other influences, it couldn’t be anything other than alternative. We’re not really modern rock in that we sometimes use different types of drum samples and electronic synths in most of our songs. Although some of them may be a more straightforward, “as you would expect rock song”, where we go with production all comes down to serving the song. If it doesn’t need synths or drum samples, it doesn’t get them. We have been doing quite a bit more experimentation lately with adding in different elements and timbres to our music. The last 2 songs, Rise Again and Damned and Broken (just released), we’ve played with time signature changes, and I think we pulled it off seamlessly and they are being very well received by our listeners. Rise Again is 6/8 time and then changes to 4/4 in the bridge and back to 6/8. Damned and Broken is a 4/4 song but we switched to 5/8 for the bridge and back to 4/4. I love Tool, one of my favorite bands and always love how they employ different time signatures into their music. Think Dream Theatre… the masters!
BOOTLEG METAL: What was your latest gig?
MOURNING STONE: My greatest all time dream would be to find a drummer and a bassist and take Mourning Stone on the road. Since that is much of an impossibility, we’ve been trying to get our performances across through our music videos which lately, we’ve both just purchased green screens to help us out. We also try to get our fans involved by asking for their submissions for our music videos as well. Since we haven’t found a way to engage them in a live concert setting, I feel this is the next best thing, and they LOVE it!
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a favorite cover that always finds its way on your set list and is there a story behind it?
MOURNING STONE: We actually covered a country song by Mark Wills called “What Hurts the Most”. It sounds killer as an alt rock song! I guess I kind of liked it before, but I’m totally in love with our version. That was all Adam’s idea to cover that one. We were talking one day and agreed that we should cover a song, so I suggested that we find something that he really likes that was most comfortable for him to sing. He sent a demo of his version of What Hurst the Most and I instantly fell in love with it!
BOOTLEG METAL: So what’s in the works for (the band)?
MOURNING STONE: We have an ongoing campaign through twitter to find new people that may like our music, make industry contacts, and online radio airplay. Adam is doing a killer job on his end by finding radio stations that will play our music, and I’ve been searching the twitter void for people that will listen. It’s really great meeting new people and we have received a lot of great feedback and some die-hard support this way. We will continue down this path we’re currently on. It just feels “right”. One thing we would like to do is see more support through Patreon so we can up our game. Until then, we’ll keep doing what we’ve always done… learn to master the tools we have at our disposal.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a recent album/EP release you’d like to tell us about and where can we get it?
MOURNING STONE: Our first and only EP released in December last year titled “5 Ways to Broken”. You can find it anywhere digital music is sold and played. We’ve gone from producing EP’s to concentrating on singles for several reasons, but I guess the main reason is to keep things interesting. Since we’re very new and we don’t tour, it seems to work better for us to release singles every month or two with a music video to support the single.
BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have merchandise for sale?
MOURNING STONE: Currently we have merch vailable HERE
BOOTLEG METAL: Where can you be found online?
MOURNING STONE: You can always connect and contact us through our WEBSITE, TWITTER or FACEBOOK, Also www.patreon.com/mourningstone, We have music posted literally everywhere that you would find all big name artists and then some. Bandcamp, itunes, amazon mp3, deezer, Spotify, soundcloud and so many others.
BOOTLEG METAL: As far as videos, sites, merch, etc. Are you guys more of a DIY band or do you hire out?
MOURNING STONE: We are what most would consider a DIY (Do It Yourself) band because we write, record, mix and master our own music. Sometimes we seek out a mastering engineer, but lately we’ve been doing it all ourselves. We do it all ourselves out of necessity, but this isn’t a bad thing. It helps keep us creative by finding inexpensive or crafty ways of doing things. Finding ways to get our fans, friends, and family members involved helps us out a lot also. My daughter is currently designing our first REAL band / brand logo. Stay tuned for that, it looks really cool so far! Since we are a DIY band, we seriously need lots of help to achieve our goals. Look us up on Patreon.com/mourningstone!
BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have or are you looking for a label/manager?
MOURNING STONE: We’re not actively searching, no. If it happens it happens. It’s kind of like when you’re young and single. You won’t ever find the love of your life until you stop looking it seems. So officially, we’re not looking. (smiles)
BOOTLEG METAL: One question I like to ask. What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you wrote?
MOURNING STONE: Wes: Head like a hole by Nine Inch Nails
Adam: Love like crazy by Lee Brice.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there another artist or band that is totally not your genre that you listen to?
MOURNING STONE: Wes: All the time! We love all sorts of music and from many different genres. How about T-pain and Akon. Shhh… don’t tell anyone. That’s my dirty little secret.
Adam: Mine has to be Lady Antebellum or Keith Urban.
BOOTLEG METAL: How do you think downloading music whether legal or illegal affected the music community?
MOURNING STONE: Adam: I'm kinda torn with this whole download thing. If it wasn't for the internet and stream/download sites Wes and I wouldn't have met or started down this awesome journey. But I love CD’s and that whole physical package.
I think it's hard for bands to make enough from digital sales/downloads to do this full time now, and as more people use streaming sites where the amounts paid to artists are soooo low, this will only get worse.
But I guess this is the age we live in and we either adapt or die!! It's just as well we musicians do it for the love of doing it really!!!
BOOTLEG METAL: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and answering the questions. Is there anything you’d like to add?
MOURNING STONE: Wes: Yes! We are always looking for ways to have our fans involved in our music. Just recently we put out a music video for our single “Damned and Broken”, watch the video to see them in action… it was a lot of fun for all of us! The cover art for the single was done by a friend and fan as well. This is what being an artist means to us. Writing music that we hope others can relate to and also finding ways for them to become involved with it on another level.