Stone Broken has far from been resting on their laurels. Last year the group performed their first headline shows in the US as well as undertaking a run of dates with the likes of Adelita’s Way and Fozzy. However, it was their UK audience which the band really yearned for.

It’s fair to say that things just keep on getting bigger and better for the Midlands-based quartet. It just goes to show that hard work pays off.

National Rock Review recently caught up with Stone Broken frontman Rich Moss at the band’s sold out show at the Riverside Newcastle to talk about life on the road, the band’s recent US tour along with their plans for the follow up to their latest Top 40 album Ain’t Always Easy.

So you are currently on tour across the UK. How have the shows been going so far?

It’s gone really well. We played our first headline show in Belfast the other day and it was like almost a sell out with just eight tickets left, which is pretty cool for us. We’ve only ever played there once. We’ve had a great response to everything that we’ve done so far on the road. And tonight here in Newcastle is sold out.

What would you say has been the highlight of the tour so far, which has been the best show?

It’s a tough one because they all have their own little bits that are great, you know, but in Glasgow, we played the main room of the Garage. And just to see the amount of people there, it was amazing. So I think, I mean that’s a highlight because we play Glasgow a lot, and we’ve never played that room and headlining. We’ve supported in that room, but it was just amazing to go out there – I hadn’t seen the crowd beforehand, so I literally walked out on stage and looked out, I was like, I could not get the smile off my face. So that was pretty special.

And obviously, you’ve got Those Damn crows out this time around, which, you know, it’s a great combination, two amazing British bands. What’s it like having those guys out in the road with you?

It’s cool. Like we hadn’t met them previous to the tour, but we heard awesome things about them and we had heard their music. So I mean, we were all about getting the right bands for the bill. We spent a lot of time thinking about who we want to bring out on the road with us. And, we’ve heard from a lot of our fans, you know, that Those Damn Crows are doing really well. And we saw what they were doing and we thought, you know what, they seem like nice guys. And then so we brought them on the whole tour, they’re the only band that’s playing the whole tour with us. And the first day that we met them, they were just so down to earth, they came up and they really appreciate being on the tour with us and we said, you know, we appreciate you coming along and putting on a great show every night. And they’ve done really well. Everyone really loves them and they’re great guys. So it’s been a pleasure to have them out on the road with us. I mean it’s only day five so we will see (laughing)? I’m joking. No, they are great guys. And yeah, so we’ve got some new mates. It’s great because you get to hang out when you’re not doing things. And it tends to be quite busy on the road, but when you walk into a room and the support band are in there and they’re all smiles and you go over, you give them a hug and it’s great.

I think this must be the fourth time you’ve played in this venue (Riverside Newcastle). Because I’ve seen you here with Glenn Hughes, Living Colour and last year you played a headline show during the middle of ‘The Beast from the East’. Do you enjoy performing in the North East?

I mean, before we had played this venue, we played The Cluny and that was our first ever time playing in Newcastle and we must have played to about 30 people. And then we came back and like you’re saying, we did Glenn Hughes, we did Living Colour and it’s just grown and grown and grown into a place like tonight, it’s sold out. It’s just, it’s been a crazy journey. And you get little towns where it just happens for you, you know like we could go down the road and we wouldn’t have sold out a venue, but here you know, we always have a great reception and people seem to love it and so we will keep coming back. It’s great.

As I said, I’ve been fortunate enough to see you guys perform several times, both headline, support, and festival appearances. With each show, it seems that you have been getting a really great response. Do you feel that the momentum is building with each tour?

Oh definitely. That’s kind of the key really is keeping that momentum going and it’s something that we work hard to try and maintain because it can be easy to take your eye off the ball and stuff, especially when you’ve got other things like after this tour we’re going to start working on the next record. We never want to lose that momentum, so you’ve always got to keep announcing things. So yeah, I can definitely feel as though it’s still going and it’s still going to be growing because we’ve got to keep working and keep working. But definitely, I can feel that snowball still rolling down the hill.

Last year you went out on tour across the US with Fozzy and Adelita’s Way as well as performing your first headline US shows and festivals appearances. What was the response like on the other side of the pond?

It was great. We didn’t even know what to expect. Chris our guitarist, he had been over there before, so he kind of did the road trip thing, but the rest of the band had never even been out there. So we’d never experienced it at all. And the first show we got up on stage and we started playing our songs and then people are getting into it and then after three songs I start to speak, and obviously, my British accent comes out and the whole crowd just sort of changes. They look at you on stage and they’re like that’s not an American accent. And from that point on it was kind of like, it was great. They loved us one for our music and two that we were British. So we had a bonus out of there and really it was great. We got to see a lot of the country. I think we did about 14 states across the run. So it was pretty good. But there is still a lot of work to do out there. There’s still a lot of ground to cover. We want to try and get back as soon as we can. We had a great time and we met some awesome people.

So last year you released your second album, Ain’t Always Easy, which debuted in the National UK Album Chart in the Top 40. You just mentioned there, you’ve got plans to record the follow-up. Have you actually started writing towards it? Do you have any sort of timeframe when you think it’s going to come to fruition?

The time frame at the moment is quite loose. I think more importantly that we need to get it right. So although we know that we want to do it this year, we want to get back in the studio this year, we just want to write the best record that we can and if it takes a month longer than we thought it takes a month longer, but yeah, as soon as we got back off the road from this tour, that’s kind of going to take most of our time for the next month or so. So yeah, it’s coming. And we’ve, we’ve started writing some bits and pieces and it’s just getting back into that sort of frame of mind of, you know, this is writing time now. We spend a lot of time on the road and then we spend a lot of time preparing for the next tour we’ve got actually you know, flip the mentality of, okay, we’re going to forget about the road for a little bit, let’s just think about writing the best record that we can. So that’s going to be what we do when we get back. We’re not sure when it’s going to be released, but we’re excited to get started.

So besides that, you recently released your latest single, which is “The Only Thing I Need”. I just wondered if you could tell us a little bit about that song and kind of the inspiration behind it.

I mean, it’s quite different to every other song on that record. When we were putting the record together I turned around to the guys, I said, I want to write a feel good track. Something that makes you think back to the days where you didn’t have that much responsibility and you can just hang out and all that sort of stuff. So I went ahead and started to write it and it actually came out better than I thought it would. There’s a real sense of nostalgia in the track, which is what I was aiming for. And it was written, it’s not like a memory or a story about me or anyone in the band, it’s literally just about the feeling that you have when you think back to when you were in college or university and the stresses of paying bills just aren’t there, you know, and I think that comes across in the track. Everyone seems to think it’s a summer song that was released in winter, but it’s great because it makes people feel as though they are lifted after listening to it. So that was the aim of the track. And that was basically the story behind it, we wanted to just have a feel-good track and have people listen to it, no matter when they listen to it they sort of cast their mind back to a more relaxed time.

I just wondered, in terms of your live show, do you have a particular favourite song you like to perform live and if so, which song and why?

It’s a tough one really because it’s like the question that you asked about the venues. Every song has its own little part, and we try and bring as much life to the show as possible. But obviously “Wait For You” is a great one live because it’s just me and an acoustic and the audience. And then at the end of the track, the whole band come in and everyone in the audience sings it back to us. It’s just the best feeling in the world. But also on this tour for the track, “Anyone” we’ve pushed ourselves to be a bit different and we’ve brought a piano out on tour with us. So I actually played the piano on that track, which takes me out my comfort zone, but I’m just used to having a guitar and stood in front of the microphone. But yeah, that’s a challenge and we like to push ourselves. And for that reason, I think that’s probably one of my favourites. We like to give ourselves a bit of a challenge and it seems to work and everyone seems to dig it.

We’re at the start of New Year, I just wondered do you have 2019 mapped out?

We do, there are the plans that are sort of going together now. And we’ve got plans all the way up until 2020. We try and map it out. It’s like with anything, you can map it out as much as you like, but if something doesn’t happen, it can ruin those plans. You just adapt. I mean, we’ve got things coming in for this year, which we can’t talk about, but it’s looking good and we’re excited and it’s the next chapter, for Stone Broken. You know, we always strive to better the last year, and keep on going and keep on growing. And we’ve got a good team behind us and that really helps like our enthusiasm along with their enthusiasm and passion, makes for a really good team. So, so long as we’ve got that, we know that we’re in great hands and every year is going to be a good year. But we keep pushing everyone, ourselves and our management team to keep going and keep going and keep going and it’s all starting to pay off.

Stone Broken
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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