Friday, August 14, 2015

An Interview with Stellar Young

>> The first ever Pinelands Music Festival is taking place tomorrow, August 15th, in south New Jersey! I'm so stoked to be attending this new fest full of talented artists like The Early November, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, X Ambassadors, and more. I had the chance to interview one of those bands before tomorrow's festivities, and they couldn't be more excited. That band is Stellar Young - 5 talented indie rockers from Albany with a lot to offer the scene. The band should be right at home at Pinelands, and they have some big plans for that performance and afterwords. Read my interview with them below!

SourceYuliya Peshkova Photography

Please introduce yourselves!
- John Glenn (singer/keyboards) fun fact: I'm cross-dominate (I prefer to use different hands for different things)
- Kyle Hatch (guitar/backup vox) fun fact: I biked across the state of NY with John this summer.
- Erik Flora (guitar/harmonies) fun fact: I eat popcorn to force myself to floss more often
- Tim Brosnan (drums) fun fact: Once guessed the exact right number of jellybeans in a "how many jellybeans are in this jar?" contest. Won said jellybeans.
-Dave Parker (bass/synth) fun fact: You can wikipedia me

When and how did the band first get together? Did you all know the sound you were aiming for, or did that develop over time?
Once upon a time, John journeyed from Texas to New York in 8th grade where he met Erik Flora on his soccer team. They played music together throughout high school and into their college years where they met guitarist Kyle Hatch. One day they decided to play at an open mic in Albany, where they met Dave Parker who joined in on bass. Recently they met drummer Tim Brosnan. Our sound has and always will be a constant evolution.

You're listed as being from Albany. How would you describe your local music scene, and did that have any role in how the band developed?
The local scene in Albany is great. There's several independent radio stations that really support local music, and all of the bands in the area support each other. It's in a good central location with access to bigger markets. It's also a frequent stop for lots of national touring acts which has given us the opportunity to get on some bigger bills and make a name for ourselves.

You recently released your single "Amity" as a free download through Bandcamp. What was your motivation for going the "name your own price" route with that and your album Vessels?
We want our fans to hear our music. We've always felt that there is more value in music's ubiquity than its exclusivity, and we never want money to deter people from enjoying the songs that we work hard to create. We make music to share it with people and that has always been our first priority, if somebody feels that it's worth paying for that's an added bonus and confirmation that we're doing something right.

Can you tell us more about that album? 
We recorded at Applehead which is where we recorded our last album, Everything at Once. Dave has known the Applehead engineers for years, and we all work really well together. Every song on Vessels has a different inspiration with themes of dealing with loss, finding love or existential ponderings, but I often like to omit specific inspirations for songs because it's important for me that people make their own connections to the music and what it means to them.

How does it feel to be able to perform those songs live as much as you have?
It always feels different because the audience is never exactly the same, so there's always a different mix of energy which keeps songs fresh even if we've played them hundreds of times. It's always a good feeling when I look out and see people singing along.

What did you learn from previous performances that you'll be bringing to your upcoming performance at the Pinelands Music Festival? 
Performers and the audience feed off of each other, so always bring a ton of energy and play each show like it's the biggest show of your life and the audience will feel that as well.

How does it feel to be chosen for the inaugural line-up of a festival like Pinelands?
It's a very big deal for us to be included in Pinelands! After we saw the first 10 bands announced we immediately emailed Pinelands all of our info and to our shock we were added. Our first incarnation of the band began 11 years ago when we were in high school listening to bands like The Early November so to being put on a show with some of our biggest influences is a dream come true.

Who are you most excited to see and perform alongside?
The Early November, Vacationer, Good Old War, Northern Faces, Young Statues, CRUISR, Hellogoodbye, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, X Ambassadors, The Spill Canvas, and wow this list is getting too long, honestly really excited for everyone on this festival.

What are your goals for this experience?
Put on a great show, make a good impression, make new friends and meet fans.

Going forward, who would you love to perform with next? Have any other festivals caught your eye?
Speaking of long lists! haha. I'm almost afraid to say in fear of jinxing ourselves! There are a ton of great bands we'd love to play with and we've been fortunate to be able to play with a few of them. We have been lucky enough to be asked to play festivals in the capitol region fairly regularly with some nationally touring acts. A few festivals have caught our eye lately, I'd love to get on the Firefly festival in Delaware next year, as well as the Solid Sound music festival in western Mass!

What are your plans for after Pinelands? New music, new shows?
Yes! O+ festival is going to be great! It's held in Kingston NY Oct 9-11th. Our bassist Dave Parker lived in Kingston NY for a long time and is looking forward to returning to play there. A big part of the O+ festival is connecting musicians and artists with healthcare providers and raising awareness about the current state of healthcare. Luckily for us they allow our full band to health check ups of all kinds!! We plan on taking full advantage of this. As you know, us musicians are pretty known for not being able to easily afford health insurance and have a tendency to lead fairly unhealthy lives! haha!! After Pinelands be on the lookout for a live recording session we are playing in Woodstock NY at Applehead Studio. We will be recording a live album in front of a studio audience, tickets will be available. This will be held in early October and will be officially announced very soon. Check our website for updates on this and other upcoming events!

Is there anything else you would like to say? 
Check us out at the Main Stage at 2PM and keep up with us at!

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