THE NAMM SHOW 2016 Interviews – STONEBREED
Meet the mighty Stonebreed – a hard rocking collective who has been making quite a name for themselves with their dynamic songs and raging live shows. Based out of the vast and varied Los Angeles music scene, Stonebreed has opened for the likes of RATT, Molly Hatchet, Cinderella, Michael Schenker Group, Bulletboys, Bang Tango, Autograph and a whole lot more! In the midst of recording their second album, Stonebreed made their way to this year’s edition of The NAMM Show to check out all the latest gear. We caught up with the entire membership of Stonebreed in the press area to find out more about the band ready to kick your rock and roll party into the stratosphere! Read on…
Introduce yourselves and tell me what you do in Stonebreed.
Brandon Paul: Hi, I’m Brandon Paul and I play guitar.
Orion Rainz: I am Orion Rainz and I play drums.
Carlos Cruz: My name is Carlos Cruz and I try to sing.
Johnny Zell: Johnny Zell, bass.
Where are you guys from and what’s your local music scene like there?
Johnny Zell: We don’t. You know, it’s LA is a place you come back to reap your rewards. It’s not a place where you dig the trenches. I think our music is better suited out of LA right now. If it was 1985, 1986, it’d be a different story. But I think you have to be a road dog, always and just play out to places that want to hear real music and live music. LA is mostly deejays and rap. That’s the new rock and roll in LA. The Sunset Strip is full of rap now. But we do have a rock scene everywhere else, though. We play elsewhere and people are more appreciative of you playing. They’re waiting in line for you to sign stuff, you don’t get that in LA. You get musicians saying, you’re five minutes over. When are we going on?
Other musicians don’t go to other musicians shows.
Carlos Cruz: Right and if they do they’re sitting there with their hands up, arms crossed, critiquing you. It’s alright, the LA music scene – it is what it is. You make what you possibly can out of it. There are little cliques everywhere of different pockets of music, which is kind of cool, you got your Hollywood Sunset Strip area. You got your Valley scene, where there’s a few bands kicking it there. You got your OC scene, there’s a few clubs down there. You got your Inland Empire scene where everyone does their little clique, man. But you gotta stand out and get above it, you can’t just get into one clique. We just don’t play LA. We play OC, we play Vegas. We go out to Chicago. We go to Denver, whatever. We try and get out and get away from LA so that we can come back, like he said, reap the rewards of going out and working hard in the trenches.
Give me a little background of Stonebreed.
Carlos Cruz: It’s been together about 5 years, went through a few member changes. It’s always hard to find the right guys to get along and like the same kind of music and write the same kind of stuff and work well as a unit. Now that it has happened, it’s hard beating them doors down every day. It’s like a job, you gotta go out and get people to know who you are. We might play a Tuesday night at a bowling alley and then we might play a Saturday night in front of 30,000 people in Chicago. You just never know, [laughs]. That’s what it is.
So your first album came out a few years ago. You are recording new music, how is this new music going to compare to first album?
Carlos Cruz: In my opinion it’s going to be better, louder, newer, cleaner, crisper, new and improved. Just kidding, all of the above. As a band you always evolve and you learn and you get better and always the second time doing something you kind of learn from the first. And you go back and go, OK, I’m not making that mistake twice or I’d rather fix this now or let’s try it this way. With knowledge and being in the studio a few times prior, I think we’re going to have a pretty good product. We’re testing some stuff out right out – we just released the single, we’re getting ready to go in and start doing some more pre-production on tracks immediately.
You have two new songs that you’re now playing, tell me about them.
Carlos Cruz: We got four! We have three that we’ve been playing and we have another one that we tried out in Detroit and SLC. We played it a few times but it’s not recorded or nothing. The one song that just pretty much did a single and sort of had it out and available on iTunes is called “Tonight.” Then we have another song called “Pain” that we’re working on. We played that the other night when you saw us with Autograph. Then the song “Take Me” is the third one. Those are the three songs that we’re playing out, we recorded one and we’ll record the other two. We got some more we ain’t letting nobody here yet, except for Butters. You don’t even know who butters is.
He’s a cartoon character?
Carlos Cruz: Butters is the dog at the studio that we jam at. We look over at him and say, you like that? He shakes his head yeah, and we know it’s a good deal.
If Stonebreed could open up for any band either now or from the past. Who and why?
Brandon Paul: That’s such a hard thing to answer, there are so many of them. I could give you like 20 bands, but if I had to chose one? Who would be good? Maybe Led Zeppelin. That’d be the best to start at the top.
Orion Rainz: It’d be cool to do The Beatles. If you can do anyone, it’d be cool to open for them. For me, it’d be my biggest influence, which was KISS. I know that show would be amazing if that were to ever happen, which still actually is possible as opposed to The Beatles. KISS would be awesome.
Carlos Cruz: I’d be down for a festival, man. Like have Stonebreed play with Molly Hatchet and STARS and Aerosmith and KISS and Lynyrd Skynyrd. That’d be a good six band festival man on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of the country with flags flying everywhere and fireworks in the air and everyone eating BBQ and watermelon, baby.
Johnny Zell: All of the bands they’ve said would be great to open for but I would go for who was a quintessential artist to open for because they’re regarded as the highest of standard? I’d say Frank Sinatra. He’s like fine wine, top of the heap of what he does. We’d be right there too because we’re going to be top of the heap of what we do. Zeppelin would be great, but they’re already at the top of the heap and it’d be hard to be better than Page and Plant. Same with The Stones. I’d rather go for something that’s in their genre at the top, because that’s what we’re going for in our own genre.
What can one expect from a live Stonebreed show in 2016?
Carlos Cruz: Get drunk, get laid, wake up with a hangover. Nah, I don’t know. We’re a fun band live. We have fun. We like to drink whiskey with our fans. We have a song about drinking whiskey. We like to get the girls dancing, it’s all about having fun for us. We’re not one of those bands that get up and sing about my girlfriend left me, emo crying in my shoe shit, we’re not one of those angry at the world bands. We’re not one of those political bands, we’re a band who likes to have fun, party, chicks, rock and roll, whiskey. Energy drinks, man! Our drummer drinks energy drinks.
Johnny Zell: I think we take the most jaded person or music fan who is just burned out and they’ll say wow, we just revitalized my love of hard rock music.
So you guys should get a whiskey endorser and an energy drink endorser. [laughs]
So what’s up next for you guys?
Carlos Cruz: Well, we’re at NAMM this weekend. Playing a show tomorrow night with LA Guns at the Fusion in Huntington Beach. A few weeks later we’re doing a show at The Yost theater in Santa Ana with Faster Pussycat, Bullet Boys, Pretty Boy Floyd, us and another new band that’s out called Moxy and the Influence – they are an all girl band. So they might be fun, who knows, we’ll find out. Other than that, just booking a whole bunch of shows. We’re doing a benefit show on Feb 26th. Benefit show is going to be for Willie Basse – you know him from Black Sheep way back in the day. It featured Slash. Slash is a good friend of Willie’s and he (Willie’s) got cancer. They’re doing a big benefit for him at Palladino’s on Feb 26th. Slash is coming out, Roy Z, who played with Rob Halford’s band. Then we got Mitch Perry who played with Lita Ford. All these cats are coming out for this big benefit show for Wille B. Feb 26th at Palladino’s. Then we go out and do some stuff out of the country, we’re doing two shows in Aruba. Something up in Washington, then we’re in talks for some more shit in Chicago, Florida, Texas.
(Editor’s Note: If you missed the Rock For Recovery – Willie Basse Benefit Concert featuring Stonebreed, they have just announced another one. Please read below…)
Hollywood Sherriff Productions presents……
Rock For Recovery – WILLIE BASSE Cancer Benefit Concert
Show 2 of The Rock For Recovery tour has been scheduled for Monday, April 4th at the World Famous Whisky a Go Go, in West Hollywood California. Schedule to perform are Highway Ryders, Stonebreed, and Exit Module. The event will also include an all-star jam with an array of music finest musicians to perform with Willie on stage and a few surprise as well.
All Star Jam: Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), Tony Cavazo (Hurricane, Snow), Alvin Taylor (LITTLE RICHARD, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Burdon, George Harrison, Sir Elton John, Billy Preston, Sly Stone, Ron Wood, Sammy Hagar), Mickie Free, Roy Z (Tribe of Gypsies, Bruce Dickinson, Halford), Shawn Duncan (DC4, Bullet Boys), Mitch Perry (Edgar Winter, Michael Schenker Group), Mike Hansen (Hurricane, Steve Vai), Michael Olivieri (Leatherwolf, M.O.B.), , Matt Duncan (DC4), Jp Cervoni (Buddy Miles, The Babys), Anthony Tiny Buiso (T.S.O.L. The Dickies), Scott Page (Supertramp, Pink Floyd), Scott Warren (DIO , Black Sabbath), Jean Beauvoir (The Plasmatics), Joe Petro and many others.
So let us once again get ready for battle as we help one of the true soldiers of Rock n’ Roll WILLIE BASSE.
All Ages, Doors at 7pm, 21 & Over, $20.00 Donation for Entry.
All-Star Jam 11pm
Highway Ryders 10:15pm
Exit Module 8:45pm
Tickets $20.00 in advance available at this link
(Interview and NAMM Show Band Photo by Ken Morton – Rock For Recovery Band Photo by Jack Lue)
Stonebreed on Facebook