What are your names?
Stella Sonic, Gary Chamberlain, Sam Cordery, Kris Jakab-Hall
What is the band’s name?
How did you come up with the band’s name?
We started as an acoustic duo, and the name The Strays was chosen because we (sam and I) were a couple of oddballs and didn’t play the usual current acoustic pop stuff like everyone else, we mixed it up and did an unusual mix of old and new.
What is your genre of music?
It’s gradually become what we call “Garage Rock N Roll”
Give us a little bio about you.
The Strays are pushing rock ‘n’ roll to it’s limit, fusing a multitude of genres to create a unique vintage sound with a gritty, modern edge. Signed to Western Star Records and described as No Doubt meets Imelda May, The Strays performance style is larger than life, interactive, and deliciously unpredictable. After smashing onto the scene in 2017, the Cheltenham based garage rock ‘n’ roll band have released 2 EPs, played over 250 gigs and have now released the much anticipated debut album “Drop Out Zone” through renowned rockabilly label Western Star. This crazy collection of tracks, already getting rave reviews and BBC radio airplay, embodies the many influences of the band, irreverently mashing elements of blues, rock & roll, rockabilly, punk and pop. They are about to blaze their way across the country this autumn on a UK tour and the buzz around these rock n roll rebels is palpable.
What made you go in to music?
I think we all share the fact that we have tried to do the “normal” job and live the “normal” day to day life but found that really what we always wanted to do was play music and perform. Stella comes from a musical family and has been singing in choirs and shows since she was small, Gaz’s father was a drummer in rock bands in the 70’s and passed on his drumming talents, Sam found music was his natural forte at a young age and played guitar in function bands in his teens, and Kris has done all sorts, he was actually a DJ in Hungary in his earlier years!
Are you a signed?
We have just signed an album deal with Western Star Records for our Debut Album.
Your new single is released ‘Night Time Is The Right Time’, tell us more about the single.
It’s really just a teaser for the album as the track hasn’t been released as a stand alone single, we decided to bring out a kick-ass music video to promote the album and this seems like the perfect track.
What is the meaning behind the single?
It’s for all the night owls out there, who live for partying through the night and not going home till it’s light. There is something magical that happens when the sun goes down, don’t you think?
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
We wrote the whole album in about 6 months; this song was part of that. Generally, we would have a bit of a riff idea and Stella would craft a vague song structure from that. That tends to be the way we work
Who did you work with on the single?
The whole album was produced by Alan Wilson at Western Star Records. He is a genius.
You have just released the music video, tell us about the making process.
It was a full day shoot, starting VERY early and ending VERY late, using different parts of the house and ending in the basement, like any good party should. The video was filmed and produced by Keith Craig of Urubu Video & Graphics, who shot with about 7 cameras at one time. Later in the day we got extras involved to create the crazy party scenes. ���*
What was the idea around the creative vision for the video?
We always like the idea of having other people in music videos rather than just shots of us being idiots. So we reached out to our most glamourous and quirky friends to star in a party scene at a manor house…wot wot wot…. The idea was just to show a crazy time, with wonderful crazy people, coz lets face it, that’s what happens when most people go for a night out, right?
Do you have any memorable moments from filming?
There were lots of funny things happening, we tried to make people comfortable enough to try things out, so people had animal masks on, rode on each other’s backs, fake sword fights, and in the end we descended to the basement to dance, which was even better when Jack Smith (of fellow Western Star band The Deadshots) and Chloe Derry showed off their jiving skills.
Describe the video in two words.
Will we see an EP or album, if so what can we expect from it?
The Album is called Drop Out Zone and is a fast and furious catalogue of songs about being outside of mainstream society and doing things your own way. There are elements of Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Blues, Punk and Pop so its really for anyone who wants something a little different, and a lot loud! Its out digitally from July 15th and CDs can be ordered through www.western-star.co.uk right now.
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?
Our tour kicks off on 6th Sept in Worcester and then we are all over the UK for 23 dates of crazy rocking goodness!
If so where will you be heading?
All over, from Brighton, Bridgwater, Northampton, Reading, London, Birmingham, Preston, Rotheram, Middlesborough,etc…
What else can we expect in 2019?
Well we are looking forward to the release of a cheeky Christmas single later in the year, and we are writing some new tracks to feature on some upcoming compilations that will be released through Western Star Records.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
Not planned yet but would really love to get involved in some collaborations.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Definitely, especially if its mixing genres and styles! Just email us or hit us up on our Facebook page.
Do you play any instruments?
Guitar, Bass and drums.
Who are your influences?
Imelda May, No Doubt, B52s, Green Day, Skunk Anansie, Wanda Jackson, Reverend Horton Heat, Black Keys…. and many more!
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
A lot can depend on what is being listened to at the time. Our songs can take a turn toward whatever style Stella is listening to. I think its important to keep discovering new music, otherwise things can become a bit stale. Lyrics-wise, we just write what we know. Could be a tiny situation in day to day life that just happened, or a big news story that really resonated.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Our main aim as a band is to successfully play live to an appreciative audience, so gracing the stages of big festivals would be a great place to be!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Um, admin, design, promoting, booking lol…. this band can be all encompassing. But apart from that, we try and relax any way we can! We all have hobbies which i think we would like to spend a little more time on, but at the moment we are committed to this passion that is music.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Our individual music tastes are sooooo different. Gaz is a huge Faith No More fan, loves a bit of Mike Patton, Sam loves Chuck Berry, Kris is a big Gary Moore fan, and Stella found musical inspiration from bands No Doubt and Skunk Anansie. So single songs are hard to pinpoint!
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t give up!
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Try and not let people influence the way you should look, dress, even sound. You have to do you, and if you don’t, people can tell and you wont be musically fulfilled.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Always Stray Classy!
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Gloucestershire is full of amazing and beautiful places! Any of the villages and small towns in the Cotswolds are worth a saunter through on a sunny day. There are also great music venues, like Cafe Rene, The Frog & Fiddle and also Smokey Joe’s to name a few! Also, Cheltenham is the resting place of Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones, so people do come to pay their respects.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? Bed
2/ Who do you see first? Probably each other the next day.
3/What do you eat first? Any fast food going List Table
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?