On Monday 5/12/97, the members of Stir were guests on Rockline. Andy, Kevin, and Brad talked about what it's been like for them lately being on the road so much. They talked about the evolvement of the "Stir" album from Aware Records, to being re-released by Capitol Records. They answered questions from fans all across the country, with a strong show of support coming from the many hometown callers in St. Louis. Stir also played five songs live on the air. One Angel, Looking For, Until Now, Ten Dances, and a new song Take Me To The Moon....
Bob Coburn from Rockline: This album just keeps hanging in there and hanging in there, and I'll throw this to Andy. Did you ever think the album would be so long lived? I mean it just keeps sticking around and sticking around, which is a great thing for you guys.
Andy: Well, since we started out with the idea of doing an independent record, it's cool that we've gone this far with Capitol Records now so, it's great, we're still working it. We're anxious to work the rest of it, so.
Bob: Let's talk about the independent thing briefly here. Kevin, you went from Aware Records, which is based out of Evanston Illinois, and went to Capitol. There was kind of an odd transition there, it seemed like you were on Aware for a while and finally you went to Capitol. What was the deal there?
Kevin: Well uh, the album was released last March, actually two March's ago now, on Aware Records and then Capitol signed us from the release, and they wanted to just re-release the record, I guess they bought the rights from Aware or whatever, I don't know of the legal aspects of all that. But uh, they did that and uh they re-released the record on October 1st, on Capitol. So that was really the first time that a lot of people heard us. But people in the Midwest and some areas of the southeast know us from being on Aware.
Bob: Now having eyes in the back of my head, I'm going to throw this to Brad back there. Uh Brad, were there other labels in pursuit of you guys, besides Capitol?
Brad: Yeah, there were a couple, but uh we ultimately went with Capitol, because we felt they had a passion for the music, where a lot of the other labels, was kind of a business type of thing.
Bob: Yeah, Yeah, ya gotta have passion for the music. You guys do and you want a label that has that. Now, I introduced you guys as to what you play, but it was really kind of a synopsis, you actually do a little bit more than that. uh, Why don't we elaborate a little bit.
Bob: Andy, How many stringed instruments do you play?
Andy: Well on the record, I did several. I don't get a chance to do that too often live though, because we're a three piece and uh stick to the electric guitar. But uh, I did the Dobro, uh a hammer dulcimer, what else did we use? Glocken spiels, I don't remember, it's a long time ago.
Bob: And the vaunted triangle of course, gotta have one of those.
Andy: I've been experimenting with the mandolin and synth stuff lately, so we'll see what comes of that.
Bob: And Kevin, What is a Dobro bass?
Kevin: Uh, well if you know what a Dobro guitar is, it's the same thing in a bass form. It's an acoustic bass with uh
Kevin: Yeah, a resonator in it, an actual like metal sort of speaker cone shaped thing in the center that resonates, it's a country instrument really.
Bob: uh huh, and Brad you not only play drums, but you actually started off as a keyboard player didn't you?
Brad: uh huh, tickled the ebony and ivory a little bit on the piano.
Bob: And when did you switch?
Brad: Ummm, I started playing drums when I was eleven.
Bob: and all you guys sing too huh?
Andy: Not really (all start laughing).
Bob: Not really huh?(laughing) Well they're gonna fake it for ya a little bit later tonight. (laughing) We're going to start off with a track that is still on the charts right now, it's the second hit single off this debut album by Stir, this is called Stale. (Bob plays "Stale" off the album )
Bob: Let's take a call, we have Tara on the line, she's in Milwaukee, Hi.
Tara: (caller) Hi, uh you guys rock.
Andy: Hey Tara, thank you, Did you see us recently?
Tara: no but I'd like to though.
Bob: (laughs)Well, you get to hear 'em tonight, what's your question Tara?
Tara: I was wondering what the song "Stale" is about.
Andy: Uh that song is about the first song we ever wrote together as a band ( Bob starts laughing) It's exactly what it's about.
Kevin: and it's about 3 ½ minutes long.
Bob: You guys, ( all start laughing) that answer's stale.
Andy: That actually was the very first song that we recorded for demo purposes, and uh basically just a relationship gone kind of stale, and make your own assumptions as you listen to the song, so.
Bob: There you go Tara, let your own interpretation take over there.
Bob: (takes a call from Kevin in Kansas)
Kevin (caller) My question is: When and where was your first gig, and how did it go?
Andy: Our very first show actually was out of town, we're from St. Louis. We played in Springfield MO, opening up for a group of friends in Springfield, MO, and I was a little nervous, and I really haven't been, I was really never nervous on stage, but that night for some reason I was. My hair was screwed up so, I was a little conscious of that.(laughs)
Bob: Was it because it was the first gig or because it was friends?
Andy: um boy, I don't know, what was it? (to Kevin)
Kevin: Everything, we had been in another band together before uh we formed Stir, and this was all new songs and it was like first time the three of us were on stage together and wondering umm how the songs went, because we had been playing the same songs. You know different songs in a different band for so long, so it was new.
Andy: Concentrating, you know?
Bob: And speaking of Andy's hair, in the many years that Rockline has been on the air, it's the first time I've ever seen somebody get a hair cut in the studio before the program went on the air. (all start laughing) What the heck was that all about?
Andy: All three of us did actually.
Bob: All three of ya did?
Kevin: Yeah, We're out here, we're going to film a video this week, and we have a photo shoot, and so this was like the only free time, so sorry to get hair all over the studio. (laughs)
Bob: I'll show you hair cut before the night's over guys, thank you for calling Kevin. We got Jeff, He's in Milwaukee too, hi.
Jeff (caller) hey guys, love your stuff.
Andy: Hey Jeff, thank you.
Jeff: Uh if you guys could tour with any band that's still around, who would it be and why?
Bob: I'd like to hear that from each of you, why don't you start Andy.
Andy: uh we get asked that a lot, that's a difficult question, uh Pink Floyd (laughs).
Bob: Pink Floyd, huh, Kevin how about you?
Kevin: Uh, The Rolling Stones probably
Bob: and Brad?
Brad: I'd probably like to keep on going with the Samples
Bob: with the Samples huh, which are friends of yours
Brad: Way too much fun. (all laugh)
Andy: We had a lot of fun with the Samples, no doubt, they're a great group of guys.
Brad: Incredible band.
Bob: And Andy told me before the show, that's the bus that you got to clean out, because you missed your bus, rode with them and they made you clean the bus out (laughs)
Andy: We were thankful for the ride though.
Bob: See rock and roll, it's all glamor people, it's glamor one day after another.( takes a call from Jim in Ontario Canada).
Jim: Hi guys how's it going
Andy: pretty good Jim, how are you?
Jim: How did you guy's prepare writing for your album?
Andy: It was along process we had so many demo's worked out prior to signing with Aware Records, and doing an actual studio album, we had so many demo's compiled. Basically, we gave all those to our producer Justin Niebank, and he kind of picked the ones and we all worked out at the gym for a couple weeks prior to going down there, and did an album.
Kevin: Yeah at the time we recorded, we had been on the road and in fact, in the middle of recording, we were on the road, so a lot of the tunes that are on the record had been road tested before they were actually recorded, so that was a help in preperation also.
Bob: And Justin Niebank to start out with, I mean pretty good deal there you guys
Kevin: he's worked with a lot of great bands
Bob: Yeah Blues Traveler, Eric Clapton, Freddie Jones Band, on down the line. Yeah, not a bad start.( takes call from David in Augusta GA)
David: I'd like to know if you prefer recording in the studio or playing live?
Brad: Playing live
Kevin: you only get to record in the studio for about one month, out of every two or three and in our case four years, so definitely playing live. That's what we spend most of our time doing.
Bob: Brad, did the songs evolve a lot, especially for a four year period, they've got to huh?
Brad: Yeah, they have to, to keep it fresh from our perspective, you think we'd be lying to the crowd if we didn't do that. ( Bob plays "We Belong" off the album)
Bob: (takes a call from Justin in Oklahoma City)
Justin: What was the song "We Belong" about, who do you guys belong to? (all laugh)
Andy: A special cult in St. Louis, no um unfortunately that's a song about my best friend's parents who got killed recently and uh it's just kind of a tribute to them. I reworked the lyrics so it's remimicent of two family members of mine, so it goes out to those two.
Bob: Is that one hard for you to do live?
Andy: uh you know what, it makes me sing it even with more passion and aggression. I actually enjoy singing that song because of that.
Bob: So it serves more as a release than anything for you now.
Bob: Justin good call. (takes call from Mark in Providence RI)
Mark: I think my cd player has burnt a hole through the cd. When might you guys might be going back into the studio?
Andy: We're starting to prepare for that right now, we've been doing that while on the road, but we still have an album to work, so it's going to be awhile.
Bob: Any chance of a new song tonight?
Andy: Yeah, I think we may have written one earlier this afternoon that we're going to do.
Bob: oh yeah, just kind of banged it out this afternoon (jokingly)
Mark: How did you guys come up with the name Stir?
Andy: At first, it was an almalgamation of other musicians in St. Louis. We had a guest guitarist, percussionist. We've been a five piece, a four piece, we've been a three piece, so it just depended on who was playing at the beginning of our Stir history.
Kevin: Substitute bass player, substitute drummers various times.
Andy: Kevin and Brad did tours with other bands across seas as guest musicians, so I had to fill in the gaps with other people around town (St. Louis) so.
Bob: (Bob takes a call from Jim and Tracy in St. Charles Mo. This was a joke played on the guys by our own Guy Favazz at KSHE-95 Real Rock Radio. The guys are from St. Charles).
Favazz: what's that song "Ladybug" about? Is that about a bug?( all start to laugh)
Andy: How you all doing?
Favazz: We're so proud your from St. Charles.
Andy: Yeah that's great, have you ever met us before?
Favazz: Well the only thing that I heard is that ya'll suck in golf, especially Brad (all start laughing)
Andy: well recently we've all been practicing, so watch out, next time we're back in St. Louis... The song "Ladybug" is about being on the road, and how much that bugs your girl friend.
Favazz: What's up guys (reveals the joke) This is Favazz (all start laughing)
Bob: Now you guys know what's going on here.
Andy: You made it through!
Bob: It's Favazz from KSHE-95 in St. Louis, and is a good friend of the band.
Favazz: You know we're all very proud of you, and you know the only thing that sucks now Bob, is that we can't see them every other weekend like we used to.
Bob: We took them from ya Favazz, but you flat fooled them, big time, that was a great job. (goes to a commercial)
Bob: (takes a call from Robin in St. Louis)
Robin: How do you keep up your energy on stage, because the people in the audience there know from just hearing you, that the live experience just blows you away. Is there a new ginsona beer or something or? (all laugh)
Andy: Heiniken, lot's of Heiniken.
Robin How do you do it, your on the road, do you eat a lot of junkfood or what?
Andy:uh, actually we kinda take care of ourselves lately, things have gotten a little better on the road, so we do a lot of physical activities such as frisbee, and Brad and I play, what do we play?
Andy: Botchee, a little bit of cribbage.
Bob: (laughing) Croquet, Botchee Ball, jeas. I gotta tell ya Robin, you're right, they did get a little worked up. It ruined their new hair cuts. You guys are gonna have to have your hair redone.
Andy: Oh well
Bob: There's some good jamming going on here the Rockline (takes a call from Lori in Des Moines IA)
Lori: have you done any lo do shows, and what do you think about the ticket prices for the shows and concerts?
Andy: Actually, we do a lot of lo do shows.
Kevin: Actually we did one in Des Moines IA. didn't we? Wasn't that a lo do show?
Brad: Yeah, sure was
Kevin: On St. Patrick's Day
Bob: You two guys defer to Brad all the time, is he the final word in the band or something?
Andy: He's the only one that remembers things (all laugh)
Brad: steel trap
Bob: Steel trap huh? Nothing escapes Brad on the drum kit back there
Bob: We're gonna go back to St. Louis, naturally your getting some home state calls tonight, which is good to hear.
Andy: It's great
Bob: it's unusual for you guys, because you really don't play there that often, most of the time your on the road.
All say: Yeah not lately.
Bob: (takes a call from Scott in St. Louis)
Scott:I was wondering when Andy started singing, I've been following the band for awhile.
Andy: Umm it probably started when I was in Emmanuel Lutheran grade school, a friend of mine and I used to skip school a lot, and on our journeys to the arcade, we would bring our cassette decks with us and we'd sing some songs. We never got caught though, but then one day we finally got caught and that's when I had to go to music school and train my voice.
Bob: And you did go for awhile, and took classical guitar training too.
Andy: Yeah, actually. (laughs) I forgot all of it though
Bob: (takes a call from Byron In Houston TX.)
Byron: My initial question was gonna be, what do ya all classify your music as, you know so called today's modern rock, or real rock and roll?
Andy:We let other people do that, we don't classify it. There's too many people out there ready to classify it.
Byron: This is actually my first chance of hearing ya'll, and I like it, it's pretty neat to hear something more original and different on the radio instead of everybody jumping on the bandwagon.
All say: Thanks
Bob: what would you call it Byron? They don't want to label themselves. I think they just call themselves a rock and roll band.
Byron: I would call it being original and doing their own thing, instead of following someone else's trail, ya know? It sounded pretty good to me. Honestly, I don't know of anybody anymore that listens to the radio hardly much anymore at all. I try to listen to Rockline, and shows like that. I'm speaking for my home town (Houston,TX) They call it modern rock, and everybody I know calls it weenie rock( all laugh), and then you got classic rock, and that's all about anybody has to listen to here anymore.
Bob: Well you're going to get the full plate here on Rockline as evidenced tonight, and thank you for the call, and thanks to Stir for being here. ( takes next call from Luke in West Plains MO.)
Luke: Do you all get along good as a band? And are there ever any disagreements between you guys?
Andy: Oh daily, several times a day.
Bob: We'll talk about the fist fight before the show began tonight.
Kevin: Yeah we forgot to mention that.
Andy: We got into an actual fist fight on Fox News one time, it was kinda cool.
Bob: That makes for good T.V. if nothing else
Andy: We get along, we've known each other for a long time, and in order for this to work we have to get along.
Bob: (plays "Star" off the album, then takes a call from Jennifer in Pensacola,FL.)
Jennifer: I was wondering if ya all had a fan club?
Andy: Not really a fan club, just more of a mailing list type thing where we keep fans in touch with what's going on with the band on the road and that type of thing.
Bob: Takes a call from Eve in Chicago, IL.)
Eve: What are some of your favorite Cd's or albums of all time?
Brad: Umm I grew up listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Rush, Traffic, pretty much the influences of the 70's, when we were finally kinda tuning into music.
Bob: Now you mentioned Rush, you guys have actually played the opening sequence of 2112 live haven't you?
Brad: Yes, we did that one time.
Bob: What do you like Andy?
Andy: Favorite albums of all time, boy that's a tough one. I'm really digging an old Yardbirds album right now, and the new Supergrass, those are my two favorites right now.
Kevin Beatle's Rubber Soul, and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.
Andy: Wow, Kevin I'm impressed.
Bob: Good choice, that's some classic stuff there. (takes a call from Todd in St. Louis)
Todd: First, I have to give Andy a little bit of trouble, only a true fan could pick out the lyric bloopers you made in "One Angel.
Andy: Oh yeah I did didn't I. (all laugh)
Todd: but then again there's no law that says an artist can't change his rules right.
Andy: Well I did it justice, because when I did screw up, I looked at everybody in the studio, and went ehhh ( like the censorship look).
Bob: That's called artistic licence.
Andy: It's called Heiniken
Kevin: We were talking about the songs evolving while we're on the road, one thing that evolves is the ever changing lyrics.
Todd: My question is, how has your success changed your accessability to your fans and vice versa? and my statement is, I just want to reiterate what Favazz said, that St. Louis is real proud of these guys, and uh I've seen 'em play in front of 50, 250, and 5000 people, and they always put on a great show, and if anybody deserves to be where these guys are, it's Stir.
Kevin: No Todd we are totally accessible to our fans, give me a call.
Bob: Congratulates Kevin on getting married.
Kevin: Thank You
Bob: Well, this is a band that we at Rockline believe in and I like the call from Houston from the guy that did not know you guys and ended up being a big treat for him, because he got turned on to you guys tonight, and hopefully a lot of other people did too.
End of interview
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