Saturday, September 27, 2014

Interview with STUD

 This past Thursday (Sept. 25th, 2014 to be exact) I covered "Rust On The Rose", the second full-length release from Finland's STUD. Now it is my absolute pleasure to publish a recent interview that I conducted with this fantastic hard & heavy/heavy rock band! I want to thank STUD for taking time out of their busy schedule to chat with Heavy Metal Time Machine and if you have not had a chance yet to read my review of "Rust On the Rose" then be sure to head over to the following link when you are done here! 

(Coverage of "Rust On The Rose" by STUD)

Andy (A): Would you mind introducing the members of STUD and describing your sound or our readers who might not familiar  with your band?

STUD (S): STUD is: Ari Toivanen (vocals), Mika Kansikas (guitar), Matti Jalonen (bass), Tero Kukkonen (drums). Our music is melodic, guitar-oriented hard/heavy rock, where we believe we have our own sound.
If you listen to the two albums we've made you can easily find a tone and a feeling to the music that is unique to us. We also have a variety of songs from hard rock to metal to some ballads as well.
It was very interesting to find out that almost all of the songs from the debut got airplay, and were mentioned as favorites in the album reviews. That proves that we are not just relying on one song. We are confident that same applies to "Rust On The Rose".

A: Your roots go all the way back to 1986! What made you decide to re-form the band after so many years?

S: Most of the guys in the band have been making music in form or another throughout the years.
However, the idea of re-forming the band came up through a project Mika and Tero did together.
There was also lots of cool songs that were never given a chance to be recorded and in that way presented to people. By taking those songs and adding some new ideas we had soon enough material to work with.
You can here the results of that all over the two albums.
A: What was the reaction from friends and family and when you made the announcement official? I would imagine there was as much excitement as there was shock right?

S: At first most of them (that probably includes us as well) thought that this is something that passes by soon, and we would then continue with our "real lives". Well, it hasn't yet ;) For now, the attitude has changed, and people have seen that we really have achieved something more than a happy get-together, and that's been by doing lots of work for the band.

A: Since re-forming it sure sounds as if STUD has been going nonstop. Is there a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm in the band?

S: Going nonstop are exactly right words to describe what we've done. That includes being involved in everything that considers the band, would it be writing songs, recording, booking gigs, doing promotion, etc.
We haven't been waiting for a big record company to pick us up from our rehearsal room and bring us amazing opportunities to choose from. Instead, we've been doing everything by ourselves, of course, with a help of some cool partners, like Metal Revelation that's been doing promo for us. Also Puke Kataja, a super-cool guy (with amazing nerves :)) has been essential for helping to record and mix both of our albums.
At this point, we actually wouldn't mind, if someone would offer those opportunities for us, but we are certainly not going to sit down on our butts and wait for that to happen.
A: Musically a lot has changed since the band since the band first called it quits. Are you amazed by how different everything is?
S: Everything has changed, in good and bad. When we first started there was no way to make a record without a record company, resulting that those who got the deal with a record company actually got quite a lot of attention. Today there are zillions of band that are making records in their home studios and publish them through digital channels, like iTunes, Spotify, Deezer and whatnot. So, in that way it's difficult to get noticed from all the rest. On the other hand, you have the net and lots of cool sites that you can use to promote yourself. In the 80s you just about had stickers or posters to put on the door of the local bar you were playing, now you can promo the gig through Facebook weeks before, and all your fans can be noticed.

A: "Rust On The Rose" has all the hallmarks of a classic rock release and yet here it is 2014! Could you tell us a little about your thought process going into the studio and how you managed to achieve the sound you got?
S: We were really happy with the debut album, so we decided not to change much of the working method for the follow-up. The main idea was to take the lessons learned from the first album and improve for the new album. The most important thing, of course, is to have bunch of good songs to work with.
Right after the first album was ready, we started to work on the new songs, one by one. Every couple of weeks we'd bring a new song for the rehearsals, and many of the songs from "Rust On The Rose" were played on gigs before the actual recording started. So we were well prepared going to studio.
When it comes to the songs, there are some elements that are common to most of them. A typical STUD-song is melodic, energetic, it usually has a cool guitar riff, and the vocals and guitar solos are heartfelt.
Apart from that, there really is not much limits to them. When you compare songs like "Playing To Win", "I Don't Know" and "Break The Chains" for example. They really are different from each other. What really ties them together is Ari's vocals and Mika's guitar sound.
A: Where can fans find out more about STUD and pick up a copy of the new album for themselves?
S: Our Facebook page is really the place to get the latest updates from the band. Very soon we will announce where you can pre-order the album. Even though you can get the album from digital channels when it's published, the best way to support the band is to buy a CD.
The CD will be available with worldwide shipping. We'll be also posting samples of the songs to our Facebook pages, so check them out.
A: What's next for the band? Will you be touring behind the new album?

S: There won't be a new album for couple of years, that's for sure. It's now time to take those songs and play them live, and build up the fan base that way too. We are really open to any opportunities to play in front of live audience, and we have already started book gigs to support the album. Releasing our second album is really a dream come true for us, and we are so excited to see how the album will be received by the fans and media. We're going to continue to work hard to present the band to yet larger audiences.
A: I always let artists have the last say. Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?
S: There's so many people around the world that really love rock 'n roll music, just like we do.
If you're one of those, you really should check STUD out, and if you like what you hear, let your friends know about it too. Thanks for having opportunity for this interview, we appreciate it a lot.
Rock on!

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