STONE ORANGE / Catching Dreams

Stone Orange on

Interview: Rock Schmidt / Photo: Matej Mitruševski Six years have passed since your last album. What has been going on with the group in this time?

S.O.: We lost a lot of time due to personnel changes. We went through several drummers and have experimented with the keyboard player. When two years ago the current line-up finally stabilized, we started working on a new album. The approach this time was a bit different, more premeditated, and the general work process was more carefully planned. We also started working with a renowned producer which was a new thing for us. All of this, of course, takes time but the result is well worthy of the effort. For the new album with the title „The dreamcatcher“ you teamed up with the promising Slovenian producer Dejan Radičevič. What was his contribution to the record?

S.O.: Although he is still relatively young, Dejan is a very experienced producer with a deep understanding of music and a magic touch. His biggest contribution was surely the skilful molding of the demo mass into a rounded and completed unity. In the creative process this feedback, this outside opinion is often indispensable since we musicians tend to look at the songs we created very subjectively. Besides providing excellent sound and advising on the technical aspects of the recording, he elevated most of the songs to their full potential with his ideas and suggestions. And this is really what a good producer should do, to understand the music presented to him and maximize its potential. The lyrics on your new album are in English as opposed to the last one. Why did you decide to take this step?

S.O.: English lyrics are universal and global, with Slovene language on the other hand you are confined to a very small geographical area. Although we respect our national musical tradition and Slovenian bands in general, we felt that in the age of internet it makes a lot more sense to write music that is accessible and user friendly to everyone on the planet. Besides that it’s much easier to make contact with foreign labels, concert promoters, international media and to plan a tour abroad, which is certainly our goal for the future. You mentioned the label which published your new album. Can you tell me more about this?

S.O.: Recently we signed with an independent Italian label Street Symphonies. When we recorded the album, we sort of tested the waters and there was a lot of interest for it, mainly from the smaller labels but in the end the best offer came from them. The role of the label changed dramatically in the last years but they can still be very beneficial for the artist, especially in the field of web promotion and infinite download portals management. Besides that the guys from Street Symphonies are focused on the genre of music that is very dear to us and is on the other hand not interesting for the labels in our homeland, being less profitable than Mainstream Pop. That is also one of the main reasons why we signed with them. How do you feel about the fact that the Hard Rock genre in less profitable and less interesting for labels than the Mainstream?

S.O.: It has always been like that with the exception of the eighties, of course. Nowadays Hard Rock in its melodic guise almost ceased to exist. Because of the bad publicity it got from some American bands a few decades ago, this genre is unfortunately still defined as an obsolete and dated style of music. Although it made some progress since then, it is still confined to subculture. Nevertheless there are still people who dig it and because of the general stagnation on the global Rock scene more and more young music consumers are turning back and discovering great Hard Rock bands of the past. Are you the only Hard Rock band in Slovenia?

S.O.: Probably not the only one, but certainly one of the few. We don’t like labels though. However if we were forced to pick one, we would not go with »Hard Rock« but with one David Lee Roth invented some years ago when defining the music of his band – »Big Rock«. That one fits us much better (laughing). Recently you appeared at Ortofest, the famous one month rock extravaganza in Ljubljana. What were your impressions?

S.O.: To perform in Ortobar, our so-called Ministry of Rock, is always an honor and a privilege. And if you get a chance to close the festival with the biggest and most promising names of our Rock scene, the feeling is that much better. The response from the audience was fantastic and it’s really been one of the best shows we’ve ever done. It’s a pity that our capital city doesn’t have more mid-sized rock venues like that.