After going nonstop all summer, coming off a September tour with The Used and an October trek with Blue October, Los Angles based Stars In Stereo have established themselves as one of the most powerful and dedicated bands on the scene. Boosting a roster of ultra-talented musicians, the sky is the limit for this band on the rise. Stars in Stereo is comprised of the lovely and talented Bec Hollcraft on vocals/guitar, Jordan McGraw and Ryan “Frogs” McCormack on guitar, Justin Siegel on bass, and Drew Langan on drums. These five young talents came together with a mutual desire to compose music that is meant to create unity amongst individuality — so far, the results have been amazing! The band also recently unveiled the official video for their first single, “The Broken,” and are currently preparing to unleash their self-titled debut album later this year! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with the band’s amazing frontwoman, Bec Hollcraft to discuss the origin of the band, their influences, the challenges of creating their debut album and what fans can expect from the band in the future!
What are your first memories of music in your life?
I don’t remember a time without music. I was basically singing songs before I could talk. I remember being in the car with my parents when I was a child and listening to the music they wouldplay which varied from The Carpenters to Carly Simon to random musicals. I would look out the window and pretend it was mesinging those songs. I remember writing my first song when I was around 9 or 10 and how magical that felt. After I wrote the song, I wanted to put music to it so I started learning guitar shortly after.
What made you pursue music as a career instead of going a different route?
I had very supportive parents who always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and my only dream was to be a singer. I was never going to do anything else. There was no backup plan, this was it.
Who would you cite as your biggest influences as an artist?
It’s hard to say because I’ve been influenced by so many different artists. But if I had to choose one, I would say Cyndi Lauper. She has always been so expressive from her fashion to the way she sings. I think her music is timeless and still some of my favorite songs today.
For those who may not be familiar with the band. How did Stars In Stereo form originally?
Justin and Frogs had met each other at school, Justin and Jordan met through mutual friends, Drew met Frogs through another project, and they formed a band previous to this one. They decided to move into a different direction and started writing new music. All they needed was a new singer and they met me after a friend told me about them and I was anxious to start something new myself. We started writing together and recording for the album the next week.
How did the name of the band originate?
We all come from different parts of the country Portland, LA, Texas, Boston, and Florida. When we were talking about that we realized that all of those places made a star on the map so we developed the name from there.
What can you tell us about your typical writing process?
We all come into the studio with different ideas and we pick which ones we all like the best. We go off what we are all feeling the most and then we don’t leave the room until the song is finished.
You first single and video is “The Broken”. Can you tell us a little about how the song came to life and what it means to you?
All of us in the band have felt broken at some point in our lives. We wanted to write a song that would let people know they aren’t alone when they feel this way. We all believe it’s important to not isolate yourself because of your pain. There is always someone willing to listen who has pain of their own.
You are currently working on a self-titled release. What can you tell us about the status of the album?
It is written, recorded, and ready to be released. Just waiting for the right time. We are so excited to get it out there!
What can fans expect sonically from your debut?
We wanted to create a cinematic feel to the music. We want people to picture the story of the song when they are listening. It’s mostly an upbeat rock album but there are emotive ballads as well that speak from our darkest places. With every song, we try to put the light in the dark.
For the album, you worked with producer Mike Green. What did he bring to the table for this project?
He helped take every song to the next level, whether that was suggesting an added guitar or an extended melody or helping me create an interesting harmony. He is so knowledgeable about music and it blew us away and inspired us.
As an artist, what was the biggest challenge in putting the album together?
Being vulnerable. I was used to being a solo artist before this, but now was writing and recording music with 4 other people who I needed to keep in mind. Making an album is fun, but it’s also very challenging and sometimes gut wrenching. I put my soul into everything I do and it took a while for me to feel comfortable doing that in front of other people.
What is the biggest thing you have you learned about yourself along the way?
I’ve learned how to be more open to new things. I pushed myself vocally to places I never went before and I leaned how important it is for me to just trust people.
You guys have spent much of the Summer and Fall on tour. What has the experience of touring done for the band?
It’s done so many great things. It’s taught us how to be better performers, friends, and musicians. It’s made us tougher and want this more than ever before. We’ve been so lucky to tour with great bands that have inspired us along the way.
What do you hope that people come away with after seeing your live show?
We hope we gave them an experience that they’ll never forget. We hope they will want reach out to us and be a part of the music and what we do.
It seems like almost everybody has one. Have you ever had a “Spinal Tap Moment” on stage where something totally unexpected has happened?
It is not a rarity for something weird to happen on stage. One time there was a platform in the front middle of the stage where my mic stand goes, and we didn’t have a sound check so I had no idea about it. I ran on stage to my mic to sing and tripped over it and almost fell into the audience. I managed to trip over it 5 more times because I’m incredibly clumsy and lose myself so much on stage. I used to have bad stage fright before this moment. I felt so humiliated but I laugh about it now.
What is the best piece of advice that you can pass along to someone who wants to pursue a career in music?
It is not just a job, it has to be your life. You can’t half ass any of it. I think people fail to realize how much hard work it is, and how it’s not just about being talented. It’s about “owning it”.
In your opinion, what does the future hold for Stars In Stereo? Both long term and short?
It is all of our opinions and aspirations to tour the world and make albums for the rest of our lives.
Anything you want to tell your fans before I let you go?
Thanks for taking time out to talk to us. We really look forward to spreading the word on the band! You guys sound great!
Thank you Jason, we appreciate the support!
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.