Choosing your own Destiny
Written by Art Fredette on June 1, 2019
From a personal view and opinion is where this success story starts. Over the past 8 years Stellar Young have been riding a huge wave of momentum that has carried them into present day. The future cannot be predicted, but this is one band that has been choosing their own destiny, since day one, and have succeeded, every time, A big plan was set in place, followed through with, and was built through evolution, and dedication. Stellar Young’s John Glenn on vocals & keyboards, assures us some of it is evolution but most is planning.
RRX:The new record “And turned to ash” is a stretch musically, vocally, and sonically and we dig it! Tell all from writing to recording?
John: I love hearing that it’s a stretch musically and that people enjoy it. We came up with this concept of a trilogy of EP’s, each representing part of a life cycle (birth, life and death) and wanted it to be reflected in the tones, instrumentation, genre and loosely in the subject matter as well. We have been writing these EP’s in many sessions over a span of 4 years and it has pushed us to explore and stretch our sound. The first EP, “The Spark Caught”, which incorporated many electronic elements, we recorded entirely in Dave Parker’s apartment. The second EP, “Became A Flame”, which was more of the upbeat rock our fans have come to expect, was recorded using the upstairs of PSP as a live room and the rest in house by Dave in our old band apartment. The third EP, “And Turned To Ash” was recorded with Dan & Jimi from Dark Honey. We were seeking their outside ear to capture the organic tones and instrumentation we wanted for portraying the concept of the final installment. I enjoyed every minute of working with them.
RRX:Bands have to evolve, I get that. has Stellar Young reinvented their formula or just experimented on this release?
John: I love writing, it might be the part I enjoy the most. We spend a lot of time structuring and refining songs together, but it always feels like a natural progression, not formulaic. So I would call it an exploration. Even though it isn’t our typical upbeat anthemic rock, I think it still sounds like us. I would describe our taste in music as very eclectic, even if it isn’t always reflected in the songs we write. This trilogy concept, allowed us to push to incorporate sounds and styles we haven’t used before.
RRX:The new material seems to come from a darker place at least that is a nterpretation from a regular listener and fan of the band? True? False? Inspirations?
John: I think some of the material on this EP does come from a darker place. The loose concept for this installment was death in it’s many forms. The first track is about reminiscing and letting the past die. There’s a track about struggling to keep the music dream alive while working other jobs and coping with distractions and substances. The most personal track to me is “Struck”, which is inspired by when tragedies seem to happen elsewhere until it hits home. But there are also songs about perseverance and love. “Wait” is a track Erik wrote about discarding his many fears and taking the plunge with his now fiancé, Erin. I would say more than anything, it’s an album about maturity and aging, and includes the dark and the light.
RRX:The band is coming up on 10 years counting the beginning with The city never sleeps? Thoughts plans for the next few years?
John: It’s crazy to think we’ve spent four of those years working on these EP’s! We’re treading on some fresh ground at the moment. I know we plan on playing some shows to promote these EP’s. We also intend to press the three EP into a double LP vinyl. The whole concept of releasing it exclusively online was to help fund the cost of pressing this project into one cohesive idea. Each EP was written to transition seamlessly into one another. Even the final song of “And Turned To Ash” is written to transition into the first song of “The Spark Caught”.
RRX: While talking to a young musician recently, I asked who he was influenced by & he quickley replied “Stellar Young”. That blew my mind and made me proud! Thoughts feelings?
John: We struggle with taking compliments. Who is this musician? We will probably have to track them down and send them copious amounts of swag and merch. What an honor, man! I don’t know what else to say. But I am immediately reminded of all the artists I was inspired by when getting into songwriting. I think about all the early 2000’s post-punk bands and other artists, whose album art I had plastered on my walls growing up. These artists will never know how they influenced me but they will always hold a place in my memories.
RRX:What is on the plate for the next year writing,recording,touring? More reinvention?
John: Currently our plans are up in the air. If you are interested in following our plans and stories, follow us @stellaryoung or visit stellaryoung.com and sign up for our mailing list.
RRX:Its summertime where will the band be perforforming, big shows, tours fests?
John: We can’t disclose our next show yet. Let’s just say we’ll be playing a big free Albany show this summer.
RRX: Who are Stellar Youngs favorite local acts at this time
John: I was immediately smitten with Girl Blue when we played an acoustic show with her recently. Always got love for Dark Honey songs. Hasty Page, Becoming A Ghost, El Modernist, Good Fiction, The Parlor, and way too many others to name, those are just the first that pop into my head at the moment.