Behind the Music: Interview with Velvet & Stone

From haunting soundscapes through to foot-stomping folk rock, we take our audiences on a journey.’

Describe your music style in no more than 5 words: Atmospheric indie folk.

Where does the name Velvet & Stone come from? We wanted the name to represent the contrasts in our music. Velvet refers to the textures of my vocals and the violin, and the stone refers to our muse which is the beautiful and rugged landscapes of our home.

Who or what influences your music? We love living in the South West of the UK, which has a vibrant folk music scene and stunning natural landscapes. Our music is influenced by this heritage, personal stories and the traditional folk tales that inspire our songs.

I saw from your gig listings that you sometimes work as a duo and others as a full band. How does this affect your repertoire choices? We perform the same tunes, but the sound is more intimate and acoustic when we are performing as a duo.

How and why did you decide to have a touring band? We’ve always wanted to build that folk rock sound that we will showcase in the new album. We weren’t able to replicate that ourselves, so we had to build a band that was able to take the sound where we wanted it to go.

How important is it to find the right musicians to work with? Absolutely, it’s the most important thing. Kat and I inspire each other and we ‘click’ musically. I don’t think either of us would be doing ‘the music thing’ by ourselves. Building the right band has been really important too – for performing and recording. Unfortunately, we don’t yet get as many opportunities to perform with the guys as we would like, but it’s fantastic having them all on board when we do. They’re all brilliant musicians and lovely guys.

‘The writing partnership works so well because we leave room for each other’s style and expression.’

There seems to have been quite a development in the sound that Velvet & Stone has since the release of ‘The Storm’ in 2015. How has this come about? Yes, the sound has certainly developed. This is the first time that either Kat or myself have been in a band, and it’s been a huge learning process for us. Now that we have a few more seasons under our belt, we have been able to create a record that is true to our live sound and our intentions for the writing.

Finding the right producer has also been a major step. We’ve loved working with Josiah Manning at Momentum Studios. He’s been very sympathetic with our sound and we’ve recorded the album in a very raw and organic way which captures the performance and interaction between us all.

Folk music generally has some elements of freedom/self expression to it. How does this affect the writing process? We always joke that we work really well together because Kat is classically trained, with years of experience under her belt, whereas I have zero training and write entirely based on instinct. But I think it’s very true! We meet somewhere in the middle and the benefit is that there is tons of room for self-expression. I think this is why the writing partnership works so well – because we challenge and encourage each other, and leave room for each other’s style and expression.

Do you have any releases and/or performances coming up soon? Yes – the next single from the album ‘By the Water’ will be released at the beginning of May. The album will be out at the end of June. You can find all the gig dates on our website here: www.velvetstonemusic.com/gig

Do you prefer performing live or recording in a studio? For me, I love the creative process – songwriting and recording. However, I do love playing live too, and you can’t beat that feeling when everything comes together and magic happens on stage!

What can people expect from one of your live performances? We take our audiences on a journey from haunting, melancholic soundscapes – that will transport you to a different place –  through to foot-stomping folk rock.

What is your first musical based memory? My biggest musical influence is my Dad. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of playing records and drinking coffee in the kitchen on a Sunday morning. Dreamy times 🙂

‘You can’t beat that feeling when everything comes together and magic happens on stage!’

How different would your lives be if music didn’t feature in it? Very different. Kat and I both work full time in completely different jobs, so music is our creative outlet and release.

In a world of ‘quick release pop music’, how tricky is it for folk artists to get noticed and how can others do the same? We’ll let you know when that happens 😉 Joking … It’s something that I don’t think anyone has the answer to in a constantly changing industry.

And finally… for one time only you get the opportunity to have a guest artist perform with you as part of Velvet & Stone. Who do you choose and why? This is so difficult. I think Kat would choose Seth Lakeman and I would choose Ben Howard! Are two allowed? They’re both Devon boys so, I mean, It could happen! 😀

Follow Velvet & Stone on: Twitter and Facebook
Listen to and watch Velvet & Stone on: Spotify and YouTube
Find out more about Velvet & Stone at: Track Review: Velvet & Stone: Oh Boy

Velvet & Stone are part of Listen to Discover’s #FridayFindsFeaturedArtist series which you can keep up to date with on Twitter and Facebook.

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