Today, up-and-coming rock act Ninety-Foot Stone release their debut single “Out of My Head” The project is the brainchild of Uxbridge guitarist and songwriter Austin Cole and packs some serious weight – sonically and in terms of those he’s collaborating with. Working with musicians from some of Canada’s most well-known rock bands, the song features Taylor Perkins of Bleeker(vocals/lyrics), The Trews’ Jeff Heisholt (keyboards), bassist Duncan Coutts and drummer Jason Pierce, both from Our Lady Peace. To top it off, “Out of My Head” was produced by world-class rock producer Brian Moncarz (Alice Cooper, Our Lady Peace, The Trews). Inspired by classic metal bands with a modern twist, “Out of My Head”, is the brute force of those acts tempered by the kind of earworm guitar and vocal hooks inspired by the likes of Stone Temple Pilots and Queens of the Stone Age.
I love the guitar sounds those older bands get, and their melodic, eerie sound. But I also love that heavy, lower-tuned guitar you hear more nowadays, but, in a way, I don’t choose what I write, it just comes out the way it comes out.”Guitarist and bandleader Austin Cole
How did this Canadian-rock “supergroup” come together to collaborate on this project?
Austin Cole (AC): “The whole thing started a couple of years back when I first met up with producer Brian Moncarz. I had some ideas that Brian and I spoke about and that’s how it all got going. Brian then brought in Duncan and Jason from OLP to do drums and bass. We then started tracking some of the songs that I had at the time and started thinking about who was going to do vocals. Brian had worked with Taylor Perkins from Bleeker before and thought he could be a good fit. As soon as we heard some of the first run-throughs from Taylor, we were both hooked. His voice matched up so well with the music and that was the most exciting part of this entire project for me. Nothing was really planned out solidly from the start – it has been a slow evolution to what it is now.”
What is the influence behind the project name, Ninety-Foot Stone?
AC: “Growing up I was always really interested in the Oak Island treasure hunt. The Ninety Foot Stone is an artifact that they found during the hunt many years ago and I had always thought it would make a good name for a band. When it came time to decide on a name it was one that thought should for sure be considered.”
Who are some of your musical influences?
AC: “James Hetfield of Metallica, Levon Helm from The Band, and Ian D’sa from Billy Talent are the ones that for sure influenced me the most in terms of the way that I play and write. I went through phases of wanting to learn every song by those artists and nothing else. I also loved Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Dave Mustaine from Megadeth. It’s definitely a wide range of artists and genres that have shaped the way I write and play music.”
When people hear your music, what do you hope they feel?
AC: “I really hope people feel excited when they hear this music. This music captures snapshots of different generations of rock music and brings them together. There are some dark melodic 90’s themes as well as some newer, edgier, hard rock sounds. I think it’s a really good balance of heavy and melodic which could interest listeners with many different preferences. I hope rock fans are excited when they hear this and can have some confidence that good rock music is still being made.”
Tell us the inspiration behind the debut single, “Out Of My Head.” What has it been like releasing music in such unprecedented times?
AC: “I wrote this song with intention of trying to capture the sound of NFS in one track. I wanted our first single to be a really good representation of what our sound is.”
“It was definitely more of a challenge putting this track together during the pandemic than before. This track was recorded completely remotely which was an interesting experience, to say the least. Everything was recorded in home studios and then sent off to Brian who would then piece everything together. It was a fun process but it definitely made it harder to refine parts of the song and really dial it in. Being in a studio in-person makes stuff like that a lot easier. Overall though, it was a lot of fun to create a song in a different way than what is the norm.”
What was the experience like working with world-class producer, Brian Moncarz? In what way has Brian complemented your creative vision? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received while working alongside him?
AC: “Working with Brian has been such a great time. Brian was the first person I met in the professional music world and has been a really great mentor for me ever since. Working with him for the past few years has shaped who I am as a musician. I’ve learned so much about music creation and what it takes to have a high level of musicianship.“
“The best piece of advice I’ve had from him is to not overthink it. When trying to come up with a part of a song or trying to alter something I can sometimes overthink what I am doing which just complicates what I am trying to achieve. Using a simpler approach and not overthinking things has definitely made it easier to accomplish what I need to with a song.”
As you look to establish yourself as an up-and-coming act in the rock scene, what have you come to learn in the process of releasing music for the first time?
AC: “The whole process has been a massive learning experience for me. I came in with no knowledge of what it actually takes to put something like this together. I think the key piece I’ll take away from this project is that the people that you surround yourself with are extremely important. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work with some outstanding artists and producers which has led to the creation of some really cool music. Working with such incredible talent has certainly made me a better artist.”
What can fans and new listeners alike expect from Ninety-Foot Stone as we approach the final month of 2021, and roll into 2022?
AC: “We are definitely going to have more music released in the near future. Right now the focus is on writing more songs. We have some done and ready to go and a few more that are in the works. Stay tuned!”
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