20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask Neil Sheasby from Stone Foundation
1 How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
Soulful, honest creativity that arrives from good intentions
2 Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
I don’t think of it in a careerist manner. Where we are? On a new album campaign and thinking about assembling the next one. Always moving forwards
3 Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
The long and winding road....
4 Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)
My parents, my late, great friend Hammy and Paul Weller for igniting the flame around 1979 then becoming a friend a few years ago, he’s a constant source of support and encouragement
5 Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
Yes lots I think, my musical pallet is very broad. Lots of early 80’s pop is a big influence which is more down to a time frame of 80 to 83’ rather than any particular artist or band
6 What are you most proud of?
Still being in the game, still relevant and interesting to people after all these years, it’s been an incredible journey of which I’m proud of
7 In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
Not really, I’m not a yes man or eager to crowd please so I think one of our strengths is what we say no to
8 What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
Getting asked to play in someone’s living room and in a shoe shop but we actually did both!
9 What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
Listening to each other and respecting ideas, try anything before dismissing it
10 If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
Probably Slade’s Christmas hit and I’d have a huge cheque every year
11 How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
A delicate balance but first and foremost I’m a father and a husband. Financially it can certainly be tough but we somehow find a way through. My family have been wonderfully supportive of my musical escapades.
12 In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
I think the physical format is on the rise once again, our new album “Is Love Enough” sold overwhelmingly better on vinyl
It was heartening to see the figures
13 Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
No plan/no compass and whose yardstick is success measured on? I’m a bloke from Atherstone who started a band at school with my mates and that adventure took me on a journey that ended up playing at the royal Albert Hall and making records with Paul Weller.
That’ll do for me
14 DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
I like DJ culture. It’s an important part of music both creatively and for championing new music, it goes hand in hand, I don’t view it as a threat to bands or artists
15 To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
Fuji Rock festival in Japan and the aforementioned Royal Albert Hall gig for teenage cancer trust
16 How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
I don’t really get them it’s more a pent up anticipation and they always pass once I walk out on stage and hit that first note
17 When did you last write something?
I write something almost every day
18 Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
I wasn’t sure after the demise of my last band (in 1997) that I’d continue or indeed wanted to but my wife Claire and my friend Al Calnan convinced me it was part of who I was. I met Neil (Jones) & formed Stone Foundation and never really looked back since
19 What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
I’m not sure they are? But again that’s fine by me if artists want to embrace those methods. I think there’s some incredible new music being made
20 Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
The rope that ties my arms to this chair.......