Florida’s Stone Eater have been around since 2009 and have amassed one full length, a handful of EP’s and a split release with Dead Hand in that time. Through all of this they’ve refined their sound into a sludge/doom juggernaut with occult and mythology thrown in for good measure. To put it in context, they ride comfortably between the heavier sludge of Kylesa and the galloping riff wizardy of High On Fire. Indeed that’s a tall order but this trio pulls it off masterfully. We recently got the chance to ask our set of Profile questions to the band and all three members were nice enough to offer input. See what they had to say, after the jump.
How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?
Jean Saiz (guitar, vocals): I started playing music in middle school (flute), and then taught myself guitar via online tablature. “Level of Success” is a fluid notion, particularly as it pertains to being in a DIY band. I would say there have been goals that have been set and consequently achieved, and this is how I’d define success. There is always more to be done, more that can be accomplished.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.
Janette Valentine (bass, backing vocals): I’ve too much pride to debase myself or the band. Hence, for this very reason, I dare not disclose embarrassing stories unless we are good and saucy ridin’ that tekillya train.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
JS: Worst things would be bands expecting hand outs for being in a band via GoFundMe or Kickstarter campaigns. Best things going on would be the great variety of heavy bands that are out playing, releasing music and gaining traction for themselves on a wider scale. Great festivals, great bands across subgenres, etc.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music? (This question is especially appropriate for you since your music is quite an outlet for your physical and emotional pains).
JV: I personally don’t like to get into political or religious debates so I keep my opinions to myself for the most part. I feel strongly about human and animal rights and passionate about fairness, equality and respect for all living beings. Playing music helps to channel anger and frustrations in an anonymous sorta way via lyrics. It’s a therapeutic release in a very personal, sometimes cryptic, way.
Sadly, these are very strange times. “The future’s uncertain and the end is always near,” as good ol’ Jimbo says. Above all, we have to be excellent to each other and strive to be better humans.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
JV: When I was about 11 my dad brought me a pile of records that a client gave him to pass to me. Not sure why she sent them my way, but that week spiked my curiosity and ignited a fire that had been dormant. I listened to Sabbath, Deep Purple and Zeppelin for the first time and from that point on, everything changed. My dad was probably too drunk to give a shit about what I was listening to, so that worked out!
What’s the stickiest you have ever been?
Davin Sosa (drums): Really good question! So many ways from which to come at this. While the stickiest we’ve ever been in our personal lives is a matter of privacy, we’ve seen some sticky situations on the road. A turbulent nightdrive on our most recent tour comes to mind. Just before our Tallahassee show, a hurricane passed through, rendering most hotels and gas stations powerless for a 160 mile radius. It’s fun!
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
DS: I prefer more natural sounding writeups than the canned, formulaic variety. Report honestly and legibly! The rest is up to y’all.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
DS: The last couple of years have seen me recording more, whether it be for a friend’s band, or my own. Recording and compiling our own stuff is really fun, and fits well into the DIY ethos that the band is based on. Aside from that, I enjoy drawing, playing video games, and contributing to the slow death of the earth.
JS: I’ve worked as an art director for just about 10 years, specializing in the realm of graphic print design. Beyond the band, I create illustrations and art and also work for other bands and artists on a commission basis for album art, shirts, etc. I also have a cassette-only label called Primitive Violence. I took a break this year on releases but plan to work with some of my favorite local bands.
JV: We’d definitely start a cult. And you must send a self-addressed stamped envelope to learn more. In the meantime, we need jobs to fund our musical life, so we succumb to the full-time soul exchange that affords us this fine privilege. Jean’s a graphic designer, I’m a photographer and Davin’s a sushi artist. We work, we play music, we do fun, we work hard for the money…so hard for it honey….
Finally, when you’re not listening to, writing or playing metal, what are some of you favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Many thanks to Janette, Jean and Davin for their time!