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Our Spotlight – Ninety Foot Stone. Frontman Austin Cole took the time to chat with us about the band and the new music coming out. Hailing from Ontario its nice to see more fun music come across our desks here so check it out

Thank you for joining us today. We have frontman, Austin Cole here. Would you be able to introduce yourself?

Hey, I’m Austin from Ninety Foot Stone. I am the founder/writer and guitar player.

What is the story behind Ninety Foot Stone? How did the collaborators here come to be acquainted?

The project started a few years ago when I met with producer Brian Moncarz. I had some ideas that I wanted to do something with and Brian was interested in working on them. Brian had worked with Duncan, Jason, and Taylor in the past and thought they would be the perfect musicians to play on this project. It started with just Duncan and Jason from Our Lady Peace and Taylor came on a little later. Brian has really acted as a quarterback for this project by putting all the pieces together.

Many of these musicians have been involved with other incredible rock groups. What gives Ninety Foot Stone that original spark?

Everything I write comes from a very natural place. I don’t really spend a lot of time trying to write a riff or progression a certain way that fits within a certain genre or identity. I just write what I write. I find when I try to do something similar to what someone else has done it just doesn’t turn out the way I want it to. Once I have enough ideas together I take it to Brian and we start to really dial in where the song is going. Brian has been working with me now for a few years and understands my sound and style so he’s able to help make adjustments or improvements to a song while still staying on course of what our sound is. The entire writing process is very organic and I think that’s what keeps the music so original.

Where is the home base? Did you all get together to record or was this done virtually?

We have recorded some songs together at various Ontario studios but Out of My Head was done completely remotely. We started pre-production on this song during a lockdown so we didn’t have a choice but to do it all separately. It was definitely more challenging than being in a studio together but it was also a fun process.

Who are your personal or musical inspirations that helped launch your music career?

James Hetfield of Metallica, Ian D’sa of Billy Talent, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age are definitely the people I looked up to the most while growing up. I’ve listened to them and played their music so much that it has absolutely influenced the way I play and write music.

This debut single “Out of My Head” is exciting and dynamic. It sets the standard for future releases. What message is this song meant to deliver to listeners regarding Ninety Foot Stone’s identity?

My intention with this song was to capture the sound of NFS as accurately as possible in one song. About a year ago I had some other tracks done and ready to be released but I wanted to create something that really creates a snapshot of our sound. This song really is a preview of what listeners can expect in future releases. It’s the perfect representation of NFS.

How do you feel now that the single has been released? How do you think it has been perceived so far?

It feels amazing to finally get something out there. It feels like we’ve been working on this project for so long, so to have something officially released it’s a huge sense of accomplishment. It’s hard to say how it’s being perceived. I think that rock fans will appreciate some new and original sounding rock especially in a time where rock music isn’t exactly in the spotlight. My hope is that this music gives listeners confidence that good rock music is still being made.

Tell us about the songwriting process. Who stars in the writing and composing or was it truly a joint effort?

Taylor Perkins and I do the majority of the writing. I start with an arrangement of riffs and melodies and once it’s somewhat put together as a demo we send it off to Taylor. Taylor writes all the vocal melodies and lyrics.

What are the ultimate goals for Ninety Foot Stone? Where are you looking to take your music?

My goal is to be able to continue to create more music. I really do think that rock fans will be able to connect with this music. We’re at a point where we’ve created a really good foundation. We’ve dialed in the sound of NFS and now that we have that I want to build on it. More music is definitely on the horizon.

Austin, tell us about your experience in balancing your work outside of music? What does your life look like outside of NFS?

For a lot of years, I’ve worked in a business that is mostly seasonal so it’s actually been perfect for me as it gives me a lot of time for music during certain seasons. I’m definitely an outdoors person. I’ve worked outdoors for years and spend most of my time outside.

Your sound channels some 90s rock flair with a 2020s edge to it. Do you find it difficult to take inspiration from music from 3 decades ago and make it relevant today?

That’s an interesting question. Although I sometimes try to combine sounds or themes from different time periods it usually doesn’t work when I try to write a song with those specific intentions. I love the melodic themes from 90’s music but I also love the sound of modern hard rock. I think it’s because I like to listen to that type of music that comes out when I’m writing.

Either way, the melodies of 90’s rock have a very cool feel and sound that I think is missing from current rock. I think adding modern tone and production to a ’90s themed melody can maybe spark some interest in people who are fans of both types of music. I’m terms of creating music that way I don’t look at it as difficult just because it’s so natural to me to play and write that way.

What do you think about the music landscape over the last couple of years? Popularity is almost entirely decided by internet sensations and I am curious to hear your thoughts. What do you think it takes for bands in the 2020s to stick out?

The music landscape is definitely very different from what it was when the music I listen to was considered popular. To be completely honest I don’t pay too much attention to what mainstream music is doing. I’m always looking for new music to listen to for sure but I don’t follow mainstream music media or anything like that. I think to stand out in the 2020’s you have music that is different from what listeners are used to. People have access to so much music and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd as an artist if you’re just doing what everyone else is doing.

Do you have any plans to tour in the next few years? How would you envision a Ninety Foot Stone show?

I’m definitely looking forward to figuring out how the live aspect will come together. It’s been on my mind and we’ve had some discussions about it but we’re not at a point yet where we can envision what it will look like. So planning for future shows is definitely happening, but it’s going to take some time yet for it to come together!

Spotlight – Ninety Foot Stone is a wrap! Big thanks to Austin for taking the time to chat

Check out Out of My Head now!

Keep up with Ninety Foot Stone

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