2017 seems to be the year for New-Jersey based alt-rock band The Stolen. The four-piece group consisting of Dom Cuce, Kevin Smart, Rob Chiarappa, and Mike Chiarappa have been active since 2013 with their debut EP entitled "Adults." The beginning work had a very distinctive pop-punk feel, propelling the group to play festivals such as the famed Vans Warped Tour. The group's second EP, "I'm So Dead" carried over that Blink-182 alt-rock vibe, but stripped it down for some more laid-back and softer tracks. The group just dropped a debut seven-track album, "Fragile Heart" this past May, and for seven songs, it certainly makes its presence known. The group describes the project as "their most representative tracks to date," and although some pop-punk notes can still be detected in the vocals, the new sound, similar to LANY and even the 1975, pulls in your attention and provides a dynamic and diverse album. Tracks like "West Coast" and "Falling Out" sound really fluid and complete. The group adds their electric and bass to a more indie and chill feel. And the presence of synth really ties the tracks together. The Stolen are beginning touring the album this December, and had a chance to interview with us to learn more about them and the record.
Give Me A Try: What first brought the band together?
The Stolen: We all grew up in the same town (Dom lived next door to Rob and Mike) and we've all known each other since elementary school. We inadvertently kinda molded and started playing music together.
GMAT: What genre or subgenre would you classify The Stolen in?
TS: Pop Rock. We have a huge desire for the catchiness of a great pop song while capturing the feel of a rock band.
GMAT: You recently released a mixtape, Fragile Heart- what was the making of it like? Are there any cohesive themes?
TS: Recording the record was really collaborative and each song kinda had its own take on how it developed. Some songs we wrote sitting in a room building off an instrumental or someone would bring a quick iPhone recording of an idea of vocals and maybe an acoustic guitar. West Coast hadn't changed much from the original demo whereas songs like Euphoric and Heathrow went through quite a bit of change from what they first sounded like.
GMAT: What is the songmixing process like?
TS: Mixing is done at Rob's home studio. He'll mix the whole record and come to us asking for feedback on what we all are hearing.
GMAT: What is your favorite song you've made?
TS: This is really a tough one because we all have our own personal favorites but the fan favorites seem to be "Can't Get Enough" and "West Coast."
GMAT: What aspect of tour do you like the most?
TS: The most glorifying moment of tour is the ability to play live music every night in a new city. We love traveling and eating new foods and all the things that come along on the travel end however nothing beats the feeling of performing every night.
GMAT: How has playing live evolved for you?
TS: When we first started writing our own music, we were a pop punk band playing a lot of VFW halls and rec centers and crappy (sometimes broken) gear. We started branching out not only in our writing but our live set. We started adding keyboards and Dom started playing guitar and definitely took things to a more cohesive place.
GMAT: What's on your playlists at the moment?
TS: We've been listening to a ton of Dagny, Bleachers, COIN, Turnover, LANY, and joan. Also are constantly throwing back to classics like the smiths, Bruce Springsteen, The Cure, and stevie wonder.
GMAT: CDs or Vinyl?
TS: Vinyl. Both items are obsolete so if you're gonna collect something, vinyl is super fun!
GMAT: If you had to be an inanimate object for a year, what would you choose to be?
TS: Hair gel. Don't know why, but hair gel.
GMAT: Does pineapple belong on pizza?
TS: We're from Jersey so we're kinda pizza snobs. We're gonna say no.
Thanks again to the Stolen for the interview- we wish them the best of luck on their upcoming tour! Be sure to check out "Fragile Heart!"
photo credit: Crow Brennen Photography