Amy Findlay - Lead Vocals & Drums Hannah Findlay - Guitar & Backing Vocals Sarah Findlay - Keyboard & Backing Vocals Holly Findlay - Bass & Backing Vocals
Frank Zappa, led zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix
It all started in a shed.
More specifically, it started in a shed on a family hobby farm in a tiny rural township in Victoria, Australia.
The four Findlay sisters, who’d go on to become the earthen psych-rock opal that is Stonefield, had been granted their wish of a drum kit by their parents, whose Zappa, Hendrix and Zeppelin records had long been the shared soundtrack of the household. Amy – the oldest Findlay, though at that time just 15 – took a particular shine to the kit and soon began lessons, her practice sessions echoing out across the family’s acreage. It wasn’t long, however, before her sisters were drawn back into the shelter as, one by one, they found their own instruments to wrangle with. Hannah, then 13, started on guitar. Sarah, 12, took on the keyboard. Holly, just seven years old, listened in on her sisters practising and, perhaps hearing that something was missing, asked her father for a bass.
Now the question is: listen to Stonefield and try to figure out what else the Findlays could possibly be doing.
Stonefield’s first song ‘Foreign Lover’ was recorded for a project Amy was working on as part of her tertiary studies. When they arrived home from the studio that day, the siblings’ mother suggested they enter the track in triple j’s Australia-wide unsigned band competition, Unearthed. The deadline for entries was that night. They weren’t convinced they had a chance, but decided to give it a shot.
Soon enough, ‘Foreign Lover’ was all over triple j, followed shortly by infectious rock stomper ‘Through The Clover,’ the song they were given the opportunity to record as part of the competition’s first prize. Stonefield was invited to showcase at the inaugural One Movement music and arts conference in Perth, which resulted in [renowned band booker] Martin Elbourne, inviting the band to play the 2011 Glastonbury Festival on the spot.
Over the next two years, the girls wrote and released their second EP Bad Reality. They released their debut self-titled album in October 2013. It entered the AIR charts at #6 and the ARIA charts at #21. The three singles released from the album, including Put Your Curse On Me, received immense support from triple j, and the Southern Cross Network, including MMM.
The album was well received by both the industry and general public. Such was the demand that Stonefield embarked on a national tour, spanning 22 dates and 5 states. The second single Love You Deserve, took up a life entirely of its own, and the band set out on yet another tour.
By this time, the international market had caught wind of the incendiary band from rock journo heaven, and the girls headed to the UK during May to play showcases, as well as Dot to Dot festival in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham. To top it all off, they also had the opportunity to record in a studio during their time in London. In November 2013, Stonefield won the inaugural Age Music Victoria Award for Best Regional Act.
In June 2014, Stonefield was invited by Dan Sultan to support his national Blackbird tour, over 21 dates and 6 states. They spent the remainder of the year playing festivals and shows across the country, including Mitchell Creek Rock N’ Blues Fest, Caloundra Music Festival and Queenscliff Music Festival.
Finally at home, the girls have spent the first two months of this year working on their second album; their explosive jams reverberating out across the paddocks. The only difference now is that the world gets to share in rock’n’roll’s newest family story.
Stonefield are four sisters, heavily influenced by old school rock. And are one of our 2010 Unearthed high finalists!
Tell us about your music – how did you develop sound?
We have grown up with music constantly playing in our house. Although our parents aren't musical themselves, they love music and have passed that love on to us. Listening to music is great, but we wanted to be able to play it. We began playing our instruments in late 2006 and pretty much started playing as a band straight away. We are heavily influenced by 70s rock. Love Zeppelin, Hendrix, Zappa and so much more. We seem to find playing this genre a lot of fun, covering songs and then developing our own twist to that sound and so decided that was the direction to head towards.
Tell us about your high school – where do you play/learn music?
Gisborne Secondary College is part of the Macedon Ranges. It's a really arty, musical community and a lot of support is shown to this. The whole school supports our band, helping us in any way that they can. We play at school concerts and heaps of other gigs around the area. We tend to find ourselves playing a heap of youth orientated gigs which is always awesome as we would love to inspire as many young people to pick up an instrument as we can. We play around Melbourne as well - recently played at Fed Square, St Kilda Festival, The Espy... We all learn our instruments at our next door neighbours house. He happens to be an awesome musician and teacher and has taught us so much about music. Amy is studying a music Degree and is in her final year at NMIT in Fairfield. When our school found out about Unearthed High, everyone jumped on the net and showed a great deal of support to our band.
Have you played live before – what can we expect from a live show?
We've fortunately had heaps of opportunities to play live shows. It's around the 100 mark now. We take every opportunity we can to play live. Our music probably comes across a lot more energetic and 'Rock' in our live shows. I think we seem like less of a "girl band" and more like sisters playing rock music if that makes sense! The reaction before and after a show is pretty different. So many times we've walked into a venue and been looked down at as though we're a sissy little girl band, about to play the Dixie Chicks. (No offence Dixie Chicks.) After a show we tend to get a lot of comments like "Wow, wasn't expecting that! You girls rock!" We like to get into the mood and rock out in our live performances.
What’s coming up in the future?
We are recording and releasing an EP this year, promoting it with lots of gigs. We would love to get our music out there and heard by as many people as possible. To be able to live off of our music is of course the dream.
Australian music is?
Life, passion, culture, roots. It's unbelievable the amount of good music Australia produces, and so much of it is from young people.View Profile Hide Interview