After accumulating countless Grammies in the past, there was no surprise when Hydrograd, Stone Sour’s sixth studio album debuted at number one on three different Billboard charts. Being the bands most experimental release to date, founding member and rhythm guitarist Josh Rand is very proud of the finished result.
“I think it’s the best sounding record we have ever done,” Rand says. “We literally went in and recorded it without any click track or pro-tools or anything, we all just got in a big room and jammed the songs and basically recorded 19 songs in a month, which was pretty crazy.
“I think every album we expand our musical vocabulary and push ourselves sonically, stylistically and sound wise. I just feel with the addition this time around of songs such as ‘St Marie’ which has a country vibe to it and the album closer ‘When The Fever Broke’, which is almost a Pink Floyd/David Bowie spacey vibe that again, it is another extension of our creativity; expanding on what we have done in the past. We still have the rock songs and the metal songs; but for us, we just do what we do. We are a rock band that adapts to many different genres,” he says.
The incorporation of different genres to Stone Sour’s sound has also been largely impacted by Josh’s personal life; in which he is currently finishing his Masters of Music at Berklee College of Music.
“I started back in 2009. It was just to try and learn something new, to try and get out of the box. People always say ‘you’re successful’ and ‘you play in this band why would you need to go do that?’ and I think it’s very simple, purely for the reason of not growing. Because then I’d be writing the same record, with the same riffs and not doing anything different,” Rand explains. “I guess you could say that it would be very easy to become complacent once you’ve had success. I just wanted to try new stuff and every class I’ve taken has influenced a song in one way or another. That in itself makes it worth taking to class to me.”
Originally growing up playing the bass guitar Rand first met Corey Taylor, Stone Sour’s front man, who also front’s metal juggernauts Slipknot, at the age of 15.
“When we first met he wasn’t singing; Corey played drums and I played bass guitar. We always used to hang out because musically we had a lot in common, in terms of what we liked. He lived with his grandmother and she lived like six houses from my house, so that’s how we first connected. And then he started singing and a couple of years later I switched from bass to guitar. We did all the common stuff 15 years olds would do, MTV at the time was actually playing music and grunge was breaking through in the States so we hung out and partied and did a bunch of stuff that we probably shouldn’t have done. I’ll leave it at that,” Rand laughs.
When & When: Festival Hall, Melbourne – August 25
Written by Alex Callan