Children of the Sunby Mahala High Five Brigade / 18.07.2013
The Stella’s are a four piece rock’n’roll band from Joburg. Since getting together in 2008 they’ve been banging out their sounds to live crowds all round the country. We caught up with them before their performance at the Puma Social Club tomorrow night to find out how they feel about South African Rock at the moment, and whether they’d ever sing a good ol’ country ballad.
MAHALA: Who are The Stella’s?
THE STELLA’S: Eagle Veitch, Stu Sleaze, Pano Roller, and Jim Hazard.
Who is Stella?
The Universe…The Sun.
How did you guys meet and when did you start performing together?
We (Jim, Stu, Pano) all played in various punk bands throughout high school, but it was at the end of high school when we decided to start The Stella’s. After going through 2 drummers, we met Ben one night at a bar, as one does. Turned out he was a drummer, and our search was over.
Finish this sentence – The Stella’s is the best music to listen to when you are…
On the highway heading to the party.
Who is the creative driving force? Or do you all work together nicely?
We all work together nicely, sometimes one of us will come up with a riff then we all jam together and add bits and pieces until something pleasing is formed.
How has your music changed over the years?
Our sound evolves quickly because we get bored of our old material fast. We gig a shit load, so each time we start writing new music it changes. We’ve gone from a more blues influenced sound on the Cut Throat EP, to Live Charge which was more punk rock and lately we have been writing some garage/psych type songs. That’s the great thing about rock ‘n roll, it has a really broad spectrum and we tend to borrow bits and pieces from everywhere.
Do you get out of Joburg much?
We have played all over the country, Cape Town, Bloem, Potch, Durban, Pretoria, the Free State. We tour nationally at least twice a year. We also travel down to Durban just to hang and skate.
What do you each do when you’re not making music?
We’re all involved in arts from visual to print. We dig hanging out and finding cool spots to skate with our friends. But the main and ultimate focus is on music, even in the broader sense of collaborating with other bands, jamming different music with friends, djing at parties. It’s all about creating that something to do and live for, making the things you want to do happen.
Where can we listen to some of your music?
Check out our site. But the best bet is to come to a live rock ‘n roll show and get it in person.
What do you think of the South African rock scene at the moment?
South African rock is on a really cool tip at the moment. A lot of cool stuff happening, but it is still on a small scale, and collaborating is a cool way forward.
Who is making exciting music?
The Future Primitives, The Wild Eastern Archers, The Slashdogs, Cortina Whiplash, Fruits and Veggies, Black Math.
Who inspires you?
Ah! This is an endless and ever changing list. But right about now the real deal stuff is The Slashdogs, The Hives, Ty Segal, Poison Arrows, Bass Drum of Death.
Where are the best crowds?
Johannesburg by far!
Do you prefer playing in clubs or at festivals?
That’s a tough one, clubs are intimate and tend to get our of hand with a lot of interaction which is best – it’s where we are most comfortable for sure, but with festivals it’s usually a day of cruising around, getting up to shit and hanging out, with a cool build up before the shows. We’ll take both.
What’s on the cards for you for the rest of 2013?
The year has flown by, it’s been crazy, but we are busy working on new stuff, just seeing where it’s going. Hopefully a new EP, but definitely some singles, a National Tour towards the end of the year, some festivals and some good old Joburg shows for the boogie.
Do you ever get confused with other The Stellas from Arizona, anyone ever been disappointed you’re not a country music singing couple?
It’s a possibility, but how can you get bummed out when stumble upon some rock ‘n roll? We don’t disappoint. We are The Stella’s, children of the sun, belonging to the universe, Joburg City Rockers. I think there’s another band or two called the Stellas, hit us up, let’s do a show.
Would you ever sing a country song?
If there was ever the desire…
Do you often try to wear clothes that match your hair?
It depends if we have enough spare cash for our L.A stylist to come on over.
What can the crowd at the Puma Social Club expect from you this Friday night?
Boogie down, champagne on ice, groove deluxe, ultra freak out. It’s Joburg Rock City after all.
* First image © Leigh Lobotomy