STONE: Meet the Scouse alt.rock upstarts building their own community

Having spent two years grafting on the live circuit, STONE have built a dedicated following all around the UK. Now, with the announcement of their debut album and a While She Sleeps collab under their belt, it’s time for the alternative world to properly get acquainted with the Liverpool indie-punks…

STONE: Meet the Scouse alt.rock upstarts building their own community
Rishi Shah
Claudia Legge

When STONE hit the stage, you simply can’t take your eyes off them – whether you like it or not. It’s exactly what frontman Fin Power intended from day one, he tells Kerrang!, calling in from his nan’s house. “There’s no ‘going to the bar’ moments. We deliver [songs] with the emotion that we wrote them with. Even if you’re whispering in your mate’s ear how much you hate us, it’s always passion: unapologetic passion.”

Bulldozing their way through the UK live circuit – taking young, energetic fans along for the frenetic ride – the Liverpool rockers (completed by guitarist Elliot Gil, bassist Sarah Surrage and drummer Alex Smith) have sold out tour after tour, most recently headlining The Garage in London. Alongside The Mysterines and recent K! cover stars Crawlers, the future of Scouse guitar music is certainly in safe hands. “Crawlers released one of the biggest hits to come out of Liverpool in the past 10 years in Come Over (Again),” Fin enthuses. “Honestly, Polydor [Records] only discovered us because Crawlers brought the A&R to our show. I’ll dedicate a tequila shot, on the rare occasions I have them these days, to Crawlers.”

This week, STONE have announced details of their debut album Fear Life For A Lifetime, sharing its nostalgic lead single My Thoughts Go. Following two EPs that seamlessly weave between ruthless punk tracks like Waste and soaring indie-rock number If You Wanna, STONE are uniquely hard to pin down. “I think we’ve always been boxless,” Fin declares. “But I do believe that with this album, we’ve been able to bring our sonic chaos, and put it not into a box, but some sort of river that does at least lead to the ocean. You can tell Spotify don’t know what fucking playlist to put us in!”

STONE’s sound is reflective of Fin’s influences, where playlists flow between synth-pop, classical and the odd bit of metal – namely his current gym band While She Sleeps. When STONE were asked to support YUNGBLUD off the back of stellar performances at Reading & Leeds 2021, Fin briefly encountered Sleeps guitarist Mat Welsh backstage on the resultant tour. Instantly hooked by their sound, it turns out the sentiment was shared by Mat, leading to an unexpected collaboration that arrived via last month’s SELF HELL.

“I never DM anyone on Instagram, but [Mat] is the first guy I messaged in a fanboy way,” admits Fin. “He replied about jumping on a track… I was buzzing. Within the week, I was on a train to their studio in Sheffield.” The resultant song, DOPESICK, is as terrific as its title suggests, showcasing the imperious, spirited side of Fin’s vocal style. And embracing even more collaborations is most certainly on STONE’s mind. “We've got a feature coming on the album,” he teases, “and we’re going to do an alternate version of one of the songs with an artist who I can’t disclose.”

Returning from their retreat to Vermont to record the album, STONE now find themselves in their healthiest form yet, with a fanbase who can’t stop coming back for more. “Being onstage is like a drug, you know? And I was utterly addicted to it. Only recently, when I’ve stepped back, I’ve [now] got more of a beautiful relationship with it,” Fin says, beaming at the ever-growing community STONE are building. “It feels so organic now. The room is one, and it’s a beautiful atmosphere.”

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