While many people have been waiting in lines to see films, others have been catching local concerts. And while many national acts decided to brave the cold and perform over the past week, we still had many local bands playing around town trying to pull some eyes away from the out-of-towners. This past Friday we popped into Urban Lounge and ended up seeing a cool show from Provo rock group Marla Stone. We chat with the trio today, accompanied by some pictures from their performance.
(Josh Maylon, Reagan High, and Keaton Studebaker)
Marla Stone on Facebook
Gavin: Hey everyone, first off, tell us a little bit about yourselves.
I'm Reagan, I play guitar and sing.
I'm Keaton, I play bass.
I'm Josh, I play drums.
What got each of you interested in music? Who were your favorite musicians to listen to?
I grew up in Texas listening to Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, still two of my favorite musicians. But it was probably when I really started listening to Black Sabbath that I wanted to make music.
I started playing music because Reagan lived in the front of the house I moved into and asked me to play.
My brother burned me a copy of Nirvana's Nevermind
and told me to learn it.
What was it like for each of you to break into the local music scene?
I don't think we really have yet. If we do, I'm sure it'll be dope.
Yeah we've haven't really broken into the local music scene.
How did each of you come to meet and become friends over the years?
I moved to Provo four years ago and put an add on Craigslist for a drummer. That's how Josh and I met. Turns out we get along. Then Keaton moved into the back of the house I lived in like a year ago, and yeah, that's about it. Keaton and I work together in a grocery store, so we bond over that.
When did the idea come about to start this new band? Where did the name come from?
When Josh and I met and started playing songs, priginally
we were just a two-piece playing, like, really shitty metal. I couldn't play the guitar very well. We just kinda evolved into what we are now because of different musical interests,
and getting better at our instruments. The name literally doesn't mean anything. A friend of mine drunkenly said one night that the band should be called Marla Stone, and it just had a good ring to it. We've found that there are quite a few women on Facebook with that name. Every once in a while we'll get a message from some dude trying to get in contact with Marla. A few messages have been sexual in nature.
Yeah, we were called something stupid like Mountain Mystic before that.
What were the biggest influences behind going with a stoner rock sound?
Black Sabbath is my favorite band. I don't think we really sound like Sabbath, but I guess that's how I learned guitar. The best current bands are Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Salem's Pot. They are huge influences. Also sci-fi and horror movies, WWE and Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Do you tend to write together or do you break off from each other and then come together later?
I guess I'll just come up with a riff and basic structure then bring it to Josh and Keaton. They do their thing and eventually, we've got a song.
What was it like for you getting out and playing gigs while building an audience?
We're still doing that. I don't think we have much of an audience right now. Like I said, the Provo scene doesn't care much for us. We have a few followers, and that's really encouraging. We're really excited to start playing in Salt Lake more. We love playing live and really dig what bands are doing around here. Heavy Dose and Hot Vodka are pretty damn good.
Back in February, you released you single “In The Forest,” and it got some airplay on KRCL. How was it recording that and getting some recognition?
We had no idea that it was played on KRCL, that's rad. Yeah, we recorded it in our house. Pretty straightforward, we recorded it live and then did overdubs.
You recently released a self-title EP cassette on Anvileater Records. How was it putting that together?
The release of our EP has been really great. When we finished the recordings I sent them to Anvileater Records. Stoney, who runs it, loved it and offered to release a tape. Without Stoney and Anvileater, I don't think any of this would have been possible. We owe a lot to Stoney. You can stream the EP on Apple Music and Spotify. If you want a physical copy you can go to the label's website or hit us up.
Are you looking to tour down the road or just sticking to Utah for now?
Yeah, we don't have any money, so touring seems a little far-fetched at this time. Would definitely want to at some point.
What can we expect from Marla Stone over the rest of 2017?
I think we're gonna be doing a 7" with Anvileater Records and maybe a split with another band on the label.