IN THE NOW MAGAZINE (where it all began)

In The Now magazine

Interview done by Sean Muldoon (vocals) and Jeff Wiggins (guitar).

Stone Soul Foundation are from CNY (central New York). Their foundation creates a blues injected heavy rock and metal. Since their 2002 inception in the Syracuse, NY area, Stone Soul Foundation (SSF) have performed hundreds of shows at clubs, festivals, and special events throughout the U.S. including the famed Whisky a GO GO in Los Angeles, and the SXSW Festival in Texas.

In addition, Shane and Sean appeared on Animal Planet's "Hillbilly Hand Fishin" for some ‘noodling' and you can see a clip here Most recently, SSF song "Sidewalker" was selected for the soundtrack of Indie Film "SWEET LEAF"; a blood-drenched heavy metal heist.

They've also successfully completed a fanfunding project to create a full-blown music video based on new song "Taking Back the U.S.", and in April won a music video from a suicide prevention fundraiser Battle of the Bands. Both of those videos will be released during the second half of 2013. SSF continues their voyage by touring in support of their latest release "Electric Valley", recorded and produced with the legendary Alex Perialas (Anthrax, Testament, Bad Religion). They just debuted a new song Taking Back the U.S., check out the video here …

ITN Magazine: Tell us about the history of the band. More specifically, when was the band formed, how did you meet, and have there been any particular highlights or low points in your career, any crucial events that have taken you where you are today?

Jeff Wiggins (Guitarist) SSF: Singer Sean Muldoon and I have been friends and writing music together since our early teens. We were introduced through mutual friends from school who thought we should get together because of our love of playing, and writing heavy rock/metal music. That's exactly what we did! We have performed together in various original rock and metal bands for the last 20 years and in Stone Soul Foundation since 2002, which is when "Drummer" Shane met us at the local watering hole in Auburn. Shane loved our vision of a rock/metal band with soul and we dug his energy and passion to perform. "Bassist" Doug later joined the band around 2006 replacing the previous bass player who had lost interest in pursuing a career in music. After playing with various cover bands Doug jumped on the opportunity to join Stone Soul Foundation thus fulfilling his passion of playing with an original hard rock band.

One of our highlights would include recording our latest release "Electric Valley" with Alex Perialas. Alex has recorded many of our childhood heroes such as Anthrax, S.O.D, Overkill, Testament, Bad Religion, and so many others. As far as low points go, many years ago we played a show that absolutely no one showed up to see us for. We still played the "show" and it was nice not to have to stand in line for a drink! We dedicated songs to the 9 nine ball and salt shakers. It could have been our best set of music but no one will ever know…

I'm not certain that any one event that has led us to where we are now. I believe that it has been a culmination of many events that have brought us to this point. We never give up and our fans, family, and friends support the band because they can tell that we're passionate about what we do. They know that we'll always give them everything we got and it's their support that has helped fuel much of our success. We have given up much of our personal lives to be in this band because we believe in our music and our message.

ITN Magazine: Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?

Jeff Wiggins: Our inspiration to create SSF came from our belief that there was a need to bring passion back into rock and metal music. Sean and I love metal and that has been our roots, but we also appreciate other styles of music like classic rock, blues, stoner rock, funk, and R&B.

ITN Magazine: Tell us about the band's name?

Sean Muldoon (Singer): The name to us represents our sound; Solid, Heavy, and Soulful.

ITN Magazine: What is your latest album and why should people buy it?

Jeff: Currently our latest release is a single. We have never released a single on its own before the album was complete, but we wanted to get this one out as quickly as possible because we felt the message is a reflection of the times we're in. The title is "Taking Back The U.S." and it speaks of the majority of the American people sick and tired of corporate America controlling our government. We we're inspired to write the song during the Occupy Movement, and the big banker bailouts. Our latest full length release is entitled "Electric Valley". The album is full of energy and has many dynamics that take the listener on a musical journey that both rock and metal fans, young and old, will appreciate. Our core sound is hard rock with elements of metal, blues, and can even be funky at times. Though our music is predominantly aggressive, the lyrics vary in subject matter, ranging from personal relationships, to religion, and politics. Often, they convey a positive and inspiring message, but at the same time, can be very direct.

ITN Magazine: How would you categorize the style of the band?

Sean Muldoon: 70's Metal, Classic Rock, Heavy Blues with a modern twist. Our influences span from 60's and 70's hard rock, early Metallica, Blues, and modern rock with a twist of R&B vocal styling. Black Sabbath, Clutch, Wolfmother, Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk Railroad, Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, and Kyuss, to name a few, have all been major influences, past and present.

Syracuse NY DJ, Scott Dixon of 95x, has dubbed us the bastard child of Clutch and Stevie Wonder!

ITN Magazine: Can you share with us one or two of your favorite moments with the band?

Jeff: I think that I can speak for the band when I say that many of our favorite moments are when we're on stage connecting with our fans, and making new ones. After being together for over ten years you accumulate so many great memories it's hard to think about which your favorites are. For me it's getting past a hurdle that is set in front of me. It's the journey not the destination, ya know?

ITN Magazine: Does the entire band contribute to the writing process?

Sean: Usually it begins with lyrics that I write and/or a guitar riff or melody that Jeff comes up with. Sometimes songs will be born from a free form jam session that any member could influence. We try to leave our writing process open ended. We like each member to be able to contribute.

ITN Magazine: How important do you rate the lyrical side of your albums?

Jeff: Sean not only sings his ass off, he also writes great lyrics. His voice is pliable to both the rock and metal styling of the band, but even when Sean is approaching a more aggressive vocal style you can understand the lyrics he's singing. isHiHHAl So the lyrics to us are just as important as the music. We want to be able to connect with people on every level that we can, musically, intellectually, and when it comes to live shows, visually.

ITN Magazine: What are your current tour plans, if any?

Jeff: We continue touring NY, but we're also very excited about our 10-day Midwest Tour starting September 26th in Western, NY, and ending in Chicago October 5th. We'll be planning a more extensive tour in spring 2014.

Our current tour dates:
SATURDAY 9-28-2013 THE RUSTY NAIL PORTAGE, IN (RockFest for Vets)
SUNDAY 9-29-2013 THE UP & UNDER MILWAUKEE, WI (acoustic)
WEDNESDAY 10-16-2013 LOST HORIZON SYRACUSE, NY (w/Texas Hippie Co)
SATURDAY 10-19-2013 V PUB CANDIAGUA, NY (w/Caged)
SATURDAY 10-26-2013 CLUB WEST AUBURN, NY (10th An. Halloween Show)

ITN Magazine: Describe your live performance?

Jeff: Many of our fans prefer our live show over recordings. We love to perform, and to receive a reaction from the crowd. When we have longer sets we'll leave sections in our songs open for a bit of improv. We also tend to add a few covers when we have the time. Some of the crowd favorites are Black Sabbath "Fairies Wear Boots", Metallica/Diamond Head "Am I Evil", and Led Zeppelin "What Is and What Should Never Be".

ITN Magazine: Tell us about your thought on your local music scene?

Jeff: Most of the bands in our scene "CNY" are really cool and down to earth. I feel that we all try our best to support each other. But, it really comes down to live music fans wanting to discover new talent, and taking a chance on a band that they have never heard before. It's unbelievable how many great local musicians and bands are out here!

ITN Magazine: Why do you think people are into your music?

Jeff: Our music is tight and precise, but not to the point that it sounds like a robot playing. Our songs each have a different vibe to them but have that core Stone Soul Foundation sound. I think that keeps the listener from feeling that they're hearing ten different variations of the same song. We stay away from trends, and just stick to what feels right to us.

ITN Magazine: What is the most played track on your itunes?

Jeff: Lately it's been Megadeth "Hangar 18" I've been working on that with a student of mine for an upcoming showcase that he'll be performing in. It's a killer song!

ITN Magazine: What is your most cherished musical object?

Jeff: I will have to go with my "white" Custom Les Paul. I say white in quotes because it has seen so much action it's turning yellow!

ITN Magazine: Do you have go-to album on a rainy day?

Sean: Miles Davis "Kind Of Blue".

ITN Magazine: First band t-shirt you ever purchased at a concert?

Jeff: Metallica of course!

ITN Magazine: Last record you purchased?

Sean: Chicago Transit Authority debut album. I love the song Poem 58 it has a guitar solo that makes the hair on your arm stand up!

ITN Magazine: If for some reason you lost the ability to make and play music, what would fill that gap?

Jeff: Death.

ITN Magazine: Would there be any one band or musician that would surprise us that you are listening to them?

Sean: Bonobo

ITN Magazine: Where can our readers find your band on the internet?

The best place would be our website, or FB, but we're also on ReverbNation, and others.

ITN Magazine: How has Social Networking (Facebook,Twitter, etc.) impacted your band?

Jeff: Yes, FB has been extremely helpful in reaching the fans, and keeping them updated on a regular basis whether it's a new pic, upcoming show, or just something for fun. It's been a great tool for connecting, and because we can post updates from our phones while on the road which is great since we're on the road a lot.

ITN Magazine: Thanks for answering these questions. Do you have any last comments or words of advice for the readers of In The Now Magazine?

Thanks for you're interest and allowing us to share our experiences with you, and your readers. Give us a few listens on the web, but more importantly come out to a live show. That's where it's at! We're like watching monster trucks, it's just way more raging in person over TV. Please don't be afraid to come up and introduce your self at our shows. We want to get to know you, and always take time to hang with the fans after the show!

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Sick, sick show, guys. Best heavy rock I've seen in a long while. Glad to have you all here and hope you have a great time out! Thanks for being so cool to work with and for the fine music!"

Ben Clarke at The Forvm, Amherst, NY