October 5, 2018 Interview – Rich Moss of Stone Broken
In an ever so polished music industry, too often, success can lead to over-sized egos and an unrealistic expectation that the world owes you its undying respect and adulation. Luckily, in the case of Hard Rock’s Stone Broken, Vocalist Rich Moss, Guitarist Chris Davis, Bassist Kieron Conroy, and Drummer Robyn Haycock are nothing short of humble. Working tirelessly, Stone Broken focused on writing great Rock music that would reach out and captivate music fans on the deepest level. The band’s hard work truly paid off following the 2016 release of Stone Broken’s debut album, All In Time. In an instant, Stone Broken became one of the biggest acts in their native England, and it wasn’t because anyone handed them anything, it was because they earned every last bit of it.
When it came time to record their sophomore effort, Stone Broken’s desire to gravitate further into Rock stardom and build a bridge to fans saw the band craft their most passionate music to date. Released back on April 13, 2018, the new LP, Ain’t Always Easy, shined a bright light on the band, earning them international buzz and a tremendous opportunity to tour North America. Needless to say, it is refreshing to see such a down-to-earth band simply enjoying their blessings. All this in mind, Stone Broken Frontman Rich Moss recently spent some time expressing the vision behind Stone Broken’s music, new found success, and what it all means to the band.
CrypticRock.com – As Stone Broken’s sophomore effort, Ain’t Always Easy showcases the band’s growth in songwriting both musically, and, even more so, from a lyrical perspective. What can you tell us about the inspiration for Ain’t Always Easy and the direction you wanted to take following your 2016 debut, All In Time? What has the success of Ain’t Always Easy meant to you?
Rich Moss – We knew when we started to write Ain’t Always Easy that we needed to push ourselves further than we ever had done before, we wanted to focus on the message, we wanted more highs and lows, and we wanted to create dynamically throughout the entire album… but…we still wanted it to sound like a Stone Broken record. We kept all of the elements that we had established on our debut, we needed a hook, a strong chorus, and riffs, so we built around that for every song we wrote; that was our starting point.
I guess the most challenging part was the lyrics, I found myself wanting to write about issues that I had either experienced or was a witness to. For me, this album is way more personal than our debut, and probably even more personal than I actually imagined it would be; even on songs like “I Believe,” I talk about how when I was growing up I used to watch videos of bands playing live and knowing that’s what I wanted to do. Everything on this album was born out of a memory or a situation that I have been involved with. I guess everyone has their own interpretation of success, whether it’s sales, streams, how many tickets you sell at shows, all of which are important… but for me it’s not just a numbers game. Sometimes you will have fans reach out to you and tell you that a song you wrote helped them in someway; and for me, that is what really inspires me to carry doing what we are doing.
CrypticRock.com – Could not agree more, the most rewarding thing about writing music is by far the emotional connection you get to make with the listener. Recently, on August 25th, you embarked on Stone Broken’s first ever U.S. tour, a 24 date run, opening up for Fozzy on the widely successful Judas Rising Tour, alongside Adelitas Way and The Stir. Congratulations once again. How has the tour been going thus far? How have U.S. audiences reacted to Stone Broken?
Rich Moss – It has been a crazy ride, that’s for sure! As a band, we had been looking forward to this tour for a very long time, so when we were about to go on stage for the first show in Birmingham, AL… we were a little nervous… none of us had ever played a show in the U.S. None of us knew what to expect! Every show we have played has been a huge success. By the end of our set each night, the crowd has been screaming, throwing their fists up in the air, and singing along… you can’t really ask for more than that! At the end of each night, we went to the merchandise table to meet our new fans… hoping that a few people would turn up to say hello… we had a line every single night; we signed items, had photos and spent 30-45 minutes each night meeting fans. It was amazing.
CrypticRock.com – That’s incredible! On top of this huge Fozzy tour, you also played your first U.S. headlining show on September 4th, at The Royal Grove, in Lincoln, Nebraska. How did it go?
Rich Moss – It was great! Especially after playing for 30 minutes every night, it was great being able to play a full headline set. Whilst there obviously weren’t as many people at our show as there had been at the Fozzy shows, the crowds were just as loud, and for our first ever headline show in the U.S., we felt that it was a great start to what we hope will be a long career here in the U.S. When we sit back and think about it, we got to play a headline show and lots of amazing shows with the guys in Fozzy on our first ever trip to the States… it’s pretty amazing!
CrypticRock.com – That’s fantastic to hear. Do you feel any difference in playing for a crowd in the U.S. versus a crowd in England?
Rich Moss – You know, we didn’t really know what to expect from the crowds over here… we thought that it might be different to playing a show in the UK. You know what, if there is one thing I have learned out here, it’s that music really is universal, and a good rock show is a good rock show, no matter which country you are in. Everyone reacts the same, everyone gets in to the same mentality… everyone is there for a good time and to be entertained. I guess the only difference is more people shout “Hell Yeah” over here! (Laughs)
CrypticRock.com – At the end of the day, we are all human, and that’s all you need to feel the power of music. So far, what has been your favorite city to play in the U.S.?
Rich Moss – Oh man! That’s a tough one, every single show was amazing and had it’s own unique points. Like the show in Omaha, we had a line of fans wanting to meet us that stretched all the way across the venue. We got to play the legendary First Avenue in Minneapolis where Prince used to play regularly. We have played at The House Of Blues in Orlando, the whole tour has been amazing! It’s just too difficult to pick just one place! Although we didn’t play a show there, we did visit Nashville! That was an awesome place!
CrypticRock.com – It’s great to hear you and the rest of the band are really enjoying your first go around in the U.S. If you had to choose one artist or one album which had the biggest impact on you, who/what would it be and why?
Rich Moss – For me, I had been raised on a mixture of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Motown (that last one was because of my Mom). I guess my first exposure to Rock was the classics, but the first band/album that I really got into without the influence of my parents was Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory (2000)… I would listen to that album all day on repeat. When I got back from school, I would put the album on. When I woke up, I would put that album on. That has to be the game-changer for me, and ultimately what influenced what I do now!
CrypticRock.com – Wow, awesome stuff! For music fans who may be discovering Stone Broken for the very first time, what is the one thing you would want them to know about the band? What is Stone Broken all about?
Rich Moss – I guess we would want them to know that we are just four normal human beings that like to play Rock-n-Roll! We love what we do and don’t take anything for granted, we just hope that lots of people enjoy what we do as much as we enjoy it. If any of you ever see us around, then come and say hi! We love speaking with you guys.
CrypticRock.com – Last question. CrypticRock covers all genres of music as well as Horror/Sci-Fi films. If you are a fan of these genres, what are some of your favorites and why?
Rich Moss – Every member of the band loves Horror movies. In fact, since we have been here, we have been to the theater three times to watch Hellfest, The Nun, and The Meg. We are all trying to do the 1 horror film a day for each day of October so the other day we all hung out in our hotel room and watched The Conjuring (2013). Pretty much anything that James Wan has been involved with is up there for me, I love the Insidious/The Conjuring/Anabelle franchise. I love any film that has the tense build-ups and keeps you on the edge of your seat! We are all looking forward to the release of the new Halloween film too. I’m pretty sure that we will all go out to the movie theater to watch that one too!