Meet THE STOLEN - Rooftop (INTERVIEW)
Dom Cuce Kevin Smart Rob Chiarappa Mike Chiarappa
Since their debut in 2013, dishing out classic rock covers and mo-town tunes, New Jersey boys The Stolen have kept their rock roots the backbone of their pop-rock quartet with an infused 80's synth-rock meets modern pop-punk vibe.
After nearly a decade of locals shows, the band released Adults in 2013, which they recorded with producer/engineer Jesse Cannon (Animal Collective, The Misfits). Two years later the guys dropped another single, "Chardonnay,” recorded with producer Paul Levitt (All Time Low, Have Mercy). And less than a year later marked their self-produced, self-released EP "I'm So Dead" which showed their maturity of a fast pop-punk driven band to a more melodic pop-rock group.
2018 marked a huge year for The Stolen, with their single "The Overboard" debuting at 21 on iTunes Alternative Music Charts with the summer of 2018, announcing their signing with Revival Recordings releasing 3 new singles! "Change The Record," “Stuck,” and “Rooftop”Rooftop ft. Jake Miller debuting on Billboard as well as a fall/winter tour.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with the guys from The Stolen while on tour in Pittsburgh, PA about their latest single and Billboard hit ROOFTOP, their DIY recording process, how they spent the holidays plus more! CHECK IT!
TPPD: You guys have this unique 80's rock esthetically pleasing sound combined with a pop-punk rock vibe and style. What are your influences?
STOLEN: Growing up, we all listened to what our parents played in the house, the car, etc.. Most of the time it consisted of classic rock bands like Springsteen, The Doors, AC/DC, The Doors etc.. That being said, classic rock has always been a part of our music palate as musicians. As we grew up we started exploring other genres from 80’s and modern pop, to grunge, to indie rock. We listen to a ton of different music, especially on long drives on tour.
TPPD: Premiering on Billboard, the song ROOFTOP featuring Jake Miller is about a pretty serious epidemic that I feel isn't taken seriously enough, suicide. You guys wrote the tune after news broke of Anthony Bourdain's passing. What was going through your heads and what decided you to finally put words to paper?
STOLEN: Our main goal with Rooftop was to make sure we didn’t cheapen an important subject. The message in a song like this is really to ALWAYS in any way look out for each other as humans. It’s very easy to pretend you’re someone you aren’t on the internet or even in person. Not all cases are so cut and dry and a lot of times people hide their feelings because they feel nobody can relate to them. That was the point of making the song poppy and dancey, to sonically just drive to that illusion that “everything is fine”.
TPPD: A suicide to this day that still fucks me up is Chester of Linkin Park. I had purchased Blinkin Park tickets. (blink-182 & Linkin Park) for Hershey Park about a month prior to his passing. Our family went on vacation to LA, for my daughter's birthday, and on that same day, we landed in LA he had killed himself. Are there any celebrity deaths or mysteries that mess with you guys at all?
STOLEN: The recent death of Mac Miller hit us for sure. We have been fans of him since he started putting out songs on Youtube. The evolution of him as an artist was incredible and it is sad that he’s gone so soon.
TPPD: On a much much much brighter note, your guys last day of the tour is in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Any tour essentials that you MUST HAVE when you go on the road?
STOLEN: Pittsburgh is one of our favorite cities to visit/play on tour. One of our essentials that we like to always have is a pack of water. We drink a ton of it, so at almost every gas station, we are buying another case of it. We also love to bring neck pillows and sleeping bags to help us sleep (a little) better in the van.
TPPD: You guys have a hell of a lot of hustle. You actually followed the Warped Tour selling CD's to get more fans. What year(s) and what was that experience like?
STOLEN: Back in 2013, we booked one of our first tours ourselves. We were getting paid close to nothing on shows and had quite a few off days. As we started our tour, we realized that a lot of our off days were in cities on the days of Warped Tour. Keep in mind, our van broke down 3 times that tour, so on some days our friends in different cities would drive us or our manager Scooter would get a rental car to go to Warped. We would walk the lines with really bad headphones and try to sell our shirts/CD’s. Believe it or not, we would sell more CD’s there than at our shows at the time. We had the opportunity to play our hometown Warped a couple of times since then, which was awesome. Warped truly teaches you how to get out there and talk to people. It’s important to connect with the fans.
TPPD: You guys predominantly did FRAGILE HEART as a DIY album, recording a lot of the drums and vocals at home. How was that process?
STOLEN: The process was our most collaborative to date. When making the record, there were points where we would all be at home sending ideas every night for weeks straight. There were times where we would all go to Rob’s home studio or Kevin’s home studio at midnight and work on songs. We’re extremely proud of that record.
TPPD: Logic? ProTools?
STOLEN: We predominantly work in Pro Tools, but there are times where we like to work in Logic. Logic is easier to use on the road when we don’t have a midi keyboard with us, as it has a musical typing feature.
TPPD: Did you guys go to a studio for the rest of the album?
STOLEN: For our new record we recorded most of the record at a studio in NJ called Barber Shop Studios. The studio is built out of an old church that is on a lake, so the vibe is really great. Given that we have home studios, we still work on certain parts of the record at home. Rob mixes the songs and even master’s some of them.
TPPD: Would you ever DIY in the future even with a label backing you?
STOLEN: We are absolutely open to it. As we said above, we have a great time recording at Barber Shop with our buddy Brody Greif, so we are really happy with our process right now.
TPPD: Did you guys do the same process with your single OVERBOARD?
STOLEN: The process with Overboard was similar to what we have been doing for the past few singles. We demo everything at home first and then bring it into Barber Shop and re-record there. With Overboard, we were able to maintain certain elements that we recorded at home like some vocal takes and synth parts.
TPPD: Over the summer you guys signed with Revival Recordings. What has that relationship been like?
STOLEN: Our relationship with Revival has been amazing thus far. They are really great people and are very supportive of what we want to do as a band.
TPPD: Christmas & New Years Plans?
STOLEN: We have a few sessions booked to finish up the record! Other than that, we’ll be enjoying our time home and working on the record before we head back out on the road in 2019.
TPPD: Best gift? Worst gift? Ever given.
STOLEN: We are extremely lucky to have fans that gift us things. We will never take that for granted. Actually, at our last show of 2018 in Pittsburgh, one of our fans gave us a guitar. We are going to use the guitar she gave us on the record.
TPPD: What does 2019 look like for The Stolen?
STOLEN: 2019 means a new record and even more touring. We are really happy with our workflow at this point. We have been touring very consistently and still have been able to put out new music every few months.
Check out more from THE STOLEN at ANY of the links below:
CHECK OUT THE STOLEN and the rest of the band's I've interviewed at:
THE POP PUNK DAD SPOTIFY PLAYLIST.