Stoneface: February 1993, Issue 50

Stoneface: February 1993


Stoneface: Chris, Gabe, JJ, Brian, and RandyStoneface was supposed to be on the cover last month, but due to the last minute-ness of most cover stories, it couldn’t happen. The main reason was that J.J. Godfrey (vocalist and frontman) was going to be out of town so we couldn’t interview him. I soon found after interviewing these boys that having him there was a definite necessity. Even though he and the rest of the band didn’t have a lot to say about their music or almost anything for that matter, I got a feeling from their attitudes about their music.

First of all, if you haven’t ever seen Stoneface perform live, then you couldn’t possibly understand what they are about. They recently had two of their songs released on the Salt Flat Compilation. These two songs give you a great feeling for what their music is like, but it can’t capture the intensity they put out on stage.

When I asked the band how they would describe their music, the first thing they said was “We hate labels,” but then someone said “slow and heavy.” That pretty much hits it right on the head. This band will never have a dance hit, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get a crowd moving … very well.

Godfrey—vocals, lyrics and overall personality of the band—seems to be the spokesperson. He feels the lyrics are not political or necessarily concerning social issues but personal conflict. They all seem to revolve around an inner anger he expresses in his lyrics and his stage presence. It’s amazing to see him sing with such intensity. The first time I met him I thought he just had a serious Henry Rollins complex, but he actually holds a unique intensity about him. The rest of the band features Chris Roberts and Brian Stuver on guitars. And the foundation rhythm section includes Gabe Chadsey on bass and Randy Herbert on drums.

In talking to most bands, I found the drummers to be the quiet, laid-back ones, but Herbert, the newest member of the band, seemed to have the most to say about the music. From what I gathered, the guitar section comes up with a lot of the music, and the rest of the band puts in enough to make the song satisfying for the rest of the band. Since it is a very guitar-oriented band, Roberts and Stuver create the general feel of the song, but Chadsey and Herbert give the music its heavy feeling.

Lead singer of Stoneface: February 1993, Issue 50

The two songs they put on the Salt Flat Compilation are by far two of the best on it. “12th of November” is my favorite of the two. It concerns the emotions one would feel when coming from a broken home. The title of the song is symbolic of a day important to Godfrey’s past, but we never discussed the exact meaning. The other song, “Within,” concerns “the dark, burning feelings of intensity and remorse which sometimes occupy the soul. It involves inner wrath, and the effect which this anger has upon one’s behavior.” Buy the CD and listen to the lyrics.

Stoneface has a lot of respect for other bands in town and would love to follow any one of them to fame and fortune. They are certainly not in this for the money though. Their unique style is not Top 40 material. However, if people could get in touch with the intensity these guys have created, they could be quite successful. I don’t like to make comparisons, but they leave you with the same feeling as Rollins, Helmet or Godflesh might: slow, heavy, yet very satisfying.

They will be releasing a 7” record this year on Flatline and will be recording a full length album, which they will try to have pressed somehow. They are talking about touring this summer and playing locally when the opportunity arises. You can see them live at Spanky’s with The Decomposers February 6. If you aren’t brave enough to see them live, pick up a copy of the CD or the 7” and really listen to it. You may be surprised at how angry you may actually be.

Check out more from the SLUG Archives:
Cover Story: Mouthbreather
Cover Story: Waterfront