• Jun : 16 : 2017 - SPOTLIGHT: FAR AWAY STABLES – New Album ‘Between Rage and Serenity’
  • May : 31 : 2017 - Eclipses for Eyes – POLARIS Album Review / Video
  • Feb : 4 : 2017 - STARSET – Live Photo Gallery
  • Aug : 19 : 2016 - SILVERSUN PICKUPS – Live Photo Gallery
  • Aug : 12 : 2016 - Spotlight: COLD SUMMER Release ‘Fight To Survive’ EP (Listen & Watch) [Post-Hardcore, Punk Rock]

Recently we here at AmpKicker were afforded the opportunity to sample the stunning debut record from Albany, New York quintet Stellar Young (if you missed it, feel free to peruse it here). I lauded the album, Everything At Once, as, “a stunning tapestry of styles, moods and influences that will hold you hostage from the moment you hit play.” Furthermore, I proclaimed the band, “one of the best pop-rock acts I’ve heard in a good long while.”
As if to solidify my claims, the band – by way of some divine providence- has subsequently released a live EP featuring acoustic renditions of cuts from their debut. The group sounds as crisp and vibrant live as they do in the studio, which is a true testament to the band’s talent and dexterity. It is a wonderful companion piece to Everything At Once, and well worth a listen for fans of the album. For those interested, you can download both the studio album and live record FOR FREE (though we always encourage gratuity for these astonishing artists…) through their BandCamp page.

To commemorate the release of Live at WEXT and Crumbs Cafe, we were able to orchestrate an interview with the illustrious five- and were exceedingly pleased with the results. The gentlemen are articulate, funny and fascinating. We certainly hope that you agree! So, without further delay we present for your approval –Stellar Young!
AmpKicker: Good day, gentlemen! Let me first congratulate you on a stellar debut album (pun wholly intended). I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Let’s start with having everyone introduce themselves and their role in the band—

John Glenn – Vocals, keys, graphic designs
Erik Flora – Guitar, vocals, social media
Kyle Hatch – Guitar, booking
Dave Parker – Bass, audio guru
Curt Mulick – Drums, finance, mechanic


Give us a little insight into the formulation of the group— How did you gents get together? How did each of you initially get into music?
John: Curt (drums), Erik (guitar/vocals) and I have been playing in bands together since we were sophomores in High School. But the band, as it is now, started when we asked Kyle (lead guitar) to join the band a few summers back. He was Curt’s college roommate, a great friend of ours that we always partied with and we all respected him as a talented guitarist; so it just made sense. After Kyle joined, we needed a bassist and the band was new to the area, so we went around playing open mics as an acoustic act in hopes to meet some people. It just so happened that we met Dave at one of the first open mics we played at “The Muddy Cup.” Dave was just sort of the missing piece to the puzzle; he’s produced both of our most recent albums and keeps us organized.


John – I always had music going on around me. My mom always would do musicals and operas, and I took violin and piano lessons when I was a wee little dude. But I really got into writing and teaching myself music on my own when I moved from Texas to Middletown in 8th grade. I was homesick, having trouble making new friends and I missed playing music. So I saved up my lunch money instead of getting food and bought a guitar.  I played that thing incessantly and have been big into music ever since.


Erik- John summed up the history and as far as getting into music? I’ve been in band and chorus in school my whole life and was raised in the X-Games compilations era. As far as wanting to do the band thing for a living, I made that decision after I saw Moneen perform.


Kyle – I had always enjoyed listening to music, when I was 13 my father convinced me to buy a guitar and I fell in love from day one. I decided playing music was what I wanted to do with my life, so I went to St. Rose to study music and happened to live down the hall from Curt in our freshman year dorms. A few years later I ended up joining his band after becoming friends with all the guys already and the rest is history.


Dave – When I was a small child my father would always play songs on his acoustic guitar to try and get me to fall asleep or calm down. I would always ask him to play songs for me when it was bedtime and of course I wanted to play music as well. I was a little too small to play the guitar so I picked up the Accordion and Piano at ages 5 and 6. When I was a teenager I made the move to Guitar and Bass, and also began playing with my father’s recording gear. I was hooked very early!


Curt – Music was always something fun for me, I learned from both my parents how to enjoy music, no matter what kind it was. Whether it was my mom rocking out to some classic rock or my dad relaxing to classical music, I learned to like what you like and enjoy it. Middle school and high school also exposed me to a great deal of different music, including local bands and friends in bands which fed the fire. After beginning to make music with John and Erik in my parents’ basement, I got addicted and never let go.
PSG_2077What was the studio experience like for each of you? Was it anyone’s first time in the studio?
Dave – Well, any studio experience when working on a record can be a roller coaster ride. It always is for me. I feel like everyone in the band learned some new things along the way. It wasn’t anyone’s first time in the studio but some of us have had more studio experience than others. The biggest thing for us is really learning what we sound like, I know that sounds odd but we haven’t been a band for years and years and we haven’t had a ton of studio experience. Every time we record something I learn a little more about how each of us works individually and as a whole. It’s really important to wrap your head around that stuff, otherwise putting together an entire record that sounds cohesive would be near impossible.


When we decided to start recording, we quickly recorded every song that we thought might make it on the record in a demo type of way; We did this in April and May of 2012. This way we were able to listen to a rough recording of the whole thing many months before it was done to live with it for a while and tweak our individual parts and overall arrangements. By the time we tracked the drums at Applehead Studio in Woodstock, NY in June we had the arrangements down pretty solid, however there were still a few small spots that were open to further change.


Over the course of the next several months we tracked all the guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals at our practice spot/ band apartment. Recording those elements outside of a studio was great because it freed us from the limits of pricey studio time and we were able to really play with some things and experiment a bit. I think this is a key part of any album: you’ve got to tweak it a bit, because the recorded environment is so different from the live environment any given song might need a little something extra or a little less to make it sound right on a record.


Eventually we brought it back to Applehead for the mix which was great for my sanity! I was able to put the record in trusted hands and not stress over every little sonic nuance because I would totally do that for way too long and give myself a headache or drive myself completely crazy!!!

There are many tonal and stylistic undulations from track-to-track on your record: are your tastes as diffuse as your sound?
Erik – This question is phrased very intelligently and honestly I had to ask a few people what it even meant (ps I’m a math nerd) haha. So here is my best shot at an answer. YES! Our musical tastes are all over the map. I really can’t even begin to get into an artist by artist breakdown, but genre-wise I would say we are really into Indie Rock, Pop, Hard Rock, Techno, Classic Rock, Folk, Hip Hop, Hardcore, Jazz, and uhh… I don’t know… a lot of things (except contemporary country… no thanks).

Are there any groups/songwriters that you would stylistically link your material to— or who inspired you to write the way you do?
Kyle – I can’t say that there’s any one group in particular that we find influential in that way. Our songwriting process is very open, we all have faith in each other to write the parts that we want to play within the context of the song.  Writing like that really prevents our songs from sounding “just like” something that’s already been done because it pulls from all of our influences individually. That combination of influences is what I think helps us to have a unique sound that is still somewhat identifiable.
What is one aspect of your music that you feel is wholly unique to your band?
Curt – The fact that we pull influence from so many different aspects of the music world, and that people can hear that.
What do you feel is your ultimate ambition as an artist? This can be individually or relative to the collective…
John – My ambition is always just to write songs that feel good to share and to travel the world with our music.
In all honesty— do you get Fun. or The Format comparisons a lot? (If so… is it more flattering or frustrating at the end of the day?)
John – Yes, we do get that sometimes. And honestly when I first heard that comparison I was surprised, only because I don’t hear the similarities too much other than I have a high, clear range like Nate Ruess. But I really respect both Fun. and The Format. Their songs are sincere and catchy, and I can’t help but be flattered for the comparison.
Now, for my James Lipton portion of the interview…
Do you have a Desert-Island Top-Five albums (or Artists)?
John –
White Pony by Deftones
Where You Want to Be by Taking Back Sunday
Give Up by Postal Service
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix
Black on Both Sides by Mos Def.


Erik –
The Red Tree by Moneen
Bon Iver by Bon Iver
The Room’s Too Cold by The Early November
Man On The Moon: The End Of Day by Kid Cudi
Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie


Kyle –
Graceland by Paul Simon
Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens
All things Radiohead but if I had to pick it’d be OK Computer
Grace by Jeff Buckley.
Runner up: Modal Soul by Nujabes.


Dave –
Diary by Sunny Day Real Estate
Let Go by Nada Surf
Something to Write Home About by The Get Up Kids
As Tall As Lions by As Tall As Lions
Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie.


Curt –
A Kid Named Cudi by Kid Cudi (Mixtape)
Rise or Die Trying by Four Year Strong
Food and Liquor by Lupe Fiasco
Where You Want to Be by Taking Back Sunday
20 Classic Tracks by Frank Sinatra
What single song has the highest play-count in your music library? (Check your Mp3 player, iTunes, etc. or plead the 5th if it involves Jessica Simpson or Olivia Newton John and John Travolta)
John – Due to a water-spilling accident and restarting iTunes, almost all of my most-played are tracks we’ve been working on. It would probably be “Tip Your Bartender” by Glassjaw. I’ve listened to that track a ton, it always gets me pumped.


Erik – “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab For Cutie (Sleep mix!)


Kyle – I just got a new computer and lost all of my old music, and spotify has led to the death of my personal music library. I would guess that “Retarded in Love” by Say Anything was up there though. I listened to that whole album entirely too much when it first came out.


Dave – My iTunes library is also long lost but i’d guess that Let Go by Nada Surf was probably the most played album in it.


Curt – I wish I could say, but I’ve had so many different computers/music players in the past 10 years that nothing would be anything close to accurate.
Any artist living or dead to collaborate with (could be recording, tour, or simply write with—)?
John – I’d love to hear Johnny Cash cover our songs like he did with Nine Inch Nails. Or maybe an electronic remix by like Danger Mouse or Skrillex would be sick!


Kyle – Jeff Buckley, I’d really like to see how he writes and really just hear some new things from him. It’s a shame a talent like that passed early.


Dave – Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate. I’d just like to observe his thought process. His ideas are sweet and melodic but at the same time kind of off in a weird, but good way. It’s funky but it works.


Curt- Lupe Fiasco or Kid Cudi, I think it’d be crazy fun.
What is the best live show you have ever attended? (or if that’s too difficult to narrow down… just the first show you ever attended)
John – Railbird at Sawfest 2012
Erik – Moneen at Bamboozle 2007
Kyle – The Strokes in 2006, I was not at a fan at all and they blew me away.
Dave – 1st concert attended- The Red Hot Chilli Peppers in Albany, NY 1995-ish?
Curt- Death Cab for Cutie at Ommegang Brewery 2012
Gentlemen, thank you again for taking a moment to speak with us and our readers! It’s immensely appreciated, and we GREATLY look forward to hearing more from you in the future!
If you like what you read and hear, swing on by and shower some love on their Facebook, or Google their Twitter then post it on Instagram (if you’re into that sorta thing- we won’t judge). I’m sure they’d appreciate it!

Related posts:


Leave a Reply

Connect with AMPKICKER


  • OVG News - Gaming News You Need To Know
  • Whipping Post - Handmade Leather Goods for the Musician
  • Write For Ampkicker
  • Archive

  • Categories

  • Search

  • Links