“When I was younger, the music business meant that you were a huge band like Motley Crue, Guns N Roses or something like that. Only way you could get an album out there was to have it sponsored by a label because it was just so expensive to get into a studio and record. I had no knowledge of how to even go about doing that sort of thing growing up. Nowadays, the indie artist is really in charge of his or her own destiny. It’s so very simple to record and produce music these days. So easy that everyone is doing it, and the fans are just eating it up! ” – @Mourning_Stone
Listen to the Interview
Episode #306 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/03/16/episode-306-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW MOURNING STONE
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Interviewing: Wesley Dinwiddie & Adam Maxfield
WES: It’s tough and extremely competitive. When I was younger, the music business meant that you were a huge band like Motley Crue, Guns N Roses or something like that. Only way you could get an album out there was to have it sponsored by a label because it was just so expensive to get into a studio and record. I had no knowledge of how to even go about doing that sort of thing growing up. Nowadays, the indie artist is really in charge of his or her own destiny. It’s so very simple to record and produce music these days. So easy that everyone is doing it, and the fans are just eating it up! I love to be able to pull up Spotify or YouTube and listen to any song I want, and that’s what our fans are doing as well. It takes some special skills to connect with people and develop some sort of a fan base.
Pros and cons…
WES: Pros, being interviewed by AVA Live Radio.
Cons: always wondering if there is something I/we could or should be doing better. The unknown is probably the biggest con.
Hurdles and pitfalls…
WES: We just learn as we go. Produce music, put it out there, and connect with people.
WES: Meeting new and interesting people. There’s quite a big learning curve with social media actually. I think I’m still trying to overcome the hurdle.
How do you feel about releasing singles vs an album…
WES: I think releasing singles is the best way to approach the industry nowadays. Because long gone are the old days of fans patiently waiting for a new album by their favorite artist to hit the shelves. It’s a good idea, and I’ve read this from other sources as well, to keep them interested by producing a new song every month or so. It would take us a year or longer to get an album done and I’m sure most of our current listeners would forget about us, not of their own fault of course, but because we didn’t put anything new and fresh out. We don’t want to have to re-market ourselves each time we put out an album. One song a month is perfect for us and keeps our listeners engaged with new music, and keeps us alive by consistently putting new music out there.
Being Current and trendy…
WES: Trends are always going to be there, I don’t think it’s a problem to try and capitalize on them to some extent in the right situation. The music listener is the audience, they are the consumer, and ultimately they dictate what is popular and what isn’t… I think it’s somewhat important to evolve and keep up with what is going on around you, but it’s even more important to not lose yourself or your individuality on trying to impress someone. I think being ourselves is probably the most important thing we can do as artists.
I am most afraid of…
WES: Malevolent spirits. Have you watched the movie Insidious? And eating fast food in my home town scares me a little bit.
ADAM: Dolls. Creepy as hell, I have to turn my daughters to face the wall when I have to venture into her room!!!
My personal definition of success is..
WES: Being happy, doing what I’m doing. I’m happy with my family, my life, and my job so I feel like a successful person.
ADAM: As Wes, but also if one person is touched by something I’ve written, played, sung, whatever, then I have achieved success.
Name one success story that you are particularly proud of.
WES: I played with Godsmack at the Rockin the Corps concert, Camp Pendleton, California in April 2005. I would consider that my ultimate high so far in music and entertainment. First time I had been the center of attention in front of 40,000 people, between 75,000 and 100,000 viewers broadcast live on the Armed Forces Network around the world. Godsmack is well known for this sort of thing, they did it one time before me that I know of… invite a fan to come play with them on stage. The military base held an interview/contest to see who would be the best candidate. I had to answer a few questions and play my guitar. Sully and the band had the final say on who came up to play with them, that’s why I call this a major win. Sully picked me! While I was there I spoke with Ted Nugent and took a photo with him, which was a VERY unexpected bonus!
ADAM: My proudest musical achievement is yet to come. I have had National Radio Airplay here in the UK back in the 90’s, but the work I’m most proud of is that which Wes and I are doing now. It’s taken a hell of a lot of searching, but I have found my musical soulmate, and we have a huge catalog of songs to finish and get out there for people to hear! There’s currently enough for about 3 albums!!
My over all goal for my life & career is…
WES: To raise my children to be decent, smart, loving human beings and to show them that you can do whatever you set your mind to.
ADAM: Live, love, laugh, learn and always strive to be the best person I can.
3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal.
1) WES: Education, never stop learning and learn from others. I use this ideal in everything from writing music to how to manage social media.
2) WES: Make time. With so much going on in my life between raising a family and my regular job, I have to make time to create music. I try not to waste any time while I’m writing/recording because that hour or two goes by so fast that I need to make the best of it and accomplish my goals while I’m in there.
3) ADAM: Step outside the comfort zone so that I am challenging myself without being afraid of messing it up 🙂
We are marketing our music through…
Twitter, directing traffic to our own website and making contacts there who are willing to play our music on their podcasts and mention us in their blogs, and we’ve had our music played online through a few internet radio stations. We have a Facebook page, and are also present on Reverbnation, Broadjam, and Jango, as well as iTunes, Spotify and other digital distribution services.
ADAM: I have always had a thing for 80’s metal – big hair, big guitars, big songs!!! “Think Twice” is my kind of take on that style of Power Ballad and ticks all the necessary boxes. Lyrically it’s about those fake/shallow people who are only out for themselves and it simply questions whether they have experienced true love or whether they Think Twice about their actions.
WES: I originally had a very small part in this song when we met last January. Adam sent me some lyrics for two songs that I recorded, our first two songs together before we started a band, and he had asked me to do him a favor as a friendly gesture in return… to play a lead guitar solo over a section of a song he was working on… this song. Once we made our band name official and had an EP in work, we decided to make this one a Mourning Stone song. We broke it apart and reassembled it in to what you are hearing today. There is some heavy electric guitar, mixed with some acoustic guitar throughout. I’ve always loved that sound growing up. Luckily I didn’t have to re-record the lead guitar since it was already done from our first go round with this song. That made it a bit easier to get done more quickly. Also, we kept all of Adam’s vocal parts from the original song. We felt that he did such a great job that there was no reason in re-doing them. So I guess the changes we made to it were some of the synth pads, all of the guitars were re-recorded, and the acoustic guitar was added. It made its way onto the EP to break up some of the heavier, darker songs with a more upbeat, happy pop feel.
Other than making a simple, no budget home music video for the song? Ha ha!! No. That’s both sad and funny. On a serious note, one thing I’ve learned in my life… don’t ever NOT do something because you think it won’t be good enough. We do what we can, with what we have, and we make the best of it. I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 13 years and I won’t let obstacles get in my way. Enjoy the video… we had a lot of fun making it!
WES: Our band seems to have an underlying theme in all our music, it asks us to look inside ourselves and discover what is most important in our lives, to stop and smell the roses, because ultimately life is just too short and we should love and live it to its fullest. Our goal is simply to record and put our music out there and build a fan base that enjoys listening to our music as much as we enjoy creating it. We love to connect and interact with our fans, they are very important to us, and they are the reason that we put our music out there. They keep us motivated by their positivity and love of music.
In The Beginning…
WES: I was inspired at a very young age. My mom tells me that she would often hear me humming and singing to myself when I played as a toddler. She was in the church choir while she was pregnant with me. I guess I learned some songs while I was there with her! I started playing piano at age 7, and then moved onto the guitar at about 14 years old because I had listened to Metallica’s album “…And Justice for All” and I was hooked! I wanted to play just like Kirk!
ADAM: My Mother was, and still is a High school music teacher, piano teacher and choral singer, so having some interest in music was inevitable!!! I started playing piano when I was about 4 or 5 and then picked up a guitar about 11 and taught myself from Bert Weedons “Play in a Day” book (the same book Brian May studied from apparently!), then graduated to bass and drums during my teenage years and whilst playing in various bands. I don’t really have any major influences, I just love music of all genres although I have always been a “metalhead” 🙂
Our listeners and fans can expect us to be ourselves…
in our music and our personalities. We want to be liked for who we are. We don’t pretend to be someone or something we’re not, and that is expressed in our music as well, from our recordings and productions, to our videos and blog posts. I’ve found that it’s not about “trying” to impress people, because ultimately we believe in being honest with our fans and our music. We can’t be something we’re not, but we always strive for improvement and are always eager to learn from other artists that are doing the same things.
From Houston to the UK…
WES: I live just outside of Houston and this city is a Mecca of music. The only place that would probably rival here would be Austin Texas.
ADAM: Kent in the South East corner of the UK. Has a great music scene and a great musical history. The Rolling Stones were from Kent. Unfortunately these days I don’t get to go to gigs much, the last one I did was the acoustic guitar genius Andy Mckee.
I don’t get out like I used to when I was young and single, but you can find live music literally anywhere in the city. We always have big acts that come through and typically play at Revention Music Center, Toyota Center, NRG Stadium, and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. One of my favorite bands, Breaking Benjamin have a show here soon!
WES: I actually just like to get out and walk the trails in my neighborhood on nice days. Sounds lame, but yeah, very relaxing to walk in a wooded area. Sometimes I have songs ideas that come to me while I’m walking and I have to hum a quick tune into my phone so I don’t forget it later.
ADAM: I love to cycle. I will happily spend hours in the saddle and it helps me clear my head!!
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
WES: My wife. She’s so awesome, she’s my best friend and my biggest supporter since we met over 20 years ago. I was actually playing in a band at the time we met. I joke with her and call her my #1 groupie! 20 years later, she still is! But anyway, because we have a 3 year old running the house, we only get time to hang out together in the evenings when she’s not working.
ADAM: I’d like 5 minutes with Wes!! The problem of living thousands of miles and 6 hours apart is we don’t get to sit and jam or just play together! We do everything by email or skype, and when we got together in London we had a very busy blast, so to sit with guitars for 5 minutes would be awesome!!!
WES: Thank you for that Adam! You just made my day!
MOURNING STONE – Social Links and Music
Artist Page: www.mourningstone.com