The Stolen – Fragile Heart
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) How would you describe your sound?
A) We grab a lot of influences from 80’s new wave bands like The Cure and New Order to modern pop and indie. Our sound can be described as neo-80’s pop rock with surfy guitars, dance-driven drums and hook driven vocals.
Q) Who are some of your musical influences?
A) Our inspiration really is widespread. Being from Jersey, it’s almost culturally bashed in your head to love Bruce Springsteen, but we also love a lot of modern indie bands like HAIM and The 1975, classic Motown and 80’s new wave. You can definitely hear the slightest hint of all these in our music.
Q) Talk about the story behind your new song “Euphoric.”
A) “Euphoric” was written about the reflection of being in awe with someone. It’s written in a very youthful way like a first time feeling. The song is written really simple and just has this 2-chord change the whole time which emotionally reflects on the innocence of the song.
Q) What do you think it is about the song that fans connect to?
A) I think everyone in their lives at one point finds a feeling of awe whether it be from a person or a place or just an instance that makes them feel euphoric.
Q) How does the video play into the message of the song?
A) The video was created to capture the innocence of the song and personify it. The roles of the two young kids (side note, the actors in the video are our younger siblings) fill that meaning and the storyline of sneaking out into the night for an adventure really ties the two themes of the song together.
Q) Where did the album Fragile Heart get its name?
A) The album Fragile Heart got its name after the track “Fragile Heart” on the record. The song was written with a sense of irony. It was written about the jadedness of the dating scene in New York and how really you start to feel like everyone has this same story. The song was written as the counter song to “I’m So Dead” from our last record. This song lyrically mirrors certain lines referencing that song so it was a good bridge to our last record.
Q) What is your song writing process? Do you need music before you can create lyrics?
A) Writing this record has been very unorthodox compared to prior records. The way used to be Rob [Chiarappa] would come with lyrics, a basic vocal melody and a basic structure on an acoustic guitar and we would build around it. This record was really a case-by-case for each song. “Euphoric” was actually lyrically written by Mike [Chiarappa]. “Heathrow” started off with a synth part, Kevin [Smart] wrote and emailed Rob while he was in London and he wrote the lyrics for that on the plane. I would say the answer for the needing music before lyrics would be a no because there were songs written prior to music or vice versa.
Q) How much of hand do you have in the production of your music?
A) We really have a huge hand in the production of our music. We tracked and mixed everything ourselves at Rob’s home studio. Guitars were done separately up with our friend Mike Oettinger. When Rob isn’t engineering, it’s nice to have him taken out of his element and focus on the guitar parts while cutting them and Mike Oettinger does a phenomenal job. He co-produced our 2013 release Adults.
Q) You’re headed out on The Fragile Heart Tour Pt. II. What can fans expect from a live The Stolen performance?
A) We are constantly trying to evolve as a live band. For the most part we have always focused on being tight as a band and really transferring the emotion and energy of our music to fans.
Q) Where are some of your favorite places to perform and what makes those locations so significant to you?
A) We have been lucky to have played in many cities in North America. One of our favorite spots to play is Nashville. Not only is it a music driven city, but we also really appreciate the culture in Nashville. Being from the Northeast, it is nice to experience a change a pace. We always like to spend at least a few days in Nashville whenever we are on tour.
Q) What do you hope listeners take away from listening to Fragile Heart?
A) Think the answer to this is pretty open ended. Music is what you make of it and what a song can mean to us can mean something totally different to someone else. We just hope that listeners take away something that makes them feel a certain way.
Q) Who would you most like to collaborate with on a song in the future?
A) As of right now, we really like writing songs ourselves, as a band. There is nothing like writing a record as a band and putting it out. Now, we aren’t saying we wouldn’t collaborate with other bands/artists in the future, but we feel as if our writing process right now calls for a more independent approach.
Q) What album/band are you currently listening to and why do you dig them?
A) We’ve been really vibing COIN’s new record. The first single from that record “Talk Too Much” became a summer time anthem to us last year and now that the whole record is out, it totally holds up to that threshold the single had. Super diverse, fun, easy to listen to record!
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A) Without social media, it would be ten times more difficult for us to connect with our fans. We like to try and be as interactive as possible with our fans because without them we would just be a band playing in our basement. We like to use social media to get a fans perspective on the many things we do. For example, we’ll tweet out “what songs do you want to hear on tour?” We take the feedback and use it to craft our set lists for our live shows.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) We are extremely grateful for any support given to us. Like we said, without support and the fans, we would just be playing in our basement.