StaG was the first band I caught at Brokechella. Their sound, style and energy really made an impact on me, so I decided to reach out and invite them over to my crib for an interview! We spoke about how they came about, what their band name means and their unique sound, over Coronas and buttered popcorn.
Three of the five gentlemen from the band were able to come by: Will Walden ( left, lead singer/guitar), Matt Mcguire (right, singer/keyboard) and Matt Hampar (middle, guitar). The band also consists of drummer, Casey and bassist, Anton. Interestingly enough, the name StaG is a literature related acronym that stands for Stanwicks accidental Gun. Stanwick Melville, the son of Herman Melville commited suicide. Herman wanted to keep this on the down low, so he told the public that Stanwick kept a gun under his pillow and it accidentally went off. And the capital G? “The big G’s kind of bullshit but it’s there for symmetry”.
Will and Matt Mcguire go way back to the 1st grade. Will grew up in music, having a dad that had a recording studio built behind the house by the time he was born. After seeing Eric Clapton live in his youth, he became obsessed with the guitar. Matt started writing poetry and short stories in high school which is when they began making music together. While experimenting and finding their sound, they attended local shows in LA, band Simon Dawes being the band they became really attached to. The members of Simon Dawes were only a couple years older than the guys, and that really inspired them to push forward in their music exploration at a young age. Bands like Simon Dawes, Animal Collective and Tim Hecker led them to the realization that theres “different paths of making music then just knowing how to technically play an instrument perfectly.” They decided to go to school at Colorado University because “we wanted to get the fuck out of LA” where they met Matt Hampar and the rest of their band through being in other bands together.
Their most recent album got the name “Difference” because to the boys, it represented “accepting differences and tracing steps to becoming more open and fun person.” ‘Difference’ wasn’t always going to be the title of their debut album. It dodged names like “Jumping Off Of Shit Into Other Shit” and “I Hate My Dick” (LOL). ‘Difference’ hosts a plethora of various amazing sounds and is described by the band as “intensely lush”. It’s heavy with epic ambient transitions, euphoric vocals and rock god chords and solos. It’s a really fun listen that will have you immensely relaxed at moments, and at others, wanting to dance.
Now that they have a full band, they plan on working on a more conventional rock indie sound that harbors more rhythmic pop structures. They’re thinking “more towards LCD Soundsystem and New Order and less of Animal Collective and Washed Out. We want to be more of a rock band, it’s more fun to play high energy sets.” They have 14 songs that are ready to record and are demoing a bunch of stuff in preparation for their next album. These boys are very talented and I believe whatever sound they decide to experiment with will be fantastic. The fact that they are not content with sticking with one sound shows they are still exploring and will continue to do so until they’ve tried everything.
After a few beers, we enjoyed the weather on my balcony, took some photos and just hung out for another hour. These guys not only put an impression on me with their music, but also as people that I’d never say no to a drink with.
They play their second show at The Echo on Monday, May 19th.
My favorites from ‘Difference’ are below. Stream the entire album here!
Photos taken by: Amiya Bardon Photo editing by: Tyler Sadler