Stretford End’s Prelude to a New Beginning

Hollywood trio Stretford End recently contacted me to talk with them about how their journey began, where it's gotten them, and where it's headed next. Besides that Stretford End have released not just one but two releases, entitled "Prelude", and "Air-Conditioned Life", in which of course all leads up to the follow-up which is being produced by Gus Cryns, who's worked with such acts as; Panic! At The Disco, Foxy Shazam, and Motion City Soundtrack. So sit back, relax, and get to rock your socks off because lead vocalist, guitarist, and pianist, Alex and percussionist Prentice are giving us the lowdown.

1. How did the band come up with the name Stretford End?

Prentice: I happen to be the world's biggest Manchester United Supporter. On the west side of the stadium Old Trafford faces the town of Stretford, and is known as the "Stretford End".  A very loud and supportive section that is known to be as loud as a 747 airplane taking off!  We thought that would fit perfectly!  ...Also to secretly show my undying love and support to the club!  Hahaha.

2. How did US Management and Artist Development Company, The Inner Light Agency find out about Stretford End. What was involved in getting signed with them?

Alex: We heard good things about Damon and iLA from other bands that he has worked with, so we sent him a demo. He liked what he heard and after a few phone calls we signed with them.

3. How long had Stretford End been together when you were signed by US Management and Artist Development Company, The Inner Light Agency?

Alex: A little more than a year, at that point.

4. Did you ever get to the point where you said it's never going to happen?

Alex: I think we get to that point about once a week hahahaha.

Prentice: HAHA yeah that seams about right!  Sometimes twice a week. Oh God.

5. You’re currently in the process of working on your debut full-length how did you get involved with working alongside with Gus Cryns? Who's worked with such acts as; Panic! At The Disco, Foxy Shazam, and Motion City Soundtrack.

Alex: We actually had sent out a bunch of demos to producers, one of which was John Feldman who Gus was working for at the time. Gus liked our sound and contacted us, offering to produce "The Entertainer", one of the tracks off our first record. We really enjoyed the experience and the chemistry we have together in the studio, so we recorded our last E.P. "Prelude" with him after that. We're just continuing that relationship into this next batch of material.

6. When can we expect the debut album to arrive?

Alex: We're shooting for March 2011 at the moment.

7. How does it come in comparison to your other releases "Prelude", and "Air-Conditioned Life"?

Alex: We've really come into our own and found our sound with this record. With "Air-Conditioned Life" we were figuring out who we want to be as a band, and you can hear that experimentation continue all the way through "Prelude" as well. With "Letters On Sunspots" we've created a sound that is all our own; new yet familiar at the same time. We run the gamut from Rock to Indie to Pop but this time it all sounds like the same band.

Prentice: Absolutely. Alex and I have been writing together for a while, and we finally feel now that with "Letters" we have found our "voice" or "sound".  It’s a very unique and ambitious sound that was only achieved through trial and error.

8. Who was behind the artwork for these albums and is there a theme or a meaning behind them?

Alex: I've done the artwork so far, mainly because we didn't have it in our budget to hire a proper artist. The themes that I deal with in my lyrics are usually the current social issues of our time, along with the broader experiences of life, death, love and hope. The theme of "Letters On Sunspots" is speaking the truth when no one wants to hear it.

9. What is your best fan experience?

Alex: We have fans?

Prentice: AHAHAHA!  We went out to dinner last month at BJ's on a pretty packed night, and was seated in a corner booth. It was a spot visible to the whole place.  Constantly everyone there was looking at us. The waitress was so sweet, and asked for our autographs, and a group of ladies at a table next to us asked our waitress as well to get our autographs for them.  Alex accidently broke his wine glass, and it was brushed off, and he was served a new glass and more wine at no charge, and we got like free food at the end too.  It was pretty awesome!

10. If a young musician came up to you - what advance would you give them about getting into the business?

Alex: Don't do it. Not unless you're absolutely sure that it's what you want to do with your life, and are prepared to sacrifice everything for it. If you are, then I would say take your time building your band; make sure that you have good players and your personalities work well together.

Prentice: You must willingly accept the fact that you WILL lose everything before you reach a gain. Especially when it comes financially and emotionally you just need to be ready at all costs. If you think this will come easy and lightly, sadly you are FOOLED! Make sure the guys/girls you are playing with are on the same page of the story you are on!  And stick together till the end.

11. What's the band's favorite song to play live?

Alex: For me, it's always whichever ones are the newest.

Prentice: Any song that the crowd likes!  Hahaha. Personally it’s Starstruck.  That song gives me a lot of freedom to go off into a drum fantasy and have my Tommy Lee moment! ;-)

12. How does the band go from one show to the next?

Alex: In a battle-weary 1992 Dodge Caravan. The old girl has a hard time with hills.
Prentice:  Hahaha yeah, those hills are a bitch.

13. What does the touring cycle look like for Stretford End?

Alex: So far this band has only been on little mini-tours. We hunger to do something bigger, but without a label funding is a major issue. So Millionaires, invest your money now and see a return in as little as 30 days!

14. Where do you see Stretford End five years from now?

Alex: Most likely we'll be the house band at a Taiwan donkey show. Don't forget those drink specials folks! Tip yer waitstaff!


15. Does your family support you all being musicians?
Alex: Everyone in the band is lucky to have incredibly supportive families.

Prentice: Absolutely! They are all amazing supportive people.  We need that!

16. How about the holiday season what do you hope to find under your Christmas tree? Do you have any New Year's resolutions?

Alex: I want a sloth, because they are awesome. I would name him Mr. Sniffers.

Prentice: I want an official Red Ryder carbine action two hundred shot range model air rifle!  And yes, I know! I won't shoot my eye out...

17. What will become of you guys come 2011?

Alex: God, that sounds so cryptic. I foresee a lot of crying.

Prentice: Besides making fun of the people who believe the world will end the following year?  I don't know... Play some amazing rock and roll and destroy Biebermania.

18. Do you have anything to say to our readers?

Alex: Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!

Prentice: Attention Ladies... I'M SINGLE!!!!

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