Rock n' rollers XO Stereo gave us a glimpse a while back, into their progress of their debut EP. Now that some time has passed, so has the band, having gone on to release that EP titled "The Struggle", with them already in the process of working upon their debut album. This trio got together once again to talk about their debut efforts, both current release and future works.
1. How did you guys come up with your band name?
Cooper: XO Stereo has a very cool meaning and catchy ring to it.
Justin: We decided on XO Stereo because it was exoteric *insert sarcastic laugh here*. Hugs and Kisses in Stereo. Right? It was either that or Cats In Stereo, which makes absolutely no sense.
2. Why did you want your band to be a trio instead of a full fledged group? Do you think being a trio has more of an advantage than an average group?
Justin: Less members equals less cooks in the kitchen. We are all multi-talented enough to play everything ourselves in the studio and the three of us have a special bond in songwriting that an outsider would probably ruin. Why screw up a good thing?
Jon: I think we just want to stick with what works well for us. I don’t think adding someone else necessarily would ruin our process, but that person would certainly make it different and likely prolong it. We like the dynamic that we have as a unit, and we want to see where it takes us.
Cooper: We started this group with just the three of us. The more time we have spent together as a trio has only enhanced and aided our writing/creative process. Also, since we all play multiple instruments for our studio recordings, there hasn’t been a need to add additional permanent members to the group.
3. How did you and Another Century Records come together? Are you pleased with what they have been doing for you thus far?
Justin: When we started to get a decent amount of label attention, Century was one of them. They were the best fit for us and vice versa. We are very happy with our team and excited for a long prosperous future.
Jon: Another Century has been great to us. We’re thrilled to be a part of the Century Media Records family that has released so many timeless metal albums over the years. Hopefully we can deliver music that is of the same quality, only in a different genre.
Cooper: We couldn’t be more excited to be part of the family at Century Media/Another Century Records. The feeling seems to be mutual with everyone at the label as well.
4. When Another Century Records, asked you to come and perform at their Another Century showcase back in July at the Viper Room, in Hollywood, CA. What was your reaction to being asked out to play and playing for that night?
Justin: We were very excited as it was our first industry show and only our second show we’ve ever played as a band.
Jon: It was a great experience and we were very proud to represent the Another Century brand.
Cooper: We were all super psyched and had a great time at the show.
5. What does "The Struggle" mean to you all?
Justin: To me, it’s The Struggle of being in a band while still living a normal life. Being able to live comfortably, have a relationship, have a friends, see family, making ends meet while doing this crazy thing called music.
Jon: In most cases, everything good in life requires some kind of struggle in order to be reached. Every important decision that gets made, every goal you’re trying to reach, every mistake you make trying to reach it–all are part of that struggle. I think this EP touches on many of those topics and hopefully people who listen to it can relate to it.
Cooper: For me, “The Struggle” encompasses all the sacrifices I’ve had to make throughout my life for the things that matter the most.
6. What inspired the EP title?
Justin: The Struggle of starting and getting this band off the ground, and then the struggle of getting this EP out to the world.
Jon: Yeah, it definitely seemed appropriate with all of the work we put into making this thing happen.
Cooper: Most definitely.
7. How does the EP's art relate to the music on this release?
Justin: The songs are very much straight-to-the-point on purpose. We want to hook the listener in while baring it out all there, without overdoing it. The album art is a minimalist feel approach to that, which I feel (as the designer) conveys the visual aspect of these songs.
8. What can fans expect with "The Struggle"?
Justin: Five high-energy tracks sure to rock them socks off.
Jon: Brand new socks though, not smelly old ones.
Cooper: To be reminded that rock music is still very much alive and well!
9. During our last interview, you mentioned you had already begun writing for your debut LP, how has that process been coming along and where is the new material headed?
Justin: It’s exciting. We are working with one of my favorite producers and the direction is already a little outside our comfort zone, but in a good way. I dislike when band’s never evolve, especially in Rock music. We are still constantly searching for our sound while keeping up with relevant times and I think the full length is already on a great path.
Jon: Like Justin said, it has been a growth process. Though we have only released one EP so far, we have been writing together for quite a while now. The new material we’ve been working on is a bit more eclectic. It has been a really fun and challenging (in the best way possible) experience for us.
Cooper: We are always constantly challenging ourselves and pushing outside of our comfort zone throughout the writing/creative process. The new material is definitely a reflection of this and is coming along great.
10. What is in the future for XO Stereo?
Justin: Shows. Tours. And a full length that’s going to re-rock off those socks you just put back on.
Jon: Super sweet jams.
Cooper: All of the above.
11. Any final words for our readers?
Justin: Check out The Struggle and get ready for the full length.
Jon: What he said.