Concept albums can be quite a challenge. Some bands falter when it comes to bending their music to some twisted story or sci-fi wonderland, yet Stone Sour have opted to release a double concept album. ‘House of Gold and Bones Part 1’ is a great album, in large part down to the concept it circulates being both human and relatable. As the band rolled in to London for a double whammy of headline shows, Josh took some time to tell us about it.
“We did it the same way as we’ve always done it you know,” explains Josh, touching on the recording process. “We gather all the music from everybody and then Corey will write the vocals. We’ve done that since the very beginning. You know, this time around it went by really quick. ‘Audio Secrecy’ took us like 6 months to record. And both parts one and two of this took about 3 months but our process didn’t really change at all.”
When did the band decide that they’d tackle a concept record? “Before even most of the music was written,” he admits. “Corey wrote a short story, I went over to his house like last year and initially we were just going to do 5 to 6 song cover EP and he’s like, “I’d like to do this concept out of this story and it could be really cool.” And it just grew in to be this double record. So, and that was in the beginning.”
As noted, Stone Sour’s concept has shared human nature at its core – was it easier to work to something relatable over a wilder idea? “I love the story. I felt from a musical stand point, we could have all these peaks which we’re known for anyway, you know, having heavy songs and softer songs or whatever – I felt that we could get even more experimental and go different directions over the two albums. You know, we approached it differently ‘cause the music is usually written first and then the lyrics come after the music put together. It’s hard to say the story influenced any of the music it wasn’t not like we sat down and go, oh this part of the story we need something like this, cause that’s not how we write.
“For me personally, I wanted to just be able to be aggressive again. I felt like that because that’s what I bring to the band – the heavier side of things. That surprises everybody considering two members are really heavy elsewhere, but that’s not how they write for this band. So it was more of being able to do that to some of the other heavier songs. I felt like we got away from them when we did ‘Audio Secrecy’, you know, show a little bit more of the old side of Stone Sour.”
For those who have listened to the album, but are unfamiliar with the story behind it, Josh explains: “The story has basically got four characters. The main character is a human and the other three characters are kind of like the sub-conscious side of the human, and it’s all based around making this decision that is going to change the outcome of this individual’s life. That’s basically what it’s all about. You could look at it in easy ways like a devil and an angel on the shoulders trying to influence the decision that is going to be made and the fourth character is kind of the right hand man to the antagonist of the darker side of the human.”
Does he agree with our feeling that this human touch is what connects fans to it on a personal level? “I think so, yes,” he says. “Corey told me the concept of the story and I was like every person will be able to relate to this – period. ‘Cause everyone will go through those decisions that will put them on the path that whatever their life will become. So I think every person on the planet can relate to the story in general.”
And, we leave this interview with a tantalising snippet of what to expect from the second installment of this particular tale… “Part two is the most experimental record we’ve ever done I can’t wait for people to hear it and see what they think!”