Stars & Sons is the brainchild of Brighton musician Mike Lord. After quitting a plethora of days jobs Mike locked himself in a home built studio and got to work producing – one the best albums of this year – on a budget. Along the way he recruited Paul Steel, Sandy Buglass, Luke Sital Singh and Stuart Proven and formed the final line-up of the band. This is piano led pop at its best, fuck Scouting For Girls and their repetitive, ill informed drivel, this is the new standard. A heady mix of swirling guitars, arpeggiated piano loops and jazz brushed drums all injected with a sense of much needed fun. It’s camp, it’s eclectic and it sounds like Ben Folds sicked up on British culture, it’s lovely.
Their début album is set to drop this September so I thought it was high time I sat down with Mike to have a chat about his world and his influences on the album…
So Mike, What do you and your band do?
Well we do the whole pop thing really. Pianos, guitars, drums, all that nonsense! We’ve been together for a couple of years and our debut album is out in September…
Named after the Broken Social Scene song? or is there another meaning?
You got it. Nothing beats a bit of healthy plagiarism. To be fair BSS did steal it from the name of the studio where they recorded the album, so we’re just carrying on the tradition really.
You’re gearing up for the release of you debut album ‘Good Morning Mother’, How has the recording process been?
Very exciting and more than a little bit stressful. I’ve always been used to having an unlimited amount of time to record stuff in my room, so when you get into an expensive studio and the clock is ticking things get a little bit trickier. It’s not all bad though, you are often pushed into making these big decisions which can turn out to be good, rather than just dwelling on details.
In the album, there is so many ideas and sounds floating around, what were your major influences?
We are quite into the idea of collage and building up layers of sound, adding things that you may not necessarily notice the first time, whilst trying to stick to the pop sensibility. 2 important albums would be the more obvious ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, as well as ‘Since I left you’ by the Avalanches. Both groups really squeeze pop music to its limits, whilst clearly remaining fans of the genre.
For anyone who isn’t aware of Stars and Sons, who would you compare yourselves to? And how would you describe your sound?
Well I grew up listening to my brothers Ben Folds Five CDs, which still is an extremely welcome influence in my view. I also had my parents chucking in some ABBA, and Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, so I can partially blame them for our lack of coolness. Nothing beats the old school crafters though, Bacharach and Carole King etc.
Favourite album of 2010 so far?
Janelle Monae- The ArchAndroid. She’s all over the place in terms of style, and her debut album sweeps you up like some sort of Jive Bunny Megamix. She also dances like James Brown, so a pretty irresistible package all in all.
Besides the album, what are Stars & Sons doing for the rest of the year? Big tour?
Well we’re going to be doing a big tour in some sense.. We’re planning to do 30 gigs in 7 days in September, going from Brighton to Aberdeen on the way. We’re also working on albums 2 and 3 simultaneously, which may seem slightly ambitious but we’re about 10 songs in, so as long as I don’t throw my computer out of the window in a ‘creative’ moment, we should be all good…
Its been good to chat to you Mike, leave me with 5 words that best define your band…
I hope you like glockenspiels…
Good Morning Mother is released on Twice Burnt September 27th, you can find out more about the guys here or check out the latest single “Futureproof” below.