Stonefield: It all started in a shed in outback Victoria

Amy, Hannah, Sarah and Holly Findlay grew up in the tiny town of Darraweit Guim in the Macedon Ranges, country Victoria. With not much to do, and with a new drum kit, the close-knit sisters started playing music at a really young age (I'm talking between 7 and 15 years old) after being influenced by their parents record collection - Zeppelin, Hendrix, Zappa. Pretty cool parents. And then their mum encouraged them to enter a Triple J Unearthed High comp. Props!

When the idea of Music Love was still in its very early planning stages, Stonefield were one of the first acts that came to mind. A few months later, and here we are with an interview with the Findlay sisters for you to enjoy. But first, some facts!

  • The band used to be known as 'lotah.'
  • They won Triple J Unearthed High in 2010 with a song called Foreign Lover
  • In 2011, just a year later they played Glastonbury Festival after a scouter saw them perform a show on Perth.
  • Their first EP Bad Reality was released in 2012 and then follow up full-length album Stonefield was released in 2013. This year they released their second LP called As Above, So Below 
  • In 2016, Stonefield toured with Fleetwood Mac

What does music mean to you?

Music plays a big part a big part in our lives. We grew up listening to it, then we all started singing and eventually learning to play our instruments. It’s our main focus at this point.

Tell us about your time and team in the studio and your processes in songwriting and producing.

We generally all write together on our parents property. Sometimes someone will bring an idea to the table and we will work on that or we just jam until something cool comes of it. We like to record the material and then come back to it a week or so later with fresh ears and then add or change anything we feel needs improving.  

What was your favourite gig? 

Hmmm Glastonbury probably tops it. But it was also our second festival we had played so we were kind of thrown in the deep end. We didn’t have much experience and it was all a bit terrifying.. but also very very cool!

Playing at Glastonbury is huge - best memory from that performance?

I think seeing the amount of people watching us. That was pretty crazy. Being on the other side of the world, playing one of the best festivals and so many people taking their time to watch us perform.

MUSIC VIDEOS: Love You Deserve, the hit from their self-titled 2013 album & the more subdued but still psychedelic Midnight from current album As Above So Below

Favourite Australian women in music? 

Chrissy Amphlet, as she paved the way for many women in music with her strong views and attitude through a male dominated industry.   

Any frustrating stories about your music life? 

I think the process of writing our second album was a bit of a crazy rollercoaster. Everyone wanted it to be the best it could be and everyone has their different opinions of how it should sound and what the finished product should be. There was a bit of compromising done amongst us all. But we’re really happy and proud of the end product!

What is your favourite song?

It’s kind of hard to choose a favourite actually haha. But we all love Eyes. We love that it’s really heavy and I think we all enjoy playing it live. Especially the bridge when there’s a break down then a keys solo. It’s a good head banging track.    

What next?

We have started working on album number 3 and we’re planning on going back over to the US next year to hopefully record, play more shows and continue building a solid base for us.

 Images L-R: Jack Stillman, Facebook, TEO Magazine, Album cover, Triple M

We all love Eyes... It’s a good head-banging track.
— The Findlay Sisters AKA Stonefield

The Wikipedia entry for your hometown of Darraweit Guim has you listed as “notable residents.” I also learned that in 1992 there were 300 people who resided there. What was life like growing up?

We loved growing up in a small community. Everyone knows each other. We would always ride our bikes around the whole town with our friends. But being so small, there wasn’t always a lot to do. I think that’s one of the reasons we started playing music.

 What is your favourite place in Australia?

There are so many amazing places! I don’t think we can choose just one favourite. But visiting Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory was really cool. It’s a beautiful place! The beaches are amazing.. bummer the crocs will get you if you go for a swim though! 

What is your favourite Australian café/restaurant?

We’ve been to so many great places whilst on the road. Mr Macedon is a good one not too far from us. We also found a cool café on our drive from Canberra to Sydney. It’s called Some Café. Had a nice vibe and our food was delish.

 Who is your favourite Australian fashion designer or retailer?

Lenni has some really beautiful pieces!

One non-music thing about you….

Amy likes crafting. Hannah enjoys cooking. Sarah loves taking photos. Holly loves fashion.

Stonefield are currently on tour for their album As Above, So Below. Check out Facebook.com/Stonefieldband or the website www.stonefield.com.au for the deets and tix.