Hard rock trio Stands on Sapphires serve as a reminder that anyone can write, record and publish great music. Roll back a few months ago, the band didn’t even exist, now they have two self-recorded singles out there for the world to enjoy.
Both tracks were made with recording gear bought on a spur of the moment decision and mixed and mastered on Universal Audio with Logic Pro X in their bedroom. As the band put it: “We realised that if we weren’t making music we were wasting our time. We just felt like we had to.”
The Vancouver-based American/Canadian trio have honed an engaging rock sound led by the engaging vocals of Bethany Stobbe, ably supported by the guitar of her husband Trevor and booming bass of Wade Britz.
They sent us second single Never Getting In, which opens up with drums supporting an intriguing Japanese instrument drawn from the band’s love of J-Rock (more on that below). A big riff jumps in supported by heavy bass and drops into a verse led by Bethany’s vocals, then drops into a return of the heavy guitar and bass with whispers of “Never getting in… Just get out.”
Guitars support a heavier second verse that ends on a big high note, the Japanese instrument returns momentarily, then a big smash of guitars gives way to another verse. There’s a really cool section of chugging guitars that feed into a little solo, then a little low-tuned guitar filler feeds into a final verse and high-pitched guitar blasts. Check it out below:
That followed debut single My Affliction, which opens with little twists of guitar and vocals then a cool chugging guitar riff gives way to Bethany’s laid-back vocals. It gradually builds up to a chorus featuring delicious high-pitched vocals “This is my affliction, Even on my best days, This is my addiction, Falling back to my old ways.”
A second chorus gives way to a meandering guitar solo that finishes with an impressive flourish then high-pitched soaring guitars mirror Bethany’s vocals in a final chorus. Give it a listen in the video below:
We had a chat with Bethany to find out more about the band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Stands On Sapphires?
BS: “Stands on Sapphires is an American-Canadian band formed in late 2019. Trevor composes and arranges our music as well as plays all the guitars, I write lyrics and lead vocals, and Wade brings in his unique bass riffs and fills out our bottom end.
“We’re based in Vancouver, BC, but I’m originally from Portland, OR, which is why we refer to ourselves as American-Canadian). Trevor and Wade have been playing together since high school, but mostly just doing covers. I joined in the fun in 2018 doing vocals, but we never jammed our own music till later.
“One day we just decided we wanted to take music more seriously, so we went out that same day, bought some recording gear and taught ourselves how to do everything from sound-proofing, to recording, mixing, and even mastering. We really proud of the quality of music we’ve been able to share with the world, given that we’ve done everything ourselves.”
GR: You just released Never Getting In. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
BS: “We wanted to mix a few of our favourite elements into this song, so you’ll hear some Japanese instruments, groovy, funk-metal riffs, bass breakdown, and melodic female vocals to bring a moody overall vibe to the song. We wrote this song because we want it to be an anthem to help people to stand up against whatever their enemy or inner demons are. Something you can sing loudly when you’re having a rough day or just need a little energy boost.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
BS: “These are big shoes to fill but we like to think we sound like the vocals of Evanescence’ Amy Lee meet the musical genius of Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt and the thick bass of Muse’s Chris Wolstenholme. To put it in simpler terms, we are a hard rock/metal female lead band that has groove.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
BS: “Trevor and I quit our cushy office jobs to pursue a life of music after years of being too afraid to put ourselves out there. So most of our writing has been influenced by manoeuvring the twists and turns of life as we completely shifted gears. I’d say the recurring theme(s) of our music is life struggles, facing fears head-on, and fighting to stay strong in the hardest of times.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
BS: “We’re huge fans of J-Rock, so some of our biggest musical influences are bands like ONE OK ROCK and My First Story. We’re trying to infuse some of the energy that J-Rock brings into our own music. More locally speaking, we love bands like Skillet, Extreme, In This Moment, Halestorm, and Shinedown. We love heavier music but with a more funky, groove oriented feel.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
BS: “We’re back in the studio writing and recording in 2020. We’re working on a full album and our goal is to have it released in the fall of this year. We want this album to showcase and establish who we are as a band and bring our unique sound to the forefront of the re-emerging hard rock scene.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
BS: “We want our music to not only inspire our fans in their everyday life, but also inspire other artists to put their music out there. We record all of our music in our one bedroom apartment, not a fancy studio. In three months, we went from not knowing anything about sharing or recording our music, to having two pro-sounding singles on every major streaming platform.
“If you really want to share your music with the world, just do it. We believe that with hard work, dedication, and a fiery passion, your music can help change the world for the better.”
You can follow Stands on Sapphires- or ask them more about how they released their own music and made it sound awesome – on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and check out their music on Spotify, Bandcamp, Apple Music and YouTube.