Exclusive interview

Stairwell

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How did you all get together to create Stairwell?
Both guitarists started a group. From there they slowly built a full band. A bass player who was a friend, a drummer who heard us from down the street,  and a singer who heard about us through the want ads. Over the years members have left and members have joined. Stairwell now consists of: Jeremy Monette - Vocals, Jamie Rawls - Guitars/Vocals, Shawn Pierce - Drums/Vocals, Fred Watkins - Bass Guitar/Vocals, and Jason Lawing - Guitars.

Any meaning behind the name?
Our practice space is above a mechanic’s shop. We have to go up the “stairwell” to get there. Seemed fitting and works for us just fine.

What is the local rock scene like in Greenville, NC?
When we started playing in the late 90’s, the music scene in Greenville was strong. There were bands of every type, rock bands, jam bands, hardcore, top 40, r&b, and country, all were doing well. Now we are one of the very few “rock” bands left who is still holding down the fort in Greenville, NC. The music scene has shifted over the years to mostly country and top 40, most of the clubs and venues won’t hire you if you are a “rock” band. There are a couple of venues who help us keep rock alive in the area, along with our ever increasing fan base. These people are amazing. We play a little bit of everything with our own STAIRWELL flair added to it, we refuse to drop our “rock style” and give in to the “variety band” label. We like it fast, loud, and punchy. We are a rock band, nothing more nothing less! 

What is the song writing process like between the five of you?
Most of our songs are written by our guitarist Jamie, but we all still come together cumulatively to write the music around it. Our latest album had at least one song written by everybody in the band. 

Were any of you in bands prior to Stairwell?
All of us have been in previous bands, learning and building our own styles, except for our singer, Jeremy. He answered an ad we put out, with his vocals, we were all blown away that he hadn’t been in a band before hand. 

How did the band grow with “Undermining the Silver Lining,” since your self titled debut in 2010?  Our songwriting got better. Our style of music grew. There’s mixtures of blues, rock, southern rock, pop, ballads, and even a lil country flare on this album. Something for everybody.  
Where do you record?
Most of our recording was done in Wilmington, NC. Our first was done in a studio. But our second album, we recorded in two spaces. We rented out a huge open house. You can tell the drums sound a lot more “airy”. But we ended up recording the last half of the album in our guitarists house. Blankets on the walls, sung vocals in closets... the whole nine yards. But it turned out great.

Are you currently touring?
We are finishing out the tour dates we have for 2018, and are talking about what we’ll be doing for 2019.  

How has the response been since your latest project came out?
It’s definitely been a better received album than “Stairwell”. There’s something for everyone on this album and we’ve got people from all genres that respect what we’re doing on here.  

Can we expect new music in 2019?
We’ve definitely got a few ideas we’ve been rolling around. If we’re able to, we’re going to do something in the fall of 2019.  

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