Last year, Rock Star Journalism spoke with VTG mastermind Larry Stone after he released his first album, "So Beautiful
People Look Away." Since then, Larry's performed his first show under the VTG name, remixed tracks for other artists,
DJed in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently working on demos for his new album.
We caught up with him to squeeze some more information from him on topics such as his experiences performing live, the
direction his music's taking and the inclusion of prostitutes in live performances.
By: Geoffrey Smith II
Rock Star Journalism: It's been awhile since your first album, "So Beautiful People Look Away," was released. How's
the response been from both critics and music fans so far?
Larry Stone: As far as a first release goes, I've been really excited about the feedback I've received from the press.
It's interesting watching what happens when you let people critically listen to an album like "So Beautiful People Look
Away." Some get what I was trying to do immediately, and others never even caught the scent of it.
It was quietly written as a concept album about love; the whole thing is supposed to be listened to in one sitting. I
feel like it's much more powerful as a whole. That being said, it always fit together for me. It jumped around like a relationship
does, and a lot of times things come full circle. A lot of reviewers pinpointed that aspect of the album; some felt it was
a breath of fresh air to have variety, and others were just intimidated by it.
RSJ: You recently played your first show as VTG. How do you feel about that experience?
LS: It was fantastic. I've started working with a great guitarist and drummer. Both were really on-point and easy to feel
comfortable with. The show itself made me realize, again, how powerful performance can be and how different as well. I've
never been more energized and driven by the music before. Plus, it was a new experience singing live. It's scary letting go
and belting things out. I think I was able to take the audience on a little trip with me and for that I'm extremely happy
and earnest to do it again. Performance-wise, my goal is to turn heads. You don't have to like my music, but I do want you
to remember it.
RSJ: I spoke to your label's manager, Rob Ferent, before the show and he said you were pretty nervous about it. Did you
still feel that way when you got onstage?
LS: Nervous was an understatement. I think "stressed the fuck out" would fit my state at that point. Like I
said earlier, here I am, singing for the first time in front of people and playing live with a band for the first time in
about nine years. I've been DJing a lot, but that's a whole different experience. A little background on the show -- I agreed
to play without having a band yet. The booker, a friend of mine, let me know about twelve weeks early. So, in that time I
put the band together and re-rendered the correct backing tracks. We had about four practices before the show. It was strange
-- when we stepped on stage I felt perfectly comfortable though, and after the first few seconds it flowed just like I had
RSJ: What do you intend to do differently at future shows?
LS: I think I'll hire hookers to walk around letting the audience do lines of coke off their vertebrae...
I'd really like to make sure to interact with the audience more. I've always been moved by bands and singers who make contact
with the audience and really let go. There's no reason not to have a frantic and energetic show. A few more live band members
are in the works, too.
RSJ: You didn't play "Softly" or "Drunk" at the show -- two of the catchier, vocal-based songs from your first album. Why
LS: I will [play them] in the future, but they didn't fit this particular set. I wanted a heavier, edgier sound than those
two tracks. I'm going to rework both of these tracks for future performance. I'm thinking of releasing their files on www.vtgmusic.com for people to remix.
RSJ: What made you decide to play a cover of XLover's song, "Lovesucker?"
LS: I had just finished doing a remix of it for XLover. I'm still waiting to see if [their label,] International Deejay Gigolo
Records will be releasing it. It's a rock/electrotrash remix. I felt it fit as a good ending track, and really, it's just
a fun song to play.
RSJ: After checking out "I Lie Pretty," a demo track for your next album, it sounds like it's going to be a lot more rock
oriented than the first. Why did you decide to take VTG in this direction?
LS: Looking back on "So Beautiful People Look Away," I feel like I did things backwards. That should have been my second or
third album. It's so intricate that it's hard to get into. And I can't play most of the songs live with a band. I really want
to take VTG on the road, and I've lost my love for purely computer-based performances. I don't want to be that guy on stage
with a computer and a mic. It doesn't do it for me anymore, and I don't care who it is. Personally, I've never been moved
more than by a kick-ass full band show.
RSJ: You've said that VTG began as a backlash against working with other artists. Are your current band mates involved with
the creation of the new album?
LS: They have wonderful input, but I still write the songs on my own. Afterwards, I work with each one individually, and
they put their accents on the sound. I often find myself asking their opinions, and that's a really nice option to have. Other
times, it leads me in tangents. When it was just me, I'd get to a certain point and just say, "Okay, this is it. Done."
RSJ: When do you anticipate the new album being released?
LS: I've been thinking about that a lot, recently. I'm toying with the idea of releasing an EP before another full album.
Something that can co-exist nicely with the live shows. I plan on putting most of my time towards performing in the coming
months. At the moment, I'd love to do some shows with Babyland. They've always, always kept it real, and I've been a fan for
a long time.
RSJ: Do you have any intentions to release music outside of the VTG name?
LS: None at the moment.
RSJ: You're DJing in the San Francisco Bay Area. What do you spin and where?
LS: Currently, I've been spinning quite a bit at underground events in the San Francisco area. I'm afraid I can't list any
because I don't want to incriminate anyone.
RSJ: Do you play your own material?
LS: Occasionally, I do play my own material if it fits the mood. Most often that will include unreleased material and remixes
that I haven't made available. I enjoy doing remixes on the fly as well. There's always a DJ set up on www.vtgmusic.com if you want to check any out.
RSJ: What else have you been up to, aside from VTG and DJing?
LS: Martial arts, web design and having sex with cheap hookers. Mostly the cheap hookers thing.
For more info on VTG, check out our previous feature here.
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