Stay Here Drops A Stellar Split EP
If you’ve been sleeping on Stay Here, you really ought to change that, and it’s hard to imagine that one could pick a better time than now to do so.
The Atlanta emo/alternative powerhouse’s newest release – a four track [untitled] EP split with Richmond, Virginia’s President Sam which dropped on May 11th – features two brand new songs (entitled “Waleska” and “Clouded”) which, like the group’s beloved 2017 single “Piedmont”, evoke an aching, wistful melancholy (thanks in no small part to the vulnerability and earnestness of Parker Phillips’ vocal performances), while simultaneously captivating listeners with densely layered, cinematic guitar arrangements and a thunderous, high-energy rhythm section.
To put it plainly, it’s big, driving, heartfelt rock and roll at its finest.
On Friday, May 18th, Stay Here will embark on a short weekend run of shows in support of the split alongside President Sam, which will include a show at Uprising Christian Church, on Saturday, May 19th.
Taking an afternoon off from rehearsals, guitarist Julian Chawla met with me to discuss the new EP, the upcoming mini-tour, and what the future holds for Stay Here.
Julian thanks so much for meeting up today. First of all, how did you meet President Sam, and what led to the two bands putting out a split together?
Well, President Sam actually emailed us about it. Cayley from Small Talks, who’s a mutual friend, recommended us to them. They hit us up wanting to work together, so I checked out their most recent music video, and really liked it. And the key thing was that we were going to do a bunch of show trading, which would help get both bands into new markets. It was beneficial for both of us.
How has the release been so far? How has the split been received?
People have told us that the songs sound really “big”, sonically speaking…which is very pleasing. Ian [Riley] definitely pushed us and helped us out, co-writing and producing…and Corey Bautista, who mixed both tracks, just made everything sound huge and impressive. Overall, we’re really proud of how everyone has reacted. It’s all gone over well, and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback.
You contributed two songs to the split, namely “Waleska” and “Clouded”. What went into writing and recording those tracks?
Writing-wise, without getting into too much detail, both are based on personal events that impacted members of the band. “Waleska” was one that I wrote a lot of the lyrics and had the basic idea for, and “Clouded” started with Parker. That being said, it was all still very collaborative. The creative process was really cool. We got to track live at Toast & Jam Studios, and then we basically sent everything we did to Ian. He would listen and develop his own ideas, and on tracking day, we reworked everything together, and I think that brought out the best in us.
Is the split a hint of what’s to come? Are you working on more recordings?
It's not so much a "hint" of what's to come as much as just something that kind of runs together. The plan is to have a new EP out by the end of the year. Basically we’ve got something like 10 or 12 songs that we’ve written that we’re putting out gradually, because we definitely want to share them all, but it doesn’t make sense to do a full-length at the moment. We wrote a lot of material that all kind of came together at the same time, and the songs on the split are part of that.
What can people expect from the next release?
A lot of it will be more of the same sort of stuff that's on the split...but that being said, in a sense, it will probably be a little bit more representative of where we're all at in 2018. Though we finished up the two songs from the split at the same time as all this other new music, some of the lyrics, chord progressions and so on do date back a year or so. Everything on the next record is going to be a bit more fully new.
Now, you're about to head out on a short tour with President Sam in support of the split. How long will that be, and what cities will you be making stops in?
We're actually doing two! The first will be three days in May - Raleigh on the 18th, a home show in Lawrenceville, GA at Uprising on the 19th, and then Greenville, South Carolina on the 20th. The second run is in their region, June 7th to 10th, and that'll be Richmond, DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
What can people expect at upcoming shows?
We'll be doing both of the songs from the split, some new stuff from the next EP, and even a song from an old record called 'Blindfolds'. And of course, "Piedmont" will be in there as well.
Is there anything you'd like those who are new to the band (for example, those who will see you for the first time this summer) to know about Stay Here?
We're really just goofy kids that don't take anything seriously, except for our music. I know that probably sounds cliche, but it's the only thing that we care about really deeply. So whenever someone listens to us and shares what we're doing - whenever someone says they appreciate what they hear - that means a lot to us. We really try to step up and create something special and meaningful, and we're really grateful for anyone that sees that and gets something out of it.
Awesome. Julian, thanks again for your time. Good luck this summer!
Absolutely. Thanks so much!