Stillwater Black came together in 1991 when Chris Thayer met Ahmed and Sam Pierstorff while playing in the pit band for a high school musical production. Issac McCorkell was quickly recruited on drums and the band recorded its first EP, The Last Virtuous Lady of Athens.

In 1995 they signed with Cleaves Entertainment, a now-defunct independent label based out of Southern California's Inland Empire. Stillwater Black recorded their debut LP, Adam. They played frequently with local and national acts including Dishwalla, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, and IE punk/ska mainstays, The Skeletones.

In 1997 the members parted ways and the project lay dormant for two decades.

Monday, March 26, 2018


We've always been interested in women playing a bigger role in the Stillwater Black sound.

After we lost Isaac as our primary vocalist back in '93, we held auditions. I was particularly excited about the possibility of a woman fronting our band and one girl actually did call us. We were supposed to meet her on the campus of California State University San Bernardino, if I recall. While I'm not totally certain on the meeting point, I remember this:

She never showed.

And I was bummed. There were other auditions and nothing worked out. So Chris and I took over and that was that.

But I don't think we ever lost our love for the possibilities inherent in the female voice and what that could mean in establishing our sound.

Music is about textures, timbres. With a woman, regardless of her range, you've got a whole new palette to work with. It's like moving from a single-coil Stratocaster to a Les Paul with humbuckers: both guitars with the same sonic range, but a completely different sound.

We had a chance to experiment with female talent a teeny bit on one of my favorite tracks from Adam, Kingfisher:

Listen close and you'll hear the girls backing up Chris around 1:40, first in the chorus and then perhaps more noticeably in the bridge starting very near the three-minute mark. An absolute highlight of the record.

I've been out of the scene and I no longer have any real connections to female talent. The few girls that I've recently met are looking to get paid, which is not an unreasonable request, but I never wanted to work with hired guns. I want the shared experience of collaboration. If there are monetary rewards at the end of that, I'm happy to share.

Chris has worked with a number of female musicians over the years and he has offered to reach out if and when a song might be enhanced through a woman's contribution. And I believe we may be in the process of writing such a song.

We're getting together this weekend to write and maybe even record something. And we're going to talk more about this. But I'm feeling very strongly that the time is right to push into some new territory with female collaboration.

Looking forward to sharing more soon. In the meantime, lets hang out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and SoundCloud.

No comments:

Post a Comment