New Castle band signs to international label
Hard work isn’t new to the members of Stone Deaf, a New Castle-based metal band. They joke, as many bands do, that music’s “overnight sensations” really take 15 years to develop.
But already, the 2-year-old quartet is seeing success. In August, the group signed to England-based Black Bow Records. The label re-released the band’s self-titled album Nov. 3. Now, Stone Deaf is preparing for a new album and four small tours in 2018.
Dustin Chapin (guitar, lead vocals), Cody Isaman (bass, vocals), Scott Anderson (guitar, keys) and Jarron French (drums) all balance “real” jobs with their music. But they treat the band like a career, as well. The guys practice several times a week and hold band business meetings at least twice a month. It’s a true do-it-yourself operation; the group even records in Chapin’s home studio.
“I think of us as a real working class kind of band,” he said. “It’s a lot more rewarding in the end.”
Anderson is the band’s newest member. He joined in February, thanks in part to a musician friend who said he and Chapin needed to meet. Anderson now acts as the band’s manager.
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A teacher by day, he spent his summer break with his and wife Angie’s 3-year-old daughter. During naptime, Anderson reached out to label after label. He made 307 submissions, and Black Bow was No. 302 (not that he’s counting).
The band credits that level of attention to detail and professionalism with its success. They keep calendars and spreadsheets in Google Drive, which allows all members to stay up to date on next steps. And Anderson isn’t alone in putting in extra hours.
Chapin and Isaman complement Anderson’s managerial skills with their graphic design ability. The pair traveled to Las Vegas earlier this year to meet label founder Jon Davis. The band works together to load and unload equipment for gigs.
“Everybody has their tasks to do. You’re part moving company being in a band, also,” Chapin said.
Being on the label, plus garnering endorsement from several companies, helps the band develop clout in the music industry. Anderson has found it easier to book tour dates since the label came on board, and each endorsement serves as encouragement.
“We’re here in New Castle, the middle of virtually nowhere. We feel like we’re creating a scene here,” Anderson said. “We’re proud of where we’re from.”
Chapin points to Queens of the Stone Age, one of the band’s influences, as an example of making a scene instead of playing to what already exists.
“That’s freeing; you’re free to make your own thing,” he said.
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