APTN: Stereophonics Tour Australia

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UK rock stars Stereophonics Sunday closed out their Australian tour, playing to a crowd of thousands of fans at an MTV sponsored festival in Sydney’s iconic Hyde Park.

The band headlined the free public festival for the “Optus One80Project” in a star-studded park party with tons of glamour and glitz.  MTV held the event to announce the winner of an Australian competition for upcoming filmmakers.

Stereophonics crossed Oz, playing sold out shows in the country’s major cities. They took a break during soundcheck at their first Sydney show to chat with The Associated Press about touring Australia.

“It’s been going really good,” said Stereophonics lead singer Kelly Jones.  “It’s the first time we’ve been back for two years.  The kid’s been great, the crowd’s been really good, really into the new stuff and that, so it’s all been good.”

Stereophonics regularly traverses the globe while touring.  Something lead vocalist Kelly Jones says he likes, because he has more creativity in live shows. “At this point in time, I think, the music industry is in a strange place,” he said. “So I think the way that bands kind of feel free, and artistic again, is by playing gigs.”

The band released their seventh record “Keep Calm and Carry On” this past November, which they say has been successful, in part, because they try to change song styles with each new album.

“It’s interesting to kind of take yourself out of your comfort zone, and try to find things that don’t necessarily feel great to do, but they get good results,” said Kelly Jones.

With an intense tour schedule, keeping the music fresh is something bassist Richard Jones says, in part, comes from the audience: “You know the energy of the band on the stage, is taken from the crowd a lot of the times,” he said.  “If the crowd goes mental then we can react to that and it give the songs a little bit of an edgier vibe as well.”

The band says they feel welcomed the world over.  And although some describe them as a typical UK rock group, they like to think of themselves as having more American influences than British.

“We were brought up with older brothers and they were listing to everything from Neil Young, to Credence Clear Water Revival, or Dylan,” recalls Kelly Jones.

While travel can get exhausting, the band uses the time to write new music and hangout with one another.

Quality time, which Kelly Jones says, makes the trips a lot more fun: “The last five years the band’s been pretty strong and friendships in the band is good… So I think it makes it much easier when you’re traveling across the world with people that you actually get on with.”

Stereophonics now returns to Europe to play the upcoming festival season.