Most touring bands book years of shows in dingy rock venues, playing for few more than the members of other groups on the bill before getting the call up to the big leagues. On its debut road trek, Los Angeles rockers Stars in Stereo nabbed such a spot opening for post-hardcore favorites The Used.
“It’s been like going to rock school, watching them and learning,” guitarist Jordan McGraw said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better first tour.”
Added bassist Justin Siegel, “To have an example like that, guys who have been touring since we were kids, has been so invaluable. Also, their tour bus is absolutely spotless. We hope to achieve that level of cleanliness one day.”
The dates with The Used folded right into a supporting slot on Foxy Shazam’s tour, which includes a stop next Wednesday at Diamond Ballroom. It’s not by chance that these opportunities have come early, but by matter of design. Like Thunder GM Sam Presti, Stars in Stereo meticulously plotted a course and has executed it with surgical precision.
“We came together at the right time. We wanted to do something that was really organized with a true purpose behind it. We set out to do exactly what we have come out with,” Siegel said. “We sat down, figured out what we wanted to do, how were going to do it, and promised not to settle for anything less.”
The four founding members — including guitarist Ryan McCormack and drummer Drew Langan — found a lead singer in former solo artist Bec Hollcraft and made short order of writing and recording Stars in Stereo’s debut LP, due later this year.
The band is already making waves with the recently released lead single, “The Broken” — sounding like a heavier, but equally polished Paramore — and hopes the big tours keep rolling out as to spread what they believe is a long forgotten, positive message in emo-alternative music.
“A lot of bands come out with every negative emotion and horror story they have and throw it onto one album,” McGraw said. “We knew we didn’t want to do that. We wanted something that people could feel good about after listening to it. I think that’s needed as much or more than ever right now.”
Added Siegel, “That’s not to say sad songs aren’t good. We just didn’t want that to be our first impression.”