Hello Stars Hollow….Welcome to the Clunk universe.
Hello! Thank you! Glad to be here, in spirit of course.
Please tell us where you are based and describe your surroundings so we can get a mind’s eye picture of where you’re at.
We’re based out of Des Moines, Iowa. It’s right in the middle of the United States. Lots of corn fields, farms, and empty areas outside of the city. The city itself is alright though, just like any medium sized Midwestern city.
Thanks, could you please introduce us to the band….who does what etc. How did you get together?
I’m Tyler Stodghill, I play guitar and do vocals.
Gavin Brown is our bassist and he does backing vocals as well.
Andrew Ferren is our drummer.
I’m actually the only member of the original lineup. Andrew joined after our first drummer quit before we wrote our second EP, Happy Again. Andrew had been in other bands with me and also recorded the first Stars Hollow EP.
Gavin joined in 2019 after our bassist left. He pressed our first run of vinyl for Happy Again and cared a lot about the band. I liked his band Lakenheath and knew he was a good musician, so asking him was a no brainer.
The lineup we have now is really tight, and we have great songwriting chemistry.
Stars Hollow is an interesting band name. How did that come about? Were there any other names in the hat?
When the band started in 2015, I was watching the show Gilmore Girls pretty much every day. I was pretty depressed, and there were lots of episodes, so it was easy to binge while avoiding going out and doing things.
The town in that show is named Stars Hollow. It’s this tiny close knit town where everyone knows everything about each other. It just felt like it fit, and no one else had used the name yet, so we went with it! The name is kind of misleading if you haven’t seen the show.
Our bassist at the time really liked the name The Joy Addict. It was taken from a poem. It was a good name, but just didn’t feel quite right for what we were doing. He ended up using that name for another band that fit the vibe way more, so it worked out!
Your debut album ‘I Want To Live My Life’ is out now. Where has the inspiration come from? How long has the process of writing to release taken? Any hiccups on the way?
The inspiration came from feeling stuck and held hostage by my own fears about life. There were a few drafts, but I ended up going with the concept of something evil being in the closet. Being comforted by it always being there even though it didn’t bring any comfort. It matches up with the feeling of generally feeling helpless to make things better and be a better person while being complacent because it’s just easier.
Also a lot of self reflection and realizing I wasn’t who I wanted to be. The record goes through the process of breaking free from that and exploring the fears and pains in life along the way.
We’re a slow writing band for a lot of reasons. We all have full time jobs, I’m really picky when it comes to writing, and life just gets in the way sometimes. Most of these songs have been written on my end since 2018/early 2019. We fleshed them out in early 2019 and started tracking drums that September.
As far as hiccups, COVID-19 threw a bit of a wrench in things. It really messed with our recording schedule. Other than that, the process was relatively smooth. It just took way longer than expected.
Who did the artwork for the album? The person sitting in the window is looking out at people playing in the field…..but what’s in the box?
Alexis Politz! They have done all of our art since 2016.
The box is a music box! Like one of the little wind up ones.
The first track has the music box playing the melody that appears throughout the record, and “…” and But Better take place in the same setting as well.
The music box kind of represents another comfort that’s not necessarily comforting anymore.
Have you pencilled in some dates to get the record on the road?
Not yet! It’ll depend on a lot of factors. We’re really just waiting for it to be safe before we dive back into touring. We’re all vaccinated, so we’re one step closer!
Any bands/artists from your locality that may not have come to our attention that you recommend?
There’s a new band named Bouquet from our area. They’re really good. Kayak Jones is also from Iowa, and they’re ridiculously underrated. Most of the bands we’re friends with are spread out throughout the US, but those two absolutely rip and they’re close to home.
Thanks for taking the time with Clunk. We hope the record sells bucketloads and we get to see you in the North of England some time!
We hope so too! Thank you so much!