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ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS SEXSTONE

WE'RE AN AMERiCAN BAND
TRENT RiLEY OF SEXSTONE
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR DEBUT LP THE PAiNFUL SiDE OF TRUE
FiNDiNG THE iDEAL FRONT MAN
AND TAKiNG THAT NEXT STEP
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iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
Nothing is more exciting than a rock n roll dream that is on the verge of coming true, especially in these frightening economic times. Established in 2004, the Kentucky-based SEXSTONE started out with a dark, moody sound reminiscent of THE DOORS. For whatever reason members left but the heart of the band guitarist STEVE WHEELER and bassist TRENT RILEY decided to forge on as an eighties cover band in pursuit of a sultry, female singer. What they got instead was a young, dashing front man and prolific songwriter named STEVE BAUER who introduced a more tempered alternative rock sensibility to the band. Having established a devoted following throughout the southeastern states and favorable press, SEXSTONE have released their eagerly awaited debut LP THE PAINFUL SIDE OF TRUE a rocking catalog of lifes highs, lows and second chances.

ROCKWIRED spoke with bassist TRENT RILEY of SEXSTONE over the phone. Here is how it went.

Now that your CD is out there for people to hear, how do you feel about the finished product?
Were proud of it. We worked hard for a little over a year just to get the songs written. Were very, very proud of it.

What about the actual recording? How long did that take?
We actually recorded on and off for about a couple of weeks with a local guy here. As far as the mixing and the mastering, it took a little over two months to get it all finished and sounding good.

Talk about the name SEXSTONE. I noticed in my initial e-mails to you guys that I was misspelling it. Where does the name come from?
You know, we actually keep that under wraps. We havent gotten around to disclosing that information just yet.

Then talk about how this band began.
Actually, SEXSTONE has been around since 2004 but with a completely different line up. At around 2007, me and my guitarist STEVE WHEELER had decided to put together a project and look for a female singer. We started auditioning all kinds of girls around the area. We wanted to put together an eighties cover band and give the material a kind of country-rock crossover kind of sound. We auditioned all kinds of girls all over the area and could not find the right girl that could do what we wanted her to do. Eventually we started getting all of these random e-mails from everybody and anybody in our area that was looking to sing with us and then we happened to get one back from STEVE BAUER who said to us Im not quite a female but I can sing. He sent us this song FALLING AWAY and its the third track on our CD. It was a rough recording. It sounded like it was recorded on a microphone with a computer with just him on a guitar and singing. We fell in love with the song. He came in and did a little audition and we just loved what he had. He is a great writer and a singer and we stuck with him. Weve been through a couple of drummers since then but all in all things have worked out. Its been a great ride ever since.

Talk about he current members of the band.
The lead guitar player STEVE WHEELER and I have been with this thing the longest. He is a great guitarist and hes got a lot of eighties influence in him hair bands and things like that. Hes a clown, especially on stage. Hes pretty much for the lack of a better word the balls of the band. He plays a LES PAUL through a MARSHALL stack which gives us that ballsy sound that we have. STEVEN BAUER joined the band in the fall of 07 and he is just a wonderful writer and singer. Onstage he is just a great performer. He takes the stage over and he takes the crowd over and gets everybody involved in the show. His day job is teaching middle school and he coaches girls basketball. Hes just a regular guy.

Sounds like a cool teacher to me!
Hes a great guy. BRYAN THOMAS is our current drummer. Hes actually not the drummer that played on this last album. TROY DALTON played on the album. He had twins around the time that the CD was released. He got so busy around that time that he actually had to kind of back down. BRYAN THOMAS has been with us for about two months now. Hes played in tons of local bands around this area. He had actually played in a couple of cover bands with STEVE back in the day. He is just the perfect fit. Hes got the same kind of personality that we do and hes an excellent drummer. Just a wonderful guy and hes a little bit of a showman on stage. Weve kind of got a full package now and were ready to go.

How did music begin for you?
I think it started with my older brother. He had a huge 8-track tape collection and my favorite was KISS. I remember being five years old and painting my face up like ACE FREHLEY with my tennis racket in front of the mirror and miming along to the 8-track stereo. Ever since then, music has always been a part of me. Throughout high school I was more of a jock. I played basketball and I really didnt pick up an instrument until I was nineteen. After picking up my first guitar, I just fell in love with it. Ive been in bands off and on ever since.

Youve already told me that STEVE brought this one song to you guys and you all just went for it. Talk about the songwriting process in this band. Who does that get relegated to and how does that get done?
The album that we just did is all STEVE BAUER. Hes actually got a huge song book with over a hundred songs that he has written over the years. A lot of them have the music finished. Hell come in with an acoustic guitar and play them for us and we will get together as a band and add something to it. That was pretty much how this album was recorded. Its a lot of old songs that hes had over the years and we just add our own little flavor to it and we put it on CD.

And of the songs on this, which songs stand out for you the most personally and why?
FALLING AWAY is one of my favorites. It takes you from the beginning to the end of a relationship and it just really hits home with a lot of people. Even though it is one of BAUERs stories you can relate to it through your own life and find something in it that really hits home for you. Its also got one of my favorite bass lines to play. I really enjoy that song. It takes you on a ride. THANK YOU is a fun song to play. Its our fans favorite song to hear live. Its great to see everybody get pumped for hat one and sing along to it. It give youre a great vibe. BRIGHTER SIDE OF BLUE is also a favorite. Its a story about struggling with addiction and finding that one person that can help you conquer your addiction. It really hits home with a lot of people also.

Talk a little more about how live audiences have reacted to the material.
Here at home, weve got a nice little following. It started out as just a couple of friends coming together to see us to where weve got tons of people coming in. Weve got a nice following and Im blown away by how much everybody likes the songs. Were at the point now where people are actually singing along to the some of the songs. It feels great. Even when we go out of our area where people dont know who we are, we always get a great response. Were getting rid of a lot of CDs.

Whats next for the band musically?
On the first weekend of November, were going down to record with BRANDON MASHBURN in Springfield, Missouri. BRANDON just finished up the new TRUST COMPANY album that is coming out in 2010. Hes an up and coming producer. Hes done a lot of mixing with bands like THREE DAYS OF GRACE . Weve got a good thing going right now. Hes going to do three tracks for us and were gonna do a label placement with ERIC BAKER MUSIC and R.A.R. ENTERTAINMENT out of Nashville. Theyve got some ties to UNIVERSALs ARSENAL RECORDS. In two weeks, its going to be a completely different ride. Were going to be taking a step up in the world and see what we can do with it.

What would you like someone to co me away with after theyve heard this CD?
Id like them to walk away feeling that it really hit home with them. One of my personal favorite quotes is if you cant feel the music it aint worth listening to. I think music should be listened to but that you should also be able to feel the emotion behind it. I would like for people to find a part of their life in each of our songs.