Roadrunner Records recently caught up with Stone Sour guitarist Josh Rand to talk about the band’s new album ‘House Of Gold & Bones Part 1.’ A couple of excerpts from the chat can be found below.
‘House Of Gold & Bones Part 1’ is the first of two forthcoming Stone Sour concept albums, which tell the story of a man at the crossroads of his life.
Rand said that when Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor first approached him with the idea in October last year, he was immediately taken to it: “…I felt like from a musical standpoint it would allow us to do whatever we wanted. Not that we haven’t done that in the past, but I really felt like it could really open some doors musically. And how we write as a band is, all of us contribute from the music side of things, and he’s always written the lyrics. So the biggest thing for me was, I wanted us to be a lot more aggressive than ‘Audio Secrecy.’ Can we go in that direction? And he was like ‘yeah, let’s do it all…we had gotten away from that over the last 10 years, so it was kinda cool to bring that aspect back into the band.”
From there, Rand explained that everything started to fall into place: “…that was when I really started giving him the stuff I had written on, later on in the year, like December. I flew down to Jacksonville, and Jim [Root] just jams, that’s how he writes, so it’s usually me that’ll sit down and go through all the stuff he records, ’cause he’s very much an improv player. And I started pulling a couple of ideas from that, and Roy [Mayorga] started submitting stuff, and we got together in January in Des Moines and just started putting everything together.”
He added that although it was a concept album, each track on ‘House Of Gold & Bones Part 1’ could be played as a standalone song: “We said, ‘we’re going to adopt the ideas of those stories and stuff, but it’s still going to be a Stone Sour record, where you can still pull those individual songs.’ We just wanted to offer something more – in a world where it’s all about singles, we just wanted to do something different.”
While all of Stone Sour’s lyrics are written by Corey Taylor, Rand said that writing the music was very much a collaborative effort: “How we work is, musically, I’ll write down how I think the song should be or a structure, and when I get it to where I’m happy then I give it to him, and he’ll either tell me to rewrite certain parts, or switch stuff around, or he’ll just write lyrics to it as it is. We’ve had songs in the past where I’ve sent him music, he’s written lyrics, and that’s how the song is, and there’s other times where it’s like ‘What if you change this?’ or ‘What if you change this riff?’ So that’s how we write. And then bringing in the other two, like I said, with Jim, he does so much improv and records that way that it’s usually helping him build those songs, whether it’s me going through that same process, or Corey.”
Rand said fans should expect to hear a number of new songs when the band next head out on tour: “In South America, we’re gonna do four. But when we get to Europe, there’s been talk of doing five, possibly six. And by the time we get to the US next year, who knows where we’ll be with it. I’d be leaning more toward five or six by then.”