Stone Sour är just nu ute på en lång Europaturné. Vi träffade Josh Rand på Sweden Rock Festival och satte oss därför i en stekhet liten stuga och pratade om lite allt möjligt, som första mötet med Corey Taylor, senaste skivköpen och den ständiga jakten på riktig lycka:
“I don´t think it has anything to do with success or money or any of that stuff, because we´ve seen it over the last couple of years with the height in suicides with celebrities that you think have everything, but they still struggle, so I mean… it´s just us as poeple.”
How´s the tour been going?
It´s been fucking freezing. (laughs) No, it´s been going good, besides the weather, but it´s just the beginning. Overall it´s been awesome. The tour we´re on now is gonna be our longest European run, like seven weeks long, so we´ve got a couple of cities in there that we´ve never played before. I´m just looking forward to going out there and kicking butt.
It´s been almost a year since ”Hydrograd” came out. How do you look back on that album now?
We´re very proud of the record and I love the way we did the record, we chose to record it live for the most part. That in itself was so amazing and the response to it has been great. I think it´s hard to judge the success of a record now just solely on sales, because that´s how the industry is now and the times that we´re living in. I look at it as by the venues we´re playing in and how many people are coming out to see us and for that we are at the highest slots that we´ve been on at the festivals and we´re playing bigger rooms than we´ve ever played, for the tour, so I would say that the album´s been more than successful and we´re proud of it.
While you´re out on tour, do you come up with new stuff, things you record on your phone or whatever?
I have in the past, but I really haven´t done that much on this run. I went through some stuff (rehab) at the beginning of this year and I´m just glad to be back. I basically told myself, especially this European run, that I was gonna go out and try to enjoy as much of it as possible and I don´t just mean by playing. I mean actually sightseeing when I can and just really take everything in. I feel like part of it I might´ve taken for granted in the past and I just have this new found appreciation to everything that we´re gonna do and I wanna make the most of it.
You´ve travelled the world, you get to work with what you probably love the most, creating music, creating art and so on. At your age now, have you found out what true happiness is?
You know, that´s a really good question. I don´t know. I have that up and down that I´m sure everybody does about that. The main thing for me now was to feel better, physically and mentally, but I think all of us are in constant search of true happiness. When we have those ups and downs it´s a bummer… even today when I woke up and saw that Anthony Bourdain had killed himself I was just shocked. I was on a plane with him just acouple of months ago and I got to meet him before we took off and I told him ”Man,I love your show. That´s like what I watch before I go to bed.”, but there´s a perfect example of somebody that´s struggling. You think that just because they´re at this stature that everything´s perfect and it´s not necessarilly and we´re talking about a guy that got to see the world and truly see the world like most people never will and unfortunately he made that decision for whatever reason. You don´t really pay attention to it when your younger, it´s day by day and ”I´m just looking forward to having some beers in the weekend and hang out with my buddies and hoepfully we can pick up some chicks.” Then as you get older you have a family and then all of a sudden your kids are like… for me, my oldest is in college… I wouldn´t say I hit a midlife crisis, but I think what you need to do is you need to hit a reset of what your priorities are and that´s really what it comes down to. What´s importnat to you and what makes you happy. I think it´s an ongoing thing and I think everybody goes throught it, whether they wanna admit to it or not and I don´t think it has anything to do with success or money or any of that stuff, because we´ve seen it over the last couple of years with the height in suicides with celebrities that you think have everything, but they still struggle, so I mean… it´s just us as poeple.
You mentioned college. You went to Berklee college of music, right?
Well, I take classes online or I have been. I wish I could´ve attended, but now… I´m almost too old and the idea of getting up at 8 o´clock in the morning and going to class, I don´t care if it´s music or not… I started doing the online courses and I did it because I wanted to basically expand what I had already known. I grew up playing metal and rock, so I don´t really need to take any courses of that, so I started taking these online courses of blues, jazz and studf like that. Next thing I know, I´m really only one class away from having their masters certificate, so I have to do Jazz 101 at some point, which I´ll probably do after we´re done touring. One time I did take a class while we were out touring and it´s really difficult because if you don´t have good internet every day you´re in hell. I squeaked by the class, like D- and I´m like ”That´s awesome! I´m glad I´ve achieved this massive success on guitar and all these awards…” and it´s like ”You just gave me a D- and basically told me I was one note off from failing.” (laughs)
You and Corey have known each other for so long. What was it initially that made you guys hit it off? You were young teenagers. Was it just the love of music? There´s gotta be a certain chemistry between the two of you as well?
Yeah, I mean, we only lived like six houses apart when he ended up moving in with his grandma. It was weird, because I like walked up to the gas station and I totally remember the first time we met or whatever. I walked up to the gas station and got myself a big Mountain Dew and I was probably 15 or 14 at the time and I´m walking back and here´s this guy with this bushy blonde hair and a Flotsam and Jetsam shirt mowing the lawn in cut off jeans shorts. I´m just walking down and I was just intrigued by him wearing the Flotsam and Jetsam shirt to be honest, like ”Who the hell is this guy? Nobody listens to Flotsam and Jetsam. I gotta meet this guy.” Then literally, I walked by and I made a comment or something about his shirt and it was like ”Oh yeah, cool!” and then a couple of days later, another mutual friend, Johnny, said ”Yeah, you gotta meet this guy! He plays drums and lives right up the street from you.” and I´m like ”Oh, that guy!” and that´s just how we became friends. From one band rehearsal, Corey played drums, he didn´t sing and I played bass guitar… funny how things would change. Shawn (Economoki) was playing guitar. It was kinda crazy. I think it all worked out for us.
You buy a lot of records, right?
Or I have friends bring me like 20 of them. (laughs)
What are the latest ones you´ve bought? Do you buy different kinds of music or are you focused on metal music?
I buy all kinds of stuff. Literally the last two records I bought were the new Ghost record and then I bought Björk´s debut record. I´m all over the place. My collection´s over 1500 now, which might not seem that much to a lot of people, but considering I just started two years ago… but it keeps me busy and it´s just a great outlet and I truly enjoy listening to them. I mean, I have certain bands, like Mötley Crüe and Metallica that I actually try to collect everything I can get, but everything else I buy because I want to listen to it. At home a record is on almost constantly. We have two different systems, one upstairs and one downstairs and there´s vinyl on constantly.
Do you listen to jazz and stuff like that?
Yeah and before I left I was trying to track down a bunch of Wes Montgomery (1923-1968) stuff, especially as I gear up to take this Jazz 101 class. (laughs) Our collection, me and my fiancee´s, is just ridiculous. It´s not just metal, we have everything you can think of.
Collecting Mötley Crüe and Metallica stuff, are you the kinda guy that buys all the different Leathür Records pressings of ”Too fast for love” and like the Taiwanese pressings and stuff like that?
I´ve bought some of the different countries stuff, like I have the Japanese versions and Mexico versions… but I´m on the fence to be honest when it comes to the Leathür Records stuff. I believe there are three different pressings and I get freaked out because there are so many bootlegs of the album, so I would have to get it from a reliable source and that´s one of the reasons why I haven´t bought ”Toast of the town”, the 45. I know there are so many bootlegs and I really need to know that it came from a legit source. That Leath¨r stuff in the US sells for anywhere from $200 – $600 and that 45 is like anything from $1000 – $1600. One day I´ll get that, but as I said, I have to get it from a reliable source.
These days everybody´s got Discogs and so on, so it´s really hard to make those great finds.
It´s the same with music equipment. When we first started touring I´d go to a bunch of pawn shops and now everybody can just look it up and it´s not event hat, it´s just… everybody feels like they can get more out of it putting it online. You can´t fault anybody, but it´s a bummer now. Growing up and going to the record shows or whatever and having those finds, that doesn´t happen anymore. It happened to me in a music store last year in Oslo. I went to this music store and being this huge Metallica fan, finding the French 45 of ”Master of puppets”, which I had never seen, so I was stoked to find that. That´s really been the only thing. If you follow me on social media, you´ll see that I´m in a record store every other day, so to find something like that, it doesn´t happen.
Last time we talked you were here doing promo and you actually went to the Cliff Burton (1962-1986) memorial site (where the bus crashed). What are your memories of that? It´s in the middle of nowhere.
Yeah, that´s the main thing. I´m glad that I did it, but the amount of travel it took to get there and it´s not like I have a car or easy access to just say ”Hey, I´m gonna go there today!”. It was like hopping on different trains and everything, but he had such a huge impact on me and so did Metallica, so I had to go. And I´m really thankful that I did, even though it was quite the journey to get there and back. Like I said, I mean… I love the fact… as much as I love his playing, I love what I´ve read about his personality. He wore bellbottoms and everything else and it was like ”Fuck you guys! I´m gonna do whatever I wanna do!” and I love that. He had that punk rock mentality, but he was very musical too if you look at what he brought to Metallica. I really credit him as a breathe of change and Lars talk about how they became more musical with all the harmonies and all of that and it´s obvious that he brought that to the band. Just the jump from ”Kill ém all” (1983) to ”Ride the lightning” (1984), which really is only a year, but musically it´s light years apart, the maturity of the song writing, so he definitely brought this whole element to them.
Text: Niclas Müller-Hansen
Foto: Therés Stephansdotter Björk, Björn Olsson