INTERVIEW: Stop Dead

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It’s easy to tell that an artist is completely immersed in his or her work. Their eyes light up the moment you give the slightest hint of their project. Their smile widens as they prepare to speak. The moment they lose their selves in discourse, their entire being radiates. I must say it is the most glorious thing. That said, speaking with Ryan Gose (This Century) about his side project under the moniker Stop Dead was simply fascinating—inspiring to say the least.

So, I’m glad to see that you’re back. You’ve launched your project about.. has it been a year now?
Um, Stop Dead… yeah

In August it’s going to be a year. Time passes very fast. And how is that coming along?
Good. It’s kinda been like a thing where it’s just when I have time right now, since I’m busy with This Century. But I’m trying to make more time for it whenever I can. I just released an acoustic, kind of folky thing to go with the existing EP. I just packaged it together and gave it away like a week ago or something.

And with the original, not counting the acoustic-deluxe version, what would you say is your favourite track? Which is your favourite lyrically? Musically?
My favourite song is probably “Control,” it’s just kind of like it seems to be most people’s favourite song.

It’s a really fun song. It’s really dance-y. Do you dance to it when you perform it? (laughs)
Uh, not so much, I move to it a little bit but uh (laughs)

Moving is dancing (laughs)
Yeah! And the other song would probably be… this song is actually called “Stop Dead.” In a lyric in that song, that’s why I decided to call the project ‘Stop Dead’

What exactly about the track “Stop Dead” would you say… what makes it stand out of all the others?
To me, […] like any song I write is like how ever I’m feeling that day…

So it’s very personal?
Yeah, all of them are in a sense to me, whether it’s about somebody or something I’m going through. But that song in particular is just me thinking about the state I was in, and how I was behaving in that state, and how I should behave in that state, I guess.

And transferring this to acoustic…and in fact, what pushed you to do these songs acoustically, and release them that way?
Well, I was just kind of like, I’d realized that I put that first EP out and had a pretty big gap of time with not doing anything with the project, and as soon as this tour is over I’ll be in the studio doing another EP, but not recorded in my bedroom, […] (laughs)

But that’s actually… for something that you recorded in your bedroom, it’s really great quality.
Thanks!

You guys have great skills for that! (laughs)
Well, I wanted it to have that garage-y sound and everything. Yes, so I did the acoustic one just ‘cause I wanted to offer something new. That’s why I made a big point on not just doing a carbon copy of the original song and that happens to be on the acoustic guitar, but it was kind of reinvented into a new song a little bit. It’s a very different vibe I’m sure. Like banjo, and playing guitar.

Yeah, but it’s nice though. I feel like acoustic just has that more intimate feeling. It’s so raw, instead of electronic where you have all these modifications. I think it was a great choice.
Thanks.

So about Stop Dead, do you think it’s just going to remain a one-man thing? Or is it going to evolve into this huge band, if you have the time?
No I’m uh, behind close doors, talking to people who are joining up in the project and actually go out and play and do the whole band thing with it, still when I have time of course. That’s always the thing. But I just kind of figured I’d get a little band together and play a show randomly. Whenever, wherever.

Like random secret shows?
Yeah.

That’s cool. I think it’s doable. I mean there are lots of band members who have all these side projects and they’re able to juggle it. It’s just…you just have to get used to it.
Yeah I mean, even friends on this tour, we play on other stuff as well. Fortunately I have a lot of friends that happen to be pretty good musicians.

Lucky you. It must be Arizona (laughs)
(laughs) Yeah, most are from Arizona, it’s weird.

I know right?
And California too.

So I guess your response has been really good then?
Yeah, it’s great! There is definitely it seems like more male fans than I have in This Century, maybe it’s just the sound, but everybody that… I haven’t got a lot,  any negative feedback. And that feels good ‘cause I was definitely putting myself out there, having not released anything before, so it’s cool to have a positive response.

Always. Of course. I think that a positive response is always a good way to motivate you to continue, especially that since you said it’s your first time you put yourself out there. So, do you think that you could maybe break down the other songs for us?
Sure. Well, “Control,” I think I kinda broke that one a little bit. That’s just kinda like, more just being hung-over (laughs) and just thinking about the night I had, and just reflecting on the past month I’d had, our schedule.. a little wild, going out, partying a lot… So that’s just kind of supposed to be a fun song, not too serious. “Burn It Up” for me was more, just about an occasion where I was just in a flirty instance and wasn’t trying to think anything through with the person I was hanging out with, but just living in the moment. Which uh, my mom thought that song was about something very different. I had to explain to her […] She thought I was talking about something really bad and I was like “no I’m not”.

Oh my god. Mom, I’m not like that! (laughs)
(in a high-pitched voice) I don’t know you anymore!

Oh my god.
“Stop Dead,” I kinda went through that already with you guys. “Gorgeous” was just, kinda just a little play on words, like people who think they are hot shit but don’t realize they have to have a good personality as well, and be caring and considerate to people. So I was telling Gorgeous to drop dead.

Wow, so direct!
(laughs)

So, we are going to finish with.. well you already told us that you were thinking of having another EP come out.
Yes, I will have another EP out.

Would it be still 4 songs, 6 songs, maybe take the direction of an LP?
Well, I mean there’s at least 4 songs that I’m already going to do on it, and there’s the 5 others that I could put together and finish. It just kind of depends on A) the time I have, and yeah, I could end up doing 6. I’d like to do 6.

I’d like that. It would be really nice.
That will be out this fall if all goes as planned, and the idea is to actually have four separate EPs over the next year.

And would it be like sort of following a theme, or they would interconnect or, like they’d be “Part 1” and “Part 2”
Possibly! I haven’t thought that through that much! But that’s a good idea! (laughs)

Oh, I’m giving you ideas! (laughs)
So it just gonna be like, 16 songs over the year, of just 4 track EPs

That’s nice, I like that idea. Looking forward to it.
I’m excited to put it out there. Hopefully it gets a good response, and start playing shows out, and things like that.

Well I have ultimate faith in you!
Thank you very much!

Well, thank you for your time!
It was a pleasure!

If you haven’t gotten your copy of Some Kind of Dangerous and the Acoustic EP, be sure to visit tinyurl.com/stopdead for a free download! (By Nathania Wreh & Jessica Pascarella)

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