The Catchy Five-Piece A STORY TOLD Discuss New Music, What Has Changed Since Their First Album and Much More!
Posted On 10 Oct 2017
A Story Told, are an emotionally forward and irresistibly catchy five-piece outfit that is pioneering their way through the West Virginia scene. The band is gearing up for the release of Good Looks, a follow up to the 2016 LP Keep Watch, which gained significant recognition on Spotify with over 1.5 Million streams to date. Good Looks is due out October 13th and will feature their first single/music video, “Good As Gold” which embodies the album’s messaging that “good looks ain’t everything.”
Learn more about A Story Told in the following All Access interview:
Q: Thanks for your time! Where does this interview find the band today? Is there music playing in the background? What music do you all like to listen to when you are relaxing or answering interview questions?
A: We are currently relaxing in our apartment in our home state of West Virginia after a long day of rehearsals for our upcoming tour in October. No music playing in the background at the moment, but we’ll usually throw on Ryan Adam’s version of 1989 to chill out and answer questions.
Q: How does 2017 so far compare to last year? How differently did you all approach this year then you did 2016?
A: We are a band that likes to stay busy, so 2016 and 2017 have been very similar in that sense. We spent the majority of 2016 promoting and touring on our debut album “Keep Watch”, finding time in between to write new material. I think we learned a lot about being in band and figured out exactly what we wanted out of A Story Told during this time, so we entered 2017 more focused than we have ever been. We knew that new music was necessary to facilitate a rebirth of this band so to speak, so we hit the studio the first of the year and the result was our upcoming record “Good Looks”.
Q: Can you recall the moment you all realized that you could really make music together and be this band?
A: Definitely during the writing and recording of our debut record “Keep Watch” did we think we could actually create something special between the five of us. We had written a couple EPs prior to this time, but we never really had a sense of direction or identity when recording them. With “Keep Watch”, we figured out who we were and how all of us could work together to make something that was true to us.
Q: Why do you think your name truly represents this group and the music that you create? Where did your name come from in the first place?
A: It was important for us to identify ourselves with a name that represented the listeners as much as it represented the actual band. Everyone has a story to tell. It’s our goal to bring those stories together with our music to create a community all in its own to live and grow together.
Q: I always like to ask artists how their hometown has been an influence on the kind of music they make and really what kind of a band they are today. So how do you think your hometown in West Virginia has affected you and the music that you create?
A: I think being from West Virginia has definitely influenced us as a band and the type of music that we create. Being from a place that isn’t saturated by one certain type of music, we don’t necessarily feel the pressure to create something just to “fit in.” This has allowed us, as well as many other talented bands in the WV music scene, to create something that we can call our own and that is 100% us.
Q: Let’s talk about your forthcoming album called “Good Looks” that you will be releasing next month. What was it like putting this collection together? What was the inspiration for these songs?
A: We definitely tried to step outside our comfort zone with this new album. This time around we intentionally challenged ourselves to write a more focused record, incorporating a ton of new influences and trying new things, all while keeping the integrity of the band. As much as this was a challenge, it also produced a whole new level of excitement for the band and the music we were creating. In terms of inspiration, there is definitely some debris from our last album that carried over into Good Looks, but as a whole we really wanted to hit on new subject matters and write a record that focused on the present times that we are living in. Social media and the role it plays in today’s society was a huge inspiration for this record.
Q: What was it like making your video for “Good As Gold”?
A: “Good As Gold” was shot over a two day period in this super cool retro motel in the small town of Romney, West Virginia. This was the first piece of visual content being produced for the new record, so it was really cool to finally be able to put a face to what we were talking about on the record. Free lodging after each day’s shoot was a pretty cool perk as well.
Q: How creatively involved were you all with the whole process? How does this song embody the album’s overall message?
A: The image of our band is just as important to us as the music, so we like to have as much control creatively as possible with our music videos. This video was no exception. With this being the first piece of work from our upcoming record that fans would see, we wanted to use the video to establish the tone and feel of the album and take a head first dive into this reoccurring theme of “good looks ain’t everything”.
Q: How do you think this group has grown and changed since your 2016 album, “Keep Watch” was put out? What has remained the same about your sound and your dynamics?
A: The success of our debut album “Keep Watch” totally took us by surprise. We never really expected people to care as much as they did. We quickly saw how much of an impact our music could make and in return learned so much about ourselves as a band and as people. So there definitely has been growth in many aspects since this release. As stereotypical as it is, this new record is less about just doing whatever we can to make a good song that’s true to us, but more about being confident in knowing what makes us and staying true to it.
Q: I’d love to know more about how this group has been able to successfully reach so many people via streaming? Were there other unsigned bands that you learned from along the way?
A: I think all of us as music listeners ourselves were pretty big fans of services like Spotify and Apple Music very early on. With this band, we have always chosen to operate it in a way as if we were the listener. What kind of music would we want to hear and how would we want to consume that music? From the beginning, we have always put an emphasis on free streaming services because this is how we were/still are consuming music. Our main goal was always just to be heard. We figured we’d worry about the making money part later. Instead of fighting it, we recognized streaming as the future of music and embraced very early on its power to be able to spread our music all around the world.
Q: Do you have any upcoming shows planned for the fall season? Where can people see you perform next? Where do you think you are all happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording new music or elsewhere?
A: We will be hitting the road in October with an amazing pop punk band from Chicago called 7 Minutes in Heaven. This run will be covering most of the Northeast, which includes a hometown date for a special album release show. As much as we enjoy being in the studio and creating, our true love will always be the live performance. There is just a certain type of connection that is established between the performer and the listener in a live setting that can’t be recreated with a recording.
Q: With the summer being just about over, what was your favorite part about it? What was something fun that this group did or tried?
A: With the new record completely finished, we spent the majority of the summer working behind the scenes to prep for its fall release. However, we did find the time to try some new things and have a little bit of fun. We got out to Chicago for the first time which was an absolute blast. We got back to Nashville which is always a good time. We even used the filming of our music video for a new song called Feel Bad as an excuse to go to the beach. We were kind of all over the place this summer which kept things new and exciting.
Q: We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these hard times?
A: Absolutely. I know for us, our new record has been a direct result of everything going on in the world today and it’s very cool to be able to use it as an outlet for people to escape to. Although it only focuses on one of many issues currently going on, we have found it important to discuss current affairs in hopes to provide comfort to others as well as ourselves. I think a lot of artists right now are using their platform to communicate social and political issues which is very cool to see. Music is all about bringing people together and I think it’s more important than ever right now.
Q: Who are some of your favorite artists? Is there anyone that you would still love to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for this band?
A: Of course we love blink-182. They are the reason why most of us, and most of the bands you listen to, picked up an instrument in the first place. We’re also huge fans of bands like One Republic, Kings of Leon, and Third Eye Blind. Those larger than life rock bands. We do also love pop artists such as Lorde and Taylor Swift. A dream collaboration for us would definitely be working with Ryan Tedder from One Republic.
Q: What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
A: We wear our hearts on our sleeves. The goal has always been to be as honest as possible with our music in hopes that someone out there can relate. We have witnessed firsthand the impact music can have on a person. This band is our form of paying that forward.
Q: What advice would you give to a band just getting started? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
A: Consistency is key. Stay who you are and don’t let something/someone stand in your way of what you want in life. Work hard and you will find success.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about the band or your music?
A: Thanks for listening and we can’t wait for you to hear our upcoming record Good Looks!