INTERVIEW WITH STATION GUITARIST CHRIS LANE
Date: October 18, 2019
Photos: Steven Lane Photography (photos 1, 4 and 6)
NEW YORK MELODIC ROCKERS STATION CONSISTING OF LEAD VOCALIST PATRICK KEARNEY, GUITARIST CHRIS LANE, BASSIST EMI ASTA AND DRUMMER TONY BAPTIST ARE ABOUT TO RELEASE THEIR THIRD FULL-LENGTH ALBUM ‘STAINED GLASS‘ ON NOVEMBER 1, 2019, WHICH FOLLOWS UP THEIR EP ‘WIRED‘ (2014), THEIR SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM (2015) AND SECOND FULL-LENGTH RECORD ‘MORE THAN THE MOON.’ STATION’S UPCOMING RECORD IS SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT THAN THE LAST ONE AND SLEAZE ROXX CAUGHT UP WITH GUITARIST CHRIS LANE TO FIND OUT ABOUT IT AND MUCH MORE. ‘STAINED GLASS’ CAN BE PRE-ORDERED VIA STATION’S BANDCAMP PAGE.
Sleaze Roxx: I am always curious on how bands pick their album titles. So how did you guys come up with ‘Stained Glass’ for your upcoming new record?
Chris Lane: Yeah, yeah. So it’s actually a combination of three things at once. It’s a song on the album. It’s our first instrumental actually, which is kind of cool. The concept of ‘Stained Glass’ for us was actually not like stained glass like you see in a church. So it’s actually — the theme of the album is the fact that there’s music coming from all over our career — songs that were written earlier on but never recorded, and new songs. So it’s a combination of the last couple of years and the reason that we picked ‘Stained Glass’ was the idea of filling up the same glass over and over again, and having remnants of yesterday today. So it’s an interesting kind of thing for us to reinterpret — let’s just say realize — songs that we were written by past us-es by modern us-es.
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] OK. So you guys have included an instrumental. Why did you decide to do that?
Chris Lane: It just felt right. We had the song and it was called ‘Stained Glass.’ It’s inspired by a trip — I live on Long Island in New York [State]. Long Island has a wine region so it was inspired just by driving through the region, which is really beautiful. You know, we kind of all played together and it was very serendipitous in the sense to have a song called that. It made sense in that it was very much keeping with the concept and we decided to run with it.
Sleaze Roxx: Last time we spoke was about a year and a half ago…
Chris Lane: Wow!
Sleaze Roxx: Yeah. Well, you did do an interview with Tyson [Briden] in between. So we spoke about two songs — “Never Enough” and “All You Need Is A Heartbeat” — and at that time, you told me that they didn’t quite fit for ‘More Than The Moon’ but this time, they’re on the album. What changed during that period of time?
Chris Lane: Well, that’s exactly the concept for our album. It’s about songs from all across our career thus far. You know, “Never Enough” and “Heartbeat” represented songs that we felt strongly about that — like I said — didn’t necessarily jive with what we were doing on ‘More Than The Moon.’ So in this case where we are kind of doing more of a showcase concept, it belonged there because it represents a period of time of our songwriting.
Sleaze Roxx: Why did you decide this time around to delve back into your older tracks that didn’t make it onto previous albums?
Chris Lane: Well, that actually wasn’t the initial decision going forward. What actually dictated why things fell the way they did was we built our own studio and now, we have the ability to record whenever we want. And we’re already working on a fourth album. So what we do is we record a lot of songs at once and choose the ones that we feel fit together. We’ve kind of adopted this policy that if we like the song, like the content, waiting two, three years to release a song that we feel strongly about is, it’s torture. You’ll write a million songs in between and second guess yourself but now we have the ability to say, “Hey, I like this song. I want to show the world.” So it’s just the first collection of songs that came out that way and very organically as we chose those songs. We saw a theme kind of arising where, “Look! We’re choosing songs that weren’t necessarily written in the last two months.” Songs that we feel strongly about written over different periods of time. So it just worked out that way.
Station‘s “Never Enough” video (single released in November 2017 and to appear on upcoming Stained Glass album):
From the LP “Stained Glass”Buy on Bandcamp: https://stationnyc.bandcamp.com/►Linktree: https://www.stationband.com/linktree►Facebook: https://www.facebook.co…
Sleaze Roxx: So take me through the songs and which ones are from which era of Station.
Chris Lane: Oh yeah! Sure. Let me just pull up the track list in front of me. The first track, the lead track off the album, the first single “A Matter of Time”, that’s a new song. That’s a song that has been written in the last six months or so. The song is about kind of getting everything together and it’s about recognizing authenticity because one of the things that we find is that our basic mission statement of the band is to be honest with ourselves, and we don’t like romanticizing and fantasizing about things that are just not real. So, Station music is very much a reflection of what we’re going through. It’s not, you know, fantasy, like well, “I was up last night on my trip to the moon.” We don’t write like that.
“Emily” — the second track — is a reinterpretation of a song that we had a very long time ago. There’s a funny story behind this one. So the song itself, originally, had a different title. It’s really hard to have a girl’s name that has three syllables. You know, we were kind of playing the baby naming game [laughs] going through these girls’ names and looking for these names. We all said, “Well, what about Emily?” And our bassist is like singing and laughing. We’re like, “What’s funny about Emily?” He goes, “My name is Emiliano and the chorus goes ‘Emily, I know.'” Just saying it, it’s “Emiliano.”
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Chris Lane: So we were like, “Well, that has to be the one then.” So we picked that. “Never Enough” — obviously we released it in late 2017. We just remastered it for this record. “I See You Everywhere” — I believe is a song that we played at our very first show. And one of the things that we really couldn’t;t do for a very long time was we couldn’t invest in the production of it to get it to what we wanted. When we did the first record, the reason that we didn’t include it was because we thought that it was too similar to some of the other songs that we had in the sense that it was just another harder edge song and we wanted to diversify. The second time around, it just didn’t fall into the pool of songs that we were working on. This is exactly why we made this record because we were like, “The song is good. We like the song.” If we keep waiting for an “opportunity” to put it on, it’s never going to see the light of day. So that was that one.
“Angel” is also a song that is from very long time ago early on in the band. What we did was Pat and I wrote it originally and over the last — I think — three years or so, I’ve just been toying with it. So what I did is that I completely re-wrote the song other than the chorus that we originally had and I said it to Pat, “Look, I reworked the song. Can you just apply lyrics to it that will represent what you want to say in it?” So it was that kind of coordination with it. I’m really proud of the way “Angel” came out on the record because to me, the song is very much a journey that it really wasn’t a writing process. As you listen to it, you’ll hear that it’s a long song that keeps going somewhere. It’s not your standard verse-chorus, verse-chorus. So I am very proud of that.
“Nothin’ But Love” — brand new song. It was written about my wife and I moving and ultimately finding the place where we built the studio. “Still Here” is actually a song that Emil wrote. It’s a song that he wrote even before he met us. I mean, ten years ago or something like that. He’s always been trying to record and when he brought the song, it was this whole bombastic, electric song and very much to the concept of us retooling, we reinterpreted it as a more acoustic based song. It’s very much Emi — ten years ago — getting reinterpreted by modern day Emi. So, cool with that. “Burning Out Fast” is I believe one of the first two songs that Pat and I ever wrote. It’s cool for us because it’s been very much intact. It’s very much the way we want it performed. It’s just a song that we never recorded before. Like you know what, we want it to see the light of day.
“I Need You Red” — that song is a song that we had for awhile too. I wrote it about a girl I was seeing and this another good example of “old” us being interpreted by “new” us. The song itself is completely different sonically from the way that we used to perform it live. So we haven’t performed it live in like four years. Now, it’s a completely different song. So again, we’re very proud of where it came about. “Stained Glass” — also new and just inspired by the trip out east and “Al You Need Is A Heartbeat” is from the same era as “Never Enough.”
Sleaze Roxx: How do you find that this album, which has a mixture of songs written over time, how do you find that it compares to ‘More Than The Moon’?
Chris Lane: That’s a tough question only because the thing that really in my mind changes from album to album is thoughts on how we create the sonic properties of the song. It’s not the songwriting. You know, I am a firm believer that a good song is a good song. You can’t really do anything to change that. How you interpret it though, that’s how it changes. So on this album, we definitely looked into more sound scapes, we look into more of a production level that is not more deeper, but let’s just say more involved. And we built the song — for instance, on “Angel” and “I Need You Red” — it was the first time that we had the opportunity in a studio to spend a ridiculous amount of time to get exactly what we wanted. You know, we have a studio now so we’re not constantly looking at our watch and like, “We only have an hour left.” We can go all night. We can go for weeks and that kind of speaks to where this album was kind of brought about. You know, going forward, it will also influence a lot of what we are working on now. We’ll be able t say, “Look, we were able to invest this time and explore this new territory. Here it is.”
Sleaze Roxx: Now, I was really impressed that you guys were able to debut your first single “A Matter of Time” on Billboard.
Chris Lane: Thank you! That was big for us.
Sleaze Roxx: Yeah. I think it’s the first time that I see an unsigned band appear on Billboard. Usually, it’s the Mötley Crüe, Steel Panther, bands that have signed with record labels and stuff like that. You guys are an unsigned band and here you are on Billboard. Without giving your secrets on how you got there, it must have been really cool to have such great exposure.
Chris Lane: It’s amazing for us. You know, I mean, the name of the game is just more eyes on the band and it’s about growing within the industry. The debut on Billboard, I can’t tell you what it meant to us. It was like, “Oh my God! This is something that is so important for us.” And it’s a building block so we were extremely happy about it.
Station‘s “A Matter of Time” video (on upcoming Stained Glass album):
From the LP “Stained Glass”Buy on Bandcamp: https://stationnyc.bandcamp.com/►Linktree: https://www.stationband.com/linktree►Facebook: https://www.facebook.co…
Sleaze Roxx: Cool! Now, Station are about to embark on a tour in November. From what I’ve seen, it’s the first time that you guys are going on a bit of a tour. You play select shows here and there but here, you’re on the road for awhile so you must be excited about that.
Chris Lane: Yeah. You know, we like playing live. The band — one of the things that I cherish about Station is that we are two completely different bands. A live band that just loves to enjoy the energy, experiment with the songs, do things different from night to night. And then we’re also studio people that like to come in, have a sound scape and we very much believe that a live performance of a song doesn’t necessarily have to be dictated by the studio version of the song because they’re just interpretations of a song. So it’s exciting for us because it’s a completely different element. We get to have that energy with the wind in the air. We get to express what we want in that time. If I’m having a bad day, I might play a different guitar solo. So it’s exciting to be able to do that as a musician.
Sleaze Roxx: I know that it’s going back a little further but are there any plans of playing the M-Pre Party [usually held at Sonoma Bar & Grill in Columbia, Maryland, USA the day before the M3 Rock Festival]?
Chris Lane: Yeah. Maybe. That’s a little far away right now. I know that the details are still being worked out but between November and we’ll be announcing more shows in January, and then we’ll have more news coming up early next year. I anticipate us playing a lot of shows and I would definitely love to see us at the M-Pre Party.
Sleaze Roxx: One thing that seems very difficult for bands these days is to keep your new album in the limelight.
Chris Lane: Right.
Sleaze Roxx: It’s easy when the album comes out. You put a lot of exposure into the album when it first comes out but I find it’s hard for many bands to maintain that and keep the album in the forefront for a year, a year and a half afterwards. How do you see that and how do you think that you can make a difference in that regard?
Chris Lane: Well, I don’t know if we necessarily have to combat that. We’re going to release the album. We’re going to play shows for the album. We’re going to release more media around the album — music videos and stuff like that. And each time we do that, it will be a different conversation. So I think the days of reminding people that the album exists are over and I think it’s a little bit more on expanding on the album. That’s why I don’t think that it’s a great idea for a band like us who have a lot of music to wait for three years between releases like a lot of bands do. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not for us. Our kind of answer to that is to constantly be releasing things that we are find are artistically interesting and building the honesty of the band and saying, “Look. This is what we’re int0. We want to do it and we’re going to do it.”
Sleaze Roxx: One thing I liked about your “A Matter of Time” video is that it had some humour in it, but at the same time, I find that all your videos are — to describe them — “wholesome.” They feature women but not in the sex, drugs and rock’ roll type thing. So is that something that you guys are intentionally doing in your videos?
Chris Lane: Well, it’s very much a reflection of us because we’re pretty not the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll type guys. We’re all very much — I’ll put it to you this way, its way more indicative of the happy human beings we are. So it would be very dishonest to have a video with us doing drugs, hanging out with that kind of element. It wouldn’t be us. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s not us. We like to present ourselves as we truly are, which is you know, we spend all our time in a bus making jokes. We don’t do anything but that. We try to be very conscious of the fact that when we release a video, it’s a reflection of us as people and we want to be true to who we are as people.
Sleaze Roxx: Now, a lot of bands have raved about how great the Europe market is but if I’m correct, you guys haven’t gone overseas yet. Is that a goal for you to get to Europe and see what the market is like there for you?
Chris Lane: Absolutely, I mean, it depends on what you mean by the market. We have a good presence in Europe just in terms of our music being spread around. Touring is a completely different conversation. So the point that tells us that we’re ready to tour Europe is when there’s consistency between touring cities. So right now, the band is still very small and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate our fans in Europe buying the album and getting the album around to media outlets. But there’s also, there’s spots of it. And when we get to a point when we can constantly go, “Look. We can consistently go three hours here, three hours there, three hours there, touring doesn’t become an option for us because it’s a completely different business model.
Sleaze Roxx: How do you find touring in the States then?
Chris Lane: Well, touring for us in the States has become consistent. If you look at our November tour, we’re going to markets that we’ve been to before and we just keep growing in those markets. So one of the reasons that Station has been able to last the way it has been has pretty much remained independent the entire time and grown, is because I feel that we have been able to make smart decisions. Not just decisions that are glamorous. So a lot of bands that I know that have gone to Europe , they lose their shirts a lot when they come back. They feel that the value of playing Europe outweighs the ability to return. For us, we just don’t want to do that. Look, it’s the tortoise approach — the slow and steady. It’s working in the sense that we’re still here. We’re still making music. That’s what we cherish.
Sleaze Roxx: Station has stayed the independent route. Was there any thought or was there any conversations about hooking up with a label this time around?
Chris Lane: Yes. There are always conversations and we have been approached. It’s been very humbling that we can do certain things and we can’t do certain things. Until it makes sense that it will actually help the band in a way that we feel is truly worthwhile, we’ll do it ourselves. I’m not saying that I’m anti-label. It just needs to make sense on both sides. Until that happens, we are going to do things our own way.
Sleaze Roxx: Is there anything else that you’d like to add that we haven’t covered?
Chris Lane: I mean, I just want to thank everyone again. I mean, it’s very much a sign that people are responsive and I cannot tell you how much we appreciate the fact that people care. Our whole thing is that we are going to continue to release music we love and I just hope that everyone wants to come on the ride with us.
Station‘s “All You Need Is A Heartbeat” video (first released in July 2017 and to appear on upcoming Stained Glass album):
Buy Single Here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/all-you-need-is-a-heartbeat-single/id1239905856Vocals – Patrick KearneyGuitar – Chris LaneBass – Emi AstaD…