We recently had an interview with Blaine Kaltman the guitarist of Stone Mob band.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of your music career?
Blaine Kaltman : It’s kind of hard to say where it started. I’ve always wanted to make music and I’ve been writing songs since I was a child. I remember in fifth grade organizing some kids on the playground to sing backing vocals for me while I screamed lyrics about being a pyromaniac. We were probably the world’s first and only acapella metal band but it was short lived. After two recesses everyone quit on me (laughs).
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to start STONE MOB?
Blaine Kaltman : I’ve been friends- brothers really- with our singer Doug Earthdog Masteron for twenty years. I used to watch him sing in a cover band and everytime I saw him I’d think “Oh my God this guy is fierce. He needs to be singing for me” (laughs). But Doug was doing his own thing and then I moved to China and we really didn’t see each other for years. But then earlier this year I was finally living in the US again a few hours away from him. I literally just called him up and said let’s form a band. And he was like “Yeah man, that’s what I’ve been talking about.” Two weeks later we were in the studio. Doug would say that’s all part of “The Flow”- that universal energy that sweeps us all like a river to our life’s destination. He’d say “The Flow” inspired us to form Stone Mob. And he’d be right.
Twist Online : Why you named it Stone Mob? Any particular reasons?
Blaine Kaltman : You’d have to ask Doug that. He named the band. All I did was ask him what we should name it. His first Blaine Kaltman was Stone Mob and I was like “Yeah, perfect.”
Twist Online : Our readers would love to know more about your band members and their role in the band?
Blaine Kaltman : Doug sings but he’s more than that: He’s a front man. He has a lot of natural charisma- and his voice has so much range and power, and the ability to go from gritty to pretty- it gives Stone Mob carte blanche to write any song because the vocals are not restricted by limitation. Our drums aren’t restricted either. Right now we are so lucky to have Andy Hamburger playing for us. He’s one of the most renouned drummers on the East Coast and for good reason. The guy is amazing. His fills are tasty, his hits are huge, and he keeps perfect time no matter how fast we get- even in crazy time signatures. I swear that guy has a metronome in his head. Our bassist is Allan Smithiee and he doesn’t like to be talked about. I play the bass lines on our studio recordings anyway. Oh, one more member of the Stone Mob I should mention: our engineer Sean Russel. He is so talented when it comes to production and mixing- and he works incredibly hard to make Stone Mob sound big and bad, even if that means arguing with us (laughs). Like he will literally fight to make the change which he knows is right for our music which is fantastic because, honestly, he has no vested interest in the band. He just really wants to make it sound as good as possible. And with like seventeen years studio experience he does know what he’s doing. He’ll be like “I will not let you screw up your song!” (laughs) Actually that’s a joke-he has the patience of a saint.
Twist Online : Your Music Video “Murder Town” is superb. Is there any influence behind this?
Blaine Kaltman : Thanks for that. I went to Boothill several years ago and saw a tombstone that read “here lies Lester Moore, 4 slugs from a 44, no less no more” and thought that a variation of that would make a really cool lyric in a song. As for the video we just wanted to give the audience a fun story to watch. I mean, how often do you get a gunfight that epic in a rock n roll video? If you don’t mind I’d like to give a shoutout to our director of photography Wilfred David. He is the reason “Murder Town” looks so amazing.
Twist Online : What makes your style unique and different from others?
Blaine Kaltman : Well we use some odd timings and note progressions- but we’re not deliberately trying to be obtuse, we just think it sounds cool and feels right. Really I think we’re like a pop band, but heavy. We can play as heavy as anyone but our music isn’t dark or emo- I honestly don’t understand these kids whining in music. You have an electric guitar. That means life is good. Stop complaining and learn to shred! And I get bored with the activist music as well- just because you watched the Daily Show doesn’t mean your political opinion is so informed you should be singing a song about it. Doug said “It’s sex drugs and rock n roll, not sex drugs religion and politics and rock n roll” (laughs). Anyway we love to be reckless and have the rock and roll attitude. Stone Mob is what you blast while on your way to the beach with your friends or working out or partying. It’s just fun music to pump you up and rock out to.
Twist Online : What attracts you more performing on stage or working in studios?
Blaine Kaltman : Definitely performing on stage. That’s one of the greatest feelings in the world. You’re feeding off the energy of the crowd- they’re feeding off of you- everyone is united in the music. And the crowd pushes you to new heights. They want you to be incredible. They’re rooting for you just like sports fans want to see that ultimate goal. So you go for that crazy lick or scream that’s beyond your level because that’s what the crowd came to see. They want you to rise to it. And when you do everyone’s energy gets funneled into the same spot- the sheer ectasy of that musical moment. There’s a reason they call it “guitar hero.” It’s glorious and joyous and you can never reproduce that feeling in the studio. And even if you record the live show it still won’t sound or feel the same because you’re not there to experience it. The best jams are left to infinite. They burn the brightest and become an awesome memory. But you can never capture it again.
That being said we try our best to play live in the studio. We don’t punch in much. We keep it raw. We even jump around while playing even though no one is watching (laughs)
Twist Online : Did you take guitar playing classes to be able to play such a beautiful guitar. Or is it all natural?
Blaine Kaltman : Wow- thanks for that. No, I never really took lessons. I learned chords from a book, and then some licks and tricks like fast picking from friends in high school who knew how to play. But it didn’t take long for me to start figuring out how to shred. It just felt natural to me. I loved guitar from the getgo. I remember when I got my first electric in highschool I used to sneak downstairs at night just to look at it. I didn’t dare play it- even unplugged my mom had super sonic hearing and would’ve woken up. But I used to just go and look at it, stare at the neck, think about patterns I could create, and then I’d move my arm super fast from the top of the neck to the bottom. I thought the faster I could move my arm the smaller the neck would feel to me and the more easily I could jump back and forth between super low and super high notes which I always thought would sound unique and cool.
Twist Online : Are you working on any new project?
Blaine Kaltman : We have a couple more videos in the works. I won’t get into the details but rest assured if it’s a Stone Mob video it will be entertaining. We’re also working to complete our album.