Stories: Onto The Next Chapter
We’re not gonna lie: when we saw that Sydney shred scene mainstays Stories were calling it a day, we may have shed a tear or two (hundred). It’s been a wild couple of years, watching the quintet rise from the opening act on a seven-band Masonic Hall bill to headline heroes in their own right, and given that their breakthrough debut, The Youth To Become, was released just a month over a year ago, the news comes as a bit of a surprise. Still, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. To close this chapter on a high note, the band are heading off on one last national tour supporting Enter Shikari and Hacktivist – before they do, though, BLUNT caught up with frontman Morgan Dodson to steal some hints on what the future holds.
Let’s start with the obvious one: why is now the right time for Stories to step down from the plate?
I guess at this point in our lives – being around the age of 21, 22 – so many different opportunities have presented themselves to us individually. Music has obviously been one of them for the last six years or so, and we just feel that we’ve given it everything we can. We’ve loved every moment of that journey, pursuing music throughout our lives – and we always will pursue music – but at this point, we feel as though moving on from Stories, and maybe pursuing other passions and opportunities, is the most natural thing for us to do as individuals.
How did the decision come about? Had it been floating around for a while, or did it just sort of come out of nowhere?
It sort of developed over a few months, between a few of us in the band – we approached the other couple of guys and were like, “What do you think of an indefinite hiatus?” It was a bit of a shock at first, and a bit, “Oh wow, I don’t know, we feel as though there’s so much potential here and we’re in a position where things could start to get really serious.” But then we sort of talked about it and shed light on why we were proposing that idea, and it just got to that point where we were like, “It’s not just shutting it down because we’re over it, it’s moreso that the experience of being able to open up other doorways in our lives is a really valuable thing at this point.” Being in a band, you need to close a lot of doorways and you need to sacrifice a lot of the opportunities that you could take – a lot of personal relationships, a lot of other passions and a lot of hobbies – even financially, you need to sacrifice a massive part of that situation in your life. You’re closing all these other doorways just to keep one open, so we just felt that if we opened up some more doorways, that would better suit our experiences at this point.
What are your plans for the future? I’ve seen that you’ve been doing heaps of cool stuff, like the artwork you did for Pridelands and the Autosuggest video – are you going to keep moving further into that?
Exactly that! Personally, I’ve been pursuing a lot of photo, video and art-related projects – just in my spare time, especially over the last six months – and that’s something I’d like to focus a lot more of my energy into. As well as that, I definitely am not going to stop writing and creating – and possibly performing – music: that’s something I’d still like to continue doing, but I’d like to be able to explore that in more ways than one. I want to explore more genres and different styles of music, and go down different personal avenues there.
“I’ve always valued the people that have stuck by us throughout this whole period, and the same goes for the rest of the guys…”
What kind of genres are you interested in exploring?
It’d probably be completely left-of-field to heavy music, to be honest. Naturally, as we’ve all matured, we’ve been listening to less heavy music, and we’re taking on a massive variety of other genres. Personally, my favourite band at the moment is Animal Collective, which is very far off from the music I’m playing. I listen to a band like that and I’m like, “Holy shit, there’s so much magic here that I’ve never even thought about exploring!” Not for any publicity and not even for something to give to the public, but just personally, that’s a journey that I’d like to take – to be able to explore a type of music like that. So, maybe some electronic music; maybe just some softer, grunge styles of music… There’s just so many different opportunities, I guess.
The reaction to the announcement was kind of insane – all the frown emojis and people reminiscing about their favourite shows. What’s it been like for you to see that level of support break out?
It actually wasn’t that surprising; we’ve always had such loyal fans and such a passionate following towards us, so it’s definitely something I’m not too surprised by. I’ve always valued the people that have stuck by us throughout this whole period, and the same goes for the rest of the guys – we’re blessed to have such nice people supporting and looking out for us. It’s been really lovely, man.
One thing that stood out the most about the announcement was that you guys used the term “indefinite hiatus” – what are our odds right now, that we might see Stories regenerate in a couple of years?
It’s actually really hard to say, because I guess the whole point is to take this time off from Stories to figure out whether it’s something we’d like to come back to. The reason why it’s ‘indefinite’ is because we seriously don’t know – we proposed this idea to the band as a unit because it’s such a paramount point in our lives, where so many different things have come into the light for our future. So it’s sort of like… Shit. I don’t know. It’s hard to say because what if we love exploring a different genre of music? What if we love following this passion or that passion? But if not, maybe we’ll realise one day, “Holy shit, it’d be so good to get back together with Stories and do another album!” It’s hard to say, y’know?
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