STONER CONTROL – Alone in the City (Q&A)


Photo – Hutch Harris

‘I try just to think of us as a rock band without any limitations that come along with certain genre tags.’, says Charley Williams about Stoner Control. The band just released ‘Alone in the City’.

Talkhouse writes: Stoner Control is an alternative rock band based out of Portland, Oregon. They grew out of a temporary side-project to become a powerhouse trio that has been making music since 2013. Taking inspiration from the rich sonic history of the Pacific Northwest, Stoner Control fuses a high-energy pop-punk sound with the unfiltered, lo-fi aesthetic of Portland’s thriving underground indie rock scene. Lead singer and guitarist Charley Williams infuses his lyrics with an honesty that is both playful and raw, creating driving melodies that echo the ThermalsBuilt to SpillSuperchunk, and Death Cab for Cutie.







At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?


I don’t know if I ever really thought it was special. The recording process was definitely a lot of fun but now that some time has passed I don’t think it was the best batch of songs I could have presented to the band. I still think it’s a fun record but I’m excited to record new songs that I feel are a better representation of what we are all about.



Photo – Jason Quigley



The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?


I guess it’s easier than ever to reach your target audience which is pretty awesome. I can post something on social media and have it go directly to the people who care about what we are doing. I guess the one downside to the change is that we don’t really get money out of this thing that we invested a lot of time, effort and money into, which is kinda a downer. Still, the overall goal is to be heard and in a lot of ways that aspect is the best it has ever been for musicians.


Do you feel part of a community, the power pop community?


I definitely feel a part of a very specific community within the Portland music scene. There’s a lot of bands I love and do my best to support. But as far as breaking through to a wider audience in Portland, that hasn’t really been achieved yet. I don’t think of us as a power pop band necessarily so I don’t think we are a part of that community. I try just to think of us as a rock band without any limitations that come along with certain genre tags. I also often find myself confused with what power pop exactly means. It feels kinda vague.


Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?


So many songs. I guess a big one would be Carry the Zero by Built to Spill. It has been one of my favorites songs since high school and I still get blown away by it. It gets better with every new part which is a pretty amazing feat. A lot of songs I love I’m just waiting for the one part I like to happen again, but with this one, the whole song just keeps getting better and better until it ends.


What’s up for the rest of the year?


We are waiting to hear back on a few shows that I’m hoping will work out. I really want to start playing at venues that I haven’t played at yet. I’m getting a little worn out on playing the same places with the same bands. Other than that we are just gonna keep practicing and writing until I know we have a great group of songs. I already have more songs written than the last record, but I’m not gonna rush it because I really want to make sure I’m 100% confident in them before we release them.


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