Stereophonics are a rock band from Wales with original members Kelly Jones, Richard Jones (no relation to Kelly) and Stuart Cable, who grew up together in Cwmaman in the South Wales valleys. The trio began writing and performing in working menís clubs together in 1992 as a teenage cover band known as 'Tragic Love Company', a name inspired by their favourite bands Tragically Hip, Mother Love Bone and Bad Company. They later changed their name to "Stereophonics", named after the maker of Cable's grandmother's gramophone.
They finally made a big splash in 1996 as the first band to be signed to Richard Branson's new label V2 after the sale of Branson's successful Virgin Records to EMI. Their distinctive sound offered a blend of Oasis-inspired Britpop and '70s-influenced rock & roll earning them a series of big UK hits.
In 2003 drummer Stuart Cable was axed from the band, in a surprise sacking by both Kelly Jones and Richard Jones over the phone because of problems over "commitment". In the run up to the recording of 2005s Language. Sex. Violence. Other?, Javier Weyler took his place and has earned great respect amongst both his fellow band mates and the fans.
- Kelly Jones (vocals, guitar, keyboards, main songwriter)
- Richard Jones (bass guitar, vocals, keyboards)
- Javier Weyler (drums, percussion) was announced as a replacement to Stuart Cable in December 2004. The band first met Argentinian Javier when they were recording album demos, and then again in late 2003 when they were visiting Argentina.
- Stuart Cable (drums, percussion, vocals) 1992 - 2003
- Steve Gorman (drums, percussion) 2003: After Stuart Cable's sacking in September 2003 Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman stepped in for several tour dates.
Live Band Members
- Tony Kirkham (Live Keyboards)
- Aileen McLaughli (Back-Up Singer)
- Anna Ross (Back-Up Singer)
- Scott James (Live Lead Guitarist)
1997 - 1998: Signing and Brit Award
Originally the band supported both the Manic Street Preachers and Ocean Colour Scene. They were also joined onstage by Doug Parmenter. In 1996 the band were signed to a newly formed record label, V2. The record label was created by Richard Branson and were the first artist to be signed. The band signed a deal to record six studio albums with the label.
In February 1998 the band received a BRIT Award for the Best New Group. In the same week the band re-released the single "Local Boy in the Photograph" which in turn, reached position 14 in the UK Singles Chart. The band's the first album, Word Gets Around also went "gold" in the UK (over 100,000 copies had been purchased in the UK).
1998: Performance and cocktails
In November 1998, The Bartender and the Thief, the first single from Performance and Cocktails, was released. It hit number three on the UK charts. "Just Looking", was released next and reached number 4 in March 1999. The same month the much anticipated new album was finally released, entering at number 1 and within three weeks went platinum. Later that year the band played what was widely regarded as the best gig of the year in Britain in front of 50,000 people at Morfa Stadium in Swansea. They also collaborated with Tom Jones on a cover of the Randy Newman song Mama Told Me Not To Come for his album Reload.
Throughout 1998 the band toured in Europe, Australia and the USA. On June 12, 1998 the Stereophonics played to over 10,000 spectators at what has become, one of the bands largest gigs. Footage of the concert was released in VHS and DVD titled Live at Cardiff Castle. As the title suggests, the concert took place in the grounds of Cardiff Castle in Wales.
2001-2002: Third album - bad publicity
The band released their third album, Just Enough Education to Perform in April 2001. The album included the critical track "Mr. Writer" which is about the lead singer's dislike of journalists and the media. The song caused controversy which in turn caused a lot of bad publicity for the band by the main stream media.
To promote the new album, Just Enough Education to perform, they [Stereophonics] played a two day festival which was called "A Day at the Races". The two day concert was held at Donington Park on the first day and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on the second. The concerts were supported by Ash, Black Crowes and Proud Mary. Matt Bellamy of Muse fell out with Kelly because he refused to let Muse be a support act for the gig. Over 200,000 thousand separate tickets were sold for the weekend festival in total. The performance was released on a DVD in 2002.
2003: You Gotta Go There to Come Back
2003 saw the release of their fourth album You Gotta Go There to Come Back and a change to their logo. Towards the end of the year they did a sold-out tour of the UK, ending with a Christmas show at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, supported by Feeder and Ocean Colour Scene. The song "High as the Ceiling" was featured in a 2005 commercial for a Nissan sports utility vehicle.
The group took a break after their 2003-2004 world tour, which included a set at the Manchester Move Festival in July 2004.
2005-2006: New drummer and sound
Their fifth studio album Language. Sex. Violence. Other? was released in March 2005; it marked their first recordings with their new drummer, Javier Weyler. The band grabbed their first number 1 hit in the UK singles charts with the album's first single, the punky, upbeat Dakota. The second single from the album, "Superman" was a growling, Black Sabbath-inspired rocker. This song however did not repeat the success of "Dakota", peaking at number 13 in the charts, partly due to limited radio airplay. After "Superman" came "Devil", which featured a controversial video and reached number 11 in the charts.
The band played in Vancouver, Canada in April of 2005 with opening band The Manvils. Following the concert, Kelly Jones invited The Manvils lead guitarist, fellow Welshman Mark Parry to join Stereophonics on the road as second guitarist in the band for their world tour.
On July 2, 2005, the group appeared at the Live 8 concert, in Hyde Park, London, playing to their biggest audience yet.
The band were scheduled to support Oasis for a number of dates across Europe in early 2006, but pulled out due to family commitments. After taking a break, they are currently working on their next album. In a diary entry on the bands official website, made on the 15 May 2006, Jones talked about how he felt that the new album was their best yet, and those who had heard the demos gave similar sentiments
2007: Solo albums and new band album
Stereophonics' lead singer Kelly Jones released a solo album titled "Only the names have been changed" while recording the bands upcoming sixth studio album. The album is a slow and thought provoking album; each track is named with a female name. The track "Jayne", which was previewed during the bands previous world tour and on the live album "Live from Dakota" as a punk version is included in the way Kelly meant it to be played. The track was written around 2003-2004 and was meant for the LSVO album but never quite fit with the heavier tone. The album does not include any percussion instruments, or even a bass guitar. To avoid the album entering the charts it had been excluded from the sales count. There were only 5,000 physical copies of the album made although the album was also sold digitally though the iTunes store. The album was released in a physical album format in March 2007 with a special edition featuring a DVD.
Javier Weyler, the bands new drummer, also embarked on a solo career by releasing a solo album titled "Capitan Melao".
Stereophonics' announced the name of their forcoming album Pull the Pin in late April. The album is set for release in late 2007. The band also announced that they would be offering the first single from the album as a download to people who purchased tickets to band concerts.
The song "Maybe Tomorrow", from the album "You Gotta Go There to Come Back" is featured over the end titles of the race-drama movie "Crash", which won the Academy Award for Best Film in 2006. It is also used in the 2004 psychological thriller Wicker Park and an episode of Cold Case as well as an episode of One Tree Hill.