Stereophonics are a Welsh music group formed in 1992 and originally known as Tragic Love Company, a name inspired by their favourite bands Tragically Hip, Mother Love Bone and Bad Company. They started out as a teenage cover band and later, inspired by Stuart's grandmother's gramophone changed their name to "Stereophonics". They hail from Cwmaman, near Aberdare in South Wales and after they changed their name they were one of the first bands to be signed to Richard Branson's V2 label in August 1996. Their best known songs include "A Thousand Trees", "Mr. Writer", "Local Boy in the Photograph", "Dakota, "Maybe Tomorrow", "Just Looking" and a cover of Mike d'Abo's "Handbags and Gladrags".
Band members are:
- Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar and songwriter)
- Richard Jones (bass/vocals)
- Stuart Cable (drums) was sacked by the other two members of the band in September 2003 and was replaced by ex-Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman for several tour dates
- Javier Weyler (drums) 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.
In the early days they supported both Manic Street Preachers and Ocean Colour Scene as well as being joined onstage by Doug Parmenter.
In February 1998 they received a Brit Award for Best New Group the same week as a re-issue of "Local Boy in the Photograph" made number 14 in the charts and their first album went gold selling over 100,000 copies. During that year they had successful tours in Europe, Australia and the USA.
Following on from the success achieved in late 1998 with "The Bartender and the Thief", the second single from Performance and Cocktails, "Just Looking", was released 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 having gone platinum. Later that year saw them play 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 cooperated with Tom Jones for a track on his album Reload.
The band had a relatively quiet 2000 and didn't really hit the headlines again until the launch of Just Enough Education to Perform in April 2001. They then played back-to-back dates at Donington Park, supported by Ash, Black Crowes and Proud Mary in front of 120,000 fans and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium to a capacity 80,000 that summer.
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 U.K., 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.
Having embarked on a world tour in 2003/2004, which culminated in an appearance at the Manchester Move Festival in July 2004, the band took a well deserved break.
The band's 5th studio album was released in March 2005 with the title Language. Sex. Violence. Other? with their new drummer, Javier Weyler. They achieved their first #1 song with the first single of the new album, entitled "Dakota", on the week of Monday, March 7th 2005. The somewhat cryptic title of the album refers to the classification code used for movies and DVDs with mature content. The second single from the album, Superman, was a hate filled track, with Kelly Jones spitting out his lyrics with venom. This did not repeat the success of Dakota, making a reasonable number 13, partly due to limited airplay, which seemed to grow after the famous Live 8 performance. After Superman came the magnificent Devil, which featured a controversial video, involving guns, Kelly being tied up, and Kelly being knocked about by a lady in a blonde wig. It made number 11.
The next single was Rewind, the video, which is the continuation from Devil (There is a "To be continued" at the end of the Devil video) and premiered on the official Stereophonics website, www.stereophonics.com at midday on October 27. It was released on November 21 .
On July 2nd 2005, the group appeared at the Live 8 concert, in Hyde Park, London, playing to their biggest audience yet. Their song "Maybe tomorrow" is featured under the end titles of the movie "Crash".
The band announced that they will be touring across Europe in early 2006, supporting Oasis. However, due to illness, the band had to cancel their European concerts.