Singled Out: Jason Robert (Stone Stanley)

Jason Robert

Stone Stanley frontman Jason Robert today shares the story behind the song "Freedom Chant" as they gear for their video release party this Friday for the next single from their new album "The Mudstomp Tapes." Here is the story:

Early last year I was about to record my second album, The Mudstomp Tapes, and I found myself scouring through old journals to make sure I hadn't missed any inspiration along the way. This way I'd be most inspired going into the studio. What I actually uncovered was an idea…an original idea, for a song that I had already released on my self-titled debut album (Stone Stanley 2010). The song, Anywhere I Go, opens the debut album and boasts a chorus vocal line of "I am free anywhere I go, I am free like rock & roll". This chorus line always struck me as more of a chant than a melodic singalong.

I almost wanted to record it with no music, just A Capella, but alas the band I used for the debut album came up with a very funky and danceable rhythm that stuck so well we made it the opening track of the album. But for some reason, the A Capella version I kept hearing in my head just would not go away. It was more of a chant, more primal, more stripped down to the bare bones.

I would normally not even bother reworking an idea that already made its way to record, however I had a tiger by the tail and I knew it. So I emptied my mind of the original track and rewrote the song with different chords and lyrics. The only thing remaining was the original chant. At Pepper Ranch Studios (Hesperia, Ca) my bass player Scott Longnecker and I did a live take of the song. I strummed the song on an acoustic Gretsch guitar and chanted the lyrics while kicking a Pearl bass and snare drum with my feet, Scott provided the bottom end on bass. It was one live take but we knew we stuck it. I then overdubbed an electric slide accompaniment on an old Silvertone guitar which gives the track a really spooky quality. We named the song Freedom Chant and included it on our latest release, The Mudstomp Tapes.
In the end, I felt I had righted a wrong somehow, that now the original idea made sense. However as time goes on, our live shows have proven that both songs have an equal place in the hearts of our loyal fans. They view the songs as two very different themes, just sharing the same chorus. I was wrong to think one would replace the other; in fact it brought the other to life. Both songs are very different sonically and melodically. I guess the moral of the story, if there is one, is to never give up on a great idea, even if you've already tried it.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album and the video release party right here!

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Singled Out: Jason Robert (Stone Stanley)