It all started in a shed.
More specifically, it started in a shed on a family hobby farm in a tiny rural township just north of Melbourne.
The four Findlay sisters, who’d go on to become the earthen psych-rock opal that is Stonefield, had been granted their wish of a drum kit by their parents, whose Zappa, Hendrix and Zeppelin records had long been the shared soundtrack of the household. The shed, which housed little other than old furniture and a broken billiard table, was the obvious place in which to contain the young siblings’ inexpert bashings.
Amy – the oldest Findlay, though at that time just 15 – took a particular shine to the kit and soon began lessons, her practice sessions echoing out across the family’s acreage. It wasn’t long, however, before her sisters were drawn back into the shelter as, one by one, they found their own instruments to wrangle with. Hannah, then 13, started on guitar. Sarah, 12, took on the keyboard. Holly, just seven years old, listened in on her sisters practising and, perhaps hearing that something was missing, asked her father for a bass.
As they tell it now, it was serendipity that the instruments each Findlay found a kinship with together made the workings of a band. However, six years later, as Stonefield begin to reveal themselves to the world via spirit-capturing recordings and live shows that bring the word ‘incendiary’ back from rock journo heaven, it’s hard not to believe there was a more astute instinct at play. That is to say: listen to Stonefield and try to figure out what else the Findlays could possibly be doing.
As for the sisters themselves, each is rapidly defining her personality within and outside the group. Amy is a stoic and intense leader on vocals and drums, but is quick to swoop an older-sister wing over the clan. Hannah is every bit the mysterious guitarist, aloof with a wild glint in her eye. Sarah, the quieter of the four, is Mother Nature’s graceful child on keys. And yes, like her bass riffs, Holly is a shot of unbridled, youthful energy.
At home, they still write and practise in the shed, their explosive jams reverberating out across the paddocks.
The only difference now is that we all get to share in rock’n’roll’s newest family story.
Now Stonefield are at it again – hands off the handlebars, feet in the air, full speed ahead! And since when has it been any different for these four siblings? Their last 12 months has resembled a downhill speed?race that encompassed three continents, appearances at the biggest music festivals in the UK and Australia, a cast that includes The Foo Fighters, Kaiser Chiefs and a non?stop touring schedule. With their new single Bad Reality in the can and awaiting a final spit and polish before being unleashed, Stonefield are in game?on mode and busily preparing to tread the boards in a way that only they can!
See the sisters at the Coolangatta Hotel on Sunday.