Ahead of the release of their first proper full-length album R U Saved?, Detroit punks the Stools are back today with the new hell-raising single "Into the Street," another high dosage of the trio's blazing bluesy punk damage that's so deeply-rooted in the noise and grit of the Motor City. To celebrate the release, we caught up with the trio to dive deeper into the new single, their fondest memories from recording their new album, and working with Danny Kroha of the Gories.
Comprised of guitarist-vocalist Will Lorenz, bassist-vocalist Krystian Quint, and drummer Charles Stahl, the Stools have been tearing it up and leading the pack in Detroit's current rock 'n' roll scene that also includes their longtime pals Toeheads, swampy noisemakers 208, and garage-psych wanders Shadow Show. Hot on the heels of a slew of EPs and singles on Drunken Sailor, Goodbye Boozy, Third Man and Big Neck, the Stools will release their first proper full-length album R U Saved? on June 2nd through Feel It Records (Sweeping Promises, The Cowboys, The Drin). Whether you're just hearing them for the first time, the Stools are at the top of their game with the 12 songs that make up the 23 minutes of rollicking, straight-to-the-point blues-inspired garage punk on R U Saved?.
Ahead of the album's release, today we have the pleasure in sharing its second single "Into the Street," a tightly-wound blitz of raw, industrious, and bone-shaking garage-punk that brings the whole Nuggets vs. Killed by Death punk sound in full effect especially with the trio's fuzztone-drenched riffs, stomping bass lines, and propelling drumming. To celebrate the release, we caught up with the Stools to dive deeper into the new single, their fondest memories from recording their new album, and working with Danny Kroha of the Gories.
Paperface Zine: Take me through the origins of your new single, "Into the Street." How did this track come about and what did you envision when initially composing it?
Will Lorenz: "Into the Street" came about as another attempt at ripping off the Soledad Brothers, as well as writing a sequel to the song that comes right before it on the album "Conner & Hell." Live they always blend into one long song. The themes range from my time in Boston-Edison, Country Joe and the Fish, army surplus stores, not being ready to spill the beans, and drinking two French presses then watching In Bruges. You know, stuff young people like to do…
PZ: This is the second single from your upcoming first proper full-length album R U Saved? What was the overall recording process like for it? I remember when we last talked, you mentioned how you've been sitting on these songs for a while.
Krystian Quint: We recorded a majority of the record in one day, it started as 13 songs, we scrapped one. I think it was actually eight hours of recording. A lot of cigs inside and Taco Bell. We recorded with Paul Smith of the Strains and he definitely filled in a bit of the producer role as well as supplier of multiple '60s black panel fender twins. We really wanted the record to feel like one whole unit, so we recorded every song back-to-back, pretty much in the order you'll hear it. That was in 2020 so yeah, we've been sitting on these for a while. We wanted this record to go to a good home and to the right ears, I think Feel It was well worth the wait. Sam [Richardson] rules and is treating the record with the same love that we have for it.
PZ: How exactly did you join forces with Sam over at Feel It Records for the album's release?
Charles Stahl: We met Sam at a Sweeping Promises gig when we were opening for them here in Detroit. We had mentioned if we were ever looking to release a 12" that we'd keep him in mind. When the time finally came to send the album around, Feel It was naturally at the top of our list. Sam was the first to get back to us because he is a rockstar and a true professional.
PZ: What are some of your fondest memories from recording the album?
The Stools compile a list:
We ate a dozen bagels
We saw a stick-bug in the back yard
We didn't document a single moment in any way
Paul's roommate said our song sounded like zombie bikers driving down the highway
Paul let us smoke his "band weed" some band left there
Taco Bell of course
PZ: What's the story behind the album's title?
KQ: If you've ever driven through Detroit, you've seen the wooden signs on the overpasses that churches put up. They say all sorts of different things, but there was one on the way to Chuck's house we always used to see that read "R U SAVED?" It felt fitting. This record is about Detroit in many ways and all the weird shit you see driving or walking around, or the stories you've heard from the folks who've lived here for many many years.
PZ: What are your thoughts on Detroit's DIY rock scene? Aside from bands we've covered like Shadow Show, 208, and the Toeheads, who else should we check out?
CS: Detroit has to have one of the best scenes in the country, if not the whole damn world. The scene is full of supportive people who want to see their peers succeed. A lot of folks have been saying "rock is back," but its never left Detroit. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER: Werewolf Jones, Fen Fen, Stunner, Day Residue, Girl Fight, Gusher, Womb Worm, Zilched, Zastava, and Eck!
PZ: Who's the biggest band from Detroit that's made a significant impact on you and why?
CS: The White Stripes have probably had the most significant impact on myself. Before the Stools existed, Will and I played a White Stripes cover set which was mostly stuff from the first record. Those are the first songs I ever learned to play on drums :).
KQ: The Dirtbombs and The Witches. Both of those bands have written some of my all time favorite songs, and they were my first exposure to Detroit music of that era. Troy Gregory (of both bands) was my guitar teacher as a kid and he turned me on to so many things and basically taught me how to write a song. Mick Collins is the coolest motherfucker on the planet.
WL: Little Ann and Negative Approach. Unstoppable soul and an unstoppable force.
PZ: How did the whole Danny and the Stools thing come about? I know you guys are huge Gories fans so what was it like working with Danny Kroha and backing him for the shows you played together?
WL: I ran into Danny at an art show at The Painted Lady here in Detroit, and we were talking about telecasters and I mentioned we have a practice space nearby that we're at every Tuesday if he ever wanted to get loud as hell on the new guitar and we just never stopped. My first time playing rhythm guitar, and actually using my volume knob… I've learned a lot and messed up a lot too!
PZ: How did Big Neck Fest go for you guys? Always such a stacked lineup and I've always wanted to check out that spot Outer Limits.
WL: Big Neck Fest was a smash success. It felt great to have Bart [Hart] see all of the Detroit bands he has supported come together over two nights of crowd killing and Yemeni food. Outer Limits is the best venue I have ever seen music at from the sound to the DJ booth to Hecker to that sweet back yard that I will someday get married in.
KQ & CS: Facts.
PZ: In support of the new LP, you got two release shows happening at the beginning of June. Hometown show in Detroit on June 2nd and then the next night in Cincinnati that's also got the Cowboys on the bill! What are you looking forward to the most for those shows?
CS: It's tough to say what we're most excited for, but probably the bands we're playing with!
For the Detroit gig we have local legends Prude Boys and our boys Sugar Tradition on the bill. Not to mention the one and only Danny Kroha on the DJ spot. For the Cincinnati gig we're going to be rocking with the Cowboys, Sugar Tradition, and BEEF! We're really hoping the Cowboys are going to be wearing trench coats.
PZ: Following these couple shows, what else is on the horizon for you guys? I see you'll be supporting the Gories for their pair of Chicago shows in August.
KQ: Booking! Deep South October tour is in the works, we have a couple local summer gigs and of course a gig or two in our other favorite state, Indiana, with our favorite band, Pat and the Pissers. Gonerfest afterparty at the Lamplighter. Working on songs for a record with Danny. We want to play in another freakin' country soon. So UK 2024? Australia? Europe? I don't know, but hopefully. We're working on new tunes so maybe we'll be chatting about another new record with you soon! Check out our other band PHARMA, we just put out a 7" on aforementioned Big Neck Records!
R U Saved? is out June 2nd on Feel It Records. Pre-order the wax here.