Walking away from something you are passionate about is a difficult task, something Stone Broken vocalist Rich Moss understands well. Moss formed the U.K. based band in 2013 along with his musical soulmate Robyn Haycock. The decision to form the band came a few years after he had stepped away from music following the death of a former bandmate to alcohol addiction.
“For me, it was a real tough blow, and it took me awhile to get back on my feet after that happened,” Moss shared with AXS. “I think once you start the life of being a musician, you can never really put that down. So after two years of not doing anything, me and Robyn, our drummer, put together Stone Broken.”
Moss and Haycock brought in guitarist Chris Davis and bassist Kieron Conroy to complete the quartet. “Robyn knew Kieron and Kieron used to be in a band with Chris,” shared Moss, “so we sort of forged two bands together.” One listens to Stone Broken’s music, and it is clear they have developed a tangible chemistry in a short period of time. “When we got together, we locked ourselves away for about a year just to bond as people and musicians,” said Rich. “Just so we could hit the ground running as soon as we were ready.”
Stone Broken self-released its debut album, All in Time, in 2016. This month, the band released its sophomore album and major label debut, Ain’t Always Easy. The record reflects a diverse collection of radio-friendly rock anthems that recall North American artists such as Hinder, Shinedown, Theory of a Deadman, and Black Stone Cherry. “We listen to a lot of American rock,” Moss said of the band’s influences. “Bands like Shinedown, Alter Bridge, and Hinder. That’s kind of our middle ground. Obviously, we all have our individual influences, but collectively it’s sort of that big American riff-driven, hard rock sound. That’s kind of what we’re all drawn to. We’re using that as a place to start, and then we bring our own style to that sort of genre.”
Stone Broken received a wonderful response to its first record, but the band was not content to deliver a repeat of the debut. “We wanted to be little bit more diverse with the songs we were writing,” stated the singer. “We wanted to have some heavy, sleazier sounding rock songs, but we also wanted some quite nice, softer melodic rock songs. Some of the songs have a got a little hint of Southern rock, and a little bit of country in there. We just wanted to write a record that shows what we can do as a band. Also not just to showcase these kinds of songs, but to flow throughout the whole album. This is Stone Broken. It’s a statement in a way.”
Among the lyrical topics on Ain’t Always Easy, Moss tackled the subject of addiction and loss on a couple of tracks. He admitted that he found the task difficult yet cathartic. The track “Heartbeat Away," also addresses the issue of domestic violence. “We wanted to write songs that meant something. ‘Heartbeat Away’ is written about a situation that I saw and was very close to. It addresses how domestic abuse not only still happens regularly behind closed doors but also the effect that it has on the people who are abused and the people close to them.”
You can check out the full interview with Rich Moss here, as he talks more in-depth about Ain’t Always Easy, the delay in the band’s upcoming tour with Adelitas Way, and much more. You can also view their latest video for “Heartbeat Away,” below.