Stone Horses began as a side project from Charm City Devils vocalist John Allen. Once he guitarist Teddy Merril joined forces, Stone Horses wasted no time in making their presence known in the music scene. In September the guys' debut video “Reckless Ways” premiered on AXS and Friday night Stone Horses played their self-titled EP release concert at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore, MD. The album Stone Horses (purchase here) brings a revitalized power and passionate energy to the classic rock/blues sound. It is no wonder the tracks are already getting airplay. Over the weekend, AXS caught up with Teddy Merril for a quick chat.
AXS: How did you come to meet John and the other guys?
Teddy Merril: That is a long story. I was in local bands around Baltimore when I was younger. One of them opened up for John’s old band Charm City Devils, that is kind of how we met. Fast forward a few years later, they ended up needing a fill-in guitar player. It actually was for both guitar players at separate times so I had to learn both parts. I would switch back and forth. They took me out on tour, it was absolutely amazing for me. I had played some bit shows and been on smaller tours, but this was on a totally different level.
AXS: When was this?
T.M.: About 2014. We opened up for the Winery Dogs and Slash. It was so cool because I got to meet my musical heroes in person. After that John and I stayed in touch. Stone Horses started right as another band I was in was ending. I was writing a bunch of tunes but had nothing I could do with them. I kept writing though. Then John called me up. He and I had discussed him possibly doing a side project years ago. So when he called me and asked how I felt about doing the side project now I said I was in.
AXS: You and John wrote together?
T.M.: Yeah, for about a solid year John and I were out at his house, he has a studio in his basement. He and I just started writing and recording, writing and recording and then before you knew it we not only had enough material for an EP we have a lot of other stuff in the vault that I can’t wait to finally get to show.
AXS: Do you have a favorite song on the new album?
T.M.: I really like “Flirting With The Devil” a lot, that one has really grown on me. I also like “Roads” a lot.
AXS: That is a phenomenal track, great groove and hook. What about “Flirting With The Devil” grabs you?
T.M.: The message in it is pretty cool. I like when music actually says something more than just “Rock n Roll!” Rock music has always been a really powerful tool, especially with everything that is going on in the world now. It is a shame that there are some pretty great bands out there that aren’t using this tool to put music out there that has a message, music that makes you feel. To me “Flirting With The Devil” is sending out a message.
AXS: What is the message?
T.M.: Ha! That is a great question! That is the beauty of it. It is political. As John said, it is about the election and the Devil, whatever you feel that is, and rallying against it. At the end of the day the way I look at it is there are bad people on both sides. I am all for uniting people. Music does that and it is what I want to continue to do. The other thing about “Flirting…” for me, because I am a big hippie, is the song kind of has a looser feel. It is more jammy and freeform in a way, especially towards the end. When we were recording it I was doing the acoustic part on it, the outro was completely made up on the spot. The tape was done. I just started playing it and John kept recording. When I was done I had no idea what had just happened, it came out so cool. It reminds me of a Crosby/Stills kind of feel and I love all that.