Stolen Babies Bassist/Guitarist Rani Sharone Talks About Band’s Evolution, Tripped Out Videos and Unique Vision

Stolen Babies Bassist/Guitarist Rani Sharone Talks About Band’s Evolution, Tripped Out Videos and Unique Vision
September 13, 2013 | By | Reply More

Stolen Babies have been making noise on the underground experimental rock scene for a while now, releasing great albums and playing some of the most talked about live shows on the touring circuit. Consisting of vocalist/accordionist Dominique Lenore Persi, bassist/guitarist Rani Sharone, and drummer Gil Sharone, the band definitely does not sound derivative of any other band that springs to mind.  In a world of cookie-cutter, sound-alike bands all chasing the same “active rock radio” ring, Stolen Babies have wisely chosen to follow a path entirely their own.  I recently had the pleasure of asking Rani some questions while the band was getting ready for their latest tour with OTEP, read on….

Q. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. I am new to the band but really liking everything I hear from you. For others who are similarly new to Stolen Babies how has the band’s vision or performance changed, if at all, since you first issued your debut ep/demo?

Rani Sharone: Well in the beginning we were just coming out of a band that was totally different, so we wanted to entertain the idea of just being a rock band with rock songs instead of a cartoony theatrical band as the previous band was. We found that some things worked and some didn’t, and that some things just come more naturally to us than others so things have pretty much been refined over the years. There’s no shortcuts finding your voice as a band, at least for us. It takes time and practice just like anything else. With that said i don’t look back and cringe at what our EP is. I think there’s some good stuff there and still hear it as us but it’s nothing like what we do now. 

 

Q. You guys might not be considered a huge headlining band but your debut full length made a massive splash especially among critics and fans of avant garde rock. Having had other experiences in the industry how unexpected was that embrace for you and how did it affect the band in the short term?

 

Rani: It was a nice surprise for sure. I think I was more surprised by the fact people knew who we were and were writing about us, more than by what they were saying! I remember reading some reviews that really praised the album and it seemed like those writers really got us and knew where we were coming from which is a rare thing and way more pleasant than coming across a review where the writer, if you want to call them that, has their head so far up their ass they can wear their intestines as a scarf, so we try not to pay too much attention to reviews. 

 

Q. The individual members of Stolen Babies are well known among songwriter circles, for score writing and also of course for performance. Were any of those other passions distractions in terms of capitalizing on the growing fanbase for the band and releasing a follow up or did your hiatus all go according to plan??

 

Rani: Not really. We never like to exploit what we do outside of the band, it’s just not how we like to represent ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get our name out and have new people find out about us through certain affiliations or projects, but generally we like to keep those things separate unless an outside project happens to involve the band. The hiatus wasn’t a result of other opportunities, it was a result of us just needing some time away and personal growth outside of a band environment which led to all of us getting back into it when we were ready to. Very happy with how it all worked out.  

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Q. Your music video for Push Button would have earned a lot of fanfare back in the MTV video era and stands alone as a work of art. Are you happy with everything that video accomplished and continues to accomplish for the identity of the band?

 

Rani: First off thanks, glad you like it. Sure, I think it’s a great video and is a good introduction to who we are and what we did at that time. Again, like the album, we had no expectations for it so seeing people react positively towards it is great. In true Stolen Babies style it was thrown together and made possible with the help of some very talented friends and it set the bar pretty high as far as first videos go.

 

Q. Stolen Babies is similar to classic early early Alice Cooper Group or Arthur Brown in the sense that you are not afraid to think outside the normal parameters about visuals. Are non musical influences and passions just as important to fueling and creating your overall presentation??

 

Rani: Absolutely. Even more so than musical influences. I’ll put it to you this way, it’s rare that a piece of music inspires us to write a piece of music or come up with a visual concept. It’s usually a film, or a visual, or emotion that inspires us. 

 

Q. Your latest album “Naught” features a song I have personally replayed countless times called “Splatter”. Can you indulge my own selfish tendencies and tell me just a little bit about what inspired that song musically or lyrically or how easy it was to bring it to fruition??

 

Rani: That’s cool! Splatter is one of my favorites. I have to mention the ICS (Immersion Composition Society) before i get into how the song came about. The ICS was founded by two of our close friends in the bay area years ago. Regional lodges are formed and have been all around the world. Lodges are groups of people who get together once a week and share the music they wrote, ideally from that day. It can be one piece or twenty pieces that are just cranked out with little or no editing. The purpose is to get you to just have fun and write and say “fuck you” to writers block! To make a long story short, during our hiatus, Dominique and another long time ICS-er co founded a L.A. lodge and I’d go to meetings. Although it was during our hiatus and i never thought about the band writing ICS stuff I showed up one night saying to Dominique, hey there’s something i wrote that I think should be an SB song. It was crude as hell and i called it “Mind Over Splatter.” She was amused by that and loved the groove so we took it and ran with it. She even humored me by keeping “Splatter” for the title! 

 

Q. You shot a video for the song “Second Sleep” which features a good deal of underwater performance footage. How did the actual experience of making the clip compare to how you had it storyboarded in your mind??

 

Rani: It came out pretty much exactly how we hoped it would. There wasn’t much of a concept other than wanting to shoot performance footage underwater and we were stoked to see it was good enough to work with. We had a great editor and our good friend and visual fx artist, Meats Meier, really brought it to life.

 

Q. Your albums feature tracks as ultra hooky as Splatter or Push Button among some more aggressive or abrasive material that might be more what people would expect from a left of center band. Does the very nature of your multifaceted style present any difficulties or challenges when dealing with normal band issues of record labels, booking packages or finding a leg up on radio programmers?

 

Rani: Sure it does. There have been tours we’ve been submitted for where we’d baffle the shit out of who we were being submitted to. At the end of the day we laugh at that kind of reaction but at the same time we know that we are different which can be an uphill battle sometimes. Mainstream radio and even satellite radio doesn’t seem to get us, so we have to tour to get out there and build it all grass roots style which we’re totally ok with. It’s hard and work, but once the word of mouth and demand for us starts to grow i believe all that will turn around and the bigger radio stations will start playing us. After all, that’s how we landed our booking agent, Tim, who’s pretty badass. He took notice of us, respected us and liked how we ran things, which was a huge validation for us, so we teamed up with him and since then things have been really moving forward. 

 

Q. As a self financed indie band you are in a position to really learn a lot day to day from your band’s supporters especially when you are out on tour meeting and performing for people face to face. What is the most uplifting part of that and what is the most challenging aspect of interacting with the people who come out to see you live?

 

Rani: It’s pretty interesting and sometimes scary being a band that’s totally independent. It really can be a struggle going out for weeks at a time with no financial safety net, so having a dedicated fan base that supports what we do is really awesome. In a handful of cities we’ve had people who started out as strangers asking for autographs who are now friends that we look forward to seeing whenever we play their town. Must have something to do with the fact that they bring us things! No real challenges there. 

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Q. Last question….Stolen Babies has performed with some very big name artists as direct support and despite having a few years break maintained a reputation as one of the best live acts out there. What do you attribute to your ability to keep focus and keep peoples opinions of your live show so positive, is it a matter of passion, taking rehearsal and performance super seriously or is it something altogether unknown that makes a Stolen Babies show a special event??

 

Rani: I don’t know…. I just work here. We just do what we do and we’re glad it engages people and makes them want to see us again. That’s a good thing! Right? 

www.stolenbabiestheband.com

on tour with OTEP and NEW YEARS DAY

09/20/13     Fresno, CA     Strummer’s     United States
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21+Over
09/21/13     Reno, NV     Knitting Factory     United States
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All Ages
09/22/13     San Francisco, CA     DNA Lounge     United States
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All Ages
09/24/13     Seattle, WA     Studio Seven     United States
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All Ages
09/25/13     Portland, OR     Hawthorne Theater     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages.
09/27/13     Murray, UT     Murray Theater     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. all ages
09/28/13     Denver, CO     Marquis Theatre     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. all ages.
09/29/13     Colorado Springs, CO     The Black Sheep     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages.
10/01/13     Sauget, IL     Pop’s     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages.
10/02/13     Joilet, IL     Mojoes     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages.
10/03/13     Rockford, IL     District Bar & Grill     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. 21 + Over.
10/04/13     Spring Lake Park, MN     POV’s     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. 21+ Over
10/05/13     Racine, WI     Route 20     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. 21 + Over
10/06/13     Waterloo, IA     Spicoli’s Grill & TheReverb Rock Garden     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. 21+Over after 10pm
10/07/13     Des Moines, IA     Wooly’s     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages
10/08/13     Indianapolis, IN     Emerson Theatre     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages
10/09/13     South Bend, IN     Cheers Pub     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. 21+Over
10/10/13     Dayton, OH     McGuffy’s House of Rock     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. 18+Over
10/11/13     Cleveland, OH     Peabody’s     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages
10/12/13     Detroit, MI     Harpo’s     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages
10/13/13     Pittsburgh, PA     Altar Bar     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages
10/15/13     Syracuse, NY     Lost Horizon     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages
10/16/13     Stanhope, NJ     Stanhope House     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages
10/17/13     New York, NY     Marlin Room at Webster Hall     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. 16+Over
10/18/13     Lancaster, PA     Chameleon Club     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. All Ages
10/19/13     Worcester, MA     The Palladium     United States
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Time: 7:00pm. Rock N Shock Festival. All Ages
10/20/13     White Marsh, MD     House of Rock     United States
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21+Over
10/21/13     Knoxville, TN     Blackstock     United States
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18+Over
10/22/13     Louisville, KY     Diamond Pub & Billiards     United States
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18+Over
10/23/13     Fayetteville, NC     Drunk Horse Pub     United States
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All Ages
10/24/13     Atlanta, GA     The Masquerade -Downstairs     United States
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All Ages
10/25/13     Orlando, FL     The Backbooth     United States
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All Ages
10/26/13     St. Petersburg, FL     State Theatre     United States
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All Ages
10/27/13     Jacksonville, FL     Brewsters Roc Bar     United States
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All Ages
10/29/13     Pensacola, FL     Vinyl Music Hall     United States
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All Ages
10/30/13     New Orleans, LA     The Parish at House Of Blues     United States
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18+Over
10/31/13     Dallas, TX     Trees     United States
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All Ages
11/01/13     Houston, TX     Scout Bar     United States
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11/02/13     San Antonio, TX     The Tequila Rock Bar     United States
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All Ages
11/03/13     Oklahoma City, OK     The Chameleon Room     United States
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18+Over
11/04/13     Wichita, KS     Jerry’s     United States
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Stolen Babies HEADLINE DATE w/ New Years Day. All Ages
11/05/13     Lubbock, TX     Jake’s Sports Cafe     United States
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All Ages
11/06/13     Farmington, NM     Top Deck     United States
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All Ages
11/07/13     Phoenix, AZ     Joe’s Grotto     United States
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All Ages
11/09/13     West Hollywood, CA     The Whiskey A Go-GO     United States
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All Ages

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Category: Interviews

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