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"No Mistakes, Only Happy Accidents" – Stray Monroe Interview

With their newest track, Stray Monroe establish themselves as “completely different musicians”. In honor of the release of their new single/music video, we spoke to the four components of the San Diego based indie rock band about their new sound, their goals, and risking everything for music.

What is the difference in sound between ‘Take It Fake It’ and ‘Happy Accidents’?
Blake: We matured a lot as musicians on this single, both individually and collectively. This was the first time we thought about the song as a whole rather than individual parts. I think the lyrics are a lot more relatable and true to life as well.
‘Take It Fake It’ was written before Brett (bassist) joined the band.. and it was also the first song that Colin, Adam and I wrote together… so from then to now, I’d say we’re totally different musicians. We’re really starting to refine our craft.
Why the title Happy Accidents?
Adam: We really enjoyed Bob Ross and his idea of “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.” We liked the quote so much, we decided to name the song after it.
What’s the song about? What inspired it?
Blake: It’s about growing up. You’re afraid, everything in your life is changing and you try to find some solace in the unknown. Personally, I was watching all of my friends graduate college and land dream jobs when I was still unsure of my own place in life. I feel like I faced this big unknown of what comes after school… like, where do I land?
I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that! Where would you guys like to land?
Blake: Brett is the sharpshooter so I’ll let him answer this one. [Laughs]
Brett: The best part about the four of us is how all share the same goal. And while I think the ultimate landing goal is to be able to make a living playing music and touring, right now we are more focused on making individual connections with people.
Speaking of connections with people, does your music have a target audience?
Colin: I would say that this new single is our way of branching out a little bit, trying something new, and hopefully reaching a wider audience.
Blake: Our target audience is anybody who loves catchy and melodic indie music. For sure, I’d say our music is geared to a younger audience, but we don’t want to place a barrier on who listens to us.
We definitely tried to write with a broader pallet in mind on this single, while staying true to our roots. I hope we can cast the net further this time around.
You’ve told Pure Nowhere what your musical influences are, but since your music is geared to a younger audience, what music did you guys enjoy when you were (even) younger?
Blake: Oh man… I’m not afraid to say I loved ‘Backstreet Boys’ when I was 5/6 years old. Some of my favorite bands before I picked up a guitar were ‘Blink 182’, ‘Linkin Park’, ‘Green Day’, pretty much anything late 90s and early 00s that used to be on MTV Videos (RIP).
Adam: I think we all come from a diverse musical background. I grew up listening to a mixture of classic bands like ‘AC/DC’ and ‘Led Zeppelin’ combined with ‘The Strokes’ and ‘Oasis’. We all kind of had that 2000’s phase of rock as well.
Brett: I still jam out to ‘Linkin Park’ and ‘A Day To Remember’.
Colin: ‘The Who’ were the first band I remember obsessing over as a kid.
Blake: I remember listening to a lot of Marvin Gaye driving in the car with my mom too.
When did you realize you wanted to be musicians?⁠⁠⁠⁠
Blake: I think I was 14. Noel Gallagher is the reason I kept with the guitar; his music helped me realize you don’t need to be classically trained to make good music, you just need some ability and lot of self-belief and drive.
Adam: I picked up the guitar at 16. All of my friends were in bands and I wanted to be part of that, so I bought my first record, ‘Back in Black’ by ‘AC/DC’, and was amazed by Angus Young. Been inspired by him since.
Colin: I started playing music in elementary school as soon as I had the option. The first time I remember wanting to pick up some sticks and play the full set was the first time I heard ‘Brianstorm’ by Arctic Monkeys.
Brett : I think I was 12. Until this point I had always played sports, but what made me like music so much is the idea that there’s no opponent, it’s just me vs. myself. It all comes down to how hard I’m willing to work.
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What’s a question you’d really like to answer that nobody’s ever asked you yet?
Blake: I think for me it would be “why do you choose to do something where you put your heart and soul into it (being in a band and making music) when there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever have success? Like less than 1% of bands ever taste that success.”
Brett: I’ve actually always wanted to be asked this question. Thank you. I am now complete.
Have you guys risked everything for Stray Monroe?
Blake: We all have risked A LOT being this band. Forgoing a better job, missing out on friends and parties (for shows, practicing, band stuff, etc..), pursuing a “normal” life. We put our heart and soul into this band because we believe in our music and our ability to make this a career.
Brett: All four of us have made sacrifices for the band, but we all believe they serve a bigger purpose. Nothing that’s worth doing will ever be easy.
What do you love about music?
What IS music to you?
Colin: At the end of the day, it’s that indescribable feeling you get when you’re jamming with your band mates and everything just seems to work. When all the parts compliment each other so well, and you don’t even have to give it a second thought.
Blake: To me, music is about telling a story and connecting with your audience. It brings people together. Music is my life in every single way and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. The feeling I get when I hear a song, or get in a room with my three brothers… it’s priceless.
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Adam: Music to me is an expression of who someone is. People want to express themselves and music is a perfect way to do that. I want people to hear our music and relate to it in some way. Just like how I feel when I hear music, I want to hear their expressions.
Brett: I don’t think what makes music so special can be put into words. It’s something you have to feel.
If you could describe yourselves with one of your lyrics, which lyric would you choose?
Adam: “Because you wanted it more but you got even less.”
Colin: “I make up all these stories, and I tell everyone I’m a big rock star.”
Blake: “Love it all, love without a name. I am I lost, I don’t know my place. Where do I wait?”
This is just the start of the ‘Stray Monroe’ journey, are you coming along for the ride?
Check out their new single Happy Accidents on Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms.
Find the band on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and SoundCloud.

Article by Adriana López

Photography by Jimmy Lang

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