The song is dedicated to my step-son, served 4 tours in iraq, a hero, bronze star.
He came home, couldn’t handle it and took his own life from severe PTSD. 20 veterans a day take their own lives. This song helps bring awareness of the cost of freedom.
Since we have always had our freedom, you don’t realize how the rest of the world lives.
Episode #584: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax
Interview by Jacqueline Jax
host of A.V.A Live Radio
Band Name: Madstone
Person Interviewing: James Stone
James Stone – guitar, vocals, lead, somgwriter
Tommy Souza – drums
Andy Ramos – bass
Song name: Freedom Isn’t Free
The current climate in America is so divisive and many are rioting, causing unrest, trying to destroy and take away our freedoms. America is the only country in the world where we enjoy so much freedom, but it’s hard won, easy to lose. If these few are successful, then we all lose our freedom. I want to stay free. It’s a warning to be careful, all of us. One of the lines of the song is “Maybe we can’t handle freedom”.
Since we have always had our freedom, you don’t realize how the rest of the world lives. The song is dedicated to my step-son, served 4 tours in iraq, a hero, bronze star.
He came home, couldn’t handle it and took his own life from severe PTSD. 20 veterans a day take their own life. This song helps bring awareness of the cost of freedom.
My music is…
the way I communicate. When I was young, I didn’t express myself well or at all. Music gave me a way to communicate what I was feeling in a thoughtful, careful way.
I’m not the best guitarist or vocalist in the world, but I have always been able to pass the feeling on both in the way I play and the way I sing.
People get it, they feel it, and they see it. I lose myself in what I’m doing every time I perform. That skill is not an easy one to come by and takes years to learn and some performers never get very good at it.
Our 3rd release…
I never think about a particular direction. This release is our third and you can tell where we’ve come from by listening to it. The quality and the feelings in these tunes are distinct and dramatic.
Heavy Thunder is the name of this CD; each tune is very different across several genres but we made it work as a rock album. We’re calling it Texas Rock. It’s a mix of southern rocks, our roots, classic rock, and country rock.
I can’t control where these tunes come from. They come in the middle of the night or from just playing something over and over that comes to mind. Each song is a different feeling.
“When you have awesome people to work with, everything falls into place. When you learn to work with an amazing musical team, there is no limit to what you can create. “
I have to wait for the song. When they come, sometimes it’s easy like “Freedom Isn’t free” was written in a few hours but it was a lot of thought first for the words to describe what I was feeling and seeing. I have some awesome musicians to work with.
I present what I’ve done and let them decide how it should morph into what finally gets recorded. Sometimes the end result is very different from what I presented, but always better for it. Then as we move into the studio, it morphs again depending on the engineer, adding background vocals, etc.
“If your life partner is not into your music, you got a problem.”
Life is where these thoughts and ideas come from…
I have an awesome wife. Diane encourages me at every step. She comes to the shows, comes to rehearsals, and helps with the sound and also recording.
I can always count on getting her honest opinion. If your life partner is not into your music, you got a problem. I write software during the day which allows me to play pretty much any time I want.
We have a studio, nice one, that allows us to go play whenever we want right here. My drummer lives with us and works with me and music is what we do. We’ve been together for close to 15 years now..
“Starting from my Father who told me I’d never make it in music which made me try even harder.”
What piece of music advice forever changed your way of thinking?
Starting from my Father who told me I’d never make it in music which made me try even harder.
After that, I think it was an old friend, Steve Burnside, we still play some of his tunes. Steve passed away several years ago but we talked about the crazy wild man inside some of us musicians that must get out. You have to control him to a certain extent and music provides that outlet for expression of the energy.
“Musicians communicate on a level that no other humans ever experience.”
When I’m playing, I look around, listen to what my band mates are saying to me through their music. It makes good music into great music. It’s what gets you those dynamics and allows those feelings to be felt by those listening.
I live in…
I used to live in Paso Robles California. It’s 1/2 way between SF and LA and there’s just not much going on there. We finally got in our home here in Temple Texas, December of last year. We’re about an hour away from Austin, the live music capital of the world. We’re close to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
In fact, 6th street Austin is like 15 blocks of venues on both sides of the street. There are bands downstairs and upstairs, much like Nashville but without the recording studios. The music scene here is why we moved here.
Website & social media links:
Instagram – madstonemusic