When they first got together during their first year of university, their adventure did not start with music. The pair could trace their origins from when they were just 14. A friendship had blossomed from sharing mutual friends and athletic hobbies. “There was instant chemistry, based upon the years of friendship that was non-musical,” says Tarek. “The foundation is almost 100 percent built based on friendship.” Indeed, the ability to read the other persons mind allows the two to form a musical style that blends both of their distinct personalities.
The formation of the Blue Stones in itself was an inevitable one. Originally on guitar, Justin would jam with Tarek. “We would always do originals, no covers,” describes Justin. After deliberating on whether or not to become a four piece, Justin returned back to his native drums, as they began to record and form songs written and inspired by Tarek. “It’s where I’ve always been,” says Justin. The band had been created; however, they still needed a name. Hours were spent with message after message being exchanged between the two. Finally they reached a verdict. A gift, the name The Blue Stones was given and it was official. Tarek says, “We wanted something edgy.” It most certainly was.
Their travels have given them new insight on diverse audiences. “Every time we play in a new city, it’s back to square one,” Justin explains. “In London, we would be opening for bands; relying on their draw. In Toronto, it was the same thing; in Detroit, same thing. It’s great to be able to relive it.” The experience of playing at different venues has taught them a lot but no more so than being across the border, playing in Detroit. “In Detroit, people worship live music,” Tarek says, recalling the experience. The crowd was a little hostile from the start. “It was like they were undermining us before the set because we’re Canadian,” Justin explained. After the set they shook the foundations and changed many hearts. “Wow these guys are good and they’re Canadian, that’s better,” Justin describes the reaction. Breaking into the States for any Canadian musical group can be difficult, “It’s a huge challenge for any Canadian band, like the Hip playing a sold out show in Toronto but settling for a small venue in Texas,” continues Justin. The show went well accompanied by theStone Foxes.
After success on the road, they finally make their way back home and into the studio. A special edition of their EP is coming out with logo designed by Zack Berjawi (a local filmmaker and photographer) “It’s a play on being suited up,” Justin explains and it does fit the stylish duo very well. Often clad in button down shirts and neck ties, the two were featured on the website Dappered. “This was huge for us, it’s our morning coffee,” Justin claimed, describing their fondness of the websites content. Indeed, with great style and a mature attitude, the Blue Stones do make an impact on the music scene.
The new special edition EP contains new songs and old songs like ‘I’m a Stereo’. With influences such as Alberta Cross, Black Keys, and Kings of Leon, it’s no wonder that the band has grown to such popularity. The pair plan to go back into the studio later this fall to record covers that are to be made available online for the public. Inspired by John Mayer’s cover of ‘Crossroads’ and Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of ‘All Along the Watchtower’, The Blue Stones plan on covering some big names, including The Black Keys, Sam Roberts and guitar great Jimi Hendrix. Look for new content soon as the band expands their fan base.
What is to come of the band is uncertain, they just want to have fun and as long as they see progress they’ll move forward. “We’d Like to be in a bigger sphere of influence,” Says Justin. “We are playing and trying to do the right things, as long as there is progress and its not stale well keep going.” Tarek says describing the future of the band.
They left me with a couple of tips on bands before doing so. “Don’t force crowd interaction, let them see you’re into your own music,” says Tarek. “When I’m up there if I’m into it, they’ll see it. It’s good to see artists who like their music, feel it out, almost 100 percent of the time people will enjoy it too.” Justin adds, “Don’t feel like your under a microscope, just be yourself. The looser you feel the better you sound. If you stop thinking about how you look like, you’ll focus on your sound a lot more and you’ll sound better. If you think about how you look like your sound suffers, it’s a catch 22.”