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Been Stellar Interview

(Photo by Naz Kawakami)


Rapid-fire Questions

1. What have you been listening to lately?

We’ve been listening to a lot of Ride, Just Mustard, Elliot Smith, Bowery Electric, and Yo La Tengo.

2. Lou Reed made an album with Metallica??

Yes, and it is amazing and terribly misunderstood.

3. If you could collaborate on an album with anyone, who would you choose?

For art, it would be great to collaborate with Dolores Marat. For music, Dean Blunt.

4. Go to place to eat while on tour?

In N Out in California, Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis, Superdog in Chicago, Spice Grills in South London.

5. Where can I get a CD copy of Kenna?

Sadly we have none left :(

6. Have you ever seen a ghost or anything paranormal?

I (Skyler) grew up in a haunted house. But it was a peacefully haunted vibe.

7. If you had to steal the declaration of independence, what would be your gameplan?

Download off google images and print it.

8. I talked to someone about Modern Baseball the other day and they called them a classic band. Then I realized that Sports came out 10 years ago. Am I getting old??

You get younger every time you laugh.

9. On a scale from 1-10 how is this interview going so far?


10. Any bands that you think are doing something cool, or interesting in music right now?

Just Mustard, Black Country New Road, Wunderhorse are all very inspiring.


To start things off can you introduce yourselves and give us your role in the band?

Sam - Singer

Sky - Guitar

Nando - Guitar

Nico - Bass

Laila - Drums

I read in your interview with Monster Children, that Sam and Skyler started playing together in high school. How did that evolve into Been Stellar?

We were on the cross country team and we would talk about music to distract ourselves from the physical pain. We were both in other bands, but realized we liked making music with each other more.

I love the band name, what were some of the other top contenders?

Before Been Stellar we released a daft punk cover song under the name Houdinis. There was a point where we wanted to change the band name to Ivy League as well, but I’m glad we didn’t.

You’ve been writing songs since you were pretty young. I’m sure a lot of the way you write songs has changed, but are there any things that have carried over throughout all these years?

We have always really liked noisiness in music. That’s still true today.

Was there anything in particular that made you want to pursue a music career? Or at this point has it just been a part of your life for so long that it's not something you even had to think about?

It’s all we have ever really known how to do, so it was a very natural choice for us.

Do you have a favorite part of the music making process? (Writing,recording, performing, etc.)

They are all equally amazing as they are grueling. Nothing is more exciting than realizing you have written a song that you wish had existed before, however.

The first song of yours that I heard was “Fear of Heights”, can you give us some background on that song?

The song’s about religion and agnosticism.

You released your latest single “Kids 1995” not too long ago! Can you talk to us about that track?

it’s about loss of innocence and adjusting to a new conception of the world. Solipsism played a big part in the song too.

Oh man the lyrics:

“And it’s up to you
But it's also up to you.”

Get me everytime I listen to the song. I can’t tell if it’s meant to be a feeling of optimism or uncertainty?

Bit of both I think! It’s optimistic in theory but also a heavy burden.

I read that the song was written a few years ago. Does your connection with a song change as time goes by?

It does. For kids, it faded for a bit I think but rerecording the song and changing it here and there made us appreciate it more.

The music video for the song is sick. How did the idea for the video come about?

Idea was to reference the Velvet Underground and use old CCTV sets.

I remember watching that film my junior year of high school, and being completely obsessed with it. Have you watched any of Harmony Korine’s other films?

Yeah, love Gummo obviously. Julien Donkey Boy, Beach Bum, Spring Breakers. Still want to see the Michael Jackson impressionist one.

Sorry, I got off topic. You’re touring in the UK soon! Is there anything that you’re excited to check out while you’re there?

Yeah! We’ve toured here once about a month ago but excited to visit Brighton again, Leeds, Bristol and London!

What’s the weirdest or craziest show experience that you’ve had so far?

We sold out the Windmill in Brixton which was really fun and surprising. Playing in San Francisco last tour was incredible too, at a venue called the Chapel.

You were in Austin for SXSW a couple months ago! Was that your first time attending?

It was! Loved the shows we played there, met some wonderful people.

Did you get to catch any cool shows?

Yeah! That was our first time seeing Just Mustard live. We caught Dead Tooth who are friends from New York.

I read the Rolling Stone article that you were featured in about being a young band on the road. What are some ways that we as listeners/fans support you and other touring bands?

(Photo by Naz Kawakami)

If something happens such as a van breaking down, help if ya can by throwing the band some money. That or offering up a place for us to stay even if it's the floor.

What changes in the way that touring works currently would make touring more sustainable for bands?

Young driver fees for rentals are pretty rough.

What can we expect from Been Stellar in the near future?

New EP next month!


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