The Stone Chiefs
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The Stone Chiefs

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Classic Rock




"The Stone Chiefs album rated 6 Stars"

Drive On
Track Listing: Drive On, Mountain, Mate of Mine, Let It Rain, My Little Ann, Close The Door, Younger, Come Down, Get Up and Go, Moxie, Vices, Innocence, Straight Pipes

Rating: 6 stars! - Do what you have to do by any means to get this disc, it's a MUST HAVE!!

When I started listening to this record the first song reminded me vaguely of a song the band Hinder did & I thought the band's sound would remain in that style...I was wrong because when the 2nd track kicked in the song "Mountain" has a very 70's styled blues rock tone & it almost reminds me of Black Crowes meets Monster Magnet!

"Mate of Mine" really reminds me of Black Crowes alot & it starts off with this twangy guitar lick that's really pleasing to the ears.

There's many mellow moments on this record where the band allows their slower material to speak & express a moodier side to the bands sound but I think a song like "Get Up & Go" really define what the bands all about because the song is an old school rock n roller that's got punch, soul & emotion. It's interesting because the bands heaviest song is the closer..."Straight Pipes" closes the record & that song reminds me just a tad bit of Candlebox!

Overall this is a solid record with old school rock riffs & the band definitely has an old soul in terms of their sound. - Rock N Roll Experience review by Bob Suehs

"BT talks with Rob Cavuoto at Guitar International"

By: Rob Cavuoto

Authentic, classic rock sounds are needed now more than ever, and those sounds are in no short supply on The Stone Chiefs’ debut album Drive On.

In an era when more and more musicians rely on electronics and software to get their art across, it’s refreshing to discover an up-and-coming act that hasn’t forgotten the foundation that rock music was built upon – the electrifying, rip-roaring sound of a real, live band playing together. That’s the exact approach The Stone Chiefs, adopt on their recently-released debut album.

Consisting of members Dallas Perry (Lead Vocals), Aaron Wiig (Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass), Brian ‘BT’ Torrence (Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass), David Arnn (Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass), and Michael ‘Twig’ Neece (Drums), The Stone Chiefs seek to melt faces worldwide with their riveting, guitar-driven assault and supercharged live show. I spoke with guitarist Brian Torrence about the band, the new album, and the virtues and perils of playing cover gigs as a young band.


Rob Cavuoto: Can you tell us about the history of the band and some of the band’s influences?

Brian Torrence: Aaron, David and I met in college where we would have suds-and-buds-fueled guitar sessions in dirty apartments noodling on stuff like Zeppelin, Hendrix, etc. Aaron and David cut some original tunes over that period in a local studio. After college Aaron and I were in the same band for several years before it fell apart. We all kept in touch and jammed whenever possible but played with various bands for awhile. We later met up with a drummer through David who had an in on well-paying cover gigs. As a result, we formed a four-piece to just be minstrels for easy money and booze on the weekends.

Fast forward down the road a bit…David recommended a singer from another band he was jamming with. In walks Dallas Perry… Dallas brought a strong rock voice to the group to take us above and beyond the typical band. Guitar players are a dime a dozen but a good singer is hard to find. After Dallas joined is when we actually started renting a practice pad and writing original music as a unit. We had this sense that something was bubbling and we wanted to put in the effort to see what happened. We eventually went our separate ways from the original drummer and auditioned Twig after seeing his ad on Craigslist. Our original intent was to audition multiple drummers and pick the best fit, but we bonded immediately with Twig on that first tryout and decided we definitely wanted him behind the kit. He took our original tunes to another level. With all five components gathered, The Stone Chiefs were born.

The Stone Chiefs - Drive On

As far as influences…we all share a common fondness for guitar-oriented rock from classic artists like Zeppelin, Stones, Beatles to modern artists like The Black Keys, Radiohead, any Jack White outfit (The White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather), etc. Being five different individuals, we also each bring our own unique influences that helps diversify our sound. David and Dallas lean more towards the classic-era sounds. Aaron and I lean a little more into modern or indie rock sounds. Before playing with us, Twig played in hard rock, metal and even country bands. So, influences among us can run all over…The Doors, Tool, Oasis, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, The Cult, Beck, Sublime, Skynyrd, etc.

Rob: Tell me about your unique style and sound, how did that come about?

Brian Torrence: Well…besides the five different guys having differing influences angle that I mentioned earlier, our band is also a bit unique in that we have three guitar players who rotate the bass-playing role around depending on the song. We’re all guitar guys and none of us want to be the permanent bass player! [Laughs] We also figure a three-guitar assault would be too much of a good thing…too much stepping on each others’ toes…so we wouldn’t want to add a sixth band member to play bass. So, the bass player duty gets moved around depending on who has certain ideas for guitar or bass for that particular song. The cool part of that is that you get a varying dynamic on the album. Each song has any two of the three guitarists paired and could have any of the three guitarists on lead or rhythm. We also all write songs, so there’s the multiple songwriting style angle, too.

Rob: How do you classify your music?

Brian Torrence: It’s definitely rock in the classic sense, but I think it’s a blend of both a late ‘60s-early ‘70s classic-Southern sound with elements of modern rock guitar plus a sprinkle of ‘90s rock in between.

Rob: The guitar on the CD sounds great, it has a nice punch. Can you shed some light on how it came about?

Brian Torrence: David was instrumental in fostering the bands guitar sound. He introduced Aaron to Dr. Z amps and found him a Carmen Ghia head. Aaron paired it with a 2×12 cab with Vintage 30s and plays it to this day. David plays a Maz 18 Jr. in either a 2×12 cab with a Redcoat and Greenback or a single 12” cab with a mystery speaker. For the album we had access to some additional gear. We ran a Budda through an Orange cab on several tunes. That Orange cab also sounds awesome hooked up to the Carmen Ghia. A Fender Twin Reverb and a Marshall got a little bit of action.

We all are big believers in the raw power of small wattage boutique amps pushed to kickass, natural tube distortion sounds. Many times we just plugged a guitar into a cranked Dr. Z and pressed record. When we did use stomp boxes, gear in the rotation included TS808 Tube Screamer, Expandora, FX Engineering Spitfire, FX Engineering Mirage, H2O Echo, Deja Vibe, an old school Ross phaser and some other goodies. Oh, can’t forget the Fuzz Face.

For guitars, the majority of the album was tracked with a 1972 Les Paul Black Beauty, a modified Epiphone Sheraton II, or an old Stratocaster with a DiMarzio in the bridge that is mean as hell. A buddy Aaron knows has a vintage Epiphone Riviera, so we had to get our hands on that for awhile too.

Producer Jeff Creed did a great job of working with the band to capture the natural sound of the guitars. We ran 2 or 3 mics per take on a cab with slightly different mic positions. Getting a cab mic’ed up to cover the variables is an art form. You got to somehow know what sounds will mix out well together with little frame of reference except what you think sounds nice. For micing the guitar cabs we typically used a condenser and a ribbon mic, don’t remember which ones offhand. Of course, we busted out the trusty SM57 on occasion as well.

With all this said, I gotta give a big shout out to Michael Wallace at When In Rome Studios, who mixed and mastered the album. He really put the finishing touches on the guitar sound. His effort took our recordings from good to awesome. It was a team effort to get the sound we wanted. I remember sitting in the studio with the guys in the control room working on getting the intro pick slide in “Mate of Mine” just right. After a couple takes they all jumped up and started yelling. That’s how lots of the guitar tracks happened in the studio…with several of the guys hanging out trying different things until we dialed in what we were listening for.

The Stone Chiefs

Rob: How did you come up with the name?

Brian Torrence: The Stone Chiefs name resulted from a discussion at band practice. Dallas and Aaron were talking about how it would be cool to have a name with words conveying a sense of weight with a connotation of authority or mastery. After a couple of failed attempts, The Stone Chiefs got thrown in the ring. The name conjured up some cool images and visualizations to a degree …and of course, it passed the “Google test.” If you Google “The Stone Chiefs,” you see us and only us. It is a solid band name that fits us well.

But really, choosing a band name was a long, frustrating process for us that we’d all love to forget! For a while there, we just wanted to play and didn’t really care about the name – what the hell is a Pearl Jam anyway? So, we kept procrastinating and procrastinating…and playing under different band names. Every now and then, we’d come up with a good one, then the name would fail the Google test. Some other band was using it. It was probably way easier in the pre-Internet days. You only had to make sure another successful or signed band wasn’t using the name. These days, you search for the name, see some god-awful garage band in the middle of Wisconsin on MySpace using the name and don’t want to use it because some people may think your bands are one and the same. Not to mention, that band probably grabbed all the cool web site addresses already. Even when we’d get a unique name candidate, some people in the band would like it and some wouldn’t. Thankfully we ended up with a decent band name. We all are happy with The Stone Chiefs.

Rob: Do you have a favorite tune on the CD?

Brian Torrence: Tough question as I honestly do like all of our tunes. I also don’t want to be a douchebag and pick one of my own tunes [Laughs]. Seriously though, my preference for one tune versus another can change depending on my mood. Since I’m currently in a chill mood chugging a beer, I’ll drop a vote for “Come Down.” It has a smooth, Pink Floyd-y groove you can zone out to and I think each of us did our own thing to make that song sound special. I have my own selfish reasons for liking that tune, too. I get to noodle around on lead and lay down cool space-y guitar stuff!

Rob: What do you want fans to take away from the CD?

Brian Torrence: I’d like the fans to enjoy the overall, diverse experience of the album. I suppose the typical record industry gospel suggests that all songs on an album should have the same sound throughout for consistency, but screw that…I like how our album runs the gamut on styles and sounds. It ranges from harder tunes like “Straight Pipes” and “Mountain” to up-tempo party rockers like “Moxie” and “Mate of Mine” to mid-tempo tunes like “Drive On” and “Younger” to chill tunes like “Come Down,” “My Little Ann” and “Close The Door.” You may be in the mood for certain tunes one day and in a different mood for others the next. So, there’s diversity there from the multiple songwriters/guitarists, yet the album still retains enough of a common theme that it’s not jumping all over the place. We’re not following a metal tune with a polka tune, for example. The album also has great production/mixing, slick keys from Chris Johnson and smooth backup vox from Barbara Weathers, who had top 10 R&B hits (“Always,” “Secret Lover”) with Atlantic Starr back in the day.

Rob: What does success look like for you?

Brian Torrence: To walk out on a stage with my bandmates and have the lights go up on a charged audience and know that they are all there to hear the songs that we have written. No better feeling in the world!

Rob: Any advice for bands starting out regarding things to do and things to avoid?

The Stone Chiefs

Brian Torrence: It may seem like a paradox, but you sometimes have to bite the bullet and play cover gigs in the beginning of your career to advance your original music. For one thing, they pay much better and will help you finance studio time, album promotion, etc more than originals-only gigs where you may get a lame percentage of the door on a Wednesday night in a strange town where nobody knows your name. To our defense, we would always sprinkle in some of our originals at cover gigs and hype those up.

As for what to avoid….well, strangely enough, it would be the same thing….don’t become a cover band. If you’re serious about your originals, don’t fall so much in love with that easy, higher-money payout that cover gigs offer in the beginning of a band career that you end up playing cover gigs and cover gigs only…unless you want to be yet another band playing “She’s a Brick House” at weddings and bars for a living. At some point, you gotta roll the dice on being an originals-only act, financial logistics be damned!

Another thing: Find people you enjoy hanging out with who are great players. The whole weak link in the chain thing is true. Don’t be afraid to bolt on a mediocre band or kick out the guy that sucks, even if he is a cool dude. Life is too short to play with musicians that aren’t up to par or not serious. It’s crucial to surround yourself with great musicians with good attitudes.

A little bit of practice goes a long way. A lot of practice goes even further. Look up the 10,000 hour rule. It’s true. Now think about what it takes to get to that expert level of functionality as a band.

Oh, and try to have as much fun as you can.

Rob: What are your touring plans?

Brian Torrence: Our touring plans are currently in their infancy. Right now, we are looking to promote our album via media and online outlets to create awareness. After that awareness is created, we can do a tour that hopefully puts fans in the stands. Right now, we’re looking to generate the demand before providing the supply! With that said, we got some awesome shows coming up playing large venues in North Carolina (stadium gig in Greensboro and Raleigh Ampitheatre). The gig opportunities are getting bigger and better. We definitely are looking forward to performing the music.

Rob: What has been your proudest achievement to date?

Brian Torrence: Being in a great band with four other kickass guys that all get along well with each other and working together with those guys to create what I think is a fine piece of work in our Drive On album. We honestly have a helluva good time just playing all these songs for only ourselves in our practice room, and we have an even better time playing them for you! - Guitar International

"Aaron on The Allan Handelman syndicated radio show discussing the album and the state of the rock music scene in NC"

Aaron on The Allan Handelman syndicated radio show discussing the album and the state of the rock music scene in NC - The Allan Handelman Show

"Interview with David on Classic Rock Revisited"

By Jeb Wright

Classic Rock Revisited is proud to introduce our readers to a great new band called the Stone Chiefs, who are making a name for themselves in their home state of North Carolina. The band have a strong work ethic, a gang-like mentality and can write songs with rich melodies, strong hooks and a good guitar solo. While this may seem rare in this day and age when the music on stage comes from a DJ booth or a has a strong chance of being mimed, this band are 100% dedicated to their craft.

We caught up with guitarist, and founding member, David Arrn, who gave us the scoop on the history of the band, their new album and their plans for the future. We hear a lot of new bands at who claim they are the ‘next big thing’ but these guys may actually be it. Be sure to read this interview then head over to the band’s website at

Jeb: I discovered your band through Dan Russo and Chip Ruggieri. These guys know their music, so when they say to check it out I do. I love the term ‘New Southern Rock.’ What is new about it?

David: The only new part about it is that it’s being put out now. It still has three, or four chords, and a lot of guitar solos. It also has a little bit of a southern accent.

Jeb: The Stone Chiefs have a sound. There is a touch of Black Crowes, a touch of Rolling Stones and other things but you’ve got your own sound.

David: I appreciate you saying that. We all kind of grew up on the same stuff. I guess it just comes out that way. We listened to the Stones and all of those bands and it just all mixed together the way it did.

Jeb: Tell me how this band came together.

David: We’ve been together about three years. Aaron Wiig, was my college roommate at Chapel Hill. I played bass in Jazz band but when I got to college, he had a guitar and his amp and it really started from that. BT [Torrence], the other guitar and bass player in the band, was also in school there. We’ve all been friends since 1991 but we weren’t in bands then, but we were jamming. A few years later, I’m in a cover band and I go on Craig’s List and I find another cover band looking for a guitar player. I go and audition and I get the job. Dallas Perry is the singer of this cover band. He’s the best singer I’ve ever heard in my life. A few months later and I’ve talked him into doing original stuff and leaving his band. I went back to Aaron and BT, who pretty much taught me how to play. About a year and a half later, we found Twig [Neece], the drummer and we couldn’t have asked for a better drummer; he’s a real drummer.

Jeb: It sounds like you have a good mix of musical kinship and friendship.

David: We fight like cats and dogs. If we weren’t friends then we wouldn’t be together. We are just like a gang -- that’s the way I like to look at it. No matter what, we hang together. We will call each other out on stuff but there is a mutual respect within the band because everyone contributes.

Jeb: The song I love is “Vices.” That song has an old school feel to it but it could be a hit among the college crowd, easily.

David: I helped Dallas a little bit on “Vices” but Dallas is a real talent. He writes most of our lyrics and probably fifty percent of our music. We’re shooting to get the younger crowd. I know how it was when I was young and you looked around and found your niche in music. Even though we’re playing music that 50 year olds can identify with, here in the South, kids in high school still listen to Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd, not everybody’s all on pop.

Jeb: I like this band. You’re still pretty regional where you are at. Is it time for you to jump into the big pool and go for it?

David: So far, we’ve done everything ourselves. We played cover gigs to pay for our album. We have spent fifteen thousand dollars recording, producing and mastering our album. Nobody had to come up with anything out of pocket and we didn’t have to sign with any label. We have our own label that is a separate entity. We have done it ourselves and its just kept building. We are not just saying, “Let’s hit the road” but hopefully we are going to make it happen. It is a gray area for the band because we have never been on a tour. Now, with this album we have a product to sell. Our gigs are getting bigger and bigger so things are going in the right direction.

Jeb: I’m from Kansas, so while we are not Southern, that music was huge here. But a lot of people consider Southern Rock to be something that is in the past. Your challenge is to show people that it is still alive and can thrive once again.

David: Our previous entity as a band was called Swagger, which was a terrible name. We recorded an album with John Custer, who co-wrote some songs for Corrosion of Conformity and he produced them. He was nominated for a Grammy and he’s a Raleigh guy; he’s kind of a big deal around here. In talking to him, he said music was cyclical and that people get tired of stuff and a new thing comes in and fills a need and then after a while the other stuff comes back around. I think if you tell a good story in a good voice, and rip a guitar solo , it will never go away. It may change forms but it won’t go away.

Jeb: As good as the album is tell me about your live show? Southern bands are famous for taking a great studio album and blowing the roof off the arena when they play it live.

David: We do as much off the album as we can. We didn’t overdub so many parts on the album that we can recreate it live. Dallas is one of the best front men I’ve ever seen. He sweats like a pig on stage. We feel the music and you can see it. We are head bobbing or our eyes or closed. It’s a living and breathing thing. I don’t’ want to toot our own horn too much but I think we do alright.

Jeb: Guitar solos used to be expected to be long and intense. You play some great solos on this album but the younger bands usually just do away with them. Do you ever want to rip out even more than you do?

David: I’m satisfied with the ripping we have going on in this band. The Swagger album we did got some radio play but they cut out thirty seconds of guitar solos. What are you going to do? I guess you can’t play it too long.

Jeb: You have other challenges with downloading and having to do all of your own marketing. How do you keep from getting ripped off by people downloading your music?

David: Honestly, the getting ripped off is out of our hands. If somebody wants to listen to our music then we just want them to hear it. We will give out our music to people who are interested in our band. Every two or three people you do that to, one of them will go and buy it on iTunes.

Jeb: Southern bands are not supposed to be so savvy and smart.

David: [laughter] We have college degrees and we’re not dummies. We all have day jobs and, in fact, I help run a business in my day job. If the music can pay better than the day job, then I think we will all be ready to get on the tour.

Jeb: Do you feel that you are all committed to hop on a tour and give up the security of the normal side of your life?

David: Yes sir, we’ve hauled too many PA speakers and went home with no money after sweating for four hours. We’re all in this together and if it goes, then we will all go.

Jeb: Is the music a mix of the songwriter bringing the song to the band and the band helping with the arrangement?

David: With the song you like a lot, “Vices,” Dallas came to the band with that song and he was singing it in the key C. I switched it to the key of A, which fits his register better. Aaron threw some licks over it and BT came up with a cool bass line and it was a band effort. There is a song we have called “Mountain” that Aaron came to us with the song totally written. I co-wrote five songs and Dallas co-wrote nine of them. There is enough respect between all of us that we are not afraid to speak up.

Jeb: When did you notice that you could be more than a bar band?

David: We’ve been playing dive bars, motorcycle bars and oyster bars for a long, long time. After you hear, “You’re the best band we’ve ever seen play here,” then you start thinking that you need to start playing venues where you’re not the best band to have ever played there. Maybe we need some bigger venues. To be honest, it makes me physically sick to play cover songs. Hopefully, we’re past that now. Most of the gigs we’ve been booking now have been bigger where we play our own music. We played a minor league stadium gig and we have a Raleigh Amphitheater gig with Better Than Ezra coming up. These are the biggest stages we have been on. We’ve got the support of the local radio station here and I really think we are at the tipping point and we’re going to keep rolling. Hopefully, we are going to make a living doing this really soon. We’ve done it all ourselves and we have not skipped any parts. We are what we are and we are a pretty good band. To me, if you want to be on a stage and entertain people, then you’ve got to have a bit of an ego and not be afraid to go for it.

Jeb: Do you try to make a song sound a certain way or do you just go with what comes out?

David: We’ve got a limited amount of guitar tones and the drummer has a limited amount of things he can hit but given that, we go for a different sound. Most people who listen to a song are not as worried about the guitar player’s tone as much as the guitarist is. They are listening to the singer, and that is just how it goes. Nothing is forced in the band. If it has to be forced then we don’t do it because we have enough stuff that we love. It’s not hard once it’s there, and when it’s there, it’s one of the best feelings that you can ever have.

Jeb: Last one: What musicians most influenced you?

David: I can remember being in sixth grade and Jimi Hendrix was on some music show on TV and it was the first time I had visually seen him. I knew right then that was what I wanted to do with my life. I will never be a guitar god but I can still feel what he felt playing guitar. I love Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top. I also like the Marshall Tucker Band. Just so you know, when I was in high school, I only listened to U2; I was a total freak. Some of BT’s solos sound like The Edge, to me. Maybe having that mixed in with the Southern stuff helps us sound unique.
- Classic Rock Revisited

"Interview with Aaron on Maximum Threshold Radio"

Maximum Threshold syndicated radio show interview, see link - Maximum Threshold syndicated radio show

"96 Rock video footage of The Stone Chiefs"

96 Rock made a video from The Stone Chiefs and others opening for Better Than Ezra at Raleigh Ampitheatre - 96 Rock radio covering central NC

"Powerline interviews Aaron to discuss The Stone Chiefs debut release 'Drive On'"

The Stone Chiefs sound like veterans who have been playing their guitar-driven, southern flavored hard rock for ages. In fact, the band just released their debut album Drive On this August. And Drive On has all the right hooks and distortion in all the right places (read our review of the album by clicking here).

The following is an interview with Stone Chiefs guitarist Aaron Wiig.

You state on your Web site that The Stone Chiefs’ music has the “timeless feel of a lazy Saturday afternoon flowing into a late night party.” Can you elaborate further?
Aaron Wiig: Some of the songs on the album have a laid back feel that remind me of an afternoon outdoor barbeque with friends while knockin’ back some beers. “Drive On,” “Let It Rain,” “Younger” and “Innocence” sort of feel like this to me. We all consider times like these the best days of our lives…a warm familiarity comes along with these memories. People throughout time enjoy good times with good friends. Music is the same way with the style dependent on the culture. I’d like to think The Stone Chiefs have our own sound, but we’re not creating a new genre or anything. We are a rock ‘n’ roll band. We draw on the influences of rock ‘n’ roll legends to help guide us. In that sense the music has a familiarity to it, like when thinking of that last great afternoon party where you saw a bunch of folks you hadn’t seen in a long time and had a blast.

Flowing into a late night party: After the barbeque is over everybody has a buzz and is ready to head out to the bars and see what the night has in store. There is a sense of raw excitement that something unexpected could happen. This is where “Moxie,” “Mate of Mine,” and “Get Up and Go” come in. Maybe you end up back at your house at 3am with a fine young lady and it’s time to close the deal. It’s time to put on “Close the Door.”

You wake up the next morning and think, ‘Man, if only every day could be that good.’

You have a hard rock sound that is very commercially acceptable, one that is reminiscent of ’90s hard rock bands like 3 Doors Down, ThirdEyeBlind, but also includes a more gritty modern southern rock feel to it like Kings of Leon, Black Crowes. Did any of those bands influence you? Do you take these comparisons as a compliment?
Wiig: I got nothing against 3 Doors Down and ThirdEyeBlind, but I don’t own any of their albums. On the other hand, I am a huge Black Crowes fan and really dig Kings of Leon…especially their raw early stuff. I’d say The Stone Chiefs are definitely influenced by the Crowes and Kings of Leon more so than the other bands in the list. I take all of those comparisons as compliments. I don’t think there is anything wrong with writing commercially acceptable music. It’s not by design, but just happens sometimes.

I must admit, I am surprised the band hasn’t hit yet. I think it’s only a matter of time. You thank your friends and family on your album for having the patience and support. How do you believe the band has the patience and fortitude to wait for that big break? Some bands give up too soon.
Wiig: I really appreciate your feelings. Let’s hope the break is right up around the bend. I’ve been playing in bands since was 15. I’ve known the other two guitar players in the band since I was 18. It is a real lesson in patience when you know that you have the skills and a great band with enormous potential yet sometimes things just don’t seem to fall into place. That’s when we just keep pushing. We have been pushing for awhile now and things are starting to look more promising. If you think this album is good, wait till you hear our next one. We already got more than half of The Stone Chiefs sophomore release ready to track with a boatload of cool tunes in development. This band really has the potential to put out great music for a long time to come…and everybody in the band knows it. We just got to keep our eye on the ball and keep pushing. Play more shows, make more fans, repeat. Eventually, we will either hit a tipping point with a storm surge of fans or the right people will take us under their wing. Either way, we are in it to make great music for a very long time.

You seem to have the social networking thing down. That’s important nowadays and not enough bands seem to do it effectively — it really is more than a simple MySpace page.
Wiig: Thanks. If you want to be the next big band, you have to present yourself as the next big band and market accordingly. If you want to be taken seriously, a band has to have their online presence straight.

You claim that your singer Dallas Perry started singing in clubs when he was seven-years old. What kind of songs (karaoke?) was Dallas singing at seven -years old in clubs?!
Wiig: I’m glad you asked this because I didn’t know myself until I picked Dallas’ brain. He said back in those days he was singing Bob Seger, Jerry Lee Lewis, 38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty, The Band and other classic rock gems. Specific songs he mentioned were “Great Balls of Fire” and “Old Time Rock and Roll”.

The lead break in “Moxie” is electrifying. Do both guitarists trade off the leads there? Did you think of that song as a single?
Wiig: I definitely think “Moxie” would make a great single. “Moxie” is resonating with a lot of fans and press. The lead break in “Moxie” starts with me ripping it out early over a surf rock influenced riff that BT (guitarist Brian ‘BT’ Torrence) worked out. After that segment, David (David Arnn, guitarist) comes in with the southern rock solo action over a riff that Dallas and I put together. The contrast of the fast paced segment with the slower, chunky riff works well. We tracked several solo takes in the studio on the fly just to see what would happen. It turns out that two of David’s solos were damn good and coincidentally had highlights at alternating times. So we decided to have David dual solo with himself there at the end. I think it came together nicely…one of those cool moments when it hit us in the studio.

Seems like the entire band is involved in the songwriting?
Wiig: Yeah, we all write songs although Dallas is the main songwriter. It just depends on the tune. Sometimes we work it out together. Sometimes somebody shows up with a tune complete. I think we get along well enough and don’t have such big egos that one person in the band thinks that it’s “their” band. We got a lot of diversity on the album which is one of the cool results of multiple songwriters. Also, if you got four people in a band that write songs everybody is going to bring the best tunes to the table and leave all the mediocre stuff at home. I think this raises the bar for everybody in a good way.

Why do three guitarists share bass duties? How does that work?
Wiig: We all are lead guitarists at heart. We didn’t want to add a sixth band member to play bass and end up with three guitar players…overkill. So, we decided to split up the bass duties. It only works because David, BT, and I have known each other since we were teenagers and mutually respect each other as accomplished guitar players. Most people think it’s rather cool that we can do that. At shows when the bassist picks up a 6 string and rips it up there always are a few raised eyebrows. Regardless of who is playing bass we have two seriously talented guitar slingers throwing it out. In addition, we all get to play a different instrument, which keeps it fresh. Bass is a different animal than electric guitar.

Here is a really bad joke going around: What do you call the guy who always wants to be part of the band?
Answer: The bass player!

This joke used to give me a chuckle as a lead guitar player until I actually tried playing bass. In no time the drummer told me I sucked and to stop playing bass like a 6 string. Now that I’ve played bass for awhile I appreciate the skill it takes to do it well.

Does the pianist featured on the album, Chris Johnson, tour with the band? His keyboards on “vices” add a nice touch. How do you do without the keyboards live?
Wiig: I wish we could take Chris out with us but so far we haven’t. I would also love to do some shows with Barbara Weathers singing backup. I think our guitar sound is big enough so that listeners don’t miss the keyboards much. But really, I would love to have Chris sit in on some shows. There has been some talk of it but it is yet to materialize. It would set off the tunes with keyboards on the album: Vices, Younger, Let It Rain, and Close the Door.

What vices do you all have?
Wiig: What have you got? A straight answer to this question may make our Mama’s cry…better to let sleeping dogs lie.

I’ve had friends burn out on a variety of substances. I’ve been successful at dodging bullets, but everybody’s luck runs out eventually. At some point I realized that certain paths of existence are not sustainable.

Most of The Stone Chiefs have had issues with excess at some point in their life. Alcohol is currently the band’s biggest vice. Dallas wrote “Vices” halfway through a bottle of whiskey. Moderation can have no meaning to a bunch of rock-n-rollers. Even so, when it’s show time everybody in the band holds everybody else accountable. Having some drinks, gettin’ loose, and throwing down an awesome show is great. Being sloshed on stage is not cool with any of the guys in this band.

How would you describe your music? And how would you like to see it evolve in coming years?
Wiig: Guitar driven rock-n-roll with soul. Genuine. Hearty. Honest. Fun.

Our next album will consist mainly of catchy upbeat rock tunes with big hooks. Songs people can shake a tail feather to or throw their fists in the air. We are going to continue to help other rock bands bring back the guitar solo. We also will be incorporating at least a couple big finish experiences into the set. People will be walking away from our live show thinking that they can’t wait to see us again.

For more information, go to - Powerline Mag

"Dallas talks about the back story on the song Vices"

Today The Stone Chiefs singer Dallas Perry tells us about "Vices" from their brand new album "Drive On". Here is the story:
I've always been a fan of traditional, down on your luck, country music songs. I guess "Vices" was my attempt to recreate that sort of vibe. I wrote this song in my old apartment, shortly after moving in. At this point in my life, I was living on my own for the first time in my life, which obviously provided me with a lot of extra alone time to be creative. By creative, I mean drunk and bored as hell. Honestly, I didn't WRITE Vices so much as I found it midway through a bottle of whiskey. Remember how I said I was trying to recreate the feel of an old, haggard country song? The Whiskey helped.

The song basically tells a story of a guy who's been done wrong by his woman, decides to give himself a break, a drink, and a couple extra days to collect himself. Slippery slopes for slippery folks... His long weekend turns into a full on bender, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Grim, of course, but I think it's pretty universal and relatable. Contrary to popular belief, the song is about no one in particular, just a sort of idea that stuck to the wall. A couple weeks later, I brought it to the band, which helped me (as always) shape it, tinker with it, and turn it into a proper song.

Moral of the story...booze helps you write songs. -

"DetritusZine recommends seeing The Stone Chiefs live"

Drive On album review by DetritusZine

THE STONE CHIEFS – DRIVE ON (B-) Grab ‘Em Records, Inc., 2011
13 tracks, RT: 53:41
Raleigh, North Carolina band The Stone Chiefs debut on the music scene
with their CD, DRIVE ON and a tour sponsorship from Jagermeister
distributors Sidney Frank, Inc. in the “Jager Band” promotional
program. The CD is also released on their label, Grab ‘Em Records,
Inc. — not bad for a new band. Dallas Perry (lead vocals), Michael
Neece (drums), Aaron Wiig (guitar, bass, backup vocals), Brian
Torrence (guitar, bass, backup vocals), and David Arnn (guitar, bass)
promote this release as modern, southern rock, but after multiple
plays, I hear something different. In fact, I hear broader diversity
on these tracks; to the point I’d say they could have split this CD
into two releases: one blues-rock based, and the other with a heavy
country influence. Not being much of a country fan, it’s not
surprising that the ratings I gave that group of tunes did not go
higher than a 6. In an interview with about the song
“Vices,” Perry says, “I’ve always been a fan of traditional, down on
your luck, country music songs. I guess ‘Vices’ was my attempt to
recreate that sort of vibe . . . I was trying to recreate the feel of
an old, haggard country song . . .” He succeeded in that respect. I
found that despite the cool echo effect early on, “Let It Rain” had
quite a hymn-like feel, “Innocence” has a very mainstream-country
sound, and “Vices” has harmonies that are great and fit the song, but
these are all far too country for my taste. They were my least
favorite tracks, and would be the first I’d move to another release.
“Mate Of Mine” has (to my knowledge) the first song reference to Conan
O’Brien ever written, if that should influence you to listen. On to
the rest of the songs, you’ll find well-defined, heavy beats and songs
that are dominated by guitar work. Lyrics and vocals are also well-
suited to the music. Personally, I really love that the lyrics are
available. Knowing what the artists are trying to convey from the
start helps me form a connection to the song. My preference for the
best songwriting team of the group goes to Perry and Torrence, hands
down. “Drive On” is a mellow, highway-cruisin’, blues-tinged number,
“Younger” includes just a touch of keyboard, sassy lyrics, and a mid-
tempo beat, and “Straight Pipes” blasts with blues and a bit of rock
and funk. But the best tunes are buried in the middle, so don’t let
the others fool you. “Come Down” deserves several plays right off the
bat for excellent and truly interesting percussion that sets mood for
the entire track, and backing vocals add to the mood. You must hear
“Get Up And Go” to love it. “Moxie” is destined to be a crowd favorite
at live shows. But the real gem here is “Mountain:” a perfect blend of
guitar, beat, and vocal. Those of you who enjoy country music might
find that you like this band’s first effort much more than I do. But
if this tour came to my neck of the woods, I’d definitely check them
out live, because I think that they have potential to really play the
hell out of the songs they have on this CD that are more blues-rock
- Jan W.
- DetritusZine by Jan W

"European press in Spanish!!!"

Enviado por Lucas Gordon el Vie, 30/09/2011

Creo que a veces no se trata de inventar algo nuevo, sino de encontrar los acordes justos para generar el arte ideal, como es el caso de The Stone Chiefs.
Como hago con casi todos los cds que no se que carajo va a traer, los tengo como “hmm, espero que esto no sea una cagada” y la mayoría de las veces me termino equivocando, como sucede aquí. Estúpidamente prejuzgo.
Convengamos que si me guio por la portada, no compro ni en pedo el compacto. No por malo que sea yo, simplemente me muestra una pintura, y no me guía en lo absoluto a lo que puedo esperar de su música.
Yo siempre les dije a cientos de músicos “si no son famosos como Pink Floyd, U2 o Kiss, hagan una portada que identifique el estilo que hacen y póngale al libro, contratapa y si es posible a la tapa, fotos de los integrantes”. Es marketing básico; como alguien desea ser escuchado si no es conocido?
Hay mucha gente como yo que a veces ve algo que podría acercarse al gusto de uno por imagen (como es el caso del glam) y compro el álbum.
En fin, musicalmente este redondo titulado “Drive On” es un rock and roll con firmes influencias de la música de los setentas. Podría mencionar como bandas similares a Los Black Crowes y Teddy Porter.
Justamente el timbre de voz de su frontman, Dallas Perry es similar al de Chris Robinson de los Crowes.
El opus arranca con mucha potencia con tracks bastante eléctricos como con el tema que da nombre a esta producción “Drive On”, continuado con “Mountain” donde los riffs de guitarra son bien crudoz y eléctricos. Pero a medida que pasa el disco, varia de atmosferas, bajando en varios momentos de decibeles como sucede con “My Little Ann” y el excelente mid/slow tempo “Come Down”. De esta manera intercala diferentes estados de ánimo.
The Stone Chiefs justamente es simple rock and roll de la costa este de USA, pero sus canciones como que tienen algo que te convence fácilmente y te termina gustando.
Mas info en: - El Portal de Metal by Lucas Gordon

"The Beat in Wilmington, NC loves The Stone Chiefs"

The Stone Chiefs
Drive On
By John Fonvielle

The Stone Chiefs are a five-piece rock and roll corporation billed as being from Raleigh and Wilmington. Wait, better make that a capital “R” for ROCK as they aren’t shy about their mission statement: these guys want to Rock. And Rock they do.

The first few bars from the title track Drive On are acoustic guitar but they immediately start churning the heavy ended electric guitar chords and lay down a Pearl Jammy hook.

Vocalist Dallas Perry fronts the Chiefs. Perry has a strong, confident voice and sings each line with convincing delivery. The founders were David Arnn and Aaron Wiig who bill themselves as “fast fingered friends.” Michael “Twig” Neece pounds some mean beats and Brian “BT” Torrence, guitar and bass, round out the combo. Both Arnn and Wiig play guitar and bass. They all chip in on songwriting duties.

The Chiefs are a little bit country, as in the Black Crowes sounding “Mate Of Mine”, and a little bit rock and roll, evidenced on “Mountain.”

“My Little Ann” starts with strummy acoustic guitar, then the drums and bass kick in as well as some nice slide guitar work.

They rock and roll on “Moxie” which has a Stones feeling groove, “I’ve got the Moxie!” It also has a nice back and forth between the drums and the guitar. That soon leads into a guitar duel. Catchy.

All 13 songs stand up with each other be it a slow ballad or a head pounding rock monster. The Stone Chiefs are five very talented young men.

I must point out that I reference other bands as a compliment. Rock and Roll had to come out of somewhere and the Stone Chiefs are merely pulling from the school of higher learning as far as the genre goes. They are clearly forging their own path but with the torches of the masters. They play with heart and, as I said, conviction.

The Stones Chiefs seem driven and ambitious. Drive On is a solid opening volley and shows the promise of more and better things to come. So drive on down and get a copy. - The Beat Magazine, Wilmington, NC by John Fonvielle

"Powerline gives The Stone Chiefs 4/5 rating!!"

Music Overview
Artist: The Stone Chiefs
Review Type: Album
Genre: Hard Rock

4 / 5 - Very Good

Reviewed by: Patrick Prince

It seems surprising that The Stone Chiefs have not had their big break yet. It should happen soon. The band’s infectuous southern-tinged hard rock has all the right chemistry for their songs to spread.

The Stone Chiefs have a commercially accessible sound but in a good way — if you took the elementary parts of Kings of Leon, the gristle of the Black Crowes, and tossed in a hint of Guns N’ Roses.

Songs like “Straight Pipes” have the powerhouse hard rock feel of the classic ’70s, while “Moxie” enchants with smooth boogie and intense lead guitar breaks. “Moxie” or “Mate of Mine” may be the stand out singles but the lazy atmosphere of “Vices” bleeds a melancholy that needs to be heard.

A strong showing for The Stone Chiefs with Drive On. Let’s see where it takes them.
- Patrick Prince at Powerline Mag

"The Stone Chiefs album rated 10/10"

CD REVIEW: The Stone Chiefs - Drive On
By Cyrus Rhodes - 10/19/2011 - 12:16 AM EDT
Artist: The Stone Chiefs
Album: Drive On
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Rock/Soul/Funk
Sounds Like: Black Crows, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Creed,
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Mountain, Let it Rain, Younger, Get up and Go
Weakness: None
CD Review:

Raleigh, North Carolina’s own 5 piece rock band “The Stone Chiefs” release their latest CD entitled Drive on in 2011. Band members include Dallas Perry (vocals), David Arnn (Guitar, Bass) Michael Neece (Drums), Aaron Wigg (guitar, bass, Backing vocals) and Brian Torrence (Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals).

The CD kicks off with “Drive On” a melodic yet hard hitting guitar groove served up hot against emotionally charged vocals, driving rock rhythm and a grand slam chorus. Track 2 “Mountain” serves up another rocking low end groove, complete with hard rocking musical flow coupled with hooky vocal accents from lead singer Perry and impressive southern fried musical flair. Track 3 “Mate of Mine” keeps things moving in the right direction with its pulsating rock groove meshed with an infectious vocal melody from Perry that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. The CD makes a solid first impression dishing out 3 rock solid tracks in a row. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic rock acts like The Black Crows, The Screaming Trees, Creed and even brief splashes of 3 Days Grace and Kenny Wayne Sheppard. Right from the start you will notice Perry and company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back and just being themselves. The overall musical vibe has a flair reminiscent of classic 90 hard rock, but you will also notice many Rocking R&B type-grooves as well - full of rock and soul. The guitar playing is hot to the touch delivering impressive solo guitar work aginst a solid rythem section. Now turing our attention over to frontman Dalls Perry. Perry clealry has all the trademarks of a classic front man persona. He clearly makes the (singer to listener) vocal connection each and every time. The songs themselves are short and sweet musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. From heartfelt “Let it Rain” to my personal favorite “My Little Ann” to tranquil “Close the Door” to grooving “Younger” to striking “Come Down” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Straight Pipes” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.

It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this CD – so I gave up trying.

From start to finish Drive On by The Stone Chiefs is an impressive release preiod! In fact it’s one of the best releases to slide across my desk this year. All these song go the full 12 rounds. The strong suit is clearly the overall song for song musical consistency - the playing and the writing. Since were on the subject the songwriting it's as good as it gets on this CD and can go toe to toe with any rock release out there right now. This CD packs a powerful punch yet is melodic and uplifting. Last but not least my hats off to the amazing talent of Dallas Perry. He is clearly the premier talent within this band. He has a world class vocal presence and appeal and if he just so happened to write all these songs - well he could be bigger than any of us realize at the moment. So if you like your guitar served up hot but with a nice touch of southern fried hospitality the n Drive On by "The Stone Chiefs" belongs in your hands right now. What else can I say - it's a grand slam! - Cyrus Rhodes at

"The Stone Chiefs album--4 stars from Brian McKinnon at"

The Stone Chiefs are a five piece rock band from Raleigh, North Carolina. With a sound that is self described as having “the timeless feel of a lazy Saturday afternoon flowing into a late night party” with all the “soul, power, charisma, blood, sweat, and fists in the air” to be memorable. I am inclined to agree with them.

The opening track is the appropriate song to categorize The Stone Chiefs. “Drive On” presents the laid-back rock attitude that these guys possess. It is definitely a song that evokes a sense of freedom on the open road with clear skies and miles and miles of horizon. “Let It Rain” is a slower and mellower sounding song that matches the title, as it has that feeling when life slows due to forces beyond human control. It is a rain shower that you want to get caught in. “Close The Door” is one of the few acoustic songs on the album and I think the best one. It has the most intimate feel to the sound and the lyrics. This song almost did not make it on the album, but I am glad that it did.

“Moxie” is a sweet hard rock song and my favorite song of them all. It has a smashing opening, loads of energy with catchy vocals, especially during the chorus. Another top song is “Straight Pipes” that ends the album in style. I think that this song has the most passion and edge to it that will resonate with an audience.

The Stone Chiefs’ Drive On is the album that you want if you are looking for some Rock and Roll. This is a band that is not to be missed. These guys put their hearts in to their work and the effort shows through in the entire album.

Key Tracks: Drive On, Mountain, Moxie, Straight Pipes

Brian McKinnon - Staff

October 11, 2011
For Questions Or Comments About This Review Send An Email To - Brian McKinnon-


The Stone Chiefs released their debut full length album on Aug 1, 2011. The subsequent publicity campaign resulted in positive press reviews internationally.

The Stone Chiefs are currently working on songs for their follow up release with tracking beginninng sometime in 2012.



Some band members of The Stone Chiefs go back to teenage years. David and Aaron were room mates in college. If they would have spent as much time studying as they did jammin they would have been 4.0 students, but who cares? Instead they became accomplished guitar slingers…and still got through college just fine. That’s where they met up with guitarman extraordinaire BT. They used to hang out trading licks, jammin for friends, and playing in local bands until they bumped into Dallas. Front man / singer Dallas began singing in front of bar crowds at age seven. There are not many men that can lay it down like Dallas…testament that rock-n-roll is about intensity and living in the now. Drummer Twig has the grit of a grizzly bear with the timing of a swiss watch. The Stone Chiefs is not his first rodeo. Hell, all these guys combined have well over 1000 gigs under their belts….meaning that you can come to the show expecting to hear a band serious about playing quality live music. The Stone Chiefs live to play live.

What sets The Stone Chiefs apart from other bands?
The Stone Chiefs have a distinct sound forged by experienced musicians with a real deal rock-n-roll frontman who is an incredible singer and performer. So many bands have a weak link...usually the quality of the singer (especially live). The Stone Chiefs don't have that problem. On the contrary, The Stone Chiefs live sound is stellar all around. Check out the attached videos. Check out the calendar. The Stone Chiefs play a lot of shows all over NC, VA, and SC and will soon be branching out to the southeast in general.

The Stone Chiefs are managed/booked exclusively by Dan Russo with Music Way Productions.
919 608 4653