The Cold Stares are a band that wasn’t meant to be a band, and at numerous points over their last eleven years, very nearly haven’t been a band. Despite all the bad luck that has been thrown their way, they still stand strong.
The duo, originally from Western Kentucky, is guitarist-singer Chris Tapp and drummer Brian Mullins, who have a friendship that dates to their early twenties when they were in bands together. They went their separate ways only to the only circle back a decade later.
If there is one thing that has been their hallmark, it is authenticity. Life can sometimes give you a punch in the face, but other times it can beat you into the ground. Step forward The Cold Stares – cancer, suicide, betrayal, divorce, loss, self-identity crisis, survival, and ancestral skeletons in the closet.
In the amplified outpour of their latest single, “Heavy Shoes,” The Cold Stares exude energy like no other. Through smoldering vocals, and sustaining guitar riffs that breathe down the necks of any rockers making a name for themselves, we have a brilliantly arranged foundation of a musical virtuoso.
Sifting through the multidimensional layers of this Blues-infused Rock anthem, there’s a punchy groove that you find yourself directly in the pocket of, as the larger-than-life drum patterns pave the way for you to swim in the propelling momentum. With an abstract approach to the songwriting techniques surfacing from the sound waves of “Heavy Shoes,” we feel intrigued by lyrical motifs such as, ‘I don’t wanna be a ghost in your room. I don’t wanna be locked in your tomb,’ infiltrating our thoughts.
What hits us the most throughout this record has to be how both Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins leave little to the imagination while expanding the canvas of our mind in the ingenious tracks they continue to put forth. Giving “Heavy Shoes,” a familiar sound that reflects on a narrative that their listeners have experienced in their lifetime, is what sets apart The Cold Stares from other artists out there.
Welcome to BuzzMusic The Cold Stares, and congratulations on the release of “Heavy Shoes.” You carry such an intoxicating drive in the way that you perform. It’s hard not to get pulled into your music. Where did the inspiration for the single “Heavy Shoes” stem from? What does this song mean to the two of you?
Thank you. I wrote the song in January of 2020 and wasn’t really aware of covid at the time but I almost feel like I felt this heaviness coming. The song is about something in your life that is just weighing you down, could be a relationship, addiction, just whatever trouble you are having. Little did I know at the time of writing it just how heavy the next year would be.
-A very heavy sentiment for heavy times- Brian
How does “Heavy Shoes" stand out from the rest of the songs heard on the album? Being the title track, does it give us insight into the overall concept laced into this body of work?
It was the first song I wrote for the album, and I wanted it to be a template for how the rest of the album should feel. We wanted the record to be more of a rock and roll album front to back and I wanted to perhaps showcase some different scenarios and stories of getting through rough times.
What are you hoping that your audience takes away from the themes and emotion portrayed in “Heavy Shoes?"
That we are all in this together, we all sooner or later deal with these themes/issues. I think the sooner we all understand we are in this together, the quicker we can find empathy for each other and help each other out.
How does ‘Heavy Shoes' compare to your previous albums?
I think it’s probably more themed and cohesive than the others. We were very proud of the WAYS album, but it was really a three-part album with three focuses. This album is a full-on rock and roll, heavy blues album start to finish with a tip of our hats to our heroes.