Four guys from Old Bridge are lighting up the Garden State music scene by fluidly blending a bit of late ‘80s new wave with some good old fashioned punk rock.
The Stolen got their start with their debut EP, Adults, in 2013. The album features five catchy pop punk songs that really captured what these guys were capable of. Three years and a few singles later, the band released its sophomore effort, I’m So Dead, which showcased the band’s growth with complex songs, including the album’s fan-favorite title track. I’m So Dead was even praised by MTV, which called it “the perfect pop-alt soundtrack to take you into the summer season.” Last spring, the group revealed some new arrangements with Fragile Heart, a seven-track record with thoughtful lyrics and tantalizing melodies. Earlier last month, The Stolen brought fans the killer single “Overboard.”
Over the years, The Stolen has shared stages with the likes of The All-American Rejects and Neon Trees and has even played at festivals like Vans Warped Tour. These four artists are currently on tour, sharing their music with audiences around the country. They’re kickin’ butt and movin’ fast, and this is not an act you’ll want to miss.
The Stolen is:
Dom Cuce – Vocals
Kevin Smart – Bass
Rob Chiarappa – Guitar, Vocals
Mike Chiarappa – Drums
How did you guys go from covering punk and classic rock songs to writing your own tunes and pursuing a career in music?
The Stolen: We grew up around classic rock music. Given that it was what we knew when we were younger, that’s what we wanted to play. We started playing as kids. By high school, we already had been playing for years. We started playing more shows with other local bands that wrote their own music. That basically inspired us to start writing our own records.
Tell us about your newest release, Fragile Heart. What sets it apart from your earlier work?
The Stolen: Fragile Heart was an interesting record for us. We feel as if it solidified our sound even more than our EP I’m So Dead that came out prior. The process of recording it was a lot different than previous records, as it was much more collaborative. Most of it was done in our home studios, which was pretty cool.
What messages do you hope listeners can take away from this record?
The Stolen: Fragile Heart was definitely an emotional record with a few different themes going on. We try and write records with substance that make listeners feel something.
Are you satisfied with the sound/result of Fragile Heart?
The Stolen: We are definitely happy with the way the record came out. Like we said above, it was much more collaborative than previous records. Between us, we have a few home studios, so we recorded different parts and were able to send ideas/parts back and forth during the writing process.
What are some of your favorite original songs to play live?
The Stolen: We released our new single, “Overboard,” on February 9, and we actually played the song live on our last tour before we even recorded it. The response has been amazing, so I think that is our favorite song to play live as of right now.
What is it like to play with bands like The All-American Rejects, Neon Trees, and The Offspring?
The Stolen: It was cool. We grew up listening to those bands. When we play gigs like those, we like to take a step back and really appreciate it and take in the moments.
What’s the best way to stay sane on the road?
The Stolen: Luckily, we were friends before starting this band. Since friendship came first, we used that as a basis to form the band. We keep each other sane, essentially.
What new music have you guys been listening to a lot lately?
The Stolen: Recently, we’ve been listening to bands like Foster the People, LANY, COIN, Bleachers, and more. All of them are fantastic bands.
Is there a piece of advice you have been given that you would like aspiring musicians to know, whether they’re starting a band or just learning an instrument?
The Stolen: Diligence is key. You have to dedicate a lot time to get good at what you do. Also, be a good person.
Who or what do you always have time for?
The Stolen: We always have time to listen to new music. We’re constantly finding out about new artists, different sounds — all that stuff. Listening to different types of music and exposing yourself to something new is a major part in growing as an artist.
Hero image: © Crow Brennan and The Stolen
“Euphoric” music video: © The Stolen
~ * ~