Album Snapshot: Stay 'The Mean Solar Times'

Like your Stone Roses? Catch the exciting fifth project from Barcelona psych band Stay that started with a pregnancy and involves legendary producer Owen Morris and Oasis' guitarist Andy Bell.

Ben Smith

Date published: 14th Oct 2015

Image: Stay 

Hailing from Barcelona, Stay are psych-rock collective with a closer allegiance to Britpop than the vibrant latin sounds of their home city.

Their forthcoming fifth album The Mean Solar Times was produced by Owen Morris (The Verve, Oasis) and features a guest guitar slot for Andy Bell (Ride, Oasis, Beady Eye), although it's apparent from their lead single 'Smiling Faces' (listen below) that they're more reminiscent of The Stone Roses fleshed out with a sitar than the Gallagher brothers.  

Set for release early next year via Picture In My Ear Records, we spoke to band member Jordi about the record to get some inside info on a burgeoning project that's been running largely under our radar. 

What does the album represent? 

The Mean Solar Times is our fifth album and it is like our personal Stone Roses's Second Coming because we have spent about three years working on it. It is our most ambitious piece of work.

Once we got the new cool tunes together, we felt, as a band, that we could go ahead with the idea of improving the sound, experimenting with sitars, synths, vintage keyboards in a different way like we did in past works.

We had grown as a band recording our last LP in Liverpool and played some nice gigs in the UK. Also, we supported Beady Eye and Ocean Colour Scene in our country, Spain. But now, we wanted to take advantage of recording in our city, without hurries, in a top studio and with a top producer, Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve) as he trusted our new tunes.

Where does it stand musically?

'The Mean Solar Times' is meant as a soft psychedelic rock album and maybe it has got more britpop features than neo-psych ones. We don't like labels, but anyway we like the new neo-psychedelic rock pop worldwide scene and we are identified with it despite fighting since some time before its resurgence. 

Where was it recorded?

The album was recorded in Barcelona in Medusa Studios, one year ago, but the mixing process finished only a few months ago. Owen Morris came to Barcelona and the whole one month experience was fantastic.

Moreover, Andy Bell from Ride and Oasis, who collaborates in some of the guitars on it, has been recently working on a remix in his studio in th UK, and it will be included as a bonus track on the US version. 


Pick out a lyric from the album and why? 

The lyrics of 'Dirty and Alone' were written by Jordi, our drummer and it is quite autobiographic. The story happens on a night at a music club during a concert, and it is about love, sex, disdain, drugs, opposed feelings regarding a very short and self-destructive affair. While the tunes are essentially composed by the guitar player and singer, lyrics are written by all of us.

This is the first time he tried to write something and it all went really straight and convincing, fitting perfectly with that Velvet Underground-like vibe. 

Favourite song to perform live?

'Smiling Faces', it is our first digital single extracted from the LP. It is a very simple song as a repetitive four chords cadence all the time, but its flow and groove are very addictive even for the musicians. Andy Bell plays guitar solo and the arrangement was brilliant and really hypnotic.

Tell us something we wouldn't know about it? 

The recording of The Mean Solar Times in Barcelona with Owen Morris was a really superb and intense experience of creativity. It was a crazy month and the flow, energy and concentration was really high. No one wanted to spoil the feeling or disturb the lucidity (natural or artificial) of the moment.

I don't know how it happened but on the same day we started to record my girlfriend told me she was pregnant. It was a very special feeling for me, maybe I felt a bit overflown and maybe it helped and contributed to the final result in some way. I don't know. Just in  case, I didn't tell it to the band until the recording finished!

Thanks Jordi

The Mean Solar Times is due out early 2016 via Picture In My Ear Records

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