We’re delighted to announce that Set In Stone, a four-piece alternative rock band from Bournemouth, have won the 2019 Best In Music Award!
The band’s prize is a full day’s recording session at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios, the UK’s biggest recording studio outside of London.
They will spend 10 hours at the studio, where they will have full use of equipment and a dedicated engineer.
We received a whole host of amazing entries to our award, but Set In Stone were the lucky winners.
Although they’re based more than 250 miles south of Liverpool, their trip up north is going to be one worth taking!
We sat down with Set In Stone’s lead guitarist Leon Parkins to find out a bit more about the band and get his reaction to winning our award.
Can you give us some background on the band and your journey so far?
We’re from a town called Christchurch, a few miles along the coast from Bournemouth.
I’ve been mates with Jamie (the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist) and Charlie (the drummer) for years. I used to mess around with Jamie on the guitar and one day we said we should start a band. It just so happened that Charlie played drums, and the band started from there.
A few months later, we added Sid (the bassist) to our band. We rehearsed together for about a year, then we played our first live gig in Boscombe (a Bournemouth suburb) and it all went from there.
How did you go from forming the band to playing live and building up a following?
We just played some basic covers in Jamie’s bedroom to begin with. I then start writing some songs, we learnt a couple of them together and Jamie said he’d have a go at singing them. Sid also went from playing guitar to playing bass, which was great. It all fell into place nicely.
We just felt that the songs we had were too good not to be heard by a bigger audience, which motivated us to get our name out there.
Luckily, each member has different groups of friends and they come down to show their support at every gig. These people are a massive part of the reason we won the Best In Music Award and we can’t thank them enough.
Who would you say are your main influences?
I’d probably say our main influence is an Australian rock band called DMA’s – I love them. We’re all massive fans of The Stone Roses and Oasis as well, which is reflected in our music.
In fact, Oasis is where I got my songwriting inspiration from. I learnt a lot about chord progressions from them and went away and put my own spin on it.
How does it feel to have won the 2019 Best In Music Award?
We’re absolutely buzzing. We’ve never actually won anything and the first thing we’ve won as a band is a free recording day at Parr Street Studios. It’s not a bad prize to win!
I still can’t really get my head around it. You don’t enter awards like this expecting to win. You hope you will obviously, but there were lots of other great acts that entered the competition.
Because we’re Insure4Music policyholders, we got an email about this award. We didn’t have great expectations at first, we just thought we might as well enter it because there’s no harm in trying – and now we’re here!
How do you think this opportunity will help the band?
It’s an amazing opportunity for us. First and foremost, it’ll give us more studio experience, which is vital to us. Hopefully longer term we’ll get some good exposure off the back of this, because we’ll release the recording as a single on Apple Music and Spotify.
It’s obviously not just any old studio we’re recording in. These guys really know what they’re doing and they’re seasoned professionals. I had a read of who’s recorded at Parr Street and the names just roll off the tongue. It’s incredible that we’ll be recording in the same studio as they did/have.
Our songs are going to sound great with their technology and we’re looking forward to testing it all out and listening to the end result.
How much are you looking forward to visiting Liverpool, especially considering its musical pedigree?
It’s going to be great. When we come up, we’ll probably make a weekend of it, because of how long it’ll take us to get there!
I’m looking forward to seeing as much of Liverpool as we can in the time we’ve got. I’ve already crossed off The Beatles Museum from a previous visit, but there’ll be plenty more sights to see I’m sure! Hopefully we can visit some of the city’s live venues and check out some of the bars.
What do you think of a concept like the Best In Music Award, in terms of giving unsigned musicians a platform?
For musicians like us who aren’t made of money, a prize like this is invaluable. It’s not very often that unsigned musicians get the opportunity to record at somewhere like Parr Street, with use of a large studio and a dedicated engineer. You certainly don’t get opportunities like that on a plate!
We’ve been working towards getting an opportunity like this and our hard work has well and truly paid off. We’re over the moon to get this chance and we’re going to make the most of it.
Set In Stone will be recording at Parr Street Studios later this year, and you can keep up to date with how they get on by following them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also check them out on YouTube.
The final word goes to Chris Taylor, director at Parr Street Studios, who had the job of choosing the winner of the 2019 Best in Music Award…
“Set In Stone are worthy winners of this prestigious award. They’ve got a great sound, and we’re really looking forward to working with them here at Parr Street.
This is a unique opportunity for them to follow in the footsteps of music icons who’ve recorded here before them, and we’re sure this experience will help them on their musical career path!
The standard of entries during the competition was high and we wish all emerging talent a successful journey ahead!”