A new start: 12 Stones to play HeadlinersWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
For Louisiana rockers 12 Stones, finding success in the music industry came quickly, though sustaining that success has been an ongoing challenge since the band’s inception in 2000.
“It’s a long, hard road for the majority of people who get into this business,” 12 Stones drummer Aaron Gainer said. “Some are overnight successes. Not many. Not most. So I guess it’s our passion and our love for the fans and the live side regardless of how difficult the business side can be [that’s kept us going].”
Featuring Gainer (drums), Paul McCoy (vocals), Eric Weaver (guitar) and Will Reed (bass), 12 Stones will perform at Headliners on July 12.
Not long after forming in Mandeville, La., 12 Stones got signed to Wind-Up Records and, with Jay Baumgardner (Sevendust, Papa Roach, Evanescence), recorded its self-titled debut, which was released in 2002. That self-titled album and 2004 sophomore effort “Potter’s Field” went on to sell 500,000 copies.
In addition, McCoy teamed up with Evanescence’s Amy Lee for smash hit “Bring Me to Life,” which took home the 2003 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. Despite that early success and cumulative sales of 12 Stones’ music exceeding 2 million units to date, however, the band has not been able to find stability in the music industry.
“Just about everything has happened that could in a negative way,” Gainer said. “Whether it be something with a single sitting right where it’s about to tip over and go top 20 and something goes wrong, or a tour that’s supposed to start that’s really going to put us in front of some new eyes and ears that haven’t heard us before and that falls through, to record label problems, to personal problems, to member changes.
“We’ve had so many bass players come through since our original guy Kevin [Dorr]. But we believe in what we’re doing and we have a passion for it, and it’s the thing that we want to do with our lives.”
After eight years with 12 Stones, Gainer left the band in June 2010 when he found out his wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Adding to that change was 12 Stones announcing two months later that it was splitting with Wind-Up after nine years and three albums with the label.
“Initially, it was thyroid cancer,” Gainer said. “My wife’s thyroid was removed. There’s a tumor on her pituitary gland. Part of her liver was removed with her gall bladder.
“There’s another tumor, as well, so these things kind of kept stacking up on top of one another, and we’re looking at each other really, really worried not even looking past anything other than figuring out what was wrong with her and getting her better.”
For a year-plus, Gainer said he didn’t speak with the band because of those issues as he and his wife relocated to North Dakota to be closer to her family.
“The reason I’m back is because of my wife,” Gainer said of returning to 12 Stones. “She did a lot of work to reconnect me with the guys, did a lot of work to get the guys some information that they needed to understand things that were going on. Then once me, Eric, and Paul started talking again, inevitably those conversations turned to the band.”
With his wife healthy again and 12 Stones headed in a new direction under Executive Music Group (EMG, via Fontana/Universal), Gainer came back into the fray this year at an exciting time for the band. On May 22, 12 Stones made its EMG debut with “Beneath the Scars,” its first full-length album since 2007’s “Anthem for the Underdog.”
Produced by Skidd Mills (Saving Abel, Saliva, Skillet), 12 Stones’ latest effort is 14 tracks and features everything from heavier anthems like “Bulletproof” and “Infected” to more heartfelt songs like “That Changes Everything” and “I’m With You,” the last of which was written about a friend’s suicide and the impact it had on the band.
“We’re all excited,” Gainer said. “I think that the main thing that we’re looking at is we’re excited to put this record out. We really hope that this will stabilize us.
“None of us want to be Chad Kroeger. None of us want to be Nickelback. We just want to be 12 Stones with 12 Stones fans, putting out 12 Stones records, doing 12 Stones tours and being 12 Stones.”
- On July 12, 12 Stones will perform at a show that also features Blameshift and In Theory at Headliners, 4500 N. Detroit Ave. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. The show starts at 7 p.m. For more information, visit innovationconcerts.com.