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February 2018 - Stories Untold

St. Clair Alt-Rock Band Stories Untold Reads Like an Open Book

Story by LCC Radio Reporter Sarah Spohn

Stories Untold almost never happened. In fact, a few of the band’s members originally got together to Stories Untoldmake a post-apocalyptic movie. Music was an after-thought, which quickly turned into a successfully signed alt rock/indie/emo four piece.

While the band began as The Accident, they changed their name to Stories Untold, and have remained the same lineup since 2015. With Jake Clark (bass, vocals), Kevin Quednau (guitar, vocals), Tim Williams (guitar, vocals) and Brennen Moloney (drums), this energetic alt rock band draws influences from Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, and has a soft spot in their hearts for Our Lady Peace, and Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open.”

Drummer Brendan Moloney spoke about the meaning behind the band’s name; based on the theme of books and storytelling thematic elements.

“There’s multiple ways to interpret it,” Moloney said. “One of them is that everybody has their own things that they’re going through. Some of them don’t necessarily need to be publicized to the world. Just being aware of that, and being more empathetic towards that -- because everybody has something going on.”

Last March, Stories Untold re-released their debut record, Can’t Go Home via Razor and Tie Records. The release included the first 11 songs recorded at Zoinga Recordings in Royal Oak, three new songs and an acoustic version of “Things Change” for a total of 15 songs.

The band split the recording process in two parts, which brought a wider range of sounds.

“I think it worked out better that way, because it gave us more variety,” Clark said. “We grew as musicians in that time. The album came out in May that year, and about a year later, we announced our signing at Razor and Tie. Both producers did an amazing job, and both were wonderful experiences.”

The band ended up taking a ‘back to basics’ approach, and went off the grid in order to write material for the album.

“Our practice space was at Jake’s grandpa’s house,” Quednau remembers. “We were out in the middle of the woods without any internet or anything. We were completely isolated. It was a weird experience because you wouldn’t even really get cell service over there. You were just cut off from the world. It was kind of cool to separate when we were going into writing. That was the focus. Even if you wanted to connect to something else, you couldn’t.”

For drummer Moloney, the process is memorable for a host of reasons – both good and bad. The studio session began at the same time Moloney’s family was going through a lot, referring to the night as the single most awful night of his life.

“It was this weird dichotomy to know that while we were tracking these songs and recording the album, there was just a living hell going on with my family,” Moloney said. “That’s a large part of why this project means so much to me.”

Through honest lyrics and personal experiences woven throughout their record, “Can’t Go Home,” the metro Detroit band has been able to connect with thousands of fans from all over the globe. To many friends, fellow musicians and fans, Stories Untold means so much to them, too.

During tour last November, the band played at a bar in the Cleveland area, and gained a new fan and a friend. After their set, the owner of the bar, John, came up to the band and chatted the guys up.

“He was talking about how our music really moved him,” Clark said, “and the level that it was able to connect with him at. All these things that I didn’t really think somebody could feel from listening to our music. I still remember thinking, ‘Wow.’ It kind of created a different sense of purpose for the show that we put on and the music that we do.”
Untold Stories in Concert
Also through social media and even snail mail, Stories Untold has been able to write personal letters and heartfelt messages back and forth with their fans, creating an open line of communication.

Moloney never thought he would connect with people in the U.K., Turkey, South Africa, or Australia, but Stories Untold has done just that.

“There’s so many stories about how music has impacted people, that it just blows my mind,” Moloney said.

Bringing people together is one of the band’s goals, Stories Untold is proud to be a part of the Michigan music scene – armed with successful music venue operators, concert booking and promotion companies.

“I think it’s cool that Blair, owner of the Crofoot, is all about cultivating that community,” Moloney said. “I think it’s cool that that idea aligns with what Nate’s trying to accomplish, and it aligns with something I remember talking to you guys about years ago, before we were even Stories Untold. And that’s just creating a community using what we do to connect people together. I think that people have a tendency sometimes to focus on differences and division. As an artist, there’s a million different goals you can have, but I think one of the things we’re trying to accomplish is to connect people together.”

Given their metro Detroit location, the group of Eastside Michiganders are also really excited to be so close to the ‘comeback city.’ Having grown up in the area, and attended shows at The Filmore, St. Andrews Hall, and the Crofoot, the boys of the band are no stranger to venues they’re now headlining at. In fact, chances are they’ve got silly stories to go with them.

“It’s awesome to be in a community and a scene where that’s a goal that we all have here,” Moloney said. “And I also think it’s really exciting to be in Detroit, because there’s so much energy here and so much happening right now. It’s really cool that we get to be a part of this city coming back.”

For now, the band members all have fulltime jobs outside of the group, but their attention and passion really lies within the music. They spend hours after work writing, recording, shooting videos, interacting with people on the band’s social media sites, etc. If you ask these twenty-somethings, Lack of sleep is normal when dreams are being chased.

Remaining honest and genuine with fans about real life and the ‘biz’ is important to the band. You might even call them an open book. They’ll be the first to tell you about embarrassing festival moments shared in trailers with their favorite bands, sweating uncontrollably, or endless tales about their tour van breaking down.

Moloney spoke about a band, Nothing but Thieves, which he looks up to.

“They experienced a ton of hardships trying to navigate from starting out, to playing festivals, and getting their name spread across the world,” Moloney said. “The album itself is incredible, and they’re really transparent and honest about their experiences, and what they went through in that transition period. I really respect that.”

Plenty of respect is also given from the band to the community of Michigan and the amount of support they’ve received so far. Stories Untold has headlined two shows at the Crofoot, co-headlined St. Andrew’s Hall, played Bledfest, and Common Ground Music Festival.

“Everybody just wants to push each other forward. Everybody wants to see each other succeed,” Clark said. “It’s just a warm and welcoming place. It’s a place for people to gather; it’s a community. I definitely Untold Stories in Concertfeel like Nate Dorough (Fusion Shows) helped push that with his shows. I know that’s one thing that he’s definitely about is creating a space where everybody can enjoy themselves, and everybody can feel accepted and welcomed. Not only was he able to do that with people who enjoy going to shows, but he’s able to do that with artists as well. Being a musician in Michigan -- especially in the Detroit area, I feel like we’re definitely spoiled in a sense.”

“Some of the nicest people I’ve met have been through music in Michigan. It’s nice to be here and experience it,” Quednau said.

For Stories Untold, the next chapter is already being written. The band just recorded a popular cover song, and is shooting a music video for the track. They’re also busy planning more shows for April and May, and working on booking a summer tour.

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