Natural Stranger are an indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Ernest Hampson - Vocals/Guitars
Kevin Sullivan - Guitars
Josh Alan Handford - Drums
Jino Arielly - Bass
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Natural Stranger?
Ernest - Octagon Girls, Tetra, Godot, Boxspring Hog
Josh - I have always been more of a for hire/session style drummer. This is my first real DIY from the ground up project.
Jino - Amstaf, SomeDay Static, Team of Rivals
Kevin - Henry's Hemroids, Well Mannered Acquaintances
How long has the band been around?
We've been playing together for a little over a year now.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Ernest was in a proggy riff band called Tetra a couple of years ago in DC and they had a song called Natural Stranger. We've always been Natural Stranger, and will always be Natural Stranger.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Ernest (Singer/Guitar) writes the songs and sends demos to the band, and the band says "Go F' yourself, Ernest" and comes up with way better parts to take it to the next level.
"Shamelessly, I write a lot of love songs. Some of them are happy, some sad, and some strange. I have also written songs about new beginnings, the pursuit of your art, ghosts, and beaches on drugs. I won't tell you which ones. More of the stuff i've been writing recently is more about positive energy. I'm always going to throw in the love song here or there but am continuing to focus more on the abstract."
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Kevin - Supermarket music
Ernest - Jamiroquai, Swervedriver, Queens of the Stone Age,
Josh - Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, The Heavy, Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix's drummer)
Jino - Chili Peppers, Antemasque
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Kevin - Sublime
Jino - Guns N' Roses
Ernest - Muse - Origin of Symmetry
Josh - Stevie Wonder
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
Ernest - A little disco nap followed by: vocal exercises, warm tea, and leg stretches.
Josh - Set up, Stretch, Moment of silence...Rock nd Roll.
Kevin - stretching and the channeling of my ancestors
Jino - Plug in my bass and make sure it works
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Jino - It feels like every show we play we get to new heights, so I'll go with the last show
Ernest - I'm with Jino on this one. Every time we get to crank up on a stage and do our thing
it makes me pretty damn happy.
Kevin - DITTO
Josh - It's hard to say, I think we as a band go through situations and grow as a unit. Being on the inside looking out, everything we accomplish feels like a highlight.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Ernest - I think touring with The Beatles or The Rolling Stones would have been quite the
experience, wouldn't you say?
Josh - The Heavy:How you like me now?
Jino - Arctic Monkeys. I think people who dig them will like us.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yeah, come to a show! It's kind of loud but you could have a lot of fun if you let yourself!