Show & Tell: STUMPS

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Show & Tell: STUMPS

What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?

A Roland SPD-SX.


How did you come across this particular item?

There would always be a drummer who would pull it out mid-set to play their little 808 drum part, and that would be the end of it. They always seemed like a bit of a novelty to me. That was until we started merging some more electronic elements into STUMPS recordings. I began researching how we could incorporate some of these components into our live show. I saw artists like Foals, Bloc Party, The 1975 and Lorde were all using similar setups, and the SPD-SX was often central to those.


What is it that you like about it so much?

I like how it’s a piece of equipment that anybody can use, yet it has the potential to be uniquely your own, in the way you make it sound and how you use it within your setup. Everyone learns to use it differently and it is truly interesting to see how other artists utilise it to create their sound. Being able to drop your own files and tracks onto it is really easy, and it’s a great alternative to having a laptop on stage. For me personally I like to use it to trigger loops in tracks, and play it as a pad for some of the sounds that I can’t on the kit, like claps, other percussion and any weird little sounds we may have scattered through the recordings.


How do you use it and how has it shaped the way you write music?

I use it as a utility member for STUMPS. We try to play as many elements as we can live, but inevitably there are going to be details which just aren’t achievable as a three-piece. In ‘Laugh About It’, a track we released end of last year, instead of hi-hats in the chorus, we used a triangle loop. So when we’re playing it live, I trigger that loop in the chorus and play along on the hats. I use it to play a sleigh bell in the verses too.


I started using triggers on both my snare and kick drum, which plug directly into it. It allows me to layer sounds on top of my snare and kick so we can use the actual tones off the record in a live setting. This has definitely changed the way I approach the writing process in STUMPS. Previously we would have the same snare and kick tone on every track on a record. Now with the ability to replicate these sounds live, I feel we have a lot more room to explore. If a track feels like a drum and bass snare does the job, I can trigger that exact sound live. It’s allowed us to flesh out ideas differently and has certainly inspired a new train of thought in the writing process. 


Tell us a bit about what you have coming up? 

We’ve had to reschedule our up-coming tour for later in the year because of everything that’s going on at the moment, it’s looking like late September, early October at this stage. It’s exciting though as some of the shows have already sold out. It does give us a chance to finish off our larger body of work however. We have been working pretty hard on that for the last couple of months. Over the last few releases I feel we have really nailed the direction that we want to take STUMPS in, so we’re excited to keep moving forward with that.



STUMPS’ new single ‘Mouth Static’ is out now via Cooking Vinyl.