Local Noise: GreenStep

I have traveled around the world quite a bit in my life, and I’ve seen a lot of misfortunate places and people,” says Chris Stone, talking about his new project, GreenStep. “So I had the bright idea of naming the band more around a cause and a concept. My ultimate goal with this project once it is fully operational is to get heavily involved with sponsors and events that are trying to make a positive impact and a difference in the world. Not only for the people, but also the environment. Using our music to inspire and bring together young generations of kids who can actually make a difference. GreenStep… kind of like a fresh step in a new direction.”

Chris has already achieved notoriety as the drummer of DeSoL, the critically acclaimed Latin rock band that has released four albums, including one on Curb Records. GreenStep is a side-project that takes Chris in a different musical direction, with a heavy electronic emphasis. He describes the sound of the group as eclectic, with most of the music leaning toward a darker side.

Partnering with Chris on the project is Paul Gaita, and they brought in various musicians and singers as the need arose. Andy Letke added a piano part on a song, and Erik Rudic played guitar on three of the tracks. The vocalists included Elisa Meri, Ashley Leone, Amanda McTigue and Rick Warren.

The collaboration with Paul was really a long time coming for Chris. “Paul and I first met years ago,” he says. “I think it was around 2000 or 2001. I was a freshman in high school and he was a freshman in college. He was playing bass for a band that needed a drummer and I was referred for the position. Over the years we were in several different bands together and then kind of went our separate ways for a while. Paul was in school and I was touring and moving around the country pretty frequently. We got back in touch a couple years ago because we both started to become very interested with the recording and production of electronic music. Now that we have been so busy with our different lives and can’t spend much time in the same room to write together like we used to, emailing our tracks back and forth started to become extremely fun for us. Creating full songs on the fly with a friend through the internet is just totally awesome.”

Stone came from a musical family, and actually started playing at a very young age. “Somewhere around the age of three,” he recalls. “Both my mother and father were musicians. My mother plays guitar and sings, and my dad used to be a drummer. There was a drum set in my house and a lot of classic vinyl so I kept pretty busy most the time in my basement. Paul has always been a big music listener, but started playing bass a little later on, at around age 12. His friend needed a bass player for his band so Paul decided to give it a shot.”

Chris was always surrounded by a few family friends who turned out to be influential in his musical endeavors. “Some of my biggest influences growing up were definitely Bruce Springsteen and Max Weinberg,” he states. “I was in a band with Max’s daughter for some time. Growing up around the E Street Band was a blessing. They really are some of the most professional and levelheaded people I have ever come across. I have to thank Joey Vitale, drummer for Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Joe Walsh, for being such an idol to me and a close family friend. Other than those classic rock guys, I am very into electronic music. Some new guys that I really dig are Zedd, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Aphex Twin, Nero and Muse.”

Some of the tracks that have attracted attention include “Get Lost,” “Don’t Look Back” and “Open Your Eyes.” While thus far the recordings have been their way of getting the music to people, they hope to be able to perform live in the near future. “We have been in preparation mode for rehearsals,” explains Chris. “Selecting samples from different songs to start developing a live set. Hopefully within the next few months we will be ready to take the stage. We have also been writing our second album.”

With a strong dedication to GreenStep and the legacy they are trying to create, does Chris have the support of his DeSoL bandmates? “Absolutely,” he replies. “All the members of DeSoL are currently doing their own side-projects and are all very supportive of each other’s endeavors.”

You can find out more information about GreenStep, including how you can get the music and see any future live performances, at greenstepmusic.com.