Boring summer days are finally a thing of the past – well, at least if you’re near Westchester suburbia, thanks to the Pleasantville Music Festival. The fest, which takes place on July 8 at Parkway Field, is celebrating its 13th birthday, and with headliners such as 90s rockers Blues Traveler as well as the politically charged Living Colour, younger audiences in the tri-state area might assume that this is only their parents’ music festival. Not to fear! The PMF caters to all ages and all music tastes, from rock to singer/songwriters to pop to indie and more. Still don’t believe me? I sat down with rocker Erik Flora, a guitarist and vocalist who will be playing the PMF with his Albany-based band, Stellar Young! Check out our conversation below, and buy your tickets to the 2017 Pleasantville Music Festival below. You won’t want to miss it. Author’s note: This interview is one in a series of articles about the PMF artists.
Elena Robustelli (ER): First of all, I love your music and congrats on booking the PMF! How did you guys come up with the band name Stellar Young?
Erik Flora (EF): Thanks! We previously went by another name but weren’t too attached to it so we brainstormed some names for months. After we narrowed it down to 4 names we all took a blind vote & Stellar Young won just by one vote. It didn’t feel right at first but after some time we grew to love people’s interpretation & imagery relating to the music.
ER: Do you have one main songwriter or do you all write together?
EF: John, our singer, writes pretty much all of the lyrics but each song comes together in a very different way. Sometimes they come together in the practice room in a day all together, others are written over a few months in a computer individually. But ultimately we all write our own parts for the most part.
ER: I love the Apt Sessions! Which song is your favorite to cover and why?
EF: Glad you like it! Not sure if we have a favorite… Honestly we really just wanted to play some of our favorite tunes while we’ve been hiding away recording our next EP. We rarely ever perform covers live so it was also just something different we could do for fun.
ER: What bands and artists have you been listening to lately?
EF: Personally I’ve been into Bon Iver, Local Natives, Dirty Projectors, & Northern Faces. Everyone’s got their bands they always listen to but I’ve been trying to listen to some newer music recently.
ER: What is your creative process like? What experiences have inspired the majority of your songs thus far?
EF: Currently our creative process has been a 3 EP concept we started over a year ago. The first EP was ‘The Spark Caught’ which was released 09.23.16. We wrote that in the computer & explored electronic tones. For the next EP we’re going a more traditional rock route by writing all together in the room & trying not to overthink things too much. The last EP will be… actually I’m gonna save that concept 🙂
ER: How would you creatively describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
EF: Melody driven indie rock, best enjoyed on a long road trip.
ER: What are the best and worst parts of being on tour?
EF: The best parts are experiencing new places & people. Being in our NY bubble it’s easy to forget how big our country is. The worst parts, if I have to pick, would be the amount of driving & smells. That’s just being nitpicky though, it’s totally worth it.
ER: If you were a character from Star Wars, who would you be and why?
EF: Chewbacca because I’m always there to support my main dude.
ER: Do we have a new EP or album to look forward to in the near future?
EF: Yes! As I mentioned before we’ve been recording our 2nd EP of a 3 EP series. We haven’t released the name yet, just the initials B A F. We’re hoping to have it done by the end of this summer & can’t wait to share it! Follow our Instagram @stellaryoung for writing/recording updates or just go to stellaryoung.com!