Interview: Stepson’s Jayden Ridley Talks Halloween Hysteria Festival

Interview by Jonathan Matthews

We had a chat with Jayden Ridley, Bassist and Vocalist of Brisbane Punk/Rock outfit, Stepson. We chatted about their upcoming performance as a part of Halloween Hysteria Festival, performing alongside bands such as King Parrot and The Bennies, as well as heaps more acts spread out across multiple stages! Also discussed is the new music they’ve been working on, and more!

SR. Your band Stepson will be playing at the Halloween Hysteria Festival on October 27th, are you looking forward to that?

Yeah dude, for sure. When we first got the offer, it was a really cool mixed bill, which is what we’re all about, so we’re really keen to play with some old friends and make some new friends.

SR. How did you come across the offer?

Hysteria Mag reached out to us and said “Hey, we’ve got this cool mini fest coming up and we’d like you guys to be a part of it”, and he send a rough line up which sounded sick. We agreed, and we’re really looking forward to it.

SR. Have you played with any of the bands on the line up before?

We haven’t played with either of the headliners, but we’ve played with Alpha Wolf and Void of Vision before, which is really cool.

SR. How would you describe your music to somebody who’s never heard it before?

We’ve never really been able to pinpoint our sound to one genre, we sort of bounce between genres. At the core of it, we’re a punk band with melodic hardcore sensibilities. I dunno, it’s hard to describe, but we pride ourselves on high energy live shows and emotive lyrics.

SR. Are you guys going to be dressing up to match the theme of Halloween hysteria?

We haven’t even talked about it yet. Some of the guys fashion sense is already pretty horrific and scary, so I’m sure we’ll look scary anyway *laughs*. But we might dress up, who knows…

SR. What other acts are you going to be checking out?

There’s fourty two bands across four stages, so it’ll be difficult to see everyone. I’m really keen on seeing a band called Boy, they’re an all chick powerhouse punk band. I’d never heard of them, but when I saw them on the line up I looked them up, and they’re sick! I’m keen to see our friends in Void of Vision and Alpha Wolf, and also a band called after touch. We just announced that they’re the support act for our lowest east coast tour, so I’m really looking forward to seeing them at Halloween Hysteria.

SR. Have you guys got much new music in the works at the moment?

We recorded our debut album earlier this year, so we’ve been working on fine tuning that. Hopefully we’ll have a full length album out sooner rather than later.

SR. Have you got a favourite song to play live?

For me it’s ‘This is How It Feels’, which was released on our second EP, it’s a real vibey song. You can bounce around to it and it has a big sing-along chorus. It’s the most fun one for me to play live, I get to move around and have a bit of a sing, and people sing back at me.

SR. You’ve got some pretty impressive music videos, did you have much involvement with the production of those?

We had a lot of creative control for all of our music videos, they’re all ideas that we came up with. We pitch them to a director, and then they work with is to get the end result.

SR. Have you got any more videos in the works?

We’re about to film one with Crystal Arrow, who is a very talented Australian director, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that will turn out.

SR. Where in the world would you like to tour most?

Definitely Europe. Travelling has always been a massive goal for me, and I think Europe would be awesome in the sense that it’s a huge place with so many different countries and cultures. A European tour would involve going to like, twenty different countries and see how they’re all different. When you’re touring Australia, each state has its own different twist, but it’s not quite the same.

SR. Have you got any plans to do that in the near future?

Yeah definitely, we released a lot of our music videos through a channel called Dreambound, which is a European channel, so we’ve got quite a few European fans. Hopefully we can get over there after we release our new album, and open up some doors to do some touring up there.

SR. Have you guys got any collaborations planned for the upcoming album?

Well the producer that has been working with us on the album is from a Melbourne studio called avalanche studios. He’s the main songwriter and producer for dream on dreamer and he gets to work with a lot of cool bands, so we’ve got a really good relationship with him, so we might be able to collaborate with somebody in some way.

SR. Why should people come and check you guys out at Halloween Hysteria?

As I said before, there’s fourty two bands across four stages, and tickets are fifty dollars. So, you’re paying just over a dollar per band, that’s a lot of bang for your buck! The line-up is super diverse, there’s something for everyone. We’re a high energy band, and we’re gonna be playing some new songs off the album that we’ve never played before, so you don’t wanna miss that!

SR. If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

As for somebody who’s alive, I’m a big fan of the band Don Broco at the moment, they’re awesome songwriters. If I could collaborate with them that would be really awesome. The first song I ever learned to play in my school band was Smells like Teen Spirit, so it would have been amazing to collaborate with Kurt Cobain. And of course, one of the gods of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis. I’m sure if it was possible, everyone would want to collaborate with him *laughs*

SR. Any final words about Halloween Hysteria?

Come on down and suss us out to hear some great new songs, and come have a beer!

Grab your tickets to Halloween Hysteria Festival for a spooky fun time, with fourty two bands across four stages! You can check out Stepson playing some brand new tracks, along with heaps of other super talented Australian acts. Keep up to date with Stepson by following them on social media, and don’t miss out on a thing.