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Interview: Stephanie Quayle talks New Album, recording songs written by Caitlyn Smith, Maren Morris and others, her partnership with Lucchese boots, the hilarious thing that happened to her on album release day and more

Stephanie Quayle released her latest, self titled album on April 22nd. The album, much like all of Stephanie’s music is an absolute joy to listen to. Each track has been carefully written or picked out in the case of outside songs but each song has such a special meaning to Stephanie and it shows in the way she sings the songs with powerful emotion and passion.

We adore Stephanie here at BOON. A wonderful lady in person, Stephanie’s personality truly translates in her music and even more so in her live shows. Just ask her Flock of Quayle, you cannot get a more supportive and loving fanbase than them.

I love catching up with Stephanie. If you are part of her flock then you know that she is such a down to earth and kind person so chatting with her is always so much fun and it is just like chatting to an old friend.

After Stephanie asks how I have been and how the family have been and saying it has been a long time I then ask how she is, how her day is because when we spoke to her, it was album release day.

It has been the wildest album release day of my life – Stephanie laughs

We have a tree in our backyard that the wind was taking down and we just had to have an emergency extraction so that it wouldn’t go into my neighbours yard. So it’s been hilarious! I was doing a radio interview earlier and the water heater went out, the tree is going down and I am like “of course!!“.

Always the way!

Oh look at that precious photo of your son (referring to a photo behind me on the wall) how old is he now?

Six and I have had a lockdown baby since!

Congratulations, I also had a lockdown baby haha” Stephanie Jokingly says in reference to her album. “Eight of them. I was really trying to put into words this morning of what this feels like. It is, I don’t know what exactly but in a way it feels like “finally!!!”. Obviously coming off the road like we all had to in 2020 and then finding ways to record, getting to put music out last year; but it still being restricted a little you know? It feels like “ok, I think I get to be fully myself again.

Well I don’t know if the tree agrees haha!

The tree… isn’t that ironic though? It takes years for a tree to grow and hours to take it down.

Weird isn’t it?

Super weird! I don’t know what that metaphor is ha. If you see a person walking by with a chainsaw; haha it is ok.

Ok, I won’t shout “behind you…”

Haha! We did our launch last night in Nashville. We did the boot line with Luchese and the album launch and it was just such a spectacular night. We had many friends and family and the flock of Quayle was there in full force. It felt like home, it was wonderful.

Did you perform the songs live at the launch?

Yes! We performed all the songs off of the album and the hilarious part was my printer also broke down yesterday (laughs) . So we used the cd as our setlist. We had the cd in front of our microphones on the ground and were like “there you go”. It’s a good thing I have good eyesight.

What great advertisement though to buy a cd by having many copies on stage with you haha!

Haha. It was really great, and we shared a little bit about the boots (Luchese) the collaboration and the listening lounge tour. It’s really great to realise dreams right?

What were the flocks reactions to the new album last night because I believe some of the songs they had heard before and some were totally new?

Yes! So we were able to put out about five songs; we released five of the eight songs as singles last year. But there were three songs that were brand new, to the listener. The flock are very happy haha. Do you know what surprised me last night? The order of the songs is intentional, everything we do is intentional. I was surprised what resonated. Not from a stand point of being new or being heard before but a lot of those people in the room last night had never heard these songs live before. We put them out at a time when we weren’t able to perform them live so it was really interesting to see reactions and going “ok, is this because of the song? ” whilst I am singing and playing I was like analysing the crowd. It was really special.

Haha, you weren’t like “hey you in the back, you don’t look like you’re enjoying it enough?” Haha

Hahaha You know, sometimes we don’t realise what we look like when we are listening. What I find is that most people listen very sternly. I think because people are absorbing the music and it’s hitting their sensors in different ways, it sometimes makes me wonder if people know how they look.

I always look bored but I am just taking it all in!

Laughs

There was a little boy there last night who was just so precious. I love little humans as you know so just getting to see that atmosphere was great.

So what song went down the best at the launch do you think?

Oooh Man! Oh I would say it was probably three songs. Hang My Hat, we opened with that one. We really just ran the album as the set. Lone Ranger always has so much potency. We get to, especially when we are playing acoustically like we did last night, we get to elongate solos and have a lot of fun with it so I really get to jam out on that one and it’s one of those songs that I get so musically lost in sometimes that I am like “oh wait, I have to sing again, I have a job” . Light My Way was a big surprise. That song, I didn’t write that song. When I found that song I was drawn to the song. Initially I was like “no!” because burning bridges was so countered to me. The redemption of light my way, “may the bridges that I burn light my way” that stuck with me and I sat down at the piano and I played it out and I was like “yeah I feel something here, I’ve got to investigate that ” and then over time, it really took shape. Then seeing it now, in hindsight, we recorded that in 2020, so almost two years, that song hits me like, it’s like my subconscious knew I needed that song. I didn’t even know how much I needed that song at the time. It’s super powerful and it also leads us to where we come next.

Am I allowed to know what that means?

Not yet haha! But I am really excited because I have fallen back in love, not that I had fallen out of love but the business side had got really brutal. I think because I am such a live human interactive person, I love that connection that happens. It was tough to go through the stuff we did in lockdown when music is such a connector. So, last summer I just got really invigorated with knowing that we were able to get this out, close it up, launch it and give it to the world. I feel like I have got this new love for making music, creating music and sharing music. There is so much I want to tell you and can’t haha.

It’s really nice to hear that passion as it is easily lost at times.

Of course! Again, if I go back to the lyrics of Light My Way. “I don’t know where I’m going, all I know is what i’m leaving behind. I can’t see ten feet in front of me.

It has all these moments of “man this is so right now.

The second verse; “I ain’t gonna find her if I just stay the same.” That hits more now, than over the last year. It’s such a different way from that first listen. It’s so wild.

That’s written by Caitlyn Smith right? We just love her here in the UK.

Isn’t she just divine? She wrote that with Chris DeStefano and Brett James, talk about “well hello…”

I don’t know if they have heard it yet!

I was going to ask….I would love to know her thoughts.

I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of our interpretation.

Yes and what Maren Morris thinks of Wild Frontier.

Now talk about a Jammed packed special body…

How did you find that song?

That was pitched to us through our A&R team and I just loved it. It just screamed all things me and my love for my husband and my love for the wild west. I remember the first time that I listened to that song, Maren’s version that the publishers had sent us and I was like driving down a gravel road in Montana. I was like YES, all day long yes. It’s just one of those really cool high note riffs that are just so fun to sing.

It has a huge arena sound to it.

I am not bothered by that thought at all haha!

And that makes me want you at the O2 Arena next C2C to play it!

I am so crossing fingers, toes, everything that I have that we will be back there next year.

Everyone wants you back. This year as good as it was, still held a sense of uncertainty so if you do come back next year the atmosphere will be even more amazing!

Tell us about Hang My Hat because I love that song, what was the writing process for that?

So Tori Tullier, who I wrote Selfish with and Evel Knievel and countless other songs and Karen Kosowski who wrote Evel Knievel with Tori and I. The three of us just have something really fantastic together and Tori had that title. Tori came to us and said “Steph, I’ve got this idea, it feels like a Quayle song” haha!

Oh I like that!

So we just sat down and I think that it is very much in line with what I am living, being with someone that not only takes me to a higher level, he always inspires me. Obviously the visuals of my cowgirl way of life and the idea of getting me off my horse to spend time with someone I love is a big deal. It’s a really sweet song for him. He hadn’t heard it until the launch so it was really fun playing it for him and not getting too nerdy.

How did he react?

He was very happy with the song.

Good!

Stephanie then has to go off as the men sorting the fallen tree needed her. When she returns she says;

He broke the deck. He says to me “is your husband here?” Hahahahaha and I was like “nope, you’re good, it will all be fine” haha!

Now that your husband has listened to the whole album, which song is his favourite?

Ohhh. He hasn’t told me and I’m curious. From what I saw based upon his reaction listening to it live I know he is very partial to Hang My Hat because it is about him but I do think that Light My Way surprised him in a really positive way. I guess that song for me was just so internal, it really resonated with me.

What about “I Want The World For You”, what was it like writing that one because it’s such a lovely song.

Oh, that’s for my step kiddos. That writing day was just one of those days that you just live for as a songwriter. It was very unexpected. Myself and my co writer were just going to be us and then the other co writers had a person that didn’t show up so I was like “well let’s just all write together” and then we ended up writing that song and one of my co writers was getting ready to have his baby girl and I was thinking about my step kids and what we want for others and that song just, it was extremely sentimental.

That’s the song that I think is going to mean more to me every time I hear it as my kids are my life.

That last verse, first line, “so take that map and pin it on the wall and know my love which is across it all.”

Oh yeah that line….our little or our bigs grow up and want to fly and want to live their dreams. To want the world for the ones we love is very special.

Agreed

What was the funnest part about making the album?

Oh man, I think it would have to have been the fact that I was in North Carolina, watching on zoom, all these musicians playing from different studios, sequestered in their isolations because it was in the middle of Covid. Alex (Kline) in her studio producing, Aaron engineering in his studio in Nashville and just the fact that the music wasn’t compromised, even though how we had to do it, we had to find a way. It was just a real show of possibility which was awesome. I just love what happens in the studio with the musicians so much. To know that we were able to do that and to then feel it. I know that a lot of people don’t get cds they just stream but making that is such a labour of love. It’s such an honour.

Was there a particular part on the album that was a challenge to make?

I think the greatest joy was also the greatest challenge. Being able to record it was also the greatest challenge because in the back of my mind I really didn’t know if it was going to work, we just had to try. Also, because there were so many other things going on in that time too, on the farm, working on the farm and making sure that we were able to keep everyone and all the animals taken care of, that was very fast paced in a slow paced time. It was a little ironic as I say that right now because one minute I am in muck boots in the middle of a field with cows and the next minute I am sitting in a room watching all of us make music, it was really something! I think it stretched me in ways of possibilities and being comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s a challenge right? Sitting in your own stuff! It’s challenging.

Definitely!

Tell us about your boot partnership..

Lucchese.

Stephanie shows me some of the boots.

I have to show you this, this is the Quayle. This is a dream realised for me. I have wanted to create boots as long as I have probably been in boots.

The Quayle boot

It’s gorgeous! Have you got kids ones.

Ok listen I am working on it haha. They haven’t done kids yet and I had this kind of idea brought to them and so I am not sure that they will go down the baby boot route.

Well let me know if they do haha! Back to music, I love the song Kitchen, it’s just awesome!

Oh isn’t it? Great song. We live in kitchens, like so much! When you start breaking down like how many moments happen in the kitchen it’s really something! I love that song, that song is nostalgic, that song is right now and that song is one of those classics. It’s kind of a forever because it hits you in all your stages of life. Special song.

I have only managed to listen to the album once through as is release day but it says something that I remember it all and love it from just one listen because so many albums take a while to sink in but this one didn’t. It has stayed with me in one listen.

The album was so powerful it even made trees fall!

Boom!

Thank you so much for talking today Stephanie and have a great release day!

Thank you so much. I hope to see you soon!

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