If you’re not familiar with The Stereo, chances are you know many of the acts they influenced. Founded in 1999, the band released four well-received albums on Fueled By Ramen, toured in Europe and Asia, and sat on the cusp of even bigger and better things. However, The Stereo also experienced more than its fair share of bad luck, unfortunate timing, and member turnover before ultimately calling it quits in 2004.
Now reunited, The Stereo is back with its first new album in more than 20 years. The band preceded the May 13 release of Thirteen with a five-part companion podcast called “Kings Of No Hope” that chronicles the ups, the downs, and the reformation of The Stereo. Shortly after the release of both of those things, founding members Rory Phillips and Jamie Woolford spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the new album, the band’s tumultuous backstory, and the path back to collaboration. Along the way, Phillips talked about his early bands in Austin as well as his years in The Impossibles and Woolford talked about pre-Stereo experiences with Midwest ska staples including The Pacers and Animal Chin.
My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and The Stereo (“Do You / Don’t You”).