Interview with Dean the guitarist for Stone Magnum by Patrick 2013…

The second Stone Magnum release From Time To Eternity was a nice surprise to my ears -  why? Because usually traditional doom bands bore me and I loose interest after a few songs. But this isn't the case with Stone Magnum! The heavy Sabbath like riffs roll over you like a tank and slow pounding drums, vocalist Nick Hernandez has amazing vocals that have awesome vocal range. Stone Magnum are definitely a doom band by sound and heart but the guys are not afraid to use more uptempo, bluesy riffs and some classic rock influences. I haven't heard Stone Magnum's previous release so I can't compare the two in sound but I can say that From Time To Eternity is flawless in  all it's doomish glory. TIme to find out more about this killer band, read on doom hounds...



Hello Dean how is life going in Indiana for you these days? Please introduce yourself to the readers.

Greetings Patrick…life is always the same in Northwest Indiana. The Blast Furnaces are firing and the steel is flowing…things are good. For those who don’t know who I am, which is probably most of the readers, I’m Dean, guitarist of Stone Magnum.

When did you first get into metal and do you remember the first bands that really got your attention? Who are some of the current bands in the scene you listen to?

My earliest recollection of listening to heavy metal was when I was very young maybe 7 or 8 years old. I had an older cousin who used to play me records from Pink Floyd, Rush, UFO, and Scorpions. He gave me a copy of the first KISS album and it was music to my ears. Those listening sessions with him really struck a chord with me and paved my path into heavy metal. It was a couple years later until I really started getting records for my own collection…Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, and it took off from there. The scene nowadays has some really great bands coming to forefront in my opinion. Of course there are the staples, such as Dark Throne and Autopsy that are still releasing killer material that are in constant rotation…but of the newer bands I really like Wrathblade, Dawnbringer, Wulfhook, Bear Mace, Mercian, Scythe, Bones…just to name a few. I could literally fill this entire interview space up listing bands that I’m into in the current scene.

When did you get the idea to form Stone Magnum? How did you all come up with the name for the band? What is the current line up on the band?

There really wasn’t much of an idea to create Stone Magnum, honestly.  It just kind of happened per chance, then evolved into a band. I was writing some songs back in 2010, was in somewhat of a rut in writing music for the previous band I was playing in…I mean I was writing, but the material was not sounding like it fit with the style of what my previous band had been doing for the previous 15 years. I thought the songs were I just recorded demos of a few tunes and let some friends hear it. Out of those demo songs, the band was forced by Rest In Peace Records, more or less, to get a lineup together, a band name and get ready to open up a gig in Chicago with Raven. So it seemed like a fun idea at the time, so off I went to put something together. We only had a couple of months to put this together, so we found some players and wrote a few more songs to fill out a live set. This is really how it happened. It wasn’t planned, it just kind of worked it’s way to fruition. The original idea for a band name was Church Of The Fallen Priest, but I realized that so many words in a band name is simply ridiculous. Two words, maximum, should be in a band name, in my opinion. Of course there are a few exceptions of bands with three words in their band name…but most of the time, anything more than two words is pretty lame. So with this belief system in heavy metal band names, I decided to use my old online Poker table name of Stone Magnum. It seemed to fit the sound of the songs, and could be interpreted in many different ways…so we went with that. We went through a number of lineup changes over the course of two years…but finally we have what seems to be a solid group of guys together with myself on guitar, Brad Toth on drums, Ben Elliot on bass, Jim Brucks on guitar, and Nick Hernandez on vox.

For the readers who have not had the chance to hear Stone Magnum's music yet how would you best describe it?

Stone Magnum is hook laden metal/doom. Dark, foreboding at times, but a decent mix of uptempo rhythms to slow doomy passages. We are pretty straightforward heavy metal in my opinion. Someone described our style to me once and they said we were are reminiscent of a cross between all eras of Black Sabbath, early Judas Priest, Autopsy, Saint Vitus, Candlemass and Count Raven. I guess that description is somewhat accurate, as these are all bands that we love to listen to. Simply put…we play heavy metal and pretty much cover the spectrum of everything from slow doomy to upbeat, aggressive hard rocking metal.

Stone Magnum just released their second cd From Time...To Eternity through Rest In Peace Rec. how did the band come in contact with label?

I’ve been working with Rest In Peace Records since the late 90’s when my other band, Skullview, began working with them on our debut album…I think it was 1997.  I’m very good friends with the label owner, and he’s usually the first to hear new material I’m working on. Fortunately, he likes what I’m involved with most of the time, and we have continued working together over the years.

How long did it take the band to write the music/songs for this release? When the band begins working on a new song does the whole band work on the music or just one or two members handle it all?

Our debut album came out in early 2012 and immediately we were beginning to write music with our 2nd release in mind. I think it was about a year working out enough new material to constitute a release…then another few months to get it all recorded. For the most part, we try to write the songs together…someone usually has ideas worked out, and the other members just write their own scores to what someone else has written and it all fits together nicely. Lyrically, myself and Nick work together to write the lyrics…musically everyone contributes their ideas.

How has the response been from the press and the fans?

So far with the release of the new album “From Time…To Eternity”, the response has been overwhelming. People really seem to like this new record, and the reviews in the press have been all positive to this point. It seems we are picking up new fans daily.

Does Stone Magnum play very many "live" shows? Where have been some of your favorite towns, cities, states to play so far?

Stone Magnum doesn’t play as often as we probably should.  We do about 4 shows a year on average.   We love playing live, but most of our gigs are locally in the Chicago area…so we try not to make it a habit of playing very often so people don’t get sick of us in that area. Occasionally we’ll do a show in Michigan or Wisconsin…but we do hope to branch out and hit some road trips away from home. Chicago so far has been our best location to play in terms of crowd turnout…some memorable shows in Chicago were with Macabre, and another with Scythe, along with a cool festival appearance at Days Of The Doomed 2 in Milwaukee.

Who are some bands Stone Magnum has shared the stage with? If you had the opportunity to set up a dream show/tour who are some bands {past or present} you would love to play with? Is their any particular country you hope to play someday why?

We’ve actually played with some really great bands. Some of the most notable would be Raven, Macabre, Scythe, Midnight, The Gates Of Slumber, Cardiac Arrest, Radiation Sickness, Brocas Helm, Slough Feg,  to name a few.
Well the dream tour…that’s a tough question, ha ha. Let’s talk realistically for a moment, and talk about the “ideal” tour for us…. I think a great tour for us would realistically be with Argus and Sinister Realm.  Would love to see that happen someday. But we are talking “dream” tour here…that would have to be playing with Candlemass, Trouble (the older lineup), and Autopsy.

What does the term underground metal mean to you?

Underground metal = It really is a brotherhood of devoted heavy metal music lovers. It’s really comprised of one faction that branches off to two sub factions that really make it all work and stay alive. First you have the fans…this is the main faction that makes up the underground. Out of that group of fans you have the musically inclined fans who form the bands and keep the music flowing. You also have those who work to support those bands…the labels, zines, and distros, etc…they help to supply a product to satisfy the metal needs of the fans. This is the underground. It only exists for the purposes of feeding itself so we can all enjoy the music that is dear to our hearts. Bands in the underground aren’t trying to “make it”…nor are the real underground labels, zines, etc….looking to capitalize on anything more than feeding the scene.  Once it gets above is no longer underground.

Are you or any of the members of Stone Magnum currently playing with side bands or projects?

Currently, Stone Magnum is the only thing going for us at the moment. Lying dormant for an undisclosed amount of time is Skullview, who may or may not write some new material. But Stone Magnum is the main thing going.

Dean you play the guitars for the band when did you first become interested in playing the guitars? Are you self taught or did you take lessons when you younger?

I first started messing around with the guitar when I was 16 or 17. I didn’t know how to play anything, but this classmate invited me and a friend over to check out his guitar and listen to him play. This is where I learned what the “power chord” really was. Had heard about it in metal songs and such, but didn’t really know what it was in terms of how to do it on guitar. After learning the power chord, I was able to start making sounds that sounded like metal and I began writing my own songs. I never tried to learn cover songs…it just sounded too hard for me to learn…so I just stuck to writing my own stuff within my capabilities. I never took any lessons…never learned any theory or technique…just developed a means to play that power chord and move that power chord around the neck of the guitar to make the notes sound the way I wanted them to sound. I still couldn’t tell you what the notes on fretboard are……ha ha.

Who are some of your influences and favorite guitarists? Do you play any other instruments besides the guitars?

I don’t play any other instruments…just the guitar or the bass guitar. As far as influences go….of course Tony Iommi is the biggest influence. The way he comes up with epic sounding riffs is something that amazes me. Another huge influence is bassist Leif Edling…again..when it comes to epic memorable riffs…few compare to Leif. Other big influences are Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, David Gilmour and Ritchie Blackmore. I’m not saying I really learned anything from them technically…but just listening to their music inspires me to want to continue writing music for some reason.

You live in the great state of Indiana have you lived here all of your life? What is the music/metal scene like in your area and state?

I’m originally from Indiana and have lived here my entire life. In my immediate area, the metal scene has a few good bands, but the scene itself is pretty weak. The bands don’t typically last long, and if they do, they don’t really go too far outside this area. Fortunately, we are close to Chicago, so we get involved in the Chicago scene, which is a pretty kick ass metal scene when you break it down. The music scene around here in Indiana is full of bands doing the Screamo thing and it is pretty annoying. But Chicago has plenty of death metal, black metal, doom, thrash, and traditional metal bands.

Who are your all time favorite bands from Indiana? Are their any new bands you think the readers should check out soon?

My all time favorite Indiana bands were Conjuration, Thanatopsis, and Shades Of Grey. From these bands stemmed bands such as Invasion, Nocturnal Torment, Sea Of Tranquillity, Black Funeral, Prophecies Et Sanctus. Active in the scene here in northwest Indiana currently are Impurium, Bombastikon, Yellowtooth, Skullview, Screamking. From other areas of Indiana you have bands like Legion, MAAX, Radiation Sickness, Gorgantheron, TGoS, Necrodemon who are all worth checking out.

Well Dean thank you for taking the time to fill this interview. Do you have any final comments for the readers?

Thank you Patrick for the opportunity to talk about Stone Magnum and introduce the band to your readers. Our new album, From Time…To Eternity, is now available and we hope your readers find something they like in our music.
Stone Magnum releases can be ordered from our website:

or inquire from Rest In Peace Records:

Other online distributors currently carrying the release are:

Feudal Throne Records in Germany:

Abyss Records in USA :



The Stone Magnum Discography 

Stone Magnum Full-length, 2012

Promo Demo, 2012

From Time...To Eternity Full-length, 2013




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