Last month, The Stone Roses fulfilled many fans wishes as they released new single 'All For One', their first piece of music in 21 years. Since 2011's improbable reconciliation, the group have been coy about when and if new music will actually arrive with even close collaborators and friends being kept in the dark. We spoke to some of those in or near the Roses inner circle to see what they knew about the new music and how it came about.
"All I know about is the same as everyone else"
Friend of the band. Director of Made Of Stone, 2013 film about The Stone Roses’ reunion and Heaton Park shows
“What was beautiful about the single release was it was announced really late, and felt like a real throwback – me and all my mates were stood around our radios listening to a new song by our favourite band of all time. Towards the end of filming Made of Stone, I knew they were demoing – I saw Ian going around with a little four-track cassette recorder, and I was ridiculously excited by that, although I never got to hear anything. What’s amazing about ‘All For One’ is you have no concept what the album is going to sound like. All I know about is the same as everyone else – I don’t ever lean on the band for information, and as a fan, I just try and follow it the same as everybody else. But the statement of intent is there after ‘All For One’.”
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“I doubt many people know what they’re up to”
Boss of T In The Park festival, which the Stone Roses are headlining on July 8
“The Roses are a band who keep things close to the chest - I doubt there are many people who know what they’re up to. When we booked them to headline it was never a guarantee that they’d have new music, but we knew the intention was there and they’d been in the studio. We were optimistic.”
Read More: New Stone Roses Album: Release Date, Tour Dates Plus Everything We Know So Far About New Music
“A year ago, the dust on Reni’s drum kit was an inch thick”
Owner of the Vinyl Exchange in Manchester, which was plastered in lemon posters for the release of ‘All For One’
“A lad came in and asked if they could fill all our poster space on the upstairs counter, but there's zero info on them - just a lemon. They've always been good at stunts like this, going right back to 1985 when they rather naughtily sprayed their name all over many public buildings in the centre of town. There's scant information regarding their current activities, but the recording must have moved pretty quickly, as someone I know who has access to their rehearsal space said only about a year ago that the dust on Reni's kit was an inch thick and it looked like they'd done nothing for a while!”
“The album was always going to come later rather than sooner”
Ex DJ at legendary Manchester club The Hacienda, who has frequently supported The Stone Roses on tour
“There was studio time booked a while ago but it wasn’t used, and even though the band had always wanted to record new material, the timing was never quite right – they’ve all got busy lives. So the album was always going to come later rather than sooner. There’s always been a creative tension between Ian and John – Ian’s solo career has featured a lot of electronica and experimentation, but John’s much more into basic psychedelic guitar rock. That’s something I first noticed way back at Spike Island, and I think it’s probably still there today.”
Read More: The Stone Roses: Charting The 21-Year Wait For New Music
“Ian told me it’s sounding ‘f**king top’"
Friends with Roses bassist, Mani. Starred in Spike Island, the 2012 film about the band’s legendary 1990 gig
“When the lemon posters started appearing, I texted Mani to ask what was happening and he said, ‘Make sure you’re listening to the radio this time on Thursday’. They’ve been at the studio in Crouch End for the last few weeks, so I knew they were recording, but I was still sat there like a schoolkid listening to the radio. I spoke to Ian about it after the Finsbury Park gig [in 2013] - I asked him what the new material was sounding like and he said, ‘F**king top’.”