Interview: Stop Thrust’s Jordan Kai Burnett and Claron Hayden Discuss Their Unique Brand of Blues-Punk

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Rising from the musical landscape of Astoria, a neighborhood in Queens, NY, blues-punk band Stop Thrust has been slowly making a name for themselves.

What makes the band so incredibly unique, aside from the often dual-perspective comparison to acts like July Talk and The Dead Weather, is that all four members of the group are seasoned pros of the musical theater. This offers another dynamic layer of craft to the band’s already impassioned performances.

The band will be performing at the legendary Rockwood Music Hall on Tuesday, July 9th before celebrating the release of their long-awaited EP at The LetLove Inn in Astoria, Queens on Wednesday, August 14.

Stop Thrust is: Jordan Kai Burnett (vocals), Claron Hayden (vocals, guitar), Will Schnurr (bass) and Matt Wills (drums).

I recently spoke with Jordan Kai Burnett and Claron Hayden about Stop Thrust and more in this exclusive new interview.

How would describe your brand of music?

Jordan Kai Burnett: We went down a rabbit looking at all kinds of bands we love and how they identify themselves and the way that music has evolved. When it comes down to it we like to call it blues-punk.

Claron Hayden: We’ve been influenced a lot by the associated acts coming out of Third Man Records — Jack White from The White Stripes, who’s now with Alison Mosshart [The Kills] in The Dead Weather. There’s also a Canadian band, July Talk, that’s inspired us. They add two perspectives the entire time and not just in a one or two song thing.

JKB: They’re a huge influence because of the male/female dynamic and the gritty, sexy nature of their music.

How did Stop Thrust come together?

CH: All of us have worked professionally in theater and other projects in music. Matt and I have actually known each other since we were kids. Jordan was in the process of developing material for a solo project and the two of us had done a few songwriting sessions where we compared notes and music. It came to a head that what we both actually wanted was to build a band that was fun, energetic and had a shared, dueling perspective between both angles inside of a relationship.

JKB: When the four of us first started jamming we quickly realized we were all speaking a similar language in terms of musicality. Those jams turned into songs and the songs turned into sets.

What can you tell me about the band’s upcoming EP?

JKB: As theater professionals we pride ourselves in making music that has a theatrical element. There’s one loud banger that will blow your mind with fast rock and roll and another that’s a little more off the beaten path and experimental. There’s also one that’s in the vein of our male-female storytelling perspective.

CH: We churned out the songs in a creatively passionate and quick way. After playing a few shows it became obvious that the intro to our world is contained within these songs.

What’s your songwriting process like?

JKB: It changes for every song but there are certain elements that are always there. Whenever an idea for a lyric or story pops into our head we’ll usually jam on it as a band in terms of the music. Then, Claron and I will take the baby of the idea and turn it into a song.

Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

CH: I’m a co-founder of a theater company called Hit The Lights. We have a bunch of developmental projects in the frying pan right now. Matt and I are also in the process of mixing down the first Stop Thrust EP. It’s an exciting and busy time!

JKB: I’m currently the main female emcee for “Magic Mike Live” on the Vegas Strip and am gearing up to be part of a new Pat Benatar musical. She’s such an inspiration.

What excites you the most about Stop Thrust, the new EP and this next phase of your career?

JKB: It’s an exciting time because things are just starting to take off. We’re looking forward to having the freedom of doing more shows, releasing more music and going on the road.

CH: I agree with everything Jordan said. It will be great to play bigger venues for more people but that’s really not what we talk about. Our goal is to be able to take these songs and go everywhere we can and share them. We’re in that wonderful, exciting stage where we know what we can create together and we’re excited to see what new things come out of it.

JKB: It’s also about pushing the envelope, adding more of the theatrical element in the songwriting and making it present in the performances. At the end of the day the reason we do this is because we love music.

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