Blues-Funk Guitarist Stone Mecca Talks New Album

Photo: Austin James

The Dallas based blues-funk rocker, Stone Mecca just released his latest solo album, Alienman, this Friday, November 9th. If you are unfamiliar with Stone Mecca he is a musical director, multi-instrumentalist and longtime bandleader for Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA. They've performed sold-out shows all over the world since 2008, most recently at Fort Worth’s own Fortress Festival earlier this year. As a funk-rock solo artist and guitarist, he combines his love of hard-hitting hip-hop beats and funk-driven bass lines with grinding guitar riffs and soulful melodies. His latest album, Alienman, is filled with funky riffs that will slap you in the face layered with smooth bluesy vocals reminiscent of Lenny Kravitz or Gary Clark Jr. We caught up with Stone Mecca before his album release show this Friday at Sundown at Granada to talk about his upcoming album, musical influences, and much more.

Who are some artists you listened to growing up that have had the most influence on musical style and sound?

Man, it was so many, but the ones who stick out were Sly Stone, Prince, Buddy Guy, and James Brown to name a few. I've always enjoyed the classics.

I know you are originally from California, what brought you to the DFW area and what are your impressions of the music scene out here?

I felt I had my musical connections established in L.A. so I actually pushed out to Texas so my son can be closer to his grandparents and have a similar experience as me growing up. I'd come to Dallas a few times to visit and was blown away by the talent and made a few friends in the scene when I was around, so it wasn't a hard decision to make.

RZA & Stone Mecca @ Fortress Fest. Photo: Austin James

We saw you perform Fortress Fest earlier this year with RZA. How’d did that connection come about and what do you like most about working with him?

We connected years back at one of my shows where he offered me a deal. We started working together and building a friendship of mutual respect for each others musical talents. He taught me a few things, I taught him a few things, and we both love to rock out on stage. I’ve been fortunate to work with RZA on quite a few albums and soundtracks like the Wu’s 8 Diagrams, A Better Tomorrow, Afro Samurai and Django Unchained. It’s a great relationship and we continue to collaborate.

You have worked with a lot of talented artists throughout your career but who is on your dream list of artists you would like to collaborate with that in the future?

I would love to work with some of those classic artists like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix if he were alive, but I think me and Lenny Kravitz could come up with some electric fantastic grooves.

Your album ALIENMAN is coming out very soon, how did that project come together and  what is the meaning behind that album title?

The whole project started with my son recording the intro song “Trapped” on a voice recorder when he was 5. In the song he said "You been trapped in your brain for your life”. It inspired me to let go of any hangups I had so that I could make music that was completely me and not care about conforming to radio, fitting into a specific genre, hit making, etc.

I named the album Alienman after a song I wrote with the same title. I’d like to believe there’s an intelligent life form out there that has figured out all the issues we struggle with here on earth. I wrote that song as a sort of message to them to save us from ourselves. At times I also feel like a bit of an outsider since I’ve always tried to follow my own path- especially musically- which can be alienating. So naming the album Alienman just seemed to fit.

Be sure to check out Stone Mecca’s tonight at Sundown at Granada and listen to his new album ALIENMAN below.

Austin James