This Spanish trio are not planning to StOp sToP any time soon!

It’s not quite a Spanish invasion, but when three musicians move from Barcelona to Birmingham, you know they mean business!
Juliet Hurwitt finds out more.

Jacob explains the decision to give up their jobs, pack everything they own into a van, and head to the centre of the UK. “Although the music scene in Spain is good, there isn’t enough support for new bands. It’s six hours from Barcelona to Madrid, and it’s difficult to get promoters to promote you when you’re not local. We were spending time and money (van hire, fuel, food), to get to a gig for only twenty people.” Although other bands do make this work in Spain, the process wasn’t quick enough for the ambitious trio, so the smaller and more manageable UK was an obvious destination. Apparently, gigs in Spain don’t start until 10.30/11.00pm so people will only go out to watch bands they know, whereas in the UK people will go to pubs and local venues to discover new bands. This insight worked for StOp,sToP and their few weeks in the UK expanded to twelve years. Now they are continually touring, have 15,000 followers on Facebook and are about to release a sixth album! In common with most bands, this is the result of a lot of hard work.

Not knowing anyone when they arrived, time was spent busking on the streets, going to venues to get gigs, and sleeping in the van. Step by step they met other bands, pub owners, people who helped them, and it didn’t take long to get bookings, and therefore be able to afford the essentials: food and fuel. “We started meeting loads of people who were super lovely and opened up their homes to us, and we stayed with people all over the UK.” It’s good to know that the UK is so welcoming. Danny continues, “If we were in a town and had some spare time before a gig, we’d go check out other venues. We’d say, ‘hey we’re in a band’, they’d ask to listen to our music, check out their diary and book us. It’s better to show up at a place, and it works better than social media.”

So where did the unusual band name come from? The story begins with Jacob busking in Barcelona. “The police would come along and say ‘you! stop!’ (playing). Then again, ‘stop! stop!’.” It happened so often that eventually the police started calling him ‘stop stop’. Even when the three of them were busking in Camden, London, they were getting moved on daily by the police. StOp,sToP seemed a natural choice for the band’s name. They also explain that it’s irony as “stopping someone from doing something is very wrong”, so it’s the opposite of what they intend to do. I doubt any other band can claim they were named by the police.

On stage with Kiss style make-up and glam-rock clothes, it’s easy to see who their influences are. “It’s to bring back the rock and roll feeling when today everything has to be so politically correct. Breaking the rules is the main aim for us, with the feeling from the ’70s and ’80s when rock got harder and more rebellious. Not so much musically, but the attitudes of bands like Black Sabbath. If someone doesn’t like what we’re doing (with hair, clothes, make-up), we say ‘great’ because that’s what we want.”

Talking about breaking the rules leads me on to asking about their interesting album covers, who has the ideas (Danny and Dennis point to Jacob), and how do they get away with it?! They’re all laughing now. Jacob says, “they’re a concept about not doing what one expects you to do.” Being independent gives them much more freedom, that they’re happy to push the boundaries on.

“If it’s accepted, it’s not rock and roll anymore!”

The songwriting process comes naturally to Jacob “I can’t stop it.” He watched many different bands, learnt to sing and play bass guitar, then felt “a hunger” to create his own songs. Like many, he’s inspired by what’s going on around him, and there’s always something new to write about. Dennis and Danny then add their ideas to complete the songs between them.

I then ask about the varied videos and who’s the creative behind them? Unsurprisingly, the crazy ideas originate with Jacob, but the other two then take crazy to the next level, “if we can embarrass someone then why not?” There’s still a lot of rules StOp,sToP! want to break. “If it’s accepted, it’s not rock and roll anymore.”

In reality, gigs provide their main income, which supports themselves and the band. The albums are for getting new material out to people to encourage them to come to live shows. They enjoy meeting the fans so much, that the night before this interview they were at a gig in Sheffield, and there were so many people who wanted to say hi, get merchandise signed and StOp,sToP were more than happy to stay and meet everyone. They didn’t get home until 4.00am! “We love gigging, and we left everything behind to do this.” They’re regularly invited to play festivals in Europe, and never ones to miss opportunities, they’ll build a tour around those festivals, booking venues between those dates. They’re now getting recognition in their homeland too, as “playing once a year generates more interest than playing once a month”. They’re astute enough to know that every gig, radio play, or magazine exposure is important, no matter the size.

If enthusiasm, confidence and belief are fuels to success, then StOp,sToP are destined for infinity and beyond! With the new album ‘Tangled’ being released in December 2023, be sure to catch them on their Final Tour of 2023 and/or on the 2024 tour promoting the new album. If it’s a party you want StOp,sToP is the band to see.



Band Members

Jacob A.M. – Bass and Lead Vocals
Danny Spasov – Drums and Vocals
Dennis Felperlaan – Guitar and Vocals

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