Exclusive Interview: Stolen Haven Guitarist – Jimmy Gardner

Stolen Haven are a 5-piece band hailing from Manchester in the UK playing “21st Century Blues Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Having formed in 2012 they had a recent breakthrough when their track Broke was featured on BBC Radio 6 Music. With their brilliant upcoming EP ‘Three Stripe Blues’ releasing in November we decided to ask Stolen Haven guitarist and songwriter, Jimmy Gardner, some questions about his musical past, present and future.


                                               Jimmy Gardner of Stolen Haven

How did you first get into music and what spurred you into creating it?

The first single I ever received was a cassette version of ‘No Limit’ by 2 Unlimited in 1993 given to me by my Mum who has always had terrible taste in music! It was only when my Dad gave me cassette’s of Blur’s Great Escape and Definitely Maybe by Oasis which I could play through my Sony Walkman that I really got into music which at the time was obviously big news in the press and big part of the 90’s culture.

“The first single I ever received was a cassette version of ‘No Limit’ by 2 Unlimited. My                                                Mum always had terrible taste in music!”

From a young age I was getting into music and it was a great time to be growing up, listening to music with so many great bands around at the time (and) my Dad had an acoustic guitar kicking around the house. Couple those two things together there you’ll find what spurred me to make music!

How did you learn to play?

My dad taught me 4 chords on a guitar then got sick of my whining because my fingers were hurting so I had to go it alone from there – 20 years down the line… Still skint!

If you could choose anyone, past or present, to collaborate with – who would you choose?

Graham Nash – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Graham is from Salford, Manchester which is just down the road from us. If you asked anyone here to name a top 5 list of songwriters of all time from Manchester I’ll bet he would never appear. He would definitely appear in mine. We could make something great no doubt, great talent!

                                         73 year old Graham Nash still going strong to this day

What is it that you most enjoy about creating/playing music?

The sense of satisfaction that only songwriting can bring when you’re halfway through and you’re stuck for a line or a change of direction and then BOOM it just comes to you and you play it for the first time. Truly exciting!

What do you imagine you would be doing if you weren’t doing music?

Exactly what I am supposed to be doing whilst writing this – working my ass off!

If you were stuck on a desert island and could take 5 tracks to listen to, what would they be?

Ooh toughie!

      1. Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJDnJ0vXUgw&w=480&h=360]

      2. Timeless Melody – The La’s

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cveh8ycOgA&w=480&h=360]

    3. Some Might Say – Oasis

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fLR3FRaFsQ&w=480&h=360]

  4. Life’s Been Good – Joe Walsh

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXWvKDSwvls&w=480&h=360]

5. Our House – Cosby, Stills, Nash & Young

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7goifK_2qY&w=480&h=360]

What’s your favourite piece of equipment to make/play music?

Guitar all day long! Nothing else compares.

If you had to choose just one your own tracks that you are most proud of, which would it be?

I would choose ‘Used’ the third track on our upcoming Three Stripe Blues EP because it is not only a great upbeat tune but it’s an acceptance that sometimes the world will grind you down but there’s no shame in that so just the kick the world back in the balls and get on with it!

What are your plans for the next year?

Dream – To kick back in the sunny garden of a chalet in the South of France drinking fine wine and eating BBQ’d steak, occasionally taking a skinny dip in the pool.

Reality  Practicing in a dark, damp warehouse. Occasionally escaping to travel in a clapped out van to the next god forsaken town which wants to hear our tunes… We all love it really!!

What advice would you give for other aspiring musicians?

For the love of music, keep up the good work!


Watch out for Stolen Haven’s Three Blue Stripes EP to be released on the 20th November. Until then you can hear the bluesy brilliance of their track ‘You’re No Good for Me’ below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BphS4U5L_EU&w=640&h=360]

Stolen Haven

Website – http://www.stolenhaven.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Stolenhaven

Twitter – https://twitter.com/StolenHaven

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4WJtBAXpIc8wLHxaDKpQTg

SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/stolenhaven

Writing about music, listening to music, and occasionally playing music.

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