Sticky Fingers chats their upcoming record!
Last week it was straight rain every day but Sticky Fingers still put on their sunny show and brightened up Boston a little bit! A few hours before the gig, I sat down with Paddy Cornwall of the band to chat everything about the new record coming out in just a few months. The band decided to record this album on a working holiday in Thailand as a bit of a break from the incredibly hectic schedule and routine that the band normally finds themselves in! Check out our chat below where Cornwall talked about the recording process not only of this new record but a peek into the last two records as well!
Obviously you have a lot going on right now with the new record that’s coming out this fall. Maybe the three things you must have with you while on tour to survive?
What are the three things we must have with us while on tour? Oh gosh, baby wipes because often we have shows back to back and not having a shower on board, it is important to baby wipe to stay somewhat hygienic. What else is important? Condoms I guess to be safe in that regard. Fresh underwear, fresh socks. We actually always request for fresh underwear and fresh socks to be on our rider but we never get taken seriously, it never actually turns up. It will be nice someday if we can get those things. Fresh underwear and fresh socks. I’ll wear the same pair of jeans for two weeks or whatever but those things underneath really count. What else on the road?
Love is really important on the road. Not just for our fans and the people we cross paths with but when you’re living in such a close confined space with in this case twelve males, it’s very important that everybody respects each other’s health and sanity and doesn’t fuck with each other too much. Can be bit of a slightly different story when you’re doing a more Australian or New Zealand style tour where you’re flying everywhere and everyone has their own hotel room. So love and respect above condoms, fresh underpants and baby wipes. Love and respect are the two things that are most required on the road. That and some sleep.
Then you’ve been on this tour maybe how have these shows been going for you so far?
Fucking great! Every single one is sold out. The people seem to be digging it. We really starve the American market because we’ve been a band for close to a decade but we’ve really held off on coming to the states. The reason for this being we’ve seen lots of other friends bands and heard stories of other Australian bands who really early on kind of want to say let’s go do the states and sort of jump at the gun a bit too early. Then they sort of flop it. It kind of feels like because there’s so much going on in America in the arts scene that if you kind of bust it, then you’re busted. We kind of feel like you guys needed to be teased for a bit longer and that seems to have worked for us because this being the second tour around. The first tour was great and this one is looking even better. We’re really just getting started.
Then maybe you talked about how bands kind of come over too early and it doesn’t really work. I know it’s really expensive to come to the US with all the visas and everything.
They make it quite difficult to get in as well.
But like you said, the shows have been going really well. They’ve been sold out shows. Tonight on a Monday even though it’s rainy as heck out you have 400 in pre sales for tonight. Pretty much that leaves like fifty and you sell it out tonight. Kind of maybe advice? You say to wait you kind of it teased it out here.
Yeah a bit of patience.
Just a bit of patience in kind of coming over?
We have a friend’s band called The Delta Riggs. Jimmy Page walked up to their show just by himself and he ended up backstage, this was in London, with the band. With a glass and his bottle of wine with a red face and he said to my friend Monty who is the bass player of The Delta Riggs. He says to him, “Want to know the biggest tip to be the biggest rock and roll band in the world?” Monty goes, “Yeah!” Then Jimmy Page says, “Just don’t break up.” That seems to be what happens with lots of bands. They sort of push and push and push. Maybe two years is enough, maybe four years is enough, maybe eight years is enough but it sort of feels like as long as you keep your chin up, stick it out then the music gets better and the relations with the fan base gets bigger and stronger. Basically stick it out and don’t be a bitch. That’s the advice that we’ve tried to follow and we’re still an independent band. We’re still very much a DIY band and we’re quite proud of that. Also, we look at other bands around us in label deals where they get told how they have to look or which song is going to be the single. What songs are going to make it on the record and what doesn’t. What the artwork should look like and stuff where as Sticky Fingers, everything you see is pretty much from us. We run our social media. It’s always us. We have total control.
And like I keep on saying, you do have a record coming out. Is it fully finished?
The record? It’s in the final stages of being mixed by the producer who also worked with us on Carress Your Soul and Land of Pleasure. There was a brief discussion before we started the record on whether we should mix it up with somebody else but he, Dann Hume, did such a great job on both those records. As we’re getting better as musicians, he’s only getting better as a producer. So we just kind of though if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So we decided to work with Dan again and it was definitely the right choice. We had a lot of fun making the record. We spent a month in Thailand in a town called Bang Sa-Re which is more of a small local town about an hour out of Pattay which is supposed to be like the sex capital of the world. I think a lot of fat rich hairy Russian dudes go there and get their sleaze on. I’m not sure if that makes it very sexy.
I think of it as anti-sexy.
I think when we hit the city, it was even less of a sexy city but we certainly made a sexy record while we were there.
Maybe how was that? Obviously it’s very much a paradise place, Thailand. Was there a specific reason behind ghosting to record your record there?
Definitely! If you want to talk about musical inspirations, we’re pretty big on like the 90s Manchester scene. Like Oasis and the Happy Mondays and Joy Division and stuff like that and a lot of people would argue that the reason all the music from that era was so good is because Manchester is such a piece of shit. It’s so cold and miserable that everybody just had to stay warm and create. With us on the other hand, I guess we’ve just been sort of touring so relentlessly and if we’re not touring, it means we’re making a video clip. If we’re not making a video clip, it means we’re writing. If we’re not writing, it means we’re rehearsing and if we’re not doing any of those things, it means we’re back on the road. I think it got to December last year and everybody was just really burned out. Some more then others. I was particularly burnt out. Then we just had this idea where we’d work in a live in studio in Thailand. We still didn’t want to stop. We all needed some kind of break so it was kind of like a working holiday because we were staying pretty much in this villa. It had like a swimming pool, we had maids and we had a kitchen team that made us breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was right by the beach. We had this massive lawn so we’d be playing lots of soccer. We had scooters that we were riding around all whilst making the record. So yeah I don’t know if there’s any better way of spending one’s time.
And even though you have been a band like you said for around a decade or so for Sticky Fingers and you’ve put out several records, is it still something where you think the writing process is still changing for your or do you think the band has fallen into a pretty steady rhythm?
I’ve got like a really clear memory of the band’s very first rehearsal. At this stage, it was just myself, Dylan our singer and Beaks our drummer. We had just set everything up in Beaks’ garage and Beaks asked the question, “What kind of band do you reckon we should be?” Then I remember saying, “I don’t think we should ever think about that.” I think that we should just jam and experiment until it feels or sounds good. Then if it’s feeling or sounding good to us, then hopefully that will resonate with other people. We’ve never been genre-ists. So we don’t consider ourselves a rock and roll band or a reggae band or fucking whatever. We just sort of do what we do and you can hear through the records that they’ve all been a bit different. The writing process usually is one of us will have an idea whether it’s a melody or a lyric or a guitar riff or a bass line or even a drum beat. It’s just sort of a growing process from there. We’re a band of communists. Everything is lickety split and we’re sort of all in it. One for all kind of thing if that makes sense.
That very much makes sense and is there something for you on this record that maybe screams Sticky Fingers and maybe something really left field for you, maybe something new you tried?
We actually really brought it back to basics because on the last record, Land of Pleasure, in the sort of pre-production stages, we were all living together in this house in Croydon Park west of Sydney. We built our first DIY studio in a garage and we were all just getting our grips around using some of the computer technology that before we had always had to get a friend to record us. So yeah that in combination with working with Dann Hume, we really dug into production and experimental production. You can hear the difference between Caress Your Soul and Land of Pleasure but as an anti-dote to that, on this record we’ve gone on a lot of the songs sort of back to basics. Like on the song Outcast at Last, you can hear a well rehearsed band in a room just smashing it out. Before we went to Thailand, we went to New Zealand for a week and a half and just had all the songs written and we learned to play them live. So by the time we went to Thailand, we could actually just get into the room and hit record let’s go. Where as the record before that, we sort of write while we recorded all these demo’s at the same time but then by the time we got into the room to record, we were like oh fuck I wish we actually knew how to play these songs that we’ve recorded.
Then maybe to end it off, the album is still a few months away. I believe from what I read it’s kind of aimed for fall?
But kind of after this run, what is kind of the plan for Sticky Fingers over like the next few months? Is it going to be continuing to tour?
After this American tour, we’ve got two months back in Sydney in which time we’ll probably spend most of the time getting the artwork together for the record and getting a few video clips up. We’re a band that’s very much been built up online. I guess being independent, having that social media, has been very important for us. We’ve been getting a pretty hectic response on like Instagram and Facebook and YouTube. We’re fairly active on there. Following that, we’ll be going on a European and UK tour. Then we’ll be doing a Australia/New Zealand tour and then we’ll be back over here again. I think by that time, it will be a time for another working holiday of some variety. We love doing what we do so I don’t mean to complain in saying that but we work hard. We just take a lot of pride in it.