(This article was originally written for Montreal Rampage)
Sticky Fingers lurks slightly out of sight in your Google searches, masked by the overbearing presence of The Rolling Stones’ legendary album of the same name. Formed in 2009 by guitarist/vocalist Dylan Frost and bassist/vocalist Paddy Cornwall, the pair fortuitously met on a Sydney street as Frost was wrapping up a night of busking where his guitar case was rather light on coins. They were soon joined by drummer Beaker Best, guitarist Seamus Coyle and keyboard player Freddy Crabs.
Originally named “Green Leaf” (“We were a pack of little stoners with little ability”, explains Crabs), the band renamed itself before its first ever gig. “We were barely outta school and realized that Green Leaf was a fucking shit name and had to be tossed” he says. “Before the show, we sat round Paddy’s lounge room and spotted the Stones album ‘Sticky Fingers’ and it resonated instantly. I guess you could say it’s an unintentional nod to the Stones. Just don’t tell Mick though ’cause he’ll probably sue us.”
Once you manage to track them down in the interwebs (hint: searching for their nickname STIFI will help), you’ll discover a quirky band that proudly hails its musical lineage from bands like Arctic Monkeys, Pink Floyd and The Clash. “One of the interesting things about each band member is that we each froth on different shit,” says Crabs, “and it doesn’t seem to separate us but rather produce a unique flavour that excites and unites every member. Beaks loves his reggae, Paddy his britpop, Diz his punk and kiwi soul and Seamus came into the band only fucking with hair metal so I guess that’s the melting pot right there.”
Most of their writing starts in the studio, with a simple riff or a jam, and songs evolve as a collaborative effort, or as Crabs describes it: “We tend to nut out melodies and lyrics after that and boom baby we got something in the works.” On their last album “Land of Pleasure”, the band added a lot of drum machines and samples, creating multiple layers on top of the basic song. But for their upcoming album (due this fall) they went with a simpler, more organic approach. “We wanted to give it a completely live feel. We did a few tracks completely live and didn’t feel the need to add on too many layers. Make each layer count and stick with it, ya know? I’m looking forward to playing some of them newbies on this run (of shows).”
The band has recently released a single from this yet untitled record, “Outcast At Last”. The video sees the band hamming it up in good fun, to the song’s catchy hook and funky guitar riff. “We hadn’t released a clip for a little while and it was our first single back so we thought we could make it an epic two and a half minute motion picture trailer. We still wanted to give it that DIY flavour too that we pride ourselves on in clips. We’ll shoot a clip for our second single while on the road here in the States.”
A Sticky Fingers concert is driven by raw energy, and the band likes to play around with their songs to make them a little different every time. “We always wanna keep it interesting. I mean, you have to if you’ve been playing the same songs for fucking ever.” A lot of these differences are driven by singer Dylan Frost who’ll lead the band into impromptu jams or extend sections. But Crabs doesn’t see this as a big deal. “The simple truth is that we’re not amazing musicians, we just know each other and how each other plays through being such tight mates for so long, so I think that comes across live no matter where we play in the world.”