Chicago – Australian band Sticky Fingers has been touring in support of its latest album Westway (The Glitter & the Slums). The five-piece, comprised of Dylan Frost (lead vocals, guitar), Paddy Cornwall (bass), Seamus Coyle (lead guitar), Beaker Best (drums), and Freddy Crabs (keys, synths), just finished up a North American tour and will soon be setting off on an Australian tour. Sticky Fingers formed in Sydney, Australia, back in 2008, and released its debut EP, Extended Play, in October of 2010, putting a modern twist on reggae infused psychedelic rock. The band quickly grew an underground following in its native Australia and around the world, with the 2013 debut LP Caress Your Soul, but even more so with its 2014 sophomore album Land of Pleasure (SureShaker Music/MGM). The five friends and bandmates began touring endlessly in support of Land of Pleasure. The constant touring and partying began to take its toll, and after cancelling a European tour, it seemed Sticky Fingers might have met its end. In 2015, rumors surfaced that the band was breaking up, but after its first U.S. tour, the band headed to Thailand for a working vacation. Thankfully, a bit or rest and relaxation helped the quintet get back on track, and in the middle of paradise, the members of Sticky Fingers recorded Westway (The Glitter & the Slums), while reflecting on their journeys.
This Fall, Sticky Fingers released Westway (The Glitter & the Slums), which features the single “Our Town.” The album showcases a more mature sound from the band, as well as deeper lyrics, exposing a new side to the band, known for crazy performances and outlandish partying.
Best New Bands caught up with Seamus Coyle to talk about the recording of the new album, finding bliss in Thailand, his mixed feelings about Fruit Loops, and the most epic prank he’s ever been witness to.
You recently released your third album, Westway (The Glitter & the Slums). It deals with a lot of personal struggles. I read the year prior, the band almost broke up, but then you recorded the album in a very beautiful place: Thailand. Was that therapeutic for you guys? Did it help bring the band back together?
That’s exactly why we went there, for the therapeutic illusion of bliss. Everything was fine there.
What was the recording process like?
It took us like a good two years to get to this album. We were touring the whole time we were writing, and then when it finally came around to recording it, we really needed a break – but we didn’t want a break. Like a year before that, jokingly someone mentioned recording the album in Thailand, and we were like, “Well, you know what, maybe we should actually go there and have a working holiday!” We went to Thailand for about a month or so. It’s a great, great place. We were in a little fishing village, in the middle of nowhere, and we just blissed out and got the album done.
Nice! I’ve been listening to the new album, Westway. I love it! I think fell in love with “No Divide” the most. What inspired that song?
That song, weirdly, almost didn’t get on the album. We went to record it in Thailand, and we just abandoned it. Then when we were back in Sydney, Australia, we were finishing up the album and were like, “Let’s revisit ‘No Divide.’” We just used the recording we had, the rough demo we had done in Melbourne. It was nice and raw, and lyrically, it kind of sums the album up and the state of the band at the time.
Do you have a favorite track on the new album?
It would probably be “No Divide,” actually.
Great minds think alike. [laughs] I want to talk about “Outcast at Last,” particularly the music video. It really reminds me of Trainspotting and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Did you guys have a say in the making of the video or was it all the director there?
Yeah, that’s the exact vibe! We worked very closely with our guy, director Rhys Day. He’s done many of our clips. He’s always gonna do amazing visuals. He’s always gonna make us look better than we look. That video was only supposed to be a two-day shoot, which turned into a fucking month… Rhys can’t help himself. [laughs] But yeah, we are pretty hands on in the process.
I have to ask – the scene where you’re eating cereal – do you have a favorite cereal?
You know what, I’m not even gonna lie, I fucking hate cereal.
So was that scene just torture?
Yeah! Yeah, you know the Big Lebowski? That’s where it’s from. [laughs] I don’t actually eat cereal, but Fruit Loops are crazy!
It definitely feels like this is your “coming of age” album – which every band has if they stay together long enough – do you feel like you’ve grown up and your music has matured?
This album has come to us at certain age, where we’re like, “Eh, here we are.” You know when you’re stressing about things when you’re sixteen years old, and then your parents say, “Don’t worry, that’s gonna be nothing when you’re stressing about heaps more important things when you’re older,” well yeah, we’re a bit older.
You guys are still young at heart, though, and up to your usual shenanigans. What’s the best prank you’ve pulled on this tour so far?
On this tour? Nobody has pranked!
Oh no, maybe you have fully grown up!
No, no we’ve not grown up. [laughs] But our guy Rhys Day fell in love with a stripper, and he’s still talking about her. It’s been like at least four hours, and we told him, “She’s a stripper, mate. You paid for that love.” Let me tell you the best prank: one time we were playing a show in Bondi, in Sydney, in the middle of Summer, it was super hot… we were playing this show, and we had a room upstairs. We went upstairs to sleep and Beaker, our drummer, had a shower. Then Pat [Paddy] had a shower and he really, really dried himself well. Rubbed his balls really well. Then he folded the towel up perfectly. It was kind of like a mouse trap thing. Then he poured milk on him, on his face. Beaker woke up and instantly grabbed the towel. And wiped… it was genius!
You know what else is genius? Westway (The Glitter & the Slums)! The album is available for purchase on iTunes. Follow Sticky Fingers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Note: This interview was originally published on October 23, 2016.
After attending The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Sarah went on to study education at Dominican University, earning a degree in history. When not teaching, writing, or taking in a show, she is most likely to be found with a camera to her eye or hanging out in a darkroom.
You can follow Sarah Hess on twitter at @Sarahhasanh and view her music photography on her website: smhimaging.com.