Interview: Sticky Fingers’ Paddy
Sticky Fingers have crept onto Australia’s music scene like that weird uncle who shows up to all your family events – you’re not quite sure where they came from, but they’re too funny and mad not to love. Vulture chatted with bass player Paddy Fingers about the new album, working hard and playing hard.
VM: Tell me about how Sticky Fingers first got together – I hear you first met Dylan Frost when he was busking outside the pub!
PF: We met Dylan at the Coopers Arms on King Street. Me and Beaks [Beaker, drummer] were walking past, but he and I didn’t even really play music at all at that point. I liked music a lot, but I think I was in film school at the time and Beaks was working construction.
I went to kindy with Seamus, our resident lead guitarist. I went to high school with Beaks, our drummer, and then Crabbz our keyboardist had a bit of a rep around the Inner West, he does keys for Horrorshow and Thundamentals. He kind of started out as a bit of a hired gun, writing keys for a bunch of people, but he just kind of became one of the brothers, and next thing he’s joined the band full-time and we became a five piece.
Truth be told, me and Beaks didn’t really pick up our instruments until we met Dylan. And when we meet Dylan, he’d just moved here from New Zealand, he was 15, he didn’t know anyone in Sydney. It wasn’t like an instantaneous, ‘let’s make a band’ kind of thing, but he kind of fell into our circle of mates because we thought he was rad.
I think one time we were chilling at Beaker’s house, and we had this idea to set up and jam in the garage. Dylan had this fucking amazing voice but he wasn’t exactly crash hot on the guitar either, so we all really began learning together, and we can attribute that to the band having its own sound, I guess.
VM: How would you say the band’s sound has changed from Caress Your Soul to now with the upcoming album Land of Pleasure?
PF: It’s just evolving I guess. I reckon the sound – with this new album it’s sounding a lot bigger; all the tracks, all the song writing, it’s a lot more mature. Structurally it’s slightly more intricate. We had a fucking blast making it, I can tell you that.
We went up to Federal, which is about 20 minutes inland from Byron, for three weeks, and stayed at this huge house with a recording studio out back. We pretty much just had a non-stop blast; you couldn’t pull us out of that studio if you tried. We did it with Dann Hume again who produced Caress Your Soul, so I guess our relationship with him has grown a lot since then too, he’s a really good mate of ours and he understands the band.
VM: Who thought up the band name Sticky Fingers? Do you guys hear a lot of dirty jokes about it?
PF: Yeah, all the time. When we started the band we were a bunch of 16-year-old stoners, and we were like, *stoner voice* ‘oh, let’s call the band Green Leaf!’ Worst name I’ve ever heard. I managed to book our first gig at the Bat and Ball Hotel in Sydney, but then last minute we decided we didn’t want to be called Green Leaf anymore.
There was a bunch of CDs out on the coffee table, and one of those was The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, and we were like, ‘why not Sticky Fingers?’ It was pretty much anything but fucking Green Leaf.
VM: You guys have just started your ‘Gold Snafu’ single tour but before that you’ve been touring for the better part of two years. How’s that been?
PF: We kicked off in Tassie over the weekend but I guess we’ve been touring for the better part of three years, almost. We kind of thrive on operating in an old school kind of fashion – we like to think we’re not a band that works off any kind of hype-based system, we pretty much avoid any kind of hype – we’re more interested in gaining a true fan base, people that truly like the music, people that aren’t just into it because they think it’s trendy. We want to be doing it for the next couple of decades, not just back in the local shoe shop in 2015.
VM: Who are your favourite artists right now?
PF: Locally, right now, we’re massive on DMA’s, they’ve just signed with I Oh You and dropped their debut track [‘Delete’, set for release on March 28]. They’re really good mates of ours and they’re a great pop revival kind of thing, we’re looking forward to seeing them smash it.
Another bunch of guys we’re good mates with are a band from Adelaide called Bad//Dreems, they’ve just dropped a track called ‘Hoping For’ and we reckon they’re going to kill it.
VM: Who comes up with the ideas for your music videos?
PF: We do! Like I mentioned before, I was in film school when I met Dylan but I dropped out to get the band cooking. But as it turned out, the rest of the lads had a passion for film as well, and everyone in the band can act pretty well as well, and can always fall into character in front of the camera. We always have a blast making videos, we always try and make the next one better than the last. We’re just laughing constantly, trying our best not to take it too seriously.
VM: Lightning round. What’s your ringtone right now?
PF: It’s always on silent.
VM: Favourite actor?
PF: I’m really into that show True Detective right now with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, that show’s fucking mad.
VM: First record you bought for yourself?
PF: Savage Garden, closely followed by Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory.
VM: Worst habit?
PF: I rub my belly when I piss.
VM: Dream holiday?
PF: Just with the lads, already doing it.
VM: Favourite music video?
PF: I’ve got a few … but Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice, with Christopher Walken.
Sticky Fingers are currently touring nationally.