Having pulled up a chair with the The Stills in London to have a drink and talk about their most recent album Oceans Will Rise late last year, we continue to follow their adventures as The Stills join the Kings of Leon on tour in Australia, where Chris Berkley of Static catches up with both Dave Hamelin and Tim Fletcher who seem to be liberally indulging (and imbibing) in the best of what Australia has to offer. Proud Australians that we are, we’d be insulted otherwise, so The Stills, we salute you!
Have you been doing a good job of drinking Sydney dry, gentlemen?
Tim : Oh yeah…
Dave: I might mess up because I’m still pretty drunk from last night. So please excuse my behaviour and sentence structure.
I’m actually surprised that you guys are still awake. I read the recipe on the net that you wrote about fighting jetlag. Which of the band wrote that one?
Tim: I wrote that. That’s my personal recipe and I don’t think that every member of the band would necessarily go about it the same way, but I take two xanax, two Airborne Nighttimes, and then two melatonin pills, wrap a scarf around your eyes and your ears and pass out.
There was a glass of wine in the equation, I read…
Tim: If you stay up on the flight from LA to Sydney, stay up for a few hours, watch a movie, drink a glass of wine, take a pee before you take your medication and then wait half an hour for it to kick in and then see you in 12 hours.
So you guys are over here by the grace of Kings Of Leon. You’ve actually toured together before?
Dave: This is the fourth time we’ve gone on tour with them. They’re buddies of ours and it’s so weird. I’m just kinda blown away at how popular they are right now, and it kinda hit me last night. Maybe it’s because I’m still drunk or was drunk last night, but I’m just overwhelmed by how popular they are. It’s so crazy.
Tim: It’s like both our bands put out our debut records around the same time and were nobodies prior to that and they’ve steadily climb to world fame, while a band like Coldplay had one single off their debut that made them instantly huge, but with Kings Of Leon, they’ve worked from the indies and up into the…
….into the stratosphere.
Dave: It’s just so crazy but I’m really happy for them.
I was going to say, you are happy for them, there’s no sour grapes?
Tim: No, of course. They’re the best guys and they work really hard, and they write great tunes and they really deserve it.
There’s a strange synchronicity going on between you two bands. You’ve got a song on the latest album called “Hands on Fire” and Kings of Leon have a track called “Sex on Fire”.
Dave: Yeah yeah, I know. We’ve stopped playing it live on this tour because it’s too weird, but we didn’t discuss it and I definitely wrote it before I heard “Sex on Fire”.
So maybe they copied you then, I reckon…
Tim: No, because our albums came out within a month of each other, so neither of us would’ve heard the other’s fiery version.
Dave: We sent them our record, and I remember we sent it to them before it came out but I can’t remember when… Maybe they heard it and said ‘oh, that’s it’ but no…
But are there some similarities between yourselves and Kings of Leon in terms of making those kind of market leaps between each albums? There seems to be a definite progression with The Stills where you try on different styles for every record that you make so far.
Tim: I think that maybe we’ve hopped around from genre island to genre island, slightly more drastically than they have.
Dave: The records do sound pretty different.
Tim: They are different. There’s clear progressions from each of their albums, but I guess we are bands that like to try different things from album to album and not rely on old tricks.
But at the end of the day you still sound like The Stills, if there is that sound.
Dave: I think so, yeah. I think our songs sound like our songs, no matter what record, style or genre. If we did a heavy metal song, it would still sound pretty much like us.