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Sydney band Sticky Fingers is a week into their Land of Pleasure tour, taking their good-time rhythms around Australia and into Europe.  Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips spoke to guitarist Seamus Coyle just prior to them heading off on tour.

I don’t know who manages Sticky Fingers but I feel for them. The band just looks like trouble.  The five piece Sydney outfit possess that larrikin element that’s been long missing from Australian rock ‘n’ roll. Clearly Sticky Fingers are enjoying their moment in the sun. Their recently released album ‘Land of Pleasure’, a contagiously good, reggae-tinged, Britpop-infused, electronic blancmange, debuted at number #3 on the ARIA charts nationally. ‘Just For You’ the irresistibly catchy current single gets my vote for song of the year so far. They nailed it at Splendour in the Grass and are now touring throughout Australia building an ever-growing fanbase before they hit Europe. They’ll finish the year once again mixing it with the big guys at the Falls Festival.

I’m studying my finest bass guitar questions while awaiting a call from Sticky Fingers bassist Paddy (Fingers) Cornwall, when lead guitarist Seamus (Hollywood) Coyle is the voice I find at the end of the phone. “You’ve been upgraded,” he tells me and all of a sudden it’s improv time. The one thing the band agrees on, irrespective of what instrument they play, is that they are all stoked with the way that Land of Pleasure has scrubbed up. They attribute a good deal of that to their producer, Dann Hume former member of NewZealand band Evermore. “We’re really happy with the way the album came up,” says Seamus. “Dann did an amazing job and it was really fun working with him as well. You can kinda do anything you want, say anything you want and he’ll be like, ok we’ll try it.”

While the band’s last album ‘Caress Your Soul’ was a drawn out affair with the songs spanning a five year period, the guys took a more immediate approach to Land of Pleasure. “When we recorded the first album, we weren’t even think about recording an album, we were recording an EP,” explains Seamus. “We just recorded and got a few of the mixes back and thought it was pretty good but we didn’t have enough songs for an album. We thought maybe it’s time, let’s just do an album. So we went in there not really prepared. This one was a completely different process. We got back from Europe and wrote the whole album in a month, whereas the first one was a collection of songs we started writing since we were together.”

Produced at Byron Bay’s Rockinghorse Studios, Sticky Fingers immersed themselves in the recording sessions, taking up residence in a house attached to the studio where they had the flexibility to record whenever they liked. The opening chunky piano chords of ‘Just For You’ were recorded in the early hours of the morning, utilising the stillness of the night and the beautiful acoustics of the spacious room. The exquisitely warm guitar tone captured on the track ‘Rum Rage’ was one that Coyle is particularly proud of though. “Thanks,” he says. “The cool thing about it is that it is an acoustic song essentially but we did it all electric. We were half tempted to adjust it but like the rawness of the way it was.”

Land of Pleasure is the sum of five very individual parts. “We’re kind of influenced by anything and everything. We all come from different walks of life with music,” says Seamus Coyle. The guitarist was raised on a diet of classic rock such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Singer/guitarist Dylan Frost is into reggae and hip hop, while Paddy is a Britpop kind of guy. As a result, there was no one specific reference point for the sound of the album but all five do have some mutual musical tastes. “We were listening to a lot of Gorillaz before the album,” reveals Seamus.  “We’re all big Damon Albarn fans, everything he has done from Blur to Gorillaz has been an influence on us.”

stickyfingersseamusEssentially Seamus is a Strat man. However for Land Of Pleasure he was also seeking some different tones. “I borrowed my mate’s Gibson ES335, a 1960’s model,” he says. “It’s a hollow body with a beautiful sound. It was great for ‘If You Go’, the real Britpoppy one, with the rockier chorus.” Pedal-wise, he keeps it reasonably simple. “I try not to use too much but when I joined Sticky Fingers I realised there was a lot of room for some really cool sounds. I’d be lost without my wah and delay. Other then that I try not to go overboard with pedals.”

To do justice to the new tunes live, Seamus had a bit of a rethink and changed things up a bit. “I recently got a second delay and also an Octave pedal to make it a little more heavier and large,” he explains. “Sometimes we really rock out live so it had to be a bit more edgy. Like ‘Dreamland’, on the record it’s more laid back, a bit more of a Gorillaz sound. The chorus is huge but live the whole thing is pretty full on. The delay is a Space Echo and I have a second one now for shorter, sharper stuff because I was always over-saturating things.”

Seamus has also recently acquired an endorsement deal with Orange amps, which he is pretty stoked about. “I’d been using Orange for ages and I said to our manager, I’ve been using these things, I’ve got orange hair…  ask them, I’m sure they’d be into it.” And they were!  “I’ve got an AD30, nice classic sound. I’ve got a big stack. It’s awesome.”

The twelve tracks which make up Land Of Pleasure is the sound of a band maturing and developing beautifully, giving the finger to conventional music rules and traditions. “I think it is a very natural process, the way our sound has changed,” states Seamus. “I think the songwriting has improved a lot but we are really happy with where it is now. Sometimes people pigeon hole us as a reggae band but we have never been into one genre. We have always just got every genre of music and mashed it all together. It’s all you can do nowadays. You can do rock guitar with reggae beats and hip hop lyrics, you can do whatever the fuck you want.”

Sticky Fingers continue to do whatever the fuck they want, currently touring the album live around the country. As for a grand plan? “Just keep doing what we are doing … probably another album next year,” says Seamus. “We’ve no plans of stopping any time soon. National tour then Europe and Falls Festivals.”

Visit  for the remainder of the tour dates.

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