Band Spotlight: STILL

By Dom Smith
By November 21, 2018 Band, Spotlight

In our next Band Spotlight, we chat to Jack Green (Drums) and Fraser Briggs (Guitar) from Hull doom metal band, STILL about music and inspirations.

S] Hi guys, how are you today?

J] Bleak

F] We’re good, thank you!

S] How did you come together as a band?

J] I was playing drums in a fledgling hardcore band that wasn’t really going anywhere. One of those guys knew Fraser and got him in as a second guitarist. As the band dissolved Fraser and I had already identified that we had a lot in common musically as well as being able to tolerate each other socially. It was just the two of us for a few years until Zach came down to a practice and  Eventually, after a few line up changes, we arrived here.

F] James [Thompson] was our ‘guitar tech’ and number one fan, who stood in on bass very last minute. He sat in a hotel room on a work trip learning the set the night before the show. It turns out he was really good, so we kept him.

S] What motivates you outside of music – think movies, games, people and places? 

F] Personally, I’ve been struggling to come to terms with life after art school a few years ago. Affording myself the opportunities to have multiple creative outlets motivates me. My biggest drive is to never have an ‘Office Job’. It’s an angsty attitude but it’s keeping me alive.

J] I have two kids that I spend a lot of time with. They are motivation and purpose for me. Aside from the those two and the band, there’s not much else I need.

F] What about me?

J] Oh yeah, three kids…

S] What would you say the biggest challenges that you face as a band are?

F] Management of an incredibly small amount of time, scheduling and money are probably the top three. For about a year, Zach was commuting once a fortnight from Birmingham which was difficult!

J] Musically, it’s difficult to find trustworthy feedback. We frequently question whether what we’re producing is different and interesting. Once we’ve written and practiced a song for three weeks you lose a bit of perspective and begin to worry, it’s just pretentious rubbish.

S] What do you think of Hull’s heavy music scene?

J] Hull is great for musical variety. Some places you’ll see a show and every band is just a carbon copy of the last. Hull has bands who are all pushing heavy music in different directions. We like the fact that one week we’ll play a show with a doom/sludge band like Mastiff and then the next week we’ll play with someone like The Escape Artist who are loads more melodic! It’s great to be a part of such an eclectic scene line-up wise. It leads people to discover things they might have previously thought wasn’t for them!

F] I think the heavy scene in Hull is often overlooked but it’s very much managing to attract established bands from around the world.

S] Talk is through the development of ‘Karin’?

J] Karin was written during a bit of a line up change, so at first it seemed like something we were just passing time on but when the discussion of the ‘next step’ came about we floated the idea of a concept focused release. It was put on the back burner but as Karin began shaping up musically we figured, no better time then now!

There is a loose narrative and as soon as we had that penned it really helped structure the flow of the record itself. As far as actually writing went Fraser would start with a handful of riffs and we’d workshop from there. We had an idea of tone and balance derived from the concept and it helped to have those guidelines when figuring out which bits should be heavy or ambient or slow. It was a little like a jigsaw in the later part of the process. Just figuring out the best way to present the work we had done without sacrificing the concept or the musical integrity.

F] Narratively, Karin is concerned with the inevitability of suffering but not in the Buddhist sense, think more along the lines of Bergman suffering…

S] What are your goals for the future?

J] We’ve got a three track that we’re currently recording which looks like it will be released early next year! We’re also in the process of writing a full length record which should hopefully be finished next year. It’s going to show a broader spectrum of what we have wanted to produce before now but haven’t had the chance.

F] The album will be heavier, more abrasive and equally more melodic than work up until now… We’re planning on playing further a field and hopefully just being a touch more prolific!

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