Tom Tilley hosted a no holds barred interview with the Sydney band.
Sydney band Sticky Fingers have today sparked further controversy following their appearance on triple j's Hack program.
All five band members — Dylan Frost (vocals/guitar) Seamus Coyle, (lead guitar), Paddy Cornwall, (bass), Beaker Best, (drums), and Freddy Crabs, (keys) — were present during an interview with presenter Tom Tilley which aimed to address two highly publicised incidents prior to the band's late-2016 hiatus, as well as the band's recent comeback, with most questions directed to Frost.
"There were two notable controversies in the months leading up to that announcement about the year off," said Tilley when introducing the interview, which was recorded earlier today.
"First, Dylan Frost was accused of racially taunting an Indigenous band and the video released by that band did not prove that to be true, and then just days before they announced the hiatus, there was another incident at a Sydney pub where Dylan was accused at the time of intimidating a female member of the music industry. That person's account of the incident has since been removed from Facebook and so have several media reports quoting it."
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The program then shared audio from a statement released by Frost last week, before Tilley introduced the band and explained that it would be Cornwall and Crabs doing most of the talking during the interview, with Frost interjecting at times. Tilley also addressed here that it can be hard to tell the member's voices apart at times.
"We don't condone violence towards women, racism or any of the hearsay that's been going around the internet about the band. But we've found that, as you may have noticed, we've been silent for nearly a year on all fronts but it's become apparent to us, more than that, blatantly obvious that our silence has become deafening and that's why it's sort of time for us to speak out now," said a yet to be identified member.
Tilley then raised the accusations about Frost racially taunting band Dispossessed at a show in Sydney in July 2016.
"For those who know Dispossessed know that the band is sort of known for deliberately antagonising their audiences in order to sort of bring attention towards what they stand for," said the same member, "and if you look at the footage from that night, it kind of tells a bit of a different story to what they're saying about Dylan."
Tilley then addressed Frost directly for his take on the incident, particularly addressing footage and a statement that Dispossessed shared following the show.
"I guess I've gotten myself into situations, under the influence, where people have kind of thought these things of me but I'm not racist, you know," said Frost. "I'm wholeheartedly against it, referring back to my statement last week [via the band's Facebook]. It's against my nature. Yeah, I guess everything just kind of got a little bit… just got a bit… It's been interesting to say the least."
Tilley then addressed that the issue seemed difficult for Frost to discuss and asked if there was anything that happened before the incident was caught on film that could have construed him as being racist towards the band.
"I guess, my alcoholic behaviour in the past has made people believe that I've done far worse things than I have actually done," answered Frost. "I guess I don't want to continue this behaviour. Being sober as a band has really made me think of the bigger picture."
"I guess I am sorry for making people feel that way," he said after Tilley asked if he felt he needed to apologise for the incident.
Returning then from a brief break to share listener feedback, Tilley then addressing the Sydney pub incident.
"Yeah, I guess I've made other people feel intimidated by me, and witnessed me in this state," he said when asked about the event.
It was following this that another band member stepped in to answer further questions about the incident, saying that since the event and during their subsequent hiatus, that members of the group underwent rehabilitation and spoke to the community to gain "insight into how our actions have affected other people", as well as addressing that they as a group are now sober.
They went on to explain that while Frost's behaviour had been solely mentioned for the band's hiatus, that there were many other factors that went into the group's hiatus.
"I guess 10 years of being in a drunken, debaucherous rock 'n' roll band we've pissed off a few people along the way and we haven't really played by the rules at any point of our kind of ride," said another yet to be identified member, when Tilley asked what the group are specifically apologetic about.
"I guess we've just been drunk and debaucherous and we haven't really thought about it, but five dudes sort of rolling around the joint, half-pissed, taking the piss, it probably scared a few people but we haven't ever openly gone to target people…" he continued.
The member continued briefly before Tilley turned the questioning back to Frost, addressing violent incidents that Frost has previously raised.
He then moved on to say to Frost that "a lot of the accusations have been against you as an individual but you're the one who's not really talking in this interview. Can you explain to me why that is?"
"I guess I'm not that good at interviews, you know. And in the past… violence in my past under the influence, I guess, you know, fucking boys will be boys, you know? That's not what I'm here to promote, I'm here to promote peace and love, you know what I mean?"
"What did you mean when you just said 'boys will be boys'?" pressed Tilley at the end of the comment. "Shit happens, man," responded Frost. "But aren't you saying you're sorry for what's happened?" followed Tilley.
"Yeah, I am. I am sorry."
"'Shit happens' sounds like you don't really care?" said Tilley.
"Nah, I do care mate, I do. I just find it hard to talk about this stuff, you know?"
It's here that a band member then interjected when Tilley pushed why Frost is uncomfortable discussing the points further, as well as explaining conditions that Frost has previously been diagnosed with.
Wrapping up, Tilley attempted to address the topic of mental health with Frost, where he was then told by Frost that he'd rather not talk about it.
The full Hack interview is now available via the triple j website, head here to listen.
Update: Sticky Fingers have since released a statement about comments made during the interview via their Instagram account. Read it below.
We spoke up tonight. Tough issues. It was hard for us. We want to clarify a particular sentiment. We answered a question with the line “boys will be boys” and “shit happens.” This was in reference to our past experiences of fighting one another and the headspace we were in at the time. Our point is that the attitude of "boys will be boys" and "shit happens" is no way to look at violence. It was in no way intended to show we aren’t genuinely on a path to positive change, in fact it was there to highlight that we get it. We stand by our interview. And what we were hoping to bring light to. We love all the support and feedback from everyone who feel passionate about our situation. We also hope that no one gets stuck in this bully-like mess. Peace n lawve to all.