Stillwater Giants are an upcoming indie / surf-rock band from Perth in Western Australia consisting of Henry Clarke (Vocals), Tom Godden (Guitar), Kyle Lockyer (Bass) and Angus Watkins (Drums). They are our latest Sonicbids competition winner. When we checked out their tight hooks and dynamic we were impressed and were really keen to interview them for Song Revelation so that we could share everything with you. Read on to discover who the Stillwater Giants would like to gig with given a chance, what they enjoy doing to relax and what they’re hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Surf indie rock/pop with a taste of funk.
Q: What is your musical background?
I learnt drums on a keyboard down south and then slowly transferred those skills to actual drums during lunch breaks at school. I received my first kit when I was 15 so I guess I’ve been playing drums for around 8 years now. I’ve only ever had three formal lessons with drums so I’m self-taught. Oh and I can also play the beach organ really well.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
Really good, particularly in the last six months. It seems every few days I’m getting a phone call about something good that’s happened for Stillwater Giants. It seems to be all up and up for us at the moment.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Dennis Chambers inspires me quite a lot. I was lent a DVD of him called In the Pocket a few years back and ever since I’ve been hooked on his funk. Tony Royster Jr also inspires me. That is, inspires me to sit down and practice rudiments as fast as I can, it’s freaky the speed at which he can drum. Danny Carey is another big influence, after all the years I’ve been listening to Tool I still sit down and attempt to figure out what he’s actually doing. And also Meg White, she reminds me that you can be crap technically and still be a good drummer, which makes me feel better when I’m down.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Umm let’s see. Mathew Bellamy, Jack White, Adam Jones (did you know he helped design the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park?!) and basically anyone who can play an instrument that I can’t. Which is every instrument besides the drums and the beach organ…
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
I would really like to collaborate with the lads from Holy Fuck. I always love the fusion between electronic and real instruments and Holy Fuck pushes it to its dirty extremes. And I guess it would also be awesome to gig with Radiohead. Is it going to happen!? No. I’m also working on a snare solo album with Buddy Rich; keep your ears peeled for that one…
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Parliament/Funkadelic lately and The Smashing Pumpkins, in particular Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. And last but not least The Brian Jonestown Massacre; And This Is Our Music is such an understated album.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Henry is the central creative force behind our songs. Usually he rocks up to our jams with a core idea or riff and we all seem to put it together from there. We all have input into the different instruments and parts; for example Tom may come up with an awesome riff or hook and I might say “That sounds better in this part”, and sometimes I come up with a beat and Tom or Henry might want it modified for the benefit of the song, and Kyle might say “This song is crap lets go for a swim!”
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
For us? Melody by a long shot. Lyrics are very important too but they are simply there to enhance our melodies. We focus on our three part vocal harmonies and that’s one of the characteristics that create our unique sound. So lyrics are supportive to that.
Q: Where are you based?
We are based in Perth at the moment. However the bands heritage lies down south in Margaret River, Western Australia.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Well I’m sort of half from Perth and half from Margaret River I guess so I’m not sure. Anyway I couldn’t judge or comment because I only know what it’s like coming from where I’m from. But I think I’ve had an amazing and privileged life growing up here in Perth. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, the climate is Mediterranean and hot, the beaches are beautiful and not crowded. Perth is a very private place, people seem to stick to their own thing and keep to themselves that is fine for the most isolated city on Earth. But this is just a feeling I get and isn’t necessarily true, as I said I have nothing to compare to. If you want to learn more about Perth, Bon Iver wrote a song about it called ‘Funky Town’.
Q: What are you currently working on?
We are currently recording our second EP to be released in September. That’s 6 brand new tracks for your ear holes.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Definitely our EP launch. We were extremely nervous leading up to it as Tom had booked the Bakery that is the biggest venue in Perth. Incredibly we had the whole venue packed out by the time we played. And the crowd went nuts! We did play like crap however because we were ridiculously drunk, but it didn’t matter as it turned into a giant jam party with people running around on stage, soft toys thrown around, and EPs being chucked and stomped into the ground.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
Playing at more festivals and Triple J rotation of our new EP. One thing we all have in common is that we love the vibe of festivals that suits our sound and actually playing at them is such a privilege. Getting airplay on Triple J is almost every bands goal in Australia. It is a national, government run broadcaster that plays host to the biggest yearly song poll in the world. All the best Australian music is played on Triple J! If yours isn’t you must keep trying.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Well I guess the release of our second EP in September. We will be showcasing it somewhere at some point and will take the show on tour across the country. So be ready! In the meantime we are playing at Groovin’ the Moo Festival on May 19th alongside awesome acts such as Mutemath, Andrew W.K, Public Enemy and Digitalism. It’s gonna be sweet.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Swimming in a pool, at the beach or in the river. Perth can get quite hot in the summer. I also watch a lot of T.V.
Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Antarctica! I want to visit the dry valleys; apparently they are more like Mars compared to anywhere else on Earth. Thank you David Attenborough…
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
There are a lot of good bands out there, however one thing I’ve learnt is that you may be good but you need to make your own luck. Working hard on your music pays off. It’s all about time and effort; the more you put in the more it will pay off. (I only figured this out six months ago, damn it! And I’ve been doing this for four years…) There are so many bands that I’ve seen that have the potential to make it big, but they seem to do nothing with their time. Releasing material on a regular basis is a good way to start. Recordings are essential for a band, probably more so than gigging around town. People want music in their laps, so bands need to provide it for them in that way.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Our bassist Kyle has a great set of abs.
Editor’s Note: Stillwater Giants embody feel-good pop-rock music and are definitely one of Song Revelation’s “One’s to Watch” for 2012 and beyond!
If you’d like to contact the Stillwater Giants just follow the links below: