Indietracks interview #29: Still Corners

By Stuart Huggett

Still Corners are a lush dreampop group formed in London by Texan expat Greg Hughes. With multi-instrumentalist Greg masterminding songwriting and production, the band released their French and 60s pop influenced debut EP ‘Remember Pepper?’ in 2007 and played the church stage at Indietracks the following year. Joined by new vocalist Tessa Murray, the group signed to Sub Pop and released their first full album ‘Creatures of an Hour’ in 2011, its spacious electronics and echoing guitar treatments demonstrating Greg’s increasing studio skills.

Still Corners’ second album ‘Strange Pleasures’ came out in May of this year, and the band have just finished supporting Chvrches on their breakthrough American tour. They return to Indietracks to headline the main stage on Sunday night, so we asked them a few questions.

How has the US tour with Chvrches been?
Tessa: The tour was amazing, we played sold out shows across North America and met lots of great people along the way.
Greg: We had a great time. Chvrches are a great band and lovely people too. Texas stood out on this tour, it was hot as hell and brimming with friendly, lively people.
Tessa: I particularly enjoyed the shows in Austin and Dallas.

How does being a largely English band on Sub Pop help your profile in the States?
Tessa: Sub Pop is such a major force in the US and it’s amazing to be on their roster. We certainly feel strong links to the US and it’s great touring over there and seeing friends and family along the way. Will we move over there? Never say never.

How has ‘Strange Pleasures’ been received internationally?
Tessa: There has a been a lot of love for the record around the world and maybe one day we’ll get to go to Japan, which would be amazing.
Greg: We’ve been getting some lovely emails from fans around the world giving out some love. Maybe beyond the world too.

What do you remember about playing Indietracks in 2008?
Greg: That was the first festival we ever played. I remember that day being really hot and the church was like a green room, lots of sweat, great for rock and roll. We camped outside and had some brews. I saw naked people running around.

How does it feel to return to Indietracks as main stage headliners?
Greg: It’s an honour to come back and play, there’s loads of great bands on. Although I feel we’re probably more of an indoor band, that doesn’t stop us from getting up there and trying to make some noise. Our projections might be a little tricky so we’re brainstorming some other ideas. 100-piece choir? Pyrotechnics? Slash walking on stage to trade solos?

I’ve seen ‘Remember Pepper?’ sell for silly money online, has a repress ever been considered?
Tessa: We’ve considered a repress of it, but at the moment it seems right to keep it special and limited.
Greg: But a 10 inch would be really cool.

What are your favourite recent musical discoveries?
Tessa: Pure Bathing Culture is a new band from Portland and their first couple of singles are divine. It would be great to tour with them some day.
Greg: Agreed, Pure Bathing Culture, amazing songs and band. I’d love to go on tour with Philip Glass, Yo La Tengo or Kate Bush. Also Mac Demarco and the new Dirty Beaches record is my favourite release of the year. It’s not exactly a musical discovery, but there’s a food discovery I made while in Portland, ¿Por Que No? restaurant. Great Mexican food.

How much of the studio work is done with the full band?
Greg: On the recordings it’s just myself and Tessa, and we put in a lot of time together on the vocals and arrangements. Live we fill out to a four-piece with Leon (Dufficy) on guitar and Jack (Gooderham) on drums, two amazing musicians and people.

What other musical outlets do you have outside of Still Corners? Would Greg consider producing or mixing other bands?
Tessa: I always used to sing in choirs before I was in Still Corners but the band is pretty all-encompassing at the moment.
Greg: It’s just the music for now.

Still Corners’ ‘Strange Pleasures’ is out now on Sub Pop.