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Interviewing 101: A sticky situation

Australian band Sticky Fingers accused of misconduct.

“Boys will be boys” was all front man Dylan Frost could offer as an explanation to allegations of violence and racism that have haunted his band Sticky Fingers since 2016.

Before an “indefinite” breakup in the same year, the Sydney born reggae/indie 5-piece were festival favourites, playing at Splendour in the Grass and Spilt Milk along with sold out shows nation wide.

The same year their album Westway (The Glitter & The Slums) peaked at #1 on the ARIAS Album Chart.

However, Frost’s behaviour started to plague the group. Two incidents of alleged harassment and violence towards female and indigenous musicians seemed to spell the end for the musicians.

A year later Frost issued a statement which acknowledged that his “alcoholic behaviour in the past has intimidated or made people feel unsafe”, and the band hinted a return with an Instagram post captioned “Look who’s back.”

Shortly after, the popular ABC radio station Triple J received this message from a listener; “We would love to see an interview or article with Sticky Fingers. Love their music, but don’t want to support a band who are reportedly racist and sexist.” The band was invited for an interview on the program Hack in April of this year.

Sticky Fingers told Hack they wanted to address allegations of racism and abuse. However, once the interview ends, it’s hard not to wonder whether the band should have denied the request.

Tilley takes on a conversational and seemingly friendly approach at first, even siding with the lead singer, saying “it did look like you were trying to calm things down in the video”.

As the interview goes on, members Paddy Cornwell and Freddy Crabs offer the majority of the replies, at the expense of Frost.

Tilley’s frustration builds and it becomes clear that his objective is to get an apology from the lead singer.

Tilley, notorious for interrupting interviewees and demanding sufficient answers, stays true to his interviewing style.

“Dylan, a lot of the accusations have been against you as an individual, yet you’re the one who’s not really talking,” he says, later urging Frost to “be specific” about what he is apologising for.

The band members, not able to shield Frost from the questions so directly pointed towards him, sit in silence.

Frost, obviously stunned by Tilley’s no-quit approach, offers only “boys will be boys” and “shit happens” as an excuse for his past actions. As a listener you can almost feel Tilley’s disbelief at hearing the responses.

The last five minutes of the interview revolve around the words “boys will be boys” and the rest of Australia listens on, as the band sounds more idiotic and disrespectful than ever.

The interview did not get the apology fans needed, but the lack of one did enough to make this interview noteworthy.

Tilley’s perseverance and ability to single out Frost showed the bands’ true colours.

Just how many people will be buying their new album? Only time will tell.

Bridget Meneghetti is a first-year student in the Bachelor of Media and Communications (Media Industries) at La Trobe University. You can follow her on Twitter  @bridgetmeno

Photo: People at Concert by Vishnu R Nair available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.

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