Musicscan: Please tell me a little bit about the writing and recording process for the new album? Is there anything you did differently compared to your previous efforts?
The Stills: The variables between records are the inevitables of life; growing older, growing younger, a couple new pairs of jeans, a couple new shirts, a new apartment, and maybe a new lover. Everything is always the same, and everything is always different.
Musicscan: When one observes your musical development from “Logic..” to “Without Feathers” and now “Oceans Will Rise” it seems like you have been continually aiming to incorporate more and more classic rock influences in your sound? What bands were particularly inspiring for you in this regard and why?
The Stills: We did listen to a lot of Pink Floyd and Philip Glass whilst enjoying red wine and marijuana but I'm not sure oceans will rise has more classic rock influences than any of our other records.
Musicscan: Some of reviews of “Oceans Will Rise” criticized the stadium-rock ambitions of the album. Do you feel like that is a valid assessment of your current album?
The Stills: We don't play stadiums, nor do we tailor our songs to work for stadium situations. Any criticism is valid criticism.
Musicscan: How did the deal with Arts & Crafts come about and how would you describe your relationship thus far?
The Stills: When we knew that we would be leaving Vice, I called Kevin Drew to tell him that we were finally going to be on his label and he immediately sent me a text message with a thousand exclamation points.
Musicscan: What makes The Stills special to you? How would you describe the essence of the band?
The Stills: We are all really special people that have spent our whole lives being special together. We also love The Specials. What's our essence? What would anybody in a band be able to say to that? I don't know.
Musicscan: What are you looking for in a song? What makes for a perfect song?
The Stills: Perfect? John Lennon's Mother, John Lennon's Mind Games, A love Supreme, Idiotheque, Simple Twist of Fate, Girl From the North Country, Southern Man.
Musicscan: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?
The Stills: I hear a lot of things that sound pretty fresh. I hear a lot of things that sound old. Sometimes fresh is bad and old is good. Sometimes fresh is good and old is bad. It really depends on so many things.
Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song and what it felt like and how it feels like now when you finish a song? How has your relationship to music changed over the years?
The Stills: I remember writing my first song and being overwhelmed by an unprecedented feeling of accomplishment. My relationship with music has been through so many ups and downs but I still stick with it because it's where my heart is.
Musicscan: What is the difference between art and entertainment in your opinion?
The Stills: That's a really complicated question. I don't know where entertainment starts or ends.
Musicscan: What do you hope people to take away from a Stills show?
The Stills: I hope that we can come across as people who really care about what they're doing.
Musicscan: Do you have any particular aesthetic goals with the band?
The Stills: I think our aesthetic intentions do shift from record to record but we've never sat down and discussed goals. We are just trying to do the best we can.
Musicscan: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you think you will still be involved in music? What are some of your other passions in life that you could picture yourself pursuing?
The Stills: I have a good feeling that I will still be involved in music.
Musicscan: What can we expect from The Stills in the near future?
The Stills: I think you can expect us to put out more records, and hopefully each one will be better than the last.