Staples on inspiration and maturation.
BY KENNY HERZOG
It had been five years since Tindersticks, one of Britain’s
most charismatically moody ensembles, unveiled a full-length of their
theatrically moving melancholy. But finally, The Hungry Saw (CST) came
along earlier this year, providing yet another feast of baroque eloquence. And
while many thought they’d disbanded as the years passed on and frontman Stuart
Staples dabbled in solo ventures, it was merely an imperative time apart. Like
any relationship, the participants needed a break to rediscover the magnetism
that initially drew them to one another. But much has still changed in the 15
years since their self-titled debut. Below, Staples breaks down the motivation
and muses that first sparked Tindersticks’ chemistry, versus the creative fires
that were lit in preparation for The
Hungry Saw. (The band will be doing some rare tour dates in the U.S. this spring; itinerary follows the interview.)
was the motivation for getting together and making music?
Then: “Playing music was our escape from reality. Gradually, making
music became the reality. This was probably one of the hardest things we ever
had to get over, like having something precious slowly stolen from you, with
only yourself to blame.”
Now: “In making The Hungry
Saw, I think we found that feeling of escape again or just appreciated the
sense of freedom, and even magic, that can come from making music.”
were your chief creative muses?
as Now: “Songs come from ideas and feelings
that itch inside and can’t be soothed until they have been realized. Sometimes
it feels as if there are no choices involved.”
you have an idea of the sound or mood you were seeking to craft?
Then: “Our first album took us all by surprise. We had some idea,
but not to the depth and power of what we were making. This brought a feeling
of total elation, and to be honest, a feeling I have not experienced since.
Like you are only allowed that feeling once.”
Now: “With this album, it was the first time since maybe our
second album that we didn’t have to talk about music or what we wanted to make.
It was all just about getting together with some kind of desire, being open and
seeing where that took us.”
your primary outlets for non-musical recreation?
Then: “Our first album was fueled by Holsten Pils, vodka and
eating the hottest curries on the menu.
Now: “These days it’s more about wine and cooking for each other
(though the vodka still has its days)… We have always had a laugh. And now we
live in different parts of Europe, so it makes
our time together feel even more precious.”
a goal in mind beyond the music itself, or was it the means to its own end?
as Now: “I suppose it’s always been about a
sense of progression, about going further into something, and getting closer.
Though when we were young, we would throw ourselves at walls to achieve this.”
Tindersticks 2009 Tour Dates:
Feb 5 2009 8:00P
La Carene, Brest Brest
Feb 6 2009 9:00P
L’Olympic, Nantes Nantes
Feb 7 2009 9:00P
Krakatoa, Bordeaux Bordeaux
Feb 8 2009 9:00P
L’Auditori, Barcelona Barcelona
Feb 9 2009 9:00P
Teatro Haagen Dazs, Madrid Madrid
Feb 10 2009 9:00P
Teatro Victoria Eugenia,
Donostia-San Sebastián Donostia-San
Feb 13 2009 9:00P
Coliseum, Lisbon Lisbon
Feb 16 2009 9:00P
Teatro Cervantes, Malaga Malaga
Mar 4 2009 9:00P
World Cafe Live Philadelphia,
Mar 5 2009 9:00P
930 Club Washington DC, Washington
Mar 6 2009 9:00P
Temple, Brooklyn New
York, New York
Mar 7 2009 9:00P
Somerville Theatre Boston,
Mar 9 2009 9:00P
La Salla Rossa Montreal,
Mar 10 2009 9:00P
Opera House, Toronto Toronto, Ontario
Mar 12 2009 9:00P
Church, Chicago Chicago, Illinois