Sticky Fingers—Dylan Frost [lead vocals, guitar], Paddy Cornwall [bass/vocals], Seamus Coyle [lead guitar], Beaker “Beaks” Best [drums, percussion], and Freddy Crabs [keys, synth]—quietly emerged as one of Australia’s biggest acts and a buzzing force worldwide one-hundred percent independently. To date, they have achieved over one billion streams and views, number one albums, platinum plaques, radio hits, and arenas filled to the brim with screaming fans.
Since their 2008 formation, the boys sold out legendary venues such as Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney (which typically hosts the likes of Drake and Fleetwood Mac), Brixton Academy in London, The Fonda in Los Angeles, and other hallowed stages on numerous packed global tours. Throughout the world they manage to sellout shows by engaging their rabid fan following through social media with nothing else needed.
Four albums deep by 2020, the friendship still fuels everything.
“Paddy and I met Diz busking on King Street,” recalls Beaks. “We all came together around music. I had a cousin who was 30 at the time. I had no idea what he did, but he was always like, ‘If you ever need anything, come to me. I’ll sort you out’. When I told him I was thinking about starting a band with Paddy, he yelled, ‘That’s a fucking good idea!’ The next day, there was a drum kit on my doorstep. Now, that I look back on it, I think my cousin might’ve been a drug dealer,” he laughs. “Anyway, we just got together and started jamming. We didn’t think it would go anywhere though.”
“Since coming from an asbestos-covered garage at my parents’ place,” smiles Beaks.
From the onset, the guys dreamed of performing at a big free community gig, Newton Festival, which repeatedly turned them down year after year. Flipping a middle finger to the establishment (the first of many times), they improvised. Their friend lived in view of the festival, so they convinced her to let them “play a small show in the backyard.” She nervously said, “Yes.”
Overnight, Sticky Fingers erected a stage out of 200 milk crates supervised by Beaks (who just so happened to hold down a job in construction at the time). As soon as the festival let out, the musicians took the makeshift stage and delivered a headline-making performance, attracting the attention of producer Dann Hume at the same time. This kicked off a fruitful creative partnership, which continues to flourish.
“We unofficially headlined the festival when everybody was rolling out,” recalls Dylan. “All of our mates were there just fucking having a party on the roof, ripping the palm trees, and going nuts. It was a little kick off to our career. The journey shapes you though, not the destination, right?”
The group introduced themselves on their 2013 full-length debut, Caress Your Soul.
When it comes to the sound, Dylan deems it, “Erotica-pyscho-tropica…sex, pugs, and rock ‘n’ roll!”
“We’ve always had the ideology, if it feels good to us, it’s going to make someone else feel good as well,” states Paddy.
Fans everywhere felt the same way as the album eventually achieved an ARIAA platinum certification. 2014’s Land of Pleasure went gold, bowed at #3 on the Australian Albums Chart, and kicked off a string of three consecutive Top 5 albums. In 2016, Westway (The Glitter & the Slums) bowed at #1, cementing them as Australia’s hottest export. As Yours To Keep clinched the #4 spot on the charts upon arrival, Sticky Fingers launched their biggest tour to date, selling out arenas and stadiums across the continent. As always, they did it under-the-radar by announcing and promoting the shows via social media.
Along the way, Sticky Fingers supported various philanthropic organizations. On their 2019 tour, they teamed up with Cairo Skateboards to manufacture skateboards and Street X for special edition merch to raise money for the Rural Fire Service New South Wales. Over the course of just one run, the band raised more than $250,000.
“New South Wales was hit the worst,” sighs Freddy. “That’s where we’re from, so we decided to help however we could.”
Yours To Keep marked not only a creative breakthrough, but a personal breakthrough as well. It would be the first time they recorded sober, and the unpredictable grooves, airtight hooks, danceable bounce, and sterling musicianship affirmed their evolution.
“In many ways, that record was quite triumphant,” Beaks goes on. “We were actually able to live a healthier lifestyle and not be just another story of addiction and ultimately death and demise. We didn’t want to repeat the old story.”
“I’m proud we’ve got through our experiences so far and we’re not dead,” adds Dylan. “There have been a couple of close calls where we’ve been knocking on heaven’s door. However, we’re here as family, baby!”
In the end, the family only grows stronger as time goes by. As they ready their fifth album for 2021 and more surprises, Sticky Fingers welcome everyone to join them.
“This is a band of brothers,” Freddy leaves off. “You can go through shit and have your demons, but we’ll stick together and push through it.”
“Even in these dark ass motherfucking times, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel,” Dylan concludes. “It’s been said before, but it’s fucking real. That’s Sticky Fingers to me.”