INTERVIEW WITH THE STAVES
Already being touted as one of 2012’s bands to watch, the classic harmonies of the Stavely-Turner sisters will be heading to Bristol next month. Jamie Atkins caught up with The Staves to interrogate them on plans for their stage show, family feuds and names they may have chosen had things been a little different…
Your house growing up must have been pretty musical, who were your formative influences? Were they even all musical?
The Beatles were and are a massive one, along with Paul Simon, Monty Python’s Flying Circus (on tape in the care) and Wind in the Willows. And tea, I don’t know where we’d be without tea.
As an adult I get on famously with my younger sister but as children we had monumental, raging rows the reason for which long forgotten. Once she slammed the door on my fingers and two fingernails actually fell out. Did you have similar grievances and if so have they affected the group dynamic?
EM: I’m pretty sure Camilla bore the brunt of a lot of bullying; being the youngest, but we all endured our fair share of pinches and kicks.
JESS: 22 years of psychological warfare…it’s hard to remember specifics
CAMILLA: I distinctly remember being shut in the tumble drier by Jess though, that’s pretty specific.
EM: I think it’s helped us to have a really honest relationship with each other. We’ve thrown out every insult under the sun and we’re still mates.
Your music might not be not what people expect to come out of an area like Watford (not a diss I hasten to add). Do you think you use music as escapism?
Not really, it’s just about expressing yourself. I don’t think that any of us ever particularly longed to be anywhere else. There was always quite a good music scene in Watford when we were growing up.
You’re due to work with Glynn and Ethan Johns, both of whom have produced some genuinely classic albums. Firstly, can you pick a favourite of each of theirs and secondly, how excited are you to work with them?
Oooh, a really tricky one. For Ethan, it’s a battle between Heartbreaker between Ryan Adams and Ben Kweller’s On My Way. For Glynn it’s even harder! He’s worked on so many albums that we listened to growing up. It’s very exciting to have them both on board.
What can we expect from The Staves live experience? Diva strops? Lasers?
Fights, models of Watford Town Hall being lowered from the ceiling, all the usual stuff.
Lastly, every band goes through the maddening process of deciding upon what to call themselves. Have you always been The Staves or are there some terrible names lurking in your closet?
Luckily not, we fell in to this name really. All our friends referred to us as The Staves anyway (our family name being Stavely-Turner). So, when we did our first open mic night that’s what went on the blackboard. We never got round to thinking of anything else so we’re still the Staves! There was a time when we thought we might have to change our name and our friends suggested the following: Monkey Head Swap, Harmony 3000 and Madame Bovary’s Ovaries. Still wondering if we made the right choice…
The Staves play Start The Bus in Bristol on Sunday December 4. Tickets £4adv from www.communionmusic.co.uk
by 247 Magazine