Local band’s sound continues to change as they release debut DVD
Photos courtesy of Patrick Steele
Local two-piece rock group StillNative has grown a lot in less than a year.
Back in February, they celebrated the launch of their debut self-titled, full-length album at Mercury Lounge. The entire show was captured on film and will be released on Nov. 29.
Band members and former University of Ottawa students Patrick Steele and Max Savage reminisce about how much fun it was to celebrate something they worked so hard on and how exciting it was to share it with their friends and a packed house.
“It was an electrifying scene. It was just something that came together like that,” Steele says, snapping his fingers, “and it seemed to just work. This is a benchmark for the band.”
The DVD is a complete rundown of their first album. It reflects the band’s straightforward, no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities. Shot by Pascal Huot, recorded by Dave Pratt, visuals by Daniel Snelson, and on-stage accompaniment by Chloe Perrault, the quality of the video reveals the commitment of everyone involved in the project.
The footage shows a performance that starts off somewhat cautious, but builds momentum and finishes with insight into this up-and-coming band’s potential.
Steele and Savage are currently working on music they say will take the band in new directions.
“Our music is sleazy, but at the same time, there is definitely a cleaner prop to it,” Steele says. “Especially when you start listening to the new stuff, it’s really jazzy and smooth. The first recordings were raw and angsty. But I think that we have some more mature ideas floating around.”
Their debut album was known for having a Black Keys vibe, but with their new music, Savage says, “You will still hear that sound, but it has changed.”
The band has been experimenting with different players for a while. During the ELE Festival on Tabaret lawn at the beginning of the fall semester, they performed with a bassist and a rapper. This experience proved fruitful, as they will release an EP this winter that features collaborations with local hip-hop artist Atherton. Both band members agree that playing with others translates into a performance that is easier and less stressful.
“Playing as a duo, you do have limitations, and we are trying to get away from that,” Steele says.
“You can extend some stuff, you can play some real down-low,” Savage adds, “but you always need to fill in space or else it’s just dead.”
With two distinctly different sounding EPs to be released over the next six months before hashing out their second full-length album down the road, StillNative are giving themselves plenty of room to experiment and grow. Fans willing to make the trip can witness their ongoing evolution when they open a triple bill with Cold Capital and the Sunparlour Players Nov. 15 at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, Que.