Navigate / search

WHAT’S UP | THE STIFFYS

Don’t laugh at the headline kids, I’m just following the format okay? If you’re looking for seriously deep insights into the music business, romance and serious art rock; look no further than this interview with a couple of silly boys The StiffysWhat’s been going on?

We’re at sound check at the Sydney Metro, we’re sorry we’re calling you late!

No worries, you have to make sure your sound is good.

You sound like you know a lot about the music business Annelise, you are baaaang on! Two things – sounding good and drinks. And the ladies!

I was going to ask you about your theories on the music business actually, we can jump ahead to that now if you like.

We’d love to talk about that, I suppose the thing about the music industry is… drinks, basically. We’re not sure if it’s the music business that got us into the drinks, or if the drinks got us into the music business. It’s like one of those snakes that eats it own tail, but a lot more cool and sexy than that, the snake’s probably wearing sunglasses. And probably riding a skateboard.

I saw you at The Hi-Fi a few weeks back supporting The Beards and I would like to raise a certain point. Just before you performed I’m Really Good At Sex Because I’m Always Doing It, you put out a Public Service Announcement asking the ladies NOT rush the stage. Every woman in the venue stayed WELL BACK. Was that PSA unnecessary?

That’s the thing, it’s really nice that the ladies listened to us this time. I mean, to be honest with a lot of our shows, we call it an Occupational Health And Safety issue with ladies clawing at us, trying to touch us, kiss us. So we were really pleased, for the first time in The Stiffys history EVER, the ladies actually listened to us and did NOT rush the stage.

I witnessed history? Wow.

Yeah. I think it just shows ladies are really starting to respect us more than just meat, but more as art rock musicians.

True, you’re not being sexually objectified anymore, that’s great.

That’s right, they listen to us now, they still try and kiss us all the time, and we’re like, “Ladies, that’s cool, but please, we need to earn money to feed ourselves.” We were spending all our money on chapstick and bandaids ‘cause our lips were bleeding so much.

I noticed you’ve got some really complex lyrics. How do you come up with phrases like “Wanking, wanking, wanking, everybody” and “Boners, erection of the penis”?

I think with any good art, it’s more about what you DON’T say. I think The Stiffys are a thinking band. Like with Boogie Boarding, you would just think it’s a song with the words ‘boogie boarding’ in it 125 times, but it’s much deeper if you really think about it.

Fair enough. Would you consider yourselves deep guys? Is that who you really are under the spacesuits?

Absolutely yeah, we’re definitely deep guys. We used to dress up like sailors, but because we’re really quite deep, we decided it was time to evolve as artists and in our look. So, we changed it up and decided to dress up like astronauts. We’ve kind of matured and want to take it a bit more serious now. We actually refer to ourselves now as ‘a couple of deep boys’.

That really comes across. When you’re in that headspace, are you finding yourself approaching the world in a different way?

We find the best headspace for us is probably after about eight or nine drinks, or maybe a couple of bottles of Passion Pop. It relaxes us I suppose, and gets us into a creative space. It’s also much sexier as well, makes us funnier and makes us want to dance.

I’ve also noticed you’re very encouraging deep guys, you’re always congratulating people on doing a good job. This is lovely, what are you trying to do here? What’s your philosophy?

Well, we put out a video late last year, doing a parody of Redfoo’s Literally I Can’t and ever since then, we’ve attracted a lot more interest from feminist media, which is really great. We often get asked if we’re feminist, which of course we are, but we’re a lot more broad than that, we just want everybody to have a great time, all the time. If that takes eight or nine drinks at eleven o’clock in the morning, well, then that’s what it takes. That’s our philosophy.

I think I can see that feminist element coming out in the video for Kissy Kissy, it’s even quite romantic.

If there’s one thing we get called all the time, it’s ‘a couple of romance boys’.

Yes, I see. I can also see in the video you’re both portrayed as having enormous guns. How did this come about? Was this a specific request you made to the artist?

We just sent photographs of ourselves and we said to the artist, “Look you’re going to have to make our muscles a bit smaller as we don’t want to alienate our male fans.” We wanted it to be realistic.

Have you had any complaints from your male fans asking you to put them away?

We just get a lot of fan letters from guys saying, “Look Stiffys, we just want to thank you so much for teaching us to be cool around ladies and stuff”, and they usually ask how they can be more like us. We don’t want to describe ourselves as role models, but we are kind of like role models.

What’s the best advice you’d give our male readers about relationships and romance?

The main thing we’d tell male readers is to be respectful to women. Don’t talk with your mouth open, don’t be a potty mouth, don’t get distracted and put your headphones in when she’s trying to talk to you, don’t throw a tantrum when the barman is ignoring you.

Also, I’d also suggest every male reading this interview joins a rock and roll band. Or just hang around a rock and roll band. Or just buy a guitar and carry it around. If you can’t play the guitar, don’t worry, just buy these things called ‘delay pedals’, just get eight or nine of them, grow your hair and look down a lot, and you don’t have to play well at all, just fiddle with the peddles and everyone will think you can play.

And advice for the ladies?

I’d say, just please, just get in touch with us. Like, we’re very approachable and definitely cool, we’re comfortable talking to the ladies, we do it all the time. We’ve kissed heaps of girls, we’ve got heaps of experience, there’s nothing to worry about. We’ve read heaps of books about them, so don’t even worry about anything.

What books have you read about ladies, just out of interest?

Oh Dolly magazine, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Weekly, The Big Issue, TV Week, and semplesize as well!

Good! We often like to give dating advice when we can; it’s all part of the service. I’d like to know more about why you’re evolving into serious art rock band. I know men need to evolve, that’s an important part of being a man, but why now?

Well, we basically just want to be cool, you know? It’s the most important thing for us is being cool. When we first started out we thought, “What’s the coolest, most edgy art thing we can do? I know, we’ll call ourselves The Stiffys and just think about stiffies, that’s pretty edgy.” And also wear sailors outfits. The thing is, a lot of people are now starting to catch up to us on the erection thing, so what’s the next logical thing Annelise? What’s the next logical step? Space. That’s right, space, the future. One step ahead Annelise, one step ahead!

For sure. What other ideas do you have up your sleeve?

We’ll probably just write really cool songs and record the rest of a potential album in September, one of the songs we’ll include is called Space Blog.

Oh yes! That was good, I remember that live, that was a really good one.

 Oh, thank you, I’m sure you’d agree that it’s probably one of the most art rock songs ever produced.

Yes, I would definitely agree with that, I’m happy to stake my reputation on that claim.

Good. The Stiffys are also active on social media, so we’ll probably keep making videos and just keep being a couple of cool boys. We like to perform live, we’re touring now with The Beards; then we’ll go on another tour……oh!!! We shouldn’t have said that! It’s an exclusive!

Great! What’s the conversations like between The Stiffys and The Beards on tour?

The Beards have been relentlessly trying to get us to sign a contract, it’s been a cat and mouse game Annelise; they are trying to get us to sign a contract agreeing to never shave again. Sneaky. We’re not too sure. They keep telling us we’re singing a record deal, they keep handing us documents, especially after we’ve had a few drinks. They’re tricky, those Beards.

Learn all about romance in space by watching Kissy Kissy, courtesy of your couple of cool boys The Stiffys:

Annelise Ball