The Stills

Andrew Gaug

Band picking up the energy with their new album


Credit: Steve Schirra

Some friendships were meant to last. Take The Stills, for example. Some members of the indie-rock quintet have known each other since they were 12 years old and growing up in Montreal. But it wasn’t until 2001 that they decided to form a band and take it on the road.

“(Guitarist/singer Dave Hamelin) and I started writing tunes around 2001,” said guitarist/singer Tim Fletcher. “We went to New York to hang out with some friends who would later become our managers, played some shows and got attention. From there things went really fast.”

Fletcher said originally the band’s name was going to be completely different. While Hamelin and Fletcher were throwing around ideas, they came up with “Die Berlin.” Initially they thought it would be a great moniker for the band. “But then we decided, “Nah, that’s really electro-clash (sounding),” Fletcher said.

The band decided on The Stills because “it’s a name you can roll with. You play modern jazz or hard rock and still (use that name),” Fletcher said.

The Stills released an EP titled Rememberese and its debut full-length album, Logic Will Break Your Heart in 2003, which landed it on the soundtrack for the Josh Hartnett film Wicker Park and received attention from the show “Veronica Mars.”

But even with all the attention, the band members still didn’t feel like they were themselves yet.

“The initial stages went so fast,” Fletcher said. “(Dave Hamelin) played drums out of necessity. It took about a year (for the band) to become The Stills.”


Where? The Grog Shop

When? Friday, June 16 at 10 p.m.

How much? $10

Fletcher said he feels more confident about the band now that it has a handful of tours under its belt and a new album.

“I feel this incarnation right now is where we’ve wanted to be from the beginning,” Fletcher said.

The Stills’ new album, Without Feathers, is a noticeable departure from its previous efforts. It trades the somber tone of Logic Will Break Your Heart for a bigger, more energetic sound. Fletcher said the difference in the music has led to a change in the band’s shows.

“I think that (the new music) heightens (the energy),” Fletcher said, “We play the most logical of Logic and the most feathery of Feathers. We put it into a framework where (both albums) work together into one cohesive show.”

The band will be performing in Cleveland at The Grog Shop on June 16 as part of the CMJ Rock Hall Music Fest.

For those who have never seen The Stills perform, Fletcher said to expect an energetic concert.

“(We put on) a very lively show,” Fletcher said. “We try to keep it (energetic) and fun. It’s an outlet for how we feel about things.”

The band will conclude its tour at the end of June with a few festival shows, which Fletcher said are always his favorite.

“We’ve done a lot of festivals in England, such as Leeds and Coachella, and I just really, really love them.” Fletcher said. “It gives us a chance to hang out with friends, and everybody’s having a lot of fun.”

Though The Stills have no concrete plans after the tour concludes, Fletcher said it will be playing a few shows scattered throughout the summer before launching into a tentatively planned world tour in the fall.

But for now, Fletcher said the band looks forward to all of its shows this summer.

“It’s going to be good,” Fletcher said. “Summertime is a time for fun and weirdness.”

Contact features correspondent Andrew Gaug at [email protected].