The Staves take to the stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall tonight as part of Elbow frontman Guy Garvey’s curation of this year’s Meltdown, which takes over the whole Southbank Centre for a week with various arts events. They also released a new EP, ‘Sleeping in a Car’, the follow-up to 2015 album, ‘If I Was’, back in May. Ahead of tonight’s gig, we spoke to Camilla about new material, future plans and this pit-stop to the UK.
Hi. I’m sitting in the back lounge of our tour bus right now driving through Michigan counting all the roadkill I see along the way. Super fun tour game.
You’re in the middle of a pretty hefty tour right now - how’s it all going?
We haven’t toured in the US since 2012, so it feels great to be back on the road over here. It really is amazingly touching to see people out at our gigs so far from home.
How did the new EP all come together? How does it lead on from ‘If I Was’?
We basically didn’t feel ready to make another album just yet, but we were still writing songs. We just wanted to put some songs out as and when we have them, rather than sit on them for ages ’til we have a whole album, by which time some songs can start to feel stale. I have no idea how it leads on from ‘If I Was’. I guess we’re still enjoying experimenting with textures and vocal layering the same way we did in the album, so we’re just pressing on with that. Trying not to think about things too much.
Was it good to return to April Base? How did the experience differ from last time?
It’s always great going back to that place. It’s a very special and comforting place to work on music. Justin [Vernon] was working on his own various things while we were there this time so a lot of the time it was just us and Zach (the engineer) building things, and then Justin would come in and throw some ideas down or play some synth. It all felt very chilled which was great.
How are you looking forward to Meltdown? How did you get involved with Guy's line-up?
We just got asked to do the festival out of the blue. There isn't really a back story or a lead up to it. A very happy surprise. We're really looking forward to it. It looks like it's going to be a really well curated and interesting festival. I wish we could see all the acts.
What sort of set do you have planned? What should people be expecting?
Well sometimes with these one off gigs there's a sense of freedom with what you can do. You don't have to come up with a show that has to be sustained for a whole year, so you can be a bit more ambitious with things. We're going to be playing some new stuff and some reinvented old stuff. We're really, really looking forward to it.
You're gonna be coming from the US and heading straight back there - how's that gonna be?!
Not sure yet! Possibly an error, but we might be able to pull it off without being totally wrecked for the rest of our US run. We'll just have to be good girls and not get really drunk before/after!
What else have you got coming our way in 2016?
We're going to be planning more touring, impatiently waiting to hear the new evidence that Steven Avery's new lawyer has unearthed, and I guess just making more music.