Music

“Boys Will Be Boys”: Sticky Fingers Are Being Slammed For Their Disastrous ‘Hack’ Interview

"What a cop out."

“Boys will be boys”. That’s the response Sticky Fingers frontman Dylan Frost has given to the allegations of violence and threatening behaviour that have followed him over the past year, in a new interview with triple j’s Hack.

After staying away from the press since they went on hiatus in late 2016, the Sydney band spoke with Hack yesterday evening to respond to the controversy about their return to the music industry and the allegations of sexist and racist abuse made against Frost prior to the band’s hiatus.

Bassist Paddy Cornwall began by reiterating the statement made by Frost last Friday, saying the band “does not condone violence towards women, racism, or any of the hearsay that’s been going around on the Internet about the band” and that it’s time for the band to “speak out”.

They revealed that members of the band had spent time in rehabilitation centres and psychiatric wards over the last year, and they are now completely “committed” to being sober.

“We’ve had some time to reflect on this. A year is a long time,” said bandmember Freddy Crabs. “We’ve been seeking help, and we’ve actually spoken to a lot of strong voices in the community, where we’re gaining more insight into how our actions have affected other people.”

But when Frost was questioned specifically about an incident in late 2016 — when he was allegedly involved in a racist altercation with Indigenous band Dispossessed — the singer went silent, stating that he was “wholeheartedly” against racism, but he has “gotten myself into situations, under the influence, where people have kind of thought these things of me.”

“I guess I am sorry for making people feel that way… on that night,” he finished.

Hack host Tom Tilley then asked the band to elaborate on an alleged violent incident at the end of 2016 involving two members of the local music industry — details of which have been since been scrubbed from the internet.

“I guess I’ve made other people feel intimidated by me,” Dylan replied.

The interview didn’t sit right with many listeners, who began to call the band out for deflecting questions and refusing to directly address the accusations despite being repeatedly pressed by Tilley.

They were also heavily criticised for Frost’s subsequent comment that “boys will be boys”, when questioned about his allegedly violent past. When pushed for clarification from Tilley, Frost merely replied: “Shit happens, man”.

About an hour after the interview went to air, Sticky Fingers attempted to clarify the “boys will be boys” comment in a lengthy post on Instagram.

“We spoke up tonight. Tough issues. It was hard for us,” they wrote. “We answered a question with the line ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘shit happens.’ This was in reference to our past experiences of fighting one another and the headspace we were in at the time. Our point is that the attitude of ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘shit happens’ is no way to look at violence.”

“It was in no way intended to show we aren’t genuinely on a path to positive change, in fact it was there to highlight that we get it.”

We spoke up tonight. Tough issues. It was hard for us. We want to clarify a particular sentiment. We answered a question with the line “boys will be boys” and “shit happens.” This was in reference to our past experiences of fighting one another and the headspace we were in at the time. Our point is that the attitude of “boys will be boys” and “shit happens” is no way to look at violence. It was in no way intended to show we aren’t genuinely on a path to positive change, in fact it was there to highlight that we get it. We stand by our interview. And what we were hoping to bring light to. We love all the support and feedback from everyone who feel passionate about our situation. We also hope that no one gets stuck in this bully-like mess. Peace n lawve to all.

A post shared by Sticky Fingers (@stickyfingersband) on

The band have now followed this up by announcing a new single and plans for a world tour — a move which is being received fairly cynically given the backlash from the interview.

Listen to the full interview on Hack.

If you’d like to talk about any issues with your mental health and options getting long-term help, you can reach Lifeline on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.auIn an emergency, call 000.

Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.