This year, St Helens band Stillia have released two singles and hope to have an album on the way – singer and guitarist Jack Bennett admits things are a bit “surreal” at the moment.
The band has come a long way since first forming in school, with bassist Johnny Waring joining Jack and original members Connor Moran, on lead guitar, and drummer Matty, Jacks’ brother.
The original attraction behind forming a band was having “loads of money and women” but, Jack says, it has not been as simple as that and didn not work out overnight.
“In the past two years the songs have got a lot better and a lot more mature,” he says,
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Debut single Let Me In has earned plenty of airplay, including on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio X.
Jack was sitting in a KFC car park when he heard Radio X’ Gordon Smart compare Stillia to The Strokes.
“Every day something is sort of hitting you and we are just taking it as it comes,” he says.
The video to Let Me In is directed by and stars St Helens’ most famous son, comedian Johnny Vegas.
Jack says: “Our ribs were hurting for a few days after it we were laughing so much. It was a boss experience and everyone is more than happy with it.”
The video ends with Jack being tied up and locked in a car boot by super fan Vegas,
He says: “It was a bit strange going home and thinking I’ve just been tied up by Johnny Vegas and chucked in the boot of a car.”
And he admits the fear on his face was genuine, because of the thought of being locked in a boot and someone losing the key.
In-band “scraps and arguments” with his brother invite inevitable comparisons to Oasis’ Liam and Noel Gallagher, but Jack says: “No matter how big the argument or the fight is, I don’t think it would get in the way of the band.”
Despite there being an album ready to go, Jack does not believe it is a “finished product” and the band remain in discussion over which songs should feature.
Jack says: “We’ve been writing every single week and about three or four of the new songs would really suit the album.
“For now, though, we’re getting around as much as we can, getting in everybody’s ears and faces.”
“We’ve only just got on the ride and it’s just starting to get going and we want to see how far we can take it and if we can reach the ambitions we set out to achieve.”
Stillia play new café, bar & events venue Café Totem, on Furnival Gate, Sheffield city centre, on Friday, December 8. For tickets, see cafetotem.com