Sam and Shay
Sam and Shay

5 Questions: Still Creek Murder

Down below, in the basement of a t-shirt factory along the Vancouver Harbour, the air was humid and the scene was reminiscent of the late 80s counter-culture era. This is where I saw 2 musicians play before a crowd of party-goers who were huddled around their set; ready to hear something that would fit the occasion. This is where I met Still Creek Murder.

Hailing from Vancouver, Still Creek Murder is a Rock duo who have been creating music since 2012. After hearing the band play their latest EP, To Shreds, I got in touch with them to hear what’s behind their music.

How would you describe your partnership in terms of your song-writing approach?

Sam & Shay: Our song writing partnership can be like a chrysalis. Sometimes we will work a song to the point where it’s going to explode and we’re still unsatisfied. When it’s too girthy, we’ll wrap it up into a little package and let it sit for some time. When it emerges transformed, we know we did it right.

What about Vancouver inspires your music?

Shay: I grew up in a small Saskatchewan city, where live music was almost nonexistent. I admire and am inspired by the integrity and originality of some of Vancouver’s local bands. Seeing them perform still blows my prairie bumpkin mind. Although Sam and I hope to pursue music elsewhere someday, we are definitely proud to be based out of Vancouver. Our band name comes from this city.
Sam: For a while I heard so many people disparaging Vancouver. Those entitled jerks. I know this place has got a lot to offer and is home to incredible talent, it’s just that one has to look past the entertainment district and cheap drugs. There’s so much more bubbling underneath and you’ve only [got] to listen and contribute. That’s all I want to do.

What instruments do you play?

Shay: My parents met playing in a band together. Neither the band nor the marriage lasted, but I’m thankful that both my parents understand and support the fact that I pursue music. Being one of four daughters, my Pops was eager to teach me to drum when I showed interest and has remained my biggest mentor. I can’t say I play another instrument well but I dabble sometimes with vocals…when Sam can’t sing low enough.
Sam: I inherited my Mom’s Stratocaster. My Dad bought it for her 10 or so years ago. You can hear the sentimental value. Never had a guitar before it and the only one I’ve owned otherwise was garbage in comparison. I mess around on Shay’s kit when she’s not looking but I’m really only decent with a guitar.

Can you describe your recording approach with your latest EP, To Shreds?

Shay: To Shreds was homegrown. We recorded off the floor at our own studio, had our close friend do the engineering, and dubbed our tapes by hand. It was a comfortable and humbling first step. Now we’re ready to leave the nest. The studio we will be recording at, in the near future, is up the street!
Sam: Our other recordings were simple demo tracks; we did them all in one take. There’s a natural feeling to them that we like but they’re not much more than a test. With the EP, we didn’t want to make promises on the recordings that the live set couldn’t keep. Yeah, we wanted to flesh out the songs, and with Adam we could have done crazy things, but we weren’t gonna go all Timbaland on it.

How would you describe your music?

Shay & Sam: It’s like we’re trying to find a house, right? And we don’t know what we’re looking for exactly but we know that when we see it, we’ll be good living there. At least for a little while. The songs we write and the sounds we choose aren’t based on a predetermined aesthetic. We just tell each other if something sucks. We rely on each other’s music tastes and honesty. And that’s what the songs end up being: They’re our honesty.


Still Creek Murder will be performing at this year’s Nootka Sound Festival. Their set will be at the Rickshaw Theatre on August 30th.

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