by Miles Rowland
You’ve just played Reading Festival for the fourth time. How did it feel returning with all this new material? It was our best Reading show to date, which is saying a lot as it always brings out the best in us. It was great having two album’s worth of material to choose from and we also brought a smoke machine, which was a bonus. Reading was the first festival I ever went to and is probably one of the only times in the year I get genuinely nervous.
Critics have compared you to acts as diverse as The Killers, Roxy Music and Frank Sinatra. Who do you consider your key influences, and did they change for the second album? On the first album, I was listening to stuff like The Killers. But on this album, I’d say it was more varied and emotional - stuff like The Blue Nile, Malcolm McLaren and Phoenix.
We’re big fans of Moth Boys, what’s the story behind the title? It’s a name I’ve had for years which I always wanted to use when the right piece of work came along, and when we finished this album I knew it was the one. It’s all about living in darkness but being attracted by the lights, which are often more destructive than the depths you thought you were in in the first place. Moths are transient, fragile and distracted - and so are we.
The mood is more thoughtful and maybe less carefree on this album than on Enjoy It While It Lasts. Was there a difference in how you approached writing the two albums? No, we generally write directly from experience so I think the approach and mood just came from what we were doing and how it was making us feel.
Moth Boys often seems to be speaking from the perspective of someone unlucky or unhappy in love. Any bits of relationship advice for our readers? Hmm… good question. I definitely need some advice myself. I think be honest with yourself and with the other person as much and as soon as possible. That way you won’t end up tricking yourself into being in something long lasting but doesn’t make you happy. And try not to overthink things. But I wouldn’t take my advice if I were you.
In Don’t Make Me Try there’s a nod to the first album in the lyric about the “Chevy in the parking lot outside”. Is this a symbolic throwback or are you guys just into classic cars? Yeah, it’s definitely important to me to connect our songs where possible so people know they’re being sung by the same character or protagonist or whatever. I don’t drive but the American car always seemed like a cornerstone of modern songwriting, which is why I wrote Chevy Thunder. As well as Don’t Make Me Try being inspired by the same person, it’s our way of telling the listener that our roots are still there even as our sound develops and changes.
What music have you been listening to lately? Any up and coming bands you can recommend? I like a band from Brighton called The Magic Gang and there’s another band called Lion Bark also based there, and then of course Spring King and Bill Ryder Jones who are both coming on our tour. Bill was in The Coral who were one of my favourite bands growing up so it’s crazy to have one of my teen idols on the tour with us. Otherwise I mainly listen to hip-hop - especially Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt and Kendrick Lamar in terms of great albums released in 2015.
Many artists have recently spoken out against music streaming. What’s your take on services like Spotify or Apple Music? I think they’re both amazing platforms, but the way royalties and everything else is sorted out probably needs to develop. But I definitely see the future of music and film as a subscription service. Netflix is commonplace in the world of TV and film so I can see something like Apple Music becoming a part of every day life once the novelty wears off.
You’ll be heading back out on tour again in October. What’s been the weirdest experience you guys have had whilst touring? There was an incident with a firearm in San Francisco, a fan who collapsed in the street when we met them in Tokyo but the weirdest stuff still happens when you least expect it in the UK. One of my favourite memories was getting kicked out of a venue in Nottingham for doing the conga.
What’s the plan for Spector over the course of the next year? We just want to work as hard as possible to get our music to people who haven’t heard it yet. Hopefully playing in some new places and playing the best shows we’ve ever done to the people who’ve been loyal enough to come back and watch us a few years after our first record.