SPOON FULL OF SONGS
The American band’s singer, Britt Daniel, admits to a wealth of influences from punk to the classic rock of Doors and Led Zeppelin
Britt Daniel doesn’t read reviews any more. If he did he’d realise that his band was averaging four stars for their latest album They Want My Soul.
In fact, US band Spoon were named Artist of the Decade by website Metacritic for being the best-reviewed band, on average, for the 2000s.
Now, even the mainstream has caught on with their past two records, 2010’s Transference and this year’s They Want My Soul, both entering the US charts at No. 4.
So with all the good reviews, how is it he doesn’t get a swollen head?
“By focusing on the few bad ones,” Daniel says. “Actually I haven’t been reading reviews for the last couple of records. I don’t need to see that stuff. For a lot of people, and certainly myself, you can read 10 good reviews and the only thing that stands out is the one bad one.
“The real thing is I just don’t want to lose my own vision of what I should be doing.”
It seems the music media mafia still has a powerful influence.
“I think it has a lot of power,” Daniel says. “I think that’s one part of the music industry that is still significant. It still holds sway with a certain number of people, probably the same number of people.”
Daniel admits to reading those magazines himself, growing up in Texas, where he would head down to the state’s music capital of Austin to pore through record shops and pick up copies of Rolling Stone, Spin and NME. There were a lot of bands he idolised then.
“I was really into the Cure, still am. I started out in high school being all about new wave and punk rock and towards the second half of it I started realising that there was a lot of great stuff in classic rock as well, so I got into the Doors and Led Zeppelin.”
Whatever his musical lineage, it’s gone into a solid mix with Spoon’s eighth album proving just what they’re made of. Singles like Do You already sound like pre-made classics.
But let’s ask Britt himself. What kind of film would a Spoon film be?
“I don’t know,” he says. “I’d like it to be dark and dramatic, with some black humour. And maybe some juvenile humour as well.”
While visuals may traditionally dominate over sound, in some ways music transcends other art forms.
“It works in a singular way that no other medium does,” Daniel says. “I would guess that it has a more direct tie to our emotions than a visual medium. But it’s weird because visual mediums always seem to trump the audio medium. If you have the two going at the same time, the video of what you’re seeing is probably going to lead and the music is sort of the undercurrent that might get to you without you knowing it.”
In between Spoon albums, Daniel has been working on his other project, Divine Fits, a band he started with Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade. It seemed to be time to make another Spoon record.
“It just seemed like it had been too long since we’d made a record. When I told Spoon about Divine Fits, I said, ‘I’m going to go do this thing with Dan, we’re starting a band, I want to do it, I need to do it, but when I’ve done some shows I definitely want to make another Spoon record’. It was always something that was going to happen.”
Now, the band are looking forward to hitting the road for an international tour.
“I’ve said this before that live shows can be more immediately gratifying, but the most important thing is the records,” Daniel says.
Britt Daniel (in white) fronts US band Spoon, who are heading to Brisbane.