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Spectres - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 18 / 4 / 2015

Spectres - Interview


Anthony Strutt chats to much acclaimed noise rock band Spectres about their much acclaimed debut album 'Dying' and why they have decided to release it on Sonic Cathedral rather than through Howling Owl, their own label

Spectres consists of Joe Hatt (vocals and guitar), Adrian Dutt (guitar), Darren Frost (bass) and Andy Came (drums). Originally formed in Barnstaple in Devon, they move to Bristol as Devon was too quiet for their form of abrasive guitar rock. Spectres have their own label, Howling Owl, but chose to release their debut album, ‘Dying’, on shoegazing/noise rock label, Sonic Cathedral. Pennyblackmusic spoke to Joe Hatt, Adrian Dutt and Darren Frost at a gig in Leicester. PB: Why did you decide to call yourself Spectres? JH: It took us ages originally to think of something, but it came first of all from an interest that I had in ghosts. AD: It also is mixed with the sort of sound that we at the time wanted to create. JH: It came from Phil Spector and his wall of sound. We do a different wall of sound these days that when we first started. We originally had more of a shimmy sound, so it was a play on that as well. PB: You are originally from Barnstaple but moved to Bristol. AD: Three out of us are from Barnstaple in Devon. We moved to Bristol as we just wanted to get away from there. JH: We parted ways with our old bassist and had a switch around in the band and got Andy in on drums. Adrian, Darren and I all met from when we were playing in different bands in Barnstaple. PB: What is the Bristol music scene like now? You don't really hear about it like you used to when Sarah Records was around or Massive Attack and Portishead were huge JH: I might be biased, but I think it is the richest music scene in the country in terms of its different genres. It has been out of the limelight in recent years, but this year I think people will focus on it more. PB: Apparently you were banned from venues when you first started. Was that because you were so loud? JH: Yes, that’s right. That was in Devon. We had a lot of people walk out on us. AD: We lived by the sea, so there were lots of surfers there. The scene there was mainly acoustic and reggae-dominated. PB: You signed to Sonic Cathedral. How did you meet Nat Cramp who runs it? JH: We knew about Sonic Cathedral, for ages, just by buying records. They have a lot of bands on it that have inspired us. Then he bought a record we released on our label, Oliver Wilde’s ‘A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears’, and we got chatting after that. We gave him a copy of our EP ‘Hunger’, which he loved but he never told us. Then when we recorded the album, we put out online, tongue-in-cheek and just for a laugh, a post saying who wants to release it, and Nat got back to us in ten minute saying he would be interested in talking about it. We toured after that with Lorelle Meets the Obsolete who are also on Sonic Cathedral, and finally they put the record out. It just happened in a really organic fashion. We have a similar mind set as them . PB: Why did you decide not to release it on Howling Owl? JH: I think Howling Owl was fine for releasing a few EPs and singles and stuff, but our thought was if the right label came along we would release it through then. Even Nat said, “Why don’t you release it yourselves? You are in a good position to as you have the label.” We just felt we wanted as a band a separate identity and his label is bigger than ours. A lot more doors have been opened to us. PB: How long has the band been going now? DF: In this line-up three years. JH: We have been around for five years, but the first two years we did a few gigs in Devon and that was it. Then we moved to Bristol, and then about for about six or seven months we did nothing. The other member, who stayed in Devon and who eventually left the band, could only come up every two or three weeks, and for the first year it didn't really happen. It's been a proper thing for the last three years. PB: You have drawn comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, A Place to Bury Strangers, the Stooges and Swervedriver? Would you say that they are influences? JH: There are a few there that we had never heard of before we started getting compared to them. I think A Place to Bury Strangers is the most contemporary, and we found out about them first of all via Sonic Cathedral. We have got similar elements, but I think we write songs in a different way. We want to have the same effect live, whereas the record is a different thing. PB: The album title and cover are really dark. Is that a man swimming on the cover? JH: Yeah, he is coming out of the water. PB: But it's hard to work out what exactly is going on because it looks like he is dying. Why did you choose such a strong dark image? JH: That's why we chose it. It is something that you can't ignore. There was a lot of thought that went into it. We think a lot about the art work. It was an image that captured the music, the panic and the fear of a lot of it, and also finding a way out of it. It dares you to listen to it. PB: What are your future plans? AD: We are doing a Greek tour in April, then five dates in France at the start of May, then Portugal, and then Europe in September. PB: Is there anything else you would like to add? JH: We hope our bodies and equipment survive tonight and tomorrow. We are a bit freaked out how well the album's done. PB: Thank you.

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Dead (2016)
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