Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Inquisition: 093.Spook The Horses (answered by Callum Gay)

1. How did you came up with the name of the band?

Ben and I grew up playing in metal bands together, and when we started Spook we wanted a name that didn't suggest anything too specific or aggressive like a lot of the bands we were used to. Spook The Horses was the name was hated the least, in the end we just chose it because it sounded like a band name.

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it?

There's a general process we have, but usually each record is very different. Most of the time one or more people will work on the bulk of a song at home or together, and then we'll digest and reshape and mould it as a band. About half of People Used to Live Here started as an improvised piece. Lurch, Crude Shrines and Blessed Veins all just kind of fell out of us in one go.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?

For me personally its a lot of extreme metal. Ugly, dissonant aggressive music. The rest of the band have really varied tastes, anything from Jon Hopkins to Neil Young to Protomartyr. I don't think we especially sound like anything we listen to, really. Maybe a bizarre mix of all of it. Lately I've had the new Arkhon Infaustus EP on repeat. Evil as fuck.

4. Which is the one album you can't live without?

Most of us have agreed that Cult of Luna's 'Somewhere Along the Highway' was a bit of turning point in our musical thinking. The production is unique, real, powerful and the songs blow open so much wider than their earlier stuff. It's also the last Luna record before they started getting really conceptual so I think it covers a bit more ground without feeling unfocused. Donnie got an original pressing not long ago- no small feat when you live on the wrong side of the planet.

5. What's the first record you've ever bought?

Black Boned Angel- Eternal Love / Eternal Hunger. BBA are a now defunct transcendent drone band from Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel, Our Love Will Destroy The World). You're doing yourself a massive disservice if you haven't checked out his music and paintings.

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with?

The Drones. Gareth Liddiard makes me need to take my headphones off and bang my head against the desk. Fuck that guy, what a songwriter.

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to?

Oh absolutely. Our first album Brighter was a super limited release, we just printed a few jewel cases and sold them at the release show. Within two days it was up on several dicey looking Russian torrent sites. A few days later we mailed a CD to Lithuania. I have no idea how it was up so quickly, but it's crazy to see how your music kind of gets a global release whether you want it to or not.

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?

In general, putting more power in the hands of the artist is a good thing. Spotify is a bit dark, as an artist the revenue is so small as to be effectively pointless. In saying that however it's still my primary way of listening to music. I'll always preferentially buy merch and vinyl from Bandcamp where possible because there's no screwing around with Paypal or those diabolical labels that make you sign up for a specific account for their page. PLEASE don't make me verify a fucking email address just to buy your record.

9. Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?

Hopefully with another three albums or so under our belt having toured extensively around Europe and North America. By that stage we'll probably sound like Kraftwerk or something.

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?

In niche and independent music, definitely. In pop and mainstream, I have no idea. It's not in my wheelhouse. The art is a huge focus for us and we spend a huge amount of time and conversation on it. It's especially important when you play visually evocative music. You're robbing yourself of a lot of creative fulfilment if you don't take it seriously.

11. What is your favorite album cover?

Fuck, so many. Abyssal's "Antikatastaesis" stands out from recent memory. More album covers that look like the album sounds, please.

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?

Vinyl is the only format that doesn't seem like cheap, throwaway garbage in my view. CDs get scuffed and broken in the footwells of cars, digital is nothing, cassettes are small and unimpressive. Vinyl is huge, heavy, sounds unique and gives you more options to be creative with the art, inserts, etchings and colour. My daily music listening is of course digital. When it's time for ritual and worship its vinyl.

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band?

Zach accidentally killed a hawk with the van on tour one time. It was eating roadkill and took off too late. The price you pay for living without honour, bird. There's also countless blown amps, cracked cymbals and busted drum heads at the most inopportune times possible. My least favourite memory is Zach's kick pedal beater coming off while we were playing this festival showcase and I tried to fix it with him still playing, my head under his snare drum just eating rimshots. I wince just thinking about it.

Spook The Horses' latest album "People Used To Live Here" out now on Pelagic Records.

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