Spector - Interviews - Soundblab


by Amy Baker Rating: Release Date:

As we speak, journalists everywhere are getting their heads in a spin trying to determine exactly who it is that hot new band Spector sound like - is it The Killers or Frank Sinatra, The Strokes or Roxy Music? Whatever it is, it certainly seems to be getting people's attention.

I caught up with Frederick Macpherson, Spector's charismatic front man to discuss their latest single 'Grey T-Shirt and Tie', their upcoming headline UK tour and how it feels to be included on the NME Cool List…

You were frontman in Les Incompetents and Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man - how did they end and Spector come about?

Les Incompetents ended the way any teen romance does: Tears, schoolwork, and a trip to the sexual health clinic. OELM's actually still going. We're just on a very long hiatus, but a third record exists... in our heads.

Where did you recruit the other members of Spector?

The internet!

What experience did you gain with your former groups that has helped Spector? Are you doing much differently?

I guess I learned that success in music comes only from having good songs and working hard. We're ok at the latter and we're working on the former.

You've been in bands for a while and you're not yet 25 - when did you realise you had a passion for music and when did you start making music?

I started making music at school because I watched MTV2 and saw bands like The Strokes, Liars and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and thought: that looks like more fun than what my parents do. I wish it was.

Is the band name in homage to Phil Spector? He's arguably the finest record producer of all time - was the name a nod of the hat to his talent or an effort to put pressure on yourselves to create great results?

I like the idea of choosing the name Spector to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. In reality though, we just had a different name every week and that happened to be the one we had when it came to pressing up our first single.

Spector have been pitched as somewhere between Roxy Music, The Strokes, The Killers, Kanye West, R&B and Frank Sinatra- what do you make of these comparisons? Is this what you are aiming for musically?

All those comparisons are just hyperbole... I think we actually came up with most of them!

Is there a hip hop/R&B influence at all?

We definitely listen to a lot of hip hop and electronic music, but I don't know if that's very apparent in what we've released so far. Maybe a few of those references will shine through on the LP.

We've heard all the comparisons - how would you describe Spector in your own words?

I'd try not to. Music's better at explaining itself.

You've been likened to Jarvis Cocker for your lyric writing capabilities - is he a lyricist that you admire and what inspires your lyrics?

Most of my lyrics are pretty simple and obvious. They just come from sentences in real life conversations. I can only assume the comparison to Jarvis Cocker comes from me wearing glasses. He writes witty intellectual lyrics whereas ours are pretty inane.

Your latest single 'Grey T-Shirt and Tie' is released on Monday- can you give us a little insight into what it's all about?

It's about catching up with a friend after a long time, and enjoying talking about what you used to get up to together rather than what you've been doing apart.

You're supporting Florence + the Machine next year- are you fans of her music? How are you feeling about supporting such a big name?

Excited. I want to see how our songs fare in big rooms. We're all fans of her and The Horrors who are also on the bill so I'm hoping we're going to learn a lot.

You're due to release an album in 2012. When and what should we expect?

Eleven songs by Spector by April/May is probably a pretty safe bet.

You're proud East Londoners - is there any music coming out of there at the moment that you are particularly fond of?

There's really not much of an 'East London scene' or even a London scene in the way there maybe was seven or so years ago. I'm excited about The Big Pink's second record, Klaxons next one and in terms of newer bands, I'm a big fan of S.C.U.M and Big Deal.

Spector are performing at Bethnal Green Working Mans club on Monday December 5 as part of Curated by Lyle and Scott. Do you have any specific style icons?

Bryan Ferry is a style icon, maybe Ultravox and Spandau Ballet a bit. I think fashion's more of a personal thing than a musical one. I don't know how we got involved with Lyle and Scott... I guess they're giving us money and clothes in exchange for having their name on the poster for our show. That's just win/win right?

Do you have any unusual pre-show rituals?

I guess we tried a vocal warm up once. And we were backstage at the Roundhouse the other week and I sang a medley of West End show tunes to the rest of the band but they really didn't look that impressed.

You've been billed as a new cult frontman in the making, likened to David Bowie and recently made the NME Cool List. How are you feeling about all this attention?

Whoever likened me to Bowie must be blind and deaf. Our guitarist Jed says: "Live by the bullshit die by the bullshit." Is that what we're doing? I always wondered whether I was cool and when NME put me in their cool list I realised that's a sure-fire sign I'm not. But if it leads someone to finding an mp3 or YouTube of ours that they like then that's sick.

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