Those who believe that rock 'n' roll is dead should listen to SPIDERS immediately. Their first full-length 'Flash Point' (review here) is one of the strongest counter-arguments one can find in current times. This is mainly caused by the fact that SPIDERS know how to write a real good tune which have an enigmatic quality one doesn't forget too soon. They pull out all the stops on this hard rockin', heart-warming, anthemic album and play dirty 1970's-tinged songs with absolutely no frills. Therefore, it is not neccessary to mention that guitarist John Hoyles (who is also in Troubled Horse) has been in Witchcraft before, because SPIDERS are not dependant on this kind of advertising. Fact is: SPIDERS stand on their own feet. Moreover, they do their own thing and they do it damn well. That is why I didn't ask any questions about John's former band, because my particular attention was directed on SPIDERS and nothing else. Luckily vocalist Ann-Sofie Hoyles participated in the interview too. So let's see how SPIDERS spin their sonic web...
Thanks a lot for that fresh blast of sonic energy, which is called 'Flash Point'. As mentioned in my review, it gets my old rock 'n' roll pulse racing. How long did you work on it?
John: Glad you like our album. A few of the songs are from the start when we recorded our 10" album in 2010, and a lot of the riffs I have had lying around for a few years when I played in my old band Witchcraft. We worked hard for two months before we went into the studio so we were very well rehearsed, it took us a week to record the album and a week to mix. We feel very happy about how the record sounds and we are looking forward to performing the songs live!
Please, tell me more about the cover of your new album? Who had the idea and how did it come into being?
John: Ann-Sofie came up with the idea. We had seen some cool pictures of motorcycle gangs from the 60s in a magazine and we wanted to do something similar. We have a lot of biker friends and they helped us out, they usually work as the security squad at our gigs you know.. It's fun to have our buddies on the cover!
Before 'Flash Point', you've released a couple of 10"'s and 7"'s on different record labels. Why didn't you start with an album?
John: We didn't have an album worth of songs yet and we had other things going on in our lives for a while. We were more focused on playing shows rather than spending time in a recording studio. Besides Ann-Sofie and I bought a house in the country so all our time was preoccupied painting and fixing the house up. We are going to build a studio there and it's a great house to have parties in.
While watching your new video for the song 'Hang Man', I immediately noticed the reprint of Gary Grimshaw's legendary MC5 concert poster on the wall, because I have the same one at home. To me, the MC5 (as well as The Stooges) are part of my personal holy rock 'n' roll bible. What do they mean to you?
John: I agree we are big fans of the Detroit rock scene with bands like Stooges, Amboy Dukes, Death and Mitch Ryder but no one plays rock music better than the MC5. One other favorite band is the drummer in the MC5, Dennis Thompson's later band he had together with Ron Asheton called The New Order. They are one the best rock bands I've heard for years!
Indeed!! It's a shame that they never recorded a proper studio album similar to Sonic's Rendezvous Band. By the way, why do you shoot videos? What do you like in particular about that medium?
John: These days with Facebook and YouTube videos make it easier to spread the music. Also its fun to make, for our last video we spent a whole day out in our house filming in a closet with our bass player's cheap camera. We decided to do everything ourselves with no budget at all and we had to try and be very creative in order to make it work nicely.
With the exception of the lyrics for 'Loss & Trouble', all songs have been written by the whole band. Is it important for you that each band member is committed to the creative process?
John: We all put our share into the band not just creatively but practically too. All from designing t- shirts, writing lyrics, hiring a van to take us to shows and driving. So I think it's fair to share everything equally. It's a team effort being in a band.
Regarding your band name, have you been influenced by The Alice Cooper Band or rather from David Bowie?
John: Both, we are big fans of both. We have played covers of 'Under My Wheels' and 'Hang On To Your Self'. We are very pleased you noticed this!
Have you ever thought about doing a cover version of The Runaways' 'Cherry Bomb'? The reason why I ask this question is because I think that this classic rock 'n' roll cut would suit you so well. What do you think?
John: We have thought about it, it's a good song. Maybe someday. We have covered 'I Want To Be Where The Boys Are' by The Runaways, Lita Ford is a great guitarist and her live guitar tone sounds like Toni Iommi. They are really cool!
Ann-Sofie, have you ever had problems with sexist assholes during a show?
Ann-Sofie: No, nothing like that has ever happened. People listen to our music or watch our performances and always show us some true respect as musicians, that's all that matters and we are really happy to play for such a great public!
Towards the end of November, you will embark on a European tour with Graveyard. What can we expect of your shows?
John: We are really excited about the gigs and we feel ready to show what we are about. I don't think people will walk away unscathed, we have already played a number of shows supporting Graveyard and the aftermath was really successful. We have known Graveyard for years and Axel used to play drums with us so it's going to be a bunch of friends travelling around Europe in a bus having a great time!
That's it - Thanks! Any last words?
Spiders: Thank you! Don't miss the tour dates of the Graveyard/Spiders tour, it will be a blast! See you out there!