At Third Outing, we always end our interviews by asking the same question: What's your desert island drink? And for once the answer to that question truly reflect the ethos of the band. Bristol based shoegazers Spectres take a £1 warm can of rum and coke…does that quench your thirst?
3rd: Spectres, You are signed on Sonic Cathedral. Other bands such as The Vacant Lots and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete are on the label too. These bands are inspiring new bands to play shoegaze again. Do you hope you inspire new band as well?
Spectres: I don't know if we will ever be much to aspire to, we are very stubborn in what we do and make music that is not that very accessible. Hopefully we inspire people on a bigger scale though, I'd rather bands look at our ethos, how we work as a creative unit, making zines, booking our own tours, doing everything ourselves etc. In the same way we were inspired by all the DIY bands of the 80s & 90s, maybe some people will take notice.
3rd: Before releasing your debut album 'Dying', you have released a lot of EP's. Is it a way to pay tribute to My Bloody Valentine? Or did you want to take your time and perfect your sound and develop it?
Spectres: Definitely the latter. We wanted to be confident and wrote the best songs we could. the EPs were a nice set of stepping stones towards finding the right sound. We wanted to work out how we could make our guitars produce sounds that hadn't been used in a certain way on record. We were growing as a band, and as musicians, and we still are now.
3rd: What do you wish to achieve with 'Dying'?
Spectres: We never expected to achieve anything, We wanted to make a record that represented us in the best way. We channeled everything we had into 'Dying' and we are blown away by the response. We really didn't think so many people would 'get' it, and be able to lose themselves in our noise. It is a very humbling world that we are finding ourselves in right now.
3rd: How can you explain this sudden surge of popularity in your music then. A fame almost?
Spectres: I think maybe we tapped into something at the right time. People want to immerse themselves in something, feel real again. Not just keep listening to these manufactured bands. We give people the opportunity to get lost in a wall of sound. I believe the way we have stuck to our guns since day one, has also made people respect us more than a normal hype band. We have been doing this band for 5 years almost, slowly creating our own little world, and it's nice that other people want to be part of it.
3rd: There seems to be a shoegaze/ 90's revival. Many bands are massively influenced by 90's music such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Pavement, The Breeders... how can you explain it? Is it only now this is becoming popular or have things gone full circle? Do you see it as a positive effect on music?
Spectres: Music is cyclical, genres come and go, and come back again for a new generation. It just feels natural that right now bands are taking influence from those eras, but adding their own originality to it. Obviously there are hundreds of bands who just lift a style of music and don't add any substance, but they are the bands that slowly disappear. The current experimental scene is vibrant and full of bands taking risks and making music that is exciting.
3rd: You said in an interview that you may never top the 'Hunger EP'. After the release of 'Dying', do you still maintain this statement?
Spectres: I genuinely believed we wouldn't top it, but we dug deep within ourselves and wrote 'Dying'. In my view, it is much more mature, and we grew from what we learnt writing certain parts of songs from Hunger. We found new ways of expressing our songwriting on the Hunger ep, and explored them further when writing for the album. Now we all think we won't top 'Dying' , or we'll just top ourselves in the process.
3rd: Let's talk about your debut LP 'Dying'. Bands such as Sonic Youth and Spacemen 3 come out for me. Am I right?
Spectres: We reference loads of bands, but we do love Sonic Youth collectively. The way they challenged the listener certainly rubbed off on us, and we learnt to experiment in the best possible ways. Half of Spectres listens to heavier/punk music which always brings a different influence to the table. Thankfully we got rid of the post rock breakdowns...
3rd: I have to ask, you toured the UK but no dates in Scotland. I've heard no-one wanted to book you. Is that right? Do you know why?
Spectres: We are a band with no booking agent, our drummer Andy manages to put together our tours using the contacts we make along the way. We played Glasgow once before for the United Fruit guys, but my pedals broke and it was way before the 'Hunger EP' was out. I think we are coming to Scotland on the next tour though, a few people have reached out to us which is nice.
3rd: NME gave you 9/10 for your album. How do you react to that? Are you really an NME band?
Spectres: Ha, we were very very surprised. But also, very happy. There are writers at the NME that are clearly into really great music, and they are writing about it more and more. We obviously aren't an NME band, in the traditional 'indie hype band' sense. But harking back a few decades to when my parents read it, I believe we share a certain kinship to bands who were featured in the pages then.
3rd: What's 2015 gonna like for Spectres?
Spectres: A £1 can of rum & cola from a leading supermarket, warmed in our pockets.