Above: Spoon in their Austin studio, recording Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, photo by Jason Janik
The NYTimes today has a profile of Spoon and their next one, They Want My Soul. Since they’re not very good at “jamming,” here’s a description of a game Britt Daniel brought to the band, which, coincidentally, is not that unlike the card game I’ve played with my own band (I find jamming really boring):
Each member had to choose a song he loved, listen to it privately and then figure out how to describe it to the rest of the band in such a way that they could try to replicate its feeling together…. The goal of the game was to lead the band into putting together the ingredients of great songs without aping them directly. “O.K., the bass line is quarters in the verses and eighth notes in the chorus,” Daniel offered as an example. “The melody stays on the same note as the root chord.” Sometimes someone guessed a title — the bassist Rob Pope recognized Daniel’s choice of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” — and if so, the idea was discarded, because “as soon as somebody knows what the song is, you can no longer get past that.” An hour into considering how to describe his secret song, the keyboard player and guitarist Eric Harvey absently tapped out a pattern on a drum, and Eno immediately said, “Oh, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’?” (In Spoon, pretty much everyone plays multiple instruments.)
At one point, Jim Eno explains why they finance their own records (echoing Bill Cunningham):
If people give you money before a record is finished…then they have their hooks in you. They have their say.
And why a lot of times, subtraction is the best mixing strategy:
A lot of times, an interesting thing to do is to take out the first thing you recorded and see where it goes from there.
They Want My Soul is out Tuesday.
Filed under: Spoon