Ahead of the third leg of Spector’s UK tour promoting their new album ‘Moth Boys’, I managed to catch up with the band themselves.
Remarkably relaxed, frontman Fred MacPherson explained his preference for such tours as this one in the place of playing festival sets. ‘I think with festivals you travel, it’s a one-off gig and then it’s done, whereas with a tour everything seems to flow and gather momentum like a snowball.’ Presumably this didn’t include the troubles which dominated the conversation between the group upon my arrival – which involved confusion between the prices of Unleaded and Diesel fuel…
‘I really like one we’ve just started playing called ‘Believe’, off the new album’ was Fred’s response when I asked which was the band’s favourite song to play live, with other newbies ‘Lately It’s You’ and ‘Kyoto Garden’ suggestion by bandmate Jed Cullen – although the lads did concede ‘you can always guarantee a response playing songs like ‘Chevy Thunder’… And we do like playing old songs, we played ‘Grey Shirt and Tie’ the other night for the first time in a while which was good’.
Personally, I’ve always been curious to learn what happens to the songs which don’t make the cut where albums are concerned (Spector wrote 40 and recorded 20 songs during the production of ‘Moth Boys’) – with only eleven tracks making the cut, what happens to the rest?
‘You have to harvest them and get whatever use you can out of them, like organ donors’ was the cryptic response. My concerns were more specific – as my favourite Spector song (‘Reeperbahn’ for those interested) surfaced in 2013, but didn’t make it onto ‘Moth Boys’. Why? ‘I still feel it will have its day,’ mused Fred when I put this to him. ‘It didn’t feel like it fit on this record, but maybe the third will be where it makes it. I quite like the fact that it’s still rare, so it’s possible to make something of it in the future; who knows.’
The lads couldn’t have been more accommodating for the half an hour I was with them, and it was fascinating to get an insight into their perspective of the music industry, and their own careers. Best band they’ve toured with? ‘Florence and the Machine definitely, although Spring King on this tour are fantastic, they’re a bit like The Cribs.’ Favourite festival? ‘Reading this summer.’ (That didn’t go down well with yours truly, as a Leeds attendee!). Can ‘Reeperbahn’ make it on the setlist for the Leeds gig next week? ‘We’ll get it done.’ (At the time of going to press it was unclear as to whether they’d actually delivered on this promise, but a man can hope!).
Having met them I can honestly say that Spector are as down to earth, relaxed and easygoing as it is possible to be, and they couldn’t have made me more welcome. It just helps them that they’re a damn good band to go with it.. I owe the person who introduced me to them a major thank you, and would urge anyone reading this who has not listened to them before, not to waste a second longer before doing so. They deserve every bit of success they get.
Spector’s latest album ‘Moth Boys’ is out now