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INTERVIEW: SPYRES

Hailing from Glasgow, Spyres are the latest Scottish band making airwaves in the British indie scene. Packed with non-stop punk energy, Spyres are becoming one of the many musical meteors launching from the land of St Andrew into the atmosphere of this new era of indie rock music.

 

I spoke with Emily and Keira about what the future holds for them in a future beyond the pandemic.

 

Hello, I’d thought I would just get things rolling; do you want to tell our readers who you guys are, and where are you from!

We’re Spyres, we’re a sort of indie rock band from Glasgow in Scotland.

Obviously, there are a load of Scottish bands appearing on the music radar. You know, you’ve got The Snuts; you’ve got Riscas, you’ve got Shambolics, and you’ve got yourselves. Do you feel proud to be part of this new scene emerging from Scotland?

Yeah, I’d say definitely. There is such a vibrant scene just now in Scotland – it’s something to really be proud of being a part of!

I was reading on your Spotify description, and it says that you were supposed to support The Jesus and Mary Chain… 

It’s been postponed till next year, but I think that will be one for the yearbooks or whatever. Like, we can’t wait to support them!

And for our readers who don’t know; they were such a big band in the 80s. Obviously, Bobby Gillepsie – a Scottish icon as well as Jim Reed. That will be an experience for you: pretty much having your name on the same bill as a band like that.

Yeah, definitely! We look up to them quite a lot as well.

Talking about influences, do you have any that you try to reflect in your sound or style or vibe?

I think we can all agree that we love Wolf Alice among a lot of other bands with girls in it.

‘Otherside’ – one of your singles – where the guitars, and the vocals, it sounded exactly like Wolf Alice. I thought I was listening to them. You know, you must feel some pride that you actually sound like them, almost resembling one of your key influences?

Yeah, I think we do take a lot of inspiration from Wolf Alice. I think that even though now like that was our first single, and even though it’s only been a year that we have been able to progress a lot. Like now we are starting to come into a more, like, time period where we are starting to get to write music that we like, that’s Spyres’ sound.  It’s trial and error, do you know what I mean?

Yeah, and obviously they are some similarities if you don’t mind me saying, between Wolf Alice and Spyres [yourselves]. You know, Ellie Rowsell; she’s a great singer, she’s a great guitarist. Do you think that Ellie gives off this sense of empowerment for females in the British Scene?

Yeah, yeah definitely! It’s sort of almost like a voice for girls who want to like get into music. Especially when she’s essentially the front-woman of a band that has three other guys. It’s kind of saying like here we are, and this is what we stand for.

And, if you don’t mind me saying, it is a bit peculiar to see amongst bands that there is a gender balance – really. Like was it intentional, or is it just how it is?

It’s just how we all met – it’s just our pals, do you know what I mean? Yeah, it wasn’t intentional or anything – like Jude and Alex, it was me and Emily before it was all four of us, and Jude and Alex came to us and it just worked from there. We’ve always had them.

I can imagine, and most of the bands I talk to are all mates, there must be nothing better than just like playing music with your mates, making music with your mates, playing gigs. It must be a great feeling?

Yeah, it is! Like you just are so close to each other, it is just your best mates. Like even though we say they are our best friends, when we met them first at the start of the band we weren’t that close: Jude and Alex wouldn’t even talk to us – it was really awkward. Now we all have a go at each other, but we are really brothers and sisters. We still have the best times together.

Would you say that each member brings something special to the band? Would you say that each member has their own sort of specialties when it comes to writing music?

Yeah, I think we all bring out our own individual talents, and it works so well altogether when you put everything together.

Obviously, we are in a period of uncertainty at the moment, it must be a shame for you guys not being to play your gigs? Like, I can imagine you sort of having this cult following when it comes to live shows and it must be sad to not have that outlet of live music at the moment?

Yeah. Definitely in Scotland, like we are not even able to put music on in bars and like restaurants – we’re not even allowed to have music, never mind live music. So, I think that now the industry has really taken a hit, especially in Scotland. It’s just like – you feel a bit like it’s a bit hard to find the motivation to keep going, but you’ve just got to have to keep doing it because hopefully soon this is going to be over and we can get back to normality.

Hopefully, it will! In England at the moment, we are sort of in a sense allowed to go to gigs. In my town, we’re in a local lockdown, but in the next town, they are allowed to host gigs – socially distanced gigs. Are you looking forward to playing socially distanced gigs, or is that concept of seeing people separated – no moshpits – going to ruin the atmosphere of live shows?

I think it definitely will. It’s a different vibe altogether. I would say a Glasgow crowd, like this punk scene we’re a part of, is very full-on. The crowd is a big part of why enjoy doing the gigs so much, so I think doing a socially distanced gig for a band like us will be a completely different experience to what we’re usually used to. As much as we want to get out and do gigs again, it’s going to be a completely new experience for everybody.

You just mentioned a Glasgow crowd; my impression of a Glasgow crowd is like the sort of crowds that Gerry Cinnamon attracts. Being English, when you look at the Scottish crowds, you see the crack that you don’t really get in England. Is that something that you want to build on with your live shows?

Yeah, I think. Especially when we went on tour – our very first tour outside of Scotland – and even that was a totally different experience for us to try and build up an atmosphere with crowds from different parts of England who didn’t really know who we were.

Touching on that tour, whereabouts in England did you tour in?

We toured in Southampton, Bristol, Nottingham, London, Manchester and it was really surprising to see crowds come when you’re the first band on. It was a great experience, and it’s something that we won’t forget because I think we were just dead surprised at how many people actually turned up.

Were there any memorable moments you had on tour – any specific locations you had kept to heart after being on tour?

A lot of the time because you see this is the thing – this is what I always say about tours is that we go to all these places, but we don’t actually go out to go and see them properly because we’re always in a van, driving about. But I think, I’m trying to think of one of the best venues we’ve played, can you think, Emily?

I enjoyed the first night in Southampton, it was alright – I thought Liverpool was really good as well – but a memorable moment is, to be honest, is our drummer Alex who keeps us in such good spirits. Alex is quite the character, man. He’s hilarious, but sometimes we need to watch him: he’s just that off the rails sometimes.

Keeping on the subject of gigs, are they any locations that you want to play, or you have plans to play once we’re out of the pandemic?

Glastonbury!

You’re setting it high, which is always good.

I know! I don’t know, actually, just going to do a gig. Anywhere would be good at the moment, to be honest.

Come to the North East, we’ve got a great upcoming music scene, and our crowds don’t disappoint.

I think we’re actually playing a rescheduled festival there – ‘Hit The North’ in Newcastle.

You’re playing alongside The Lathums and DMAs, two bands that are becoming cult-favourites. – big bands on the scene! It must take you aback having your name on the same bill as them?

A lot of the festivals we’re playing in the next year have a lot of big names on, and seeing your name on a poster with the likes of the names you just mentioned – it’s wild considering we’ve only been at it for just over a year.

In terms of material, what are your plans – more singles, or are you going to give an album a go?

We were in the studio just recently to release a new single which will be released soon, and hopefully an EP soon. So, yeah, fingers crossed for everything.

Are you going to be going for that punky, Wolf Alice style like in your first two singles? [‘FAKE ID and Otherside’]

I think this one is really different from the other ones. And I feel – we said this with ‘FAKE ID’ as well – as a band we can show that we can do more than the punky, angry songs. We can do that, but this one is more – it’s just completely from the other two, to be honest.

With bands like yourself, Shambolics, and The Snuts emerging, do you feel great to see all this just come flooding through Scotland?

Yeah, there is a lot of up and coming bands coming from Glasgow at the moment. Everyone is just releasing great music – yeah, I think it’s great!

Recently, there was a Spotify playlist that included a great range of Scottish artists. Like Manchester and Liverpool should we put a name on Scotland’s scene, the name of the ‘Scotify’ playlist has a certain ring to it, don’t you think as the name of the scene as well? 

Yeah, definitely! The scene here is really… like I don’t understand how not a lot of people know about these bands because it is really unbelievable how many great bands are coming out of Scotland now – you really have to go and look for them.  We’re not going to just come out in front of you! Have a look at that ‘Scotify’ playlist, just take a look because I’ll tell you that everybody here is just like amazing.

Sorry for concluding the interview on a negative note, but I can imagine you were absolutely gutted about what has happened over the last six months and how gutted to miss out on everything you have had planned.

Yeah, definitely, we had a lot of festivals lined up for up and down the country, and it is a real shame that we can’t do them now. At least there is next year. I feel like as well that this year, well the summertime last year was just us coming out with our first single, as this was supposed to be our first festival season – we could really get out and do hundreds of gigs over the summertime – it’s all on hold. I find a bit scary as well because what if the time when everything is back up and running again, everyone has forgotten about us. We just have to hang in!

Well, I’m pretty sure when this gets out; our readers will certainly have an idea of who you are, they’ll keep their ears open for the new stuff, and hopefully, that will be a boost for you really.

 

Jack McKenna
Writer

 

 

 

 

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