Spirit Award’s fantastic debut album came out last month, so we caught up with the band to ask about the “neverending” process of making their album, who inspired it and whats coming next…
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your track ‘All Desire’?
At the time of writing All Desire, I was ending a relationship and had to get a craigslist roommate. The roommate stopped paying me rent, and I was finding needles (heroin) just lying around the house. I had to get out of the house for my dog’s safety, so I stayed with a friend and gave him a week to find another spot. When returned to my house and he had stolen a bunch of music gear, and camera equipment (about $3k worth). Never got a dime back. I was working in Pioneer Square at the time. I knew who all the crack dealers were down there (super friendly guys). I heard some sketchy stories about a shooting that was possibly linked down there, and that became the question I was asking; Wondering how it feels to want something and sometimes you get it, and it’s not as great as the packaging lead you to believe, and you end up empty again, and either continue the cycle or be content with.
The album, as the title suggests, took a long time to make, how did the album develop over that period of time?
Neverending felt like an appropriate title when we finished the record, because it felt like it took forever to make, and because of everything happening in our personal lives. We were constantly working hard to make money to pay for this record out of our own pockets, while trying to pay to live in Seattle and always being worried that something else shitty would happen next.
You recorded the album with a load of big name producers who have worked with Nirvana, Sleater Kinney, Perfume Genius and more, how did their input affect the album?
It was great to work with an array of people who all added their own little touch on everything. I think that some of the most important time spent was recording guitar/keys overdubs and flourishes at our houses, but working with all these different folks helped make the record what it is, of course. Recording in several places made it more challenging to mix the record and make it cohesive, but Eric Corson did a great job of melding it all together. I think it was refreshing to have people working with us who believed in us. I remember recording ‘All Desire’ with Jack Endino and saying to him “Well I guess our 8 hours of recording time is about up”, to which Jack replied “F**k em, they’re not gonna kick me out! Let’s keep going!” After all the s**t that had been happening it was nice to feel like we we’re winning a little bit.
Which tracks on your playlist impacted your creative process the most while you were making the album and how?
I think the intent with Neverending was too make something that was energetic, honest and heartfelt. I remember listening to a lot of Can, Neu!, and Sonic Youth while on tour and reflecting on what we wanted our sound to be. Chris’s inspiration for some bass tones came from New Order’s “Power, Corruption and Lies”, Terence’s inspiration for drum sounds came from Broadcast’s “Ha Ha Sound”, and my inspiration for some vocal/guitar vibes came from Neu!’s aggressiveness on “Neu! 86”
What can we expect from you next? Tours, videos, singles, sessions etc.?
We’re gonna keep grinding away! We are working on another record now, and some singles. We have another video coming out as well in the next month. We are doing a U.S. West Coast tour in Jan, heading east around April, recording in between, and looking at doing some EU/UK dates in late summer.
Album inspiration playlist:
Spirit Award is:
Daniel Lyon (guitar/vocals)
Chris Moore (bass/keys)
Terence Ankeny (drums/sampler)