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Interviews

Laura McIntosh Interviews The Spase

todayMarch 1, 2021 26 2 5

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The Spase are an English Indie/alternative duo from Widnes, in Cheshire and consists of Andy Forrest (Vocals & Guitar) and Peter Walker (Bass). Andy and Peter have been in several bands together, taking on “The Spase” band name in 2012 with the desire to write, record and play for audiences.

1. Who are The Spase and how did you get together?

The Spase are Andy Forrest, Peter Walker and Simon Morris.  We’ve grown up together through school, with Simon and Andy starting in the school band and then Peter joined after that with some of our other friends once we had left. We’d gigged around all the local pubs in Widnes as The Utopians playing a mix of covers and originals but then when that band broke up, we then started another band called “20 While 40”.

Although 20 While 40 was a continuation of what we’d done before, there was a bigger emphasis on creating more original music and playing further afield, which took us to Liverpool. We’d had gigs at The Barfly, Zanzibar and The Picket but again due to musical differences and life getting in the way this band eventually broke up.

After a short while the three of us got back together as we still wanted to create music and see where it would take us. We could just be three people recording music for ourselves but we also enjoy playing live and the interaction you can have with a crowd.

Although since the band started Andy and Peter have been the ones to play live, all three of us have been involved in the writing and recording of our music. Simon has been the one to guide the recording process, producing and mixing the tracks.

 

Since being in The Spase we’ve been lucky enough to play famous venues in Manchester such as The Night & Cafe and the Retro Bar, supporting touring band and unsigned band nights.

In the future though, when we can play live again, all three of us will be playing together.

 

2. You have an interesting band name with unique spelling. How did you come up with the band name The Spase?

We’re called The Spase, originally we weren’t too sure on what to call ourselves and The Spase seemed to fit. 

Afterall who doesn’t like looking at the sky wondering what’s out there or hoping to travel to the stars one day. 

The unique spelling just helps us stand out and hopefully be a bit more memorable!

 

3. Who are your musical influences?

We tend to say the same each time we get asked and then then add on our latest influences at the end.

We grew up in Widnes, between Manchester and Liverpool, so musically there’s so much inspiration all around us. The two cities always have great new bands and it’s a bit like looking over the fence at what’s going on next door. Andy who writes the majority of the songs likes listening to new bands and artists because it’s important to him to at least try to keep contemporary, there are little things in our songs that are influenced by contemporary songs.

The staple influences are U2, The Beatles and then there’s bands that provide little influences on how we might record and produce our songs, like The Drums and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Then there’s the people we listen to that we don’t think of influencing us but they probably do somewhere within our subconscious, like Bobby Darin and INXS.

Also, people who have listened to us will say something along the lines of “you sound just like such and such”, which then makes us listen to other bands we might not normally listen to or have heard of before.  Some of the bands we’ve been told that we sound like artists such as The Brian Jones Town, James, Inspiral Carpets, Big Bang (a Norwegian band), R.E.M.

We then listen to those bands to see if we can hear the comparison or similarities and then even further when we look at some of the bands that influences those bands themselves, it can be a deep rabbit hole you go down listening to new stuff you might not heard before.

 

4. 2020 brought many challenges to musicians. You successfully released your single Sorry and you also managed to be involved in a live streamed gig. What was that experience like? Would you plan on doing anymore live streams?

We were fortunate to play the streaming gig organised by Soft Lad Promotions (https://softladpromos.wixsite.com/blog) in aid of a music venue called The Salt Dog in Northwich. Although we’d recorded ourselves and put videos on Youtube, we’d never thought about live streaming ourselves.

It was a steep learning curve, making sure that we had the right software and knew how to use it as well as making sure that we could get a decent video quality and sound output. At certain points in the steam, it did feel like trying to keep a load of plates spinning; playing and keeping an eye on the computer to make sure that it was still connected and streaming.

Overall it was a good experience (although nerve racking at the time!) and once lockdown ends it might be something we look at doing again.to help fill the gaps between recording and actually being able to play at a live venue. If we did do it again, we would probably take more time to look at what people were sending or messaging us  about and try to respond to them to make it more interactive,  keeping  people engaged and feel a bit more like a real gig. 

 

5. Did you find lockdown helped with the creative process? What has been your biggest challenge?

It was good at first, it was a novelty and we all seemed to wonder what we would do to pass the time but to be honest, with working, we filled our time very easily. We have 4 new songs since lock down and can’t wait to get busy recording them when we can stop isolating and stop shielding. one of the biggest challenges for a band is being patient because this all has no end date. It’s difficult trying to be patient having these new songs and not being able to record them.

 

6. What are your plans for 2021? Can we expect new music?

The plan is to try and relive what we missed in 2020 and try to do things we wanted to have done in 2021. They’re clearly not going to both happen but we imagine the world will be like this, everyone trying to condense and live 2 years in 1.

Originally We had 3 festivals booked around the North West; Manchester, Bury and Chester. Hopefully, in an ideal world,  we can get to play some of those this year and also finish recording the next album.

We’ve not been able to finish recording due to shielding and being in different lockdown numbers. We’d be happy to finish our album and possibly play a few festivals, gigs (streamed or otherwise!).

 

7. Who is your new favourite band that you have discovered?

I really like Clairo, it’s nice listening to her chilled out, mellow almost cloudy music, especially ‘Alewife’. I can shut my eyes and imagine I’m drifting inside a cloud listening to her. We also got into Baskery after playing with them in Manchester, ‘shut the cat flap’ is cool.

 

8. You have a plus one to a gig for your idols. Who are you taking us to see?

It’d have to be Elvis or Jimmi Hendrix, such iconic performers and songs.

 

9. There are a lot of fans out there at the minute like me who are promoting Independent Music. How can the fans help you?

The one thing we know is that we’re doing this because we love writing songs and making music, playing live and iterating with people is a bonus. We’ve been really fortunate to have a small loyal following of friends and family and we’re always grateful when they come to our gigs and support us.

Anyone new that listens to us, we’re always really appreciative when we get any sort of message via our social media channels or comments under our videos on youtube, just knowing that anyone listening is fantastic. 

Written by: Dan

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