Spoon Wild Card

Despite widespread critical acclaim for their last two records and a 10+ year career, Spoon are still relatively unknown to most rock fans. After all, they’ve never quite followed a traditional rock path to success. With art school leanings and a solid rock sound, Spoon have always seemed slightly out of time with the rest of the world.

Though they’ve released some great singles and certainly stock their albums full of memorable songs, Spoon have never been a song band. Starting with their second record, A Series of Sneaks, Spoon have made the sort of classic records that bands just don’t do anymore. Perhaps this is because of their emphasis on the album as a whole. Singer/songwriter Britt Daniel explains: “That’s the thing that matters the most to me is albums. Even more than individual songs, you know.”

Keeping them under the radar as well is their willingness to venture out of safe-songwriting. Songs take unexpected turns. Daniel plays with his voice and words. Though tightly arranged, Spoon’s music is laced with free exploration. The twists and turns make the music that much more enjoyable. Daniel is conscious of breaking song-writing molds. “I’m trying a lot of different techniques now. I always used to start off with a melody and chords and plug in lyrics later. And I’ve just broadened my way of writing to a bunch of different techniques at this point.”

But their appeal lies in those same elements that keep them out of the mainstream. Despite major shifts in band members and record labels, Spoon have maintained a consistency of quality that few “indie” bands can manage. But all fans agree, it was with 2000’s Girls Can Tell and 2002’s Kill the Moonlight that Spoon really broke out. Daniel believes it just took Spoon a while to soak in: “I mean mostly what I felt like happened over the last two records was that people got it for the first time. People heard the records for the first time.”

This focus on records may give the impression that Spoon aren’t much concerned with playing live. This couldn’t be further from the truth. “Touring is the most fun part of being in a band as far as I’m concerned. It’s the most carefree part,” Daniel says. Spoon just understand that you can take the great records home while the live show is only temporary.

[This preview of a show of Spoon’s in Nashville originally appeared in All the Rage.]