A blissful wander along Brighton’s illuminated pier with Spector bassist Tom Shickle was the perfect setting to conduct an interview. The band had just finished sound-check in the cellar of Patterns (formally Audio), and were bringing their second studio album, Moth Boys, to the coast.
“All the band are really enjoying touring at the minute, we are really happy with the reception of all of the new material,” stated Shickle, from his model-world height of 6’ 2”. “From our perspective, we are really happy with the record overall.” And so they should be. The follow up to 2012’s Enjoy it While it Lasts shows a genuine maturity to the band’s writing and features closer ‘Lately It’s You’: “It’s our favourite. We feel its one of our stronger songs and we really enjoyed writing and recording it.”
It’s a well-known fact that the second record in a bands’ career is the hardest to make, especially when their first album was well received. It’s make or break moment in this business and too many bands fall off the radar if they fail to deliver: Howler, Tribes, and, some would argue, Jake Bugg have all suffered from ‘second album syndrome’. “We didn’t really feel much pressure with the second record. Our only aim was to live up to our own standards after the first album.”
Moth Boys was released in August to very favorable reviews and sees the band shed their skin and get a bit funky with their newfound ’80’s influence. “We didn’t set out to make an album that particularly sounds ’80’s’, but that’s what we listen to a lot and it’s what we grew up with. Waving goodbye to shirts and ties, the band welcomed turtlenecks and the need for a haircut (pigtails, in the case of frontman Fred Macpherson).
The recording process for Spector is a long one, “We record separate parts of the song and then mix them together.” This method provides a cleaner sound and makes it easier to edit solo elements of the track, and the process has played a part in the band releasing material that’s few and far between in previous years. “We feel like we’ve rushed in the past. We definitely brought out [debut single] ‘Never Fade Away’ too early.”
A band with their hearts set on enjoying what they’re doing, Spector have outdone themselves with their latest effort. Moth Boys and sure to complete the remainder of their tour with equal brilliance and panache as it had on this memorable Brighton night.
Alec Larkin @aleclarkinriley