We Chat To The Struts

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The Struts symbolise everything that is rock ‘n’ roll. They ooze confidence and deliver bone-chilling performances with raspy vocals, electrifying guitar and bluesy rhythms. We chat to charming lead singer, Luke Spiller, about the influences behind their music and their image, all the while wistfully thinking, “oh, to be a rockstar”. This guy is seriously f***ing cool.

B: You did a cover of The Black Keys’ ‘Gold On The Ceiling’, your sound has a similar rock/blues kind of feel to theirs, who are your main influences as a band?

L: Probably bands like The Stones, who are obviously quite bluesy as well, but then bands like Queen also. I mean, what we’ve always tried to do is have the musical sophistication of Queen and then mix it with the swagger of The Stones so, you know, we have that kind of nice blend. We’re also influenced by a few modern groups as well, like you said, The Black Keys - we all really enjoy them. We like new artists as well, like Jake Bugg. But yeah I mean a lot of the influences that you hear are obviously bands from the 60s and 70s, but mixed with newer bands like Oasis and Kaiser Chiefs.

B: You do a lot of live gigs, do you feel that’s your main calling as a band or do you equally enjoy recording music?

L: Well, we love writing and we love recording and we love the studio but, you know, I guess it’s always about the live acts. I mean you write songs to be performed live and when you do it’s like the best feeling so I would say it is always about the live performance.

B: With music taking a definite digital turn these days, how do you find it affects you as an instrumental band? Do you feel a responsibility to keep rock music alive?

L: I mean, it started off as innocently as us just wanting to sound like our heroes but as time’s gone on I guess there’s an element of truth in what you’re talking about. We do lots of gigs all around the country and, you know, nothing on the bands that we play with as such, but we do notice that there are a lot of groups out there that are sort of not giving mass performances anymore. We always have interesting conversations with people after the gigs, and we get so many people that are saying, you know, “We came here today to have a good time and there were so many acts that we saw before you that just weren’t delivering what we wanted.” I think we’re a bit of a breath of fresh air because we try and cater for people’s entertainment as well as showing off our music. I guess we are… I wouldn’t say trying to keep rock and roll alive, because it’s still there and everyone still really enjoys it, but I guess we just want to take it forward. I mean, that’s the difference: we’re not just regurgitating what people have done, we’re trying to push things forward, so it’s an exciting progressive thing that we’re doing as well as having a romantic idea of bringing back some of the old styles as well.

B: You do a lot of covers, which are great, but what generally inspires the music you write by yourself? Who writes the lyrics?

L: A lot of the writing gets done by me and Ads because we’ve been writing for four years now and the group itself has been going for just over a year as a band. We write individually quite a lot, but we bring ideas together and it just sort of goes from there. I guess lyrically I’ve got more of a strong hold on it because, you know, singers just tend to have the lyrics down. I don’t know, when you’ve got to sing it you’ve got to mean it. But we always run through them together. We all take it to one of our producers and then they put the magic dust over it, do you know what I mean? We’ll look at songs and we’ll look at bands and say “lets make it a bit more like this”, and we just reference things and throw ideas about really, so that’s how it kind of goes you know, 80 percent of it is me and Ads, and then we go to the studio and just put the icing on the cake, so to speak.

B: You guys have a pretty unique look, how much do you think image is part of being a successful band?

L: Well again, you know, it’s one of those things where, like, when I was 16 I started discovering all these bands that I loved and I always felt separated to an extent to my own generation. Like with music, when it comes to fashion we like picking things from the 60s and 70s but it’s quite important to put a modern twist on it. We’re a fashion conscious band but we won’t pick up a copy of vogue [laughs]. We have a cool image; we’re a product, that’s partly what it’s about. I mean you wouldn’t just go on stage in trackies, you have to have an image.

B: Looking at your videos, three things come to mind: sex, drugs and rock and roll. Would you say these are an accurate summary of your lives as a band?

L: [Laughs] I guess it’s nice to be looked at that way, like if someone looks at our lives and thinks “that’s really rock and roll”, that’s cool. We have a lot of fun, and we do like to get f*****.

B: Did you go to uni?

L: I went to uni for about a month! I just went for all the wrong reasons, pretty much just to get a student loan and because I was sick of being a cleaner [laughs].

B: What are your plans for 2013?

We’re going to be going to as many festivals as we can and gigging a lot!

Be sure to tune into The Strut’s live radio show every Tuesday at 8:30pm! Find it at: http://on.fb.me/Rcierx

India Johnson

I have a degree in English from Leeds Uni and love to write. I like music, pretty words, films (especially French films) and books (especially American lit).

Website: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106033435697881711131?rel=author

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