Interview by Miriam C.
A new album means a new interview. A lot of years have been passed from our first interview (read it here), so, it’s clearly time for an update from Goteborg‘s heavy rockers Spiders which have recently released their third offering “Killer Machine” via Spinefarm Records. This new album offers a different musical perspective, for sure more mature and more straightforward but let’s read together what the singer Ann-Sofie Hoyles disclosed about it and their collaboration with The Hellacopters‘s Chips Kiesbye.
Hi Ann-Sofie, welcome back here – I’m so pleased to speak with you again after such a long time – how are you?
Hi! Great to speak with you too! All good, spring time’s here, album release and tours ahead, so I can’t complain!
I remember that the last time I had the possibility to exchange a nice chat with you, it was back in 2014 in Nova Gorica, Slovenia while you were touring along with fellow Swedes Vidunder and Horizonts – whoa, the time surely flies by. Would you mind to update our readers about your recent whereabouts and in hindsight, what goals did you accomplish so far as a band?
Yeah, time sure flies by! We released our new album “Killer Machine” last week, and now all the tours are about to start. It feels amazing to get back on the roads again since we took more or less a year off to write and record the new album. We are more thrilled than ever! Since we met last time we’ve been touring pretty much and I guess it was some kind of a goal back then; to tour as much as possible on the “Shake Electric” album. We also got the opportunity to join Graveyard on a US tour in 2016, which was great, and to tour, the US was a goal or rather a dream I would say. Our next goal is to get back there, haha. No, but as a band, I guess one always has goals or sub-targets along the way, and to record the new album and be satisfied and proud of it was also a goal.
Your upcoming third offering “Killer Machine” is slated to be released via Spinefarm Records on 6th April 2018. What sort of recollections you have about its early creative process?
On the previous albums, we have sort of written songs and recording during and between a lot of touring and between other things in life. We’ve been very happy with the results of course, but sometimes there have been under stressful circumstances. This time we tried to avoid the stress and press and took a quite long break from touring and tried to focus only on the songwriting and recording, and it turned out great I think. We had the time to write the songs all together, and also had the time to record proper demos and go through the songs an extra time. On the other hand, it’s only rock music and not brain surgery, and the music should not be over-analyzed, but it was good for Spiders this time, haha. We also co-wrote a couple of songs with a songwriter called Peter Kvint. It was a very fun and good creative process this time, and we are very happy with the result.
On top of this, “Killer Machine” features as a producer the legendary The Hellacopters guitarist Chips Kiesbye. I was quite interested to gather some information circa the entire recording modus operandi and specifically, I was referring to the employment of vintage gear and equipment….
Yes, Chips Kiesbye was fantastic to work with, a genius! Actually, he never played guitar with The Hellacopters but produced most of their albums. Anyway, he is one of the best producers yet. He has great ideas, works really hard and is always in a good mood! We are also into the same kind of music, which made it much easier to communicate. We could refer to a specific song or a specific guitar sound on some obscure punk album in the late 70s and understand each other, haha. Such things are always good. The album is recorded in Music A Matic Studios in Gothenburg, an old really and nice studio where bands such as mentioned The Hellacopters and Union Carbide Productions have recorded back in the days. And, yeah as you said, it has a collection of old vintage mics and amplifiers where one could botanize, haha.
I think that in every action we do, we can always take out of it an experience and dearly cherish it: consequently, which is the most meaningful advice or teaching that you managed to receive while you were recording with Chips?
Chips have done so many good things and produced so many great records through the years, so, first of all, it was really interesting to see how he worked, how he structured the recordings and how he would approach our songs. He is a very talented songwriter so we worked a lot together with the song structures and the arrangements, which was very interesting and we learned a lot from that I think. We also worked more with the backing vocals arrangements this time, and Chips had many very good ideas and tips how we could develop. For example, its more different voices and more harmonies on “Killer Machine” compared to the previous albums.
You’ve had blatantly stated that “If “Shake Electric” was gold and sparkling, this is more black”. How so?
It was not planned, but a vibe, a sound, and a feeling appeared that in the end made “Killer Machine” to be blacker than “Shake Electric” was.
Even if we attempt to examine in contrast your previous album “Shake Electric” and “Killer Machine”, what will be the outcome? I mean, which the most obvious differences that you can denote between these two full-lengths?
The most obvious difference is the sound profile and the production I suppose since we worked with another producer in another studio this time. And as I said we worked with the songs during a long time, compared to “Shake Electric”, which resulted in more direct and maybe more elaborated songs this time. Since it’s almost four years between the recordings, we have other influences nowadays and we also have progressed as a unit in a musical way, which brings another sound. That’s the most obvious differences I can come up with right now!
For example, the single “Dead or Alive” expresses a preoccupied concern about the lack of human communication caused by the predominant use of the social networks but if we should tackle “Killer Machine”’s general lyric thematics, what insight you can share about it?
It’s quite hard to describe the lyric thematic because we all in the band have different interpretations of the songs. But as always the lyrics are reflections and reactions of life itself. Both in a smaller more personal perspective and in a bigger “worldly” perspective. It’s up to the listener to do their own interpretations. I like it that way as a listener!
I would like to remember to our readers which are your next live appointments or if you have any planned at this moment…
Well, we first have some Scandinavian release shows, followed by a tour in Germany, and then festival shows later on in summer. We also planning a longer tour in Europe this fall. It would be great to come back to Slovenia! Such a beautiful country!
We’re almost at the end and with this please be free to say hi to your fans and our readers. Thank you so much for this interview!
Thank you for a great talk! See you soon again! Fans and readers – Stay safe and listen to The Vanjas!