A second album has been on the cards for some time and with a UK / European tour commencing at the end of the month, Mudkiss grabbed vocalist / guitarist Paul Sadler by the scruff of the neck and demanded answers about the new material….where, when and how?
ANDY: You’re tour starts at the end of this month, you all ready to go or still a few rehearsals to get through yet?
PAUL: We’ve still got a few practices to go before it all kicks off, but that’s really just to ensure everything is as tight as it can be, I think we’re pretty much ready for it. As we’ve been working a lot on new material recently the main aim over the last few rehearsals has just been to get back on top of the old stuff. But it’s like riding a bike……..with several punctures and missing handlebars.
ANDY: And for the first time you have a few European dates, I guess you must be looking forward to time on the continent?
PAUL: Absolutely, we fully intend to have a blast, or die trying. It will be a new experience for us, but I think we’re as prepared as we can be. It also gives me a chance to showboat my ‘magnifique’ grasp of the French language, which is something I’ll always jump at.
ANDY: I did notice your bi-lingual skills highlighted on the Facebook page. Based on these, how about a future tour of Europe with the songs expressed vocally via the language of the country you are playing at the time?
PAUL: That’s all well and good until we hit, say, Iceland, which is meant to be one of the most difficult languages in the world. After they’ve watched me butcher their language I think we’d be met with a pretty, erm, icy reception. Next question.
ANDY: Do you anticipate the European gigs being much different to the U.K?
PAUL: It’s hard to say really, but apparently particularly in Netherlands / Belgium / Germany etc people are a bit more enthusiastic about live music than they are over here, although that could just be a huge generalisation. Overall it will just be good to reach a completely new audience, as well as play to some of our fans overseas who’ve not yet had a chance to see us.
ANDY: Will the set lists focus more on new material or are you concentrating on the old favourites?
PAUL: It will largely comprise of new material, with a few old favourites thrown in. There will be one or two songs in the set list that we have never played live before, so we’re very much looking forward to that….. or possibly dreading it.
ANDY: Were you hoping the new record would have been out by the tour or was that never really realistic?
PAUL: Well, it was an idea at the beginning of the year, but I don’t really think it was realistic. We tend to work very slowly as a band, not because we’re lazy, but we’re perfectionists, and I think the kind of music we play is always going to take time to get together. Personally I’d rather not rush things, and get them right, rather than throw out something half hearted. We’re viewing the tour as drumming up publicity for when the album is released.
ANDY: And where are you up to with the album?
PAUL: What album, I never mentioned an album…….. Oh, the one we’ve been prattling on about seemingly for decades? Well, it’s all written, and more or less all rehearsed and ready to be recorded except one song, so once we’ve got that down we’ll be going into the studio. Unfortunately it’s a very long song (no surprises there), so it could take a little while!
ANDY: Do you have a title yet?
PAUL: Nope….. as in negative response to the question… although that would make a brilliant album title. “Spires hit new record” ‘Nope’. “5 stars, a must listen” – Paul Ross, The Sun.
ANDY: I did offer an album title to another Manchester rock / metal combo who were procrastinating over a release, “About bloody time.” As this was ultimately declined, feel free to use if you wish, all I ask is, “Thank you to Andy Barnes” in enormous lettering on the CD.
PAUL: Some people are so ungrateful. I guess we could go with that, we’ll have your name embossed in glittery italics across the cover.
ANDY: And what can we expect in comparison to your debut "Spiral of Ascension?" A couple of live tracks I've heard, suggest a heavier angle, is that typical?
PAUL: Yeah I guess in certain ways it is a bit heavier overall, although all the more ambient and acoustic bits are still there. I’d say it’s more extreme in both directions, and also uses a wider range of instruments, in a continuation of some of the ideas from ‘Lucid Abstractions’ (acoustic mini-album). One of the main differences is that on most of the songs we are now using 7 string guitars, made by Paul Cuthbert (our guitarist), so that adds a whole new depth, quite literally, to our sound. I’d also say it’s more progressive overall, in the sense that it pushes things further, and is more experimental, whilst still retaining a strong song-writing aesthetic.
ANDY: On the subject of “Lucid Abstractions,” are the tracks on the forthcoming “About Bloody Time” album all new, or have you re-worked anything from “Lucid” to full electric majesty?
PAUL: Everything will be new material, hence the newly formed title I guess. Whilst it was tempting to do a re-working or 2, I think things are generally best left as they are, plus there has been so many ideas flying round that we wanted to use as many as possible. Being short of inspiration has never really been a problem; it’s just the time it takes to get it all together.
Some things are worth waiting for, however long it takes. The new record from Spires is such a beast and fear not, it will appear………soonish. In the meantime, get to a gig near you and experience live, one of the U.K’s finest metal bands.spiresband.co.uk
Interview by Andy Barnes