The Struts are dearly loved over in the United States, hence why they spend almost all of their time there. In the last year or so, however, there’s been quite the demand for them on home turf. Ahead of their show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, their biggest UK headline to date, we had a chat with lead singer Luke Spiller on what it all means and what is yet to come from the glam rock foursome.
MOSH: You’ve been quite vocal about the reasons you spend the majority of your time in the United States now, with one reason being that Americans are more open to the sound and style of the band. With that being said, is there anything you miss particularly about playing shows in the UK?
Luke Spiller: Yes, I miss playing for our UK fans. I miss playing in London especially. It’s great that we are playing there again this year. To be honest, it’s not that America is more open to our music or look, it’s the simple fact that we have radio support in the States. Unfortunately, we don’t in the UK but that will all change one day. I guess it’s just embarrassing for them, to only take notice of what’s going on a few albums down the line even with all of this great music right underneath their noses.
MOSH: 2016 saw the re-issue of your debut album, Everybody Wants. When you did return to the UK last year, there was an overwhelming demand and now the same has happened this time around. Do you think a large-scale American seal of approval has a link with British music fans “jumping on the bandwagon”, so to speak?
LS: Yeah, of course. The British culture is heavily influenced by what happens in the States, always has been. I’ve always felt it. That’s why I’m so English and so is my music. I was surrounded by English kids who wanted to be Blink 182 or Nirvana growing up. Singing about high school in American accents. I’d rather sing about the London tube or a Tatler Magazine in my natural accent.
MOSH: Earlier this year you released a new single, ‘One Night Only’. It’s brash, but it’s intelligent. What inspired you to write a song like that?
LS: It was written very soon after the re-release of the album in the States. I guess it was just a continuation musically from the debut. Lyrically it’s really about the relationship between a performer and his or her audience.
MOSH: Structurally, the song is similar to your other material but it does show a maturity where you’ve grown as a band. Without giving too much away, can you give us an idea of what you have up your sleeves release-wise?
LS: Ultimately the new material is more ambitious. In its arrangements and lyrical content, we’ve really continued to try and push the envelope. But yes I think performance wise this is the strongest we have ever been. You can feel it, especially the rhythm section. There are a few new songs which really show off how tight the band have become.
MOSH: For anyone who hasn’t been lucky enough to be acquainted with you yet— as dull as it sounds— what three words would you use to describe the band?
LS: Big, brave and beautiful.
MOSH: For most if not all of your career you’ve been compared to bands like Queen and The Rolling Stones, but there’s no denying that you are a fresh take on a genre that nobody has played around with for some time. Since you’ve been through the ringer enough times yourself, what advice could you give to a young musician or band looking to follow in a similar direction?
LS: Just do the job properly. If you want to make a name for yourself then it takes a huge amount of dedication to do so. Especially when things get dark and quiet. Just stay productive. There’s always something you can be doing to ensure the best outcome possible.
MOSH: You’ve mentioned before that consistent radio play in the US has helped you grow over there. Now that you’re aware of that, do you find you’re intentionally writing and recording material that will have the biggest impact on that medium?
LS: That was always the case. Eighty percent of our songs are radio intended. In the sense that we want everything to have potential. The remaining tracks are a little more self-indulging but still hold quality… just maybe a little too much personality!
MOSH: You’ve achieved a lot over the years; some things that other bands could only dream of. Looking forward, do you have any set goals or milestones you’d like to reach?
LS: To be the biggest band on the planet.
MOSH: In that same respect, what would you say has been a particular highlight for you so far?
LS: The days when I sit back, breathe, then remember how lucky I am. Those days are always a highlight.
MOSH: You’re soon to play the Electric Ballroom, which will be your largest ever UK headline show. Do you see this gig as your band finally getting the break you deserve over here?
LS: Not really. I see it as the beginning of something bigger. About to let loose from the cage so to speak.
MOSH: Is there any way you’re planning to specifically approach it, knowing that it’s an opportunity to achieve success in your home country?
LS: Do the same thing I do every night. Give it my everything.