Britt Daniel returns to his passion project, releasing the critically acclaimed Hot Thoughts
Spoon’s track record speaks for itself. The group has touched on almost every genre, continuing to push the limits of what’s possible for a five-piece rock outfit. From the classic 2007 release, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, to its newest album Hot Thoughts, Spoon’s mastermind Britt Daniel continues to blur the lines.
“We kind of get a lot done with the five people we have up there,” says Daniel. “I play guitar, sing and sometimes I play some percussion. We’ve got a couple guys that play everything.”
Daniel is a man of variety. His latest excursion with side-project Divine Fits saw him collaborating with a cast of new band members, but the versatility helped inspire and progress the latest record. The build-up of musicianship gave him a number of options to choose from for Hot Thoughts.
“When you make a record, at this point you have limitless tracks,” Daniel says. “When you’re in the studio you can take all the time you want. Then sometimes, some of those songs, it’s a bit of an endeavour to figure out how you’re going to pull them off with just five people on the stage. Some of them are an easy translation, some of them aren’t.”
Hot Thoughts is a versatile album, and features elements that may be unfamiliar to Spoon fans of old. The most difficult part may be conveying the songs appropriately on stage. Daniel has no qualms about this undertaking, and looks forward to the challenge of performing the new tracks. He discussed one song that he was particularly passionate about off the new album, though, the new tracks do not come without adaptation.
“With the song “Pink Up,” we didn’t start playing that one until a month ago,” he says. “That’s one of my favourites on the record. It’s going to take us a second to figure out which parts to leave on, which parts to not.”
Inspiration is never a problem for Daniel, as he is always writing and composing. Finding the down-time to re-assemble Spoon is another story. Daniel is continuously writing and pre-planning for the next project, even in his off-time. You could assume that would be an arduous process, but for Daniel, it’s just another day in the life.
“This year, that’s all I’ve been doing is working with Spoon. I’m blessed in many ways, it’s a great job. I get vacation time—when I’m off, I’m really off. But, when we’re on, we’re really working—it’s non-stop.
Spoon’s return is a mirror-image of that philosophy. Daniel and his cohorts are changing things up, but still keeping the familiar classic Spoon sound. It takes quite a lot of time and effort, but that’s the price that Daniel pays.
“It all boils down to having some kind of vision and your own style,” Daniel says. “You get your own style when you work really hard and you do it of thousands and thousands of hours, and know what you like. You listen to a lot of other music and study a lot of other music. At that point, you’re kind of an expert at what you do.”
Spoon’s tracks begin at Daniel’s “brainstem,” and flesh themselves out on the stage. No matter what project he’s working on, Daniel will always consider Spoon his soul passion.
“I don’t think anybody’s as focused on this as I am,” he says.
Wed., Aug. 30 (8 pm)
Tickets at Ticketmaster.ca