Interview with the Spinto Band

I was lucky enough to sit down with some of the members of The Spinto Band to talk music, soda, and Camp Blood: The Musical. The following was recorded in the Pita Pit of Lawrence, Kansas on March 3, 2008 prior to their show at the Granada Theater.

Joshua/Popwreck(oning): Hey, welcome to Lawrence, home of Jayhawk basketball. I feel like I should apologize to you for getting pushed back two hours for a basketball game. But anyway, thanks for taking a few minutes to talk to me. Lets get this underway! We’re going to start off light with a few general music questions to give people a feel of what you’re all about, sound good? So tell me, what albums are you guys currently listening to?
Nick Krill: We all have CDs that we’ve been playing while we’re driving.
Joey Hobson: I mostly have been listening to my iPod. Um… The Vampire Weekend CD, I’ve been listening to that a lot.
PW: Yeah, we’ve been listen to that quite a bit as well. Poor guy got hit by a car.
NK: I’ve been listening to a piano player, Rubén González album, Introducing… Rubén González.
Sam Hughes: I guess I just got an iPod recently and I’ve shoved it on shuffle and listened to whatever old CDs I’ve got on there.
John Eaton: Well today I got pretty excited to listen to Odelay. One of the greats.
PW: Old school or the re-released version?
JE: Well, it was the old school version, with the thought of the re-released version, sort of dating my life going, “Wow, that was ten years ago. That blows my mind.”
PW: It does make me feel old when the shit I listened to turns ten. Which CDs are your all-time favorites? Which might be the hardest question in the world to answer.
JH: Weezer‘s Blue Album is always a good one.
PW: Speaking of albums to make us feel old.
JH: Yeah that one even makes me feel old.
NK: I guess I always have a good time listening to Cloud Taste Metallic by The Flaming Lips, and Abbey Road by the Beatles. Those two are always up there. The Kinks, Village Green maybe.
SH: I’ll go with a classic Deltron 3030. That always remains pretty classic.
JE: I’ll go back to a Frank Zappa album, his debut LP, Freak Out and the Mothers of Invention.
PW: Wonderful stuff guys! Lets move on to something a little different. Do you think the use of the internet has opened the door to a better option for self-promotion or a tool that has simply given thousands of truly awful bands their own soapbox for exposure?
SH: Honestly I think it’s a little of both. Anything that facilitates sharing music is OK in my book.
JH: Who are we to be the gate keepers of music?
NK: Yeah, I agree with that. It’s sorta like, if you look at it as the idea that the people are deciding the music they like rather than a DJ on a radio station or a record label. What some think is an awful band other people fall in love with it. You get a lot of that touring with bands where you play a show with someone that you don’t really like at all and you’re like, “Ah man, this is the worst night ever,” yet people are still up in the front row jumping around with it.
PW: Great answer. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Next question, which kinda hits on what I asked before: what current musical trend would you guys like to see go away?
NK: Well if I were the gate keeper of music! Okay, I’m going to shoot straight with you here. I love bands, but one thing I’ve heard a lot that kinda bugs me is when girls in bands, there is a couple girls in the band, and they scream a chorus like it’s double dutch chanting. Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of that, and I don’t need it.
SH: Nickelback?
PW: I’ll take it. Okay, now I think we should focus on you guys for a little bit. I’m going to go ahead and admit that you’re the first band that I’ve ever interviewed from Delaware. I honestly don’t know anything about the scene there, other than the fact that
Jade Tree Records is there. Would you guys like to enlighten me a bit about what I’m missing?
JE: Funny thing about Jade Tree actually, we were playing a show in Manchester and I bumped into this guy who was there to watch a soccer match of Manchester United or whatever team plays there, and i started talking to him about Wilmington, Delaware and I was like, “Wow, you never find people over here who know anything about Wilmington.” He was an American guy with an American accent, and he said, “Well you know what, I’ve got a record label there called Jade Tree Records, and I’ve been trying to put Delaware on the music map for my whole life, and you guys come in and write one song, and everyone is talking about it.” So he was pretty much joking about it, but it was kinda funny to hear that.
SH: Yeah, my high school buddies would intern there and stuff. It’s pretty cool that it exists.
PW: Yeah, they’ve been pretty good to us.
Whole band: I’m trying to think of bands from the current scene. Television. I can’t really think of much. There was a band who was getting a lot of buzz, and got like, a big label deal, but i can’t think of the name of them. They were pretty forgettable.
PW: Ha! That’s what you strive for as a band; to be forgettable. Um..You guys have toured with
Art Brut, We Are Scientists, Arctic Monkeys, and the Kooks, who are are fairly established bands. But above all, be it one show or a tour, who are your favorite groups to play with?
NK: There’s a lot of Philadelphia bands that we like to play with. Just friends’ bands, you know?
Dr. Dog and the Teeth. The Swims, they’re really fun. They’re awesome as well as being great on stage.
PW: Nice. We at PopWreck(oning) love the Philly scene, thank to our managing editor Jess, who currently lives there. As for our next question, it’s about Tom, who’s not here. But he co-wrote
Camp Blood: the Musical, which i was lucky enough to find clips of. I really liked what I saw. But, it lead me to wonder if there were any other hidden talents within your band that our reader should know about.
SH: I write soda reviews. I don’t know, I think I’m kind knowledgeable on the beverage industry, I try to keep up with it.
NK: Ask him anything about a soda, I bet he’ll know.
PW: So like, you could tell me the complete history of the formation of Mountain Dew? Where it started? Who invented it?
SH: No, well I guess it’s more contemporary sodas coming out. Like, what’s the deal and what the trends are.
NK: So what current soda trends would you like to see disappear?
SH: Flavor enhanced waters? The really sugary ones that are gross. Some flavor waters are alright.
PW: [Laughs] This has been the greatest interview ever. Okay, focus. You released your first four albums on Spintonic, a record label created by the band itself, before releasing your latest album, Nice and Nicely Done, on Bar-None. Did you notice an extreme difference between the two styles, and which style did you prefer?
NK: Our release style basically involved us burning CDR style CDs, making the artwork on our home printers and selling them to our family and friends at our shows. We’d only make like two or three hundred.
JE: Yeah, we never really toured or played any concerts, so I guess the bigger difference was that when the Bar-None album came out we started playing live shows and you could actually find our CD.
Sam: I remember when we first saw it at a borders, between Bruce Springsteen and Britney Spears. There it was, The Spinto Band!
PW: [Laughs] You’ve arrived. I’ve got two more for you. In 2006, Times Online chose their top 40 songs of the year. Your song “Oh Mandy,” made the list alongside the likes of Lily Allen, The Killers, The Raconteurs, Placebo, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Not a bad group to be in the company of. But what i want to know is, what do YOU think makes “Oh Mandy” a good song.
JE: Oh man, it’s a nice melody. For some reason the rhythm is sort of anxious on a way. Which I think sorta compliments and adds a lot of tension, and I think the middle eight does a really good job of messing with that tension and releasing it. So maybe it’s a really good, three minute roller-coaster.
PW: Perfect. Okay, I end all of the interviews this way. I call it artist soapbox, in which I just leave you an open invite to rant about anything you want. I’ve had artists go off about everything from politics to chewing gum. So it’s completely up to you.
SH: Well, I’ve already talked about soda, so I’m out.
JE: I think it’s to hard to be upset with anything. Most of my rants come down to people I know, and I don’t want to burn any bridges.
PW: Yeah, slander is rough. Certainly don’t get yourself sued.
NK: You know what sorta bugged me? Last night we were watching Bill Maher, and he would read something and snicker, while looking to his left I guess maybe, he would sorta make a sound like, (makes obnoxious laughing noise, mocking Maher). He did that after every punchline.
PW: Perfect rant!
John: Why there’s not more Pita Pits! If there were more Pita Pits on tour we would be happier. Food in general on tour I guess. We really have to go, to find a decent mom and pop place, or deli. Those are not the places just off the highway. We really have to look to find them.
PW: well, where are you guys heading next?
NK: Omaha?
PW: You guys should hit the old market. It’s like the Mass Street of Omaha. There is a really nice Record Store Down there. You should check it out.
Band: Alright we will!
PW: Perfect, and again thank you for your time.
Band: Thank you.

You can catch The Spinto Band on the remainder of their co-headlining tour with The Whigs or through the following links:

The Spinto Band’s Myspace
The Spinto Band’s Website
Bar-None Records

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