Exclusive Interview: Spoiler talk Writing and Recording!
At the end of October 2020 we were greeted by a the doorbell to be punched full in the face by Essex based Nu-Metalcore merchants Spoiler armed with the knuckleduster of a debut single that is “Repress“. After some banter, an exclusive interview and a pair impressive playthrough videos, they returned in February for a second round knock out with “Brighter“. Now that the dust has settled a little bit, we got them in our corner for a chat about their writing and recording process and how a group of seasoned musicians from a trio of well respected other bands work together…
Where do you start? Lyrics, riffs or rhythms? Do you build songs in parts or write together as a group? “The songs are usually born from an initial riff. I [Will Cattanach, Guitars] like to choose a tempo based around what ever I’m feeling at the time and then just hit record and jam to a click track. Then when I’m done I listen back, see what I like, track the riff correctly with guitars and bass, program drums and send it to the boys. Then they throw ideas my way- usually hilarious voice notes – and we work it from there. It usually changes a bit once we get into the room and play it together. Jack [Turner, Bass] and Aaron [Ketley, Vocals] both play a substantial roll it the arrangements and structures of the songs. And then myself Danny [Keene, Drums] and Chris [Blake, Guitars] work on the “spicing” and little fun parts only the musicians care about. Haha”
How has being a band made up of experienced musicians (ex-Postmortem Promises, The Dropper’s Neck and Addison Lane) impacted on how you writeand record your material? Did you have to adjust to each others ways of writing together? “We’re still adjusting to each other’s ways. There’s no submissive’s in this band. So lots of “cooks in the kitchen“ which can be hard and definitely leads to arguments, but it also leads to some pretty special music – at least in my opinion – when you finally send over that WAV file, and everyone says “BANGER” you know you’ve got something special“
When it comes to gear, what are your old reliables and what do you experiment with and change around? How much time do you spend getting the right sound with things like guitar tones? “My 5150 for sure. It’s a classic. We’ve heard it SO many times now that when it’s something else it almost sounds “wrong”. Other than that it changes every time. We’re forever on the “quest for tone” Everything else is subject to change. In the studio we spend a substantial amount of time looking for tone. Every little element of the single chain has a large impact on the sound, so it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right combination before committing to tape.”
When it comes to the recording do you use a studio for everything or are you recording elements on your own? Are you using a click track for the drums? “So everything is recorded at my project studio in Braintree. The preferred method is to record guitars first to both programmed drums and programmed bass, because it gives a good tuning reference, especially when tracking guitars that are tuned as low as ours. Then we track bass and vocals. Drums last. They’re the hardest element to modify if you make any changes to the song. And the cymbal intricacies can play havoc with a good vocal performance.And yes everything is recorded to a click.”
Does Mixing and Mastering in house with guitarist Will Cattanach taking on those duties take some of the pressure off the band in terms of cost and finding someone you trust to work with? How did you decide to go ahead withhim and not look outside the band? “It definitely takes some of the pressure off. We can do it in our own time and the band can ask for as many revisions as they want without getting charged. Haha I think it just made sense to have me do it. We all have a pretty clear vision of how this band should sound so it just made sense to have someone on the inside do it.“