Last week I entered The Gramercy Theatre around 2pm. The mission was getting to know Spring King, a garage rock band based out of Manchester, England. On the 30 minute subway ride over I jammed to their music via Spotify and I must say I enjoy their sound, it’s a solid vibe. I wanted the music to be fresh in my mind while getting to know these guys on a more personal level. They just arrived in NYC after playing a few shows in Los Angeles on their first American Tour sponsored by the BBC; and they’d be playing later on that evening along with Sundara Karma and Izzy Bizu. As I entered the Theatre I walked down the stairs slowly, taking it all in. I noticed the feeling is quite different at the theatre during the day. Upon entering the lounge area, where everything is dark-ish and red tufted velvet, I was greeted by four happy go lucky guys; Tarek, Andy, Pete, and James also known as Spring King. We chilled in the green room together shooting the breeze on life and rock’n’roll. We also had several laughs. Here’s what Spring King had to say…
Can you guys introduce yourself and your role in the band?
Tarek: I’m Tarek and I’m lead vocals and drums.
Pete: I’m Pete and I play guitar.
Andy: I’m Andy and I also play guitar.
James: And I’m James and I play bass.
Welcome to The United States, how long is the tour?
Tarek: Thanks, the tour is seven or eight days, ten or eleven cities and it’s with The British Broadcasting Corporation. We just got in from LA and we played three shows out there.
A true New York question, what do you prefer, New York or LA?
Tarek: We can’t compare, like New York has more to offer but the weather in LA is so nice with the sunshine. Also the scenery in LA is so beautiful with the beaches but we love New York. Its 50/50.
So I listened to you guys on the way over and I was thinking of what bands I could relate you to. Who are your inspirations and what genre do you identify with?
Tarek: We consider ourselves Garage Rock. We were inspired by The Beach Boys, and like that du-wop 60’s rock, some UK punk like The Clash and we also really like garage like The Oh Sees and Black Lips…oh and The Ramones!
Oh yes I love all that stuff and The Ramones they have so many songs. What’s your favourite Ramones song?
Tarek and Pete: I Wanna Be Sedated.
James: I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.
Andy: I don’t like the Ramones (everyone laughs hard).
What are you feeling Andy?
Andy: I love like The Mars Volta, Frances The Mute was such an amazing album.
So this is the first time you guys are touring in the US. What is the difference between touring here opposed to the UK?
Pete: Touring the US is so different because covering the land is so much harder, it’s so vast. The US is more opportunities and it’s just so beautiful with all the different scenery and landscapes. Like California and New York are just so unbelievably different. It’s really inspiring in the US. In the UK the places are all quite similar. The food in the US is also really exciting! Like Mexican, you can’t get good Mexican in the UK.
What got you guys started in music?
Tarek: We started playing around the time we were fourteen years old in school. We played in assembly halls and stuff. We bonded together over similar interests in music like the Punk-O-Rama compilations. It was quite a small community of people that listened to this kind of music, maybe ten or twelve people. We were outsiders and it felt good to jam together. Our earliest band we were like fifteen.
Pete: Playing live is why we do it now. It’s the best feeling to go out with your mates and share it with a crowd. Playing with friends is like nothing else.
Who is the greatest Rock’n’Roller of all time?
Tarek: Keith Moon, he’s a bit of a hard man.
Pete: David Bowie.
Andy: Lou Reed.
James: Joe Strummer.
What is your favourite childhood toy?
Tarek: Anything to do with parachutes, like I would jump off a chair with plastic bags for hours and pretend I was parachuting.
Pete: Video games and still games have sort of a homely feeling for me, like Sega Mega Driver.
Andy: Hotwheels and action men.
James: I loved like dumper trucks and tractors, I even got hurt one time jumping off one, I split my head open… it explains a lot.
Is fashion and style big for you guys?
Andy: Definitely not and I don’t think its relevant anymore. It’s important to play yourself and we’re about the music not a fashion show. It can be effective for some artists like Arcade Fire who dress representative of their current album. For us, four guys playing ratchet garage music, it’s not important.
How long has Spring King been together and what does the future hold?
Tarek: Three and a half years. We have one album, two EP’s, and there’s a lot of material for the future. We had some demos online but we took them down because we want to re-release it on an album proper.
So the future looks bright?
Tarek: Yeah, we are just having fun and feeling good about it all…
So you’re on this BBC tour and the future’s looking bright but if you were stranded on a desert island what is the one genre of music you would listen to; in order to keep your spirits bright? And you can only choose one!
Tarek: Exotica which is xylophone, jazzy, bossa nova, like island music. It has Polynesian rhythms and melodies. (band laughs hysterically)
Everyone else: Jazz.
I attended the show at Gramercy Theatre later that evening and got to see Spring King in action. The guys were naturals on stage. The music was upbeat and alive, they appeared to be thriving in their rock-stardom!
Catch Spring King on the last leg of their BBC Music Presents tour tonight in Detroit or tomorrow in Chicago. Tickets for their Manchester and London, UK dates are also now on sale at www.springkingband.com. Tour dates below:
Nov 22: The Shelter, Detroit, MI, US
Nov 23: Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL, US
Jan 19: Albert Hall, Manchester, UK
Jan 20: O2 Academy Brixton, London, UK
Jan 28: Omeara, London, UK