Spring King

Foto: Facebook / Spring King

Als relativ kleiner Wicht eines Musikblogs auf einem Festival wie dem Reeperbahn Festival herumzulaufen, könnte in der Theorie unbehagen auslösen. Dank hervorragender Organisation, einer freundlichen Crew und Bands wie Spring King, war dieser Gedanke aber schnell passé. Ich traf mich im Molotow Backyard mit Tarek Musa (Vocals, Schlagzeug und Produktion), Pete Darlington (Gitarre), Andrew Morton (Gitarre) und James Green (Bass) zum lockeren Gespräch mit der Band aus Manchester.

Spring King finden ihren Ursprung im März 2012 – als Soloprojekt von Multiinstrumentalist Tarek Musa. Über der Zeit stoßen auch die anderen Jungs zur Band, werkelten über viele Jahre an ihrem heutigen Sound und haben das Glück gehabt mit „Tell Me If You Like To“ ihre Debüt-LP noch vor der ersten Unterschrift des späteren Labeldeals fertigzustellen.

Welche Vorteile die frühzeitige Albumproduktion für die Pop-Punks hatte, welche Lehren Tarek Musa seither aus der Produktion des ersten Albums zog und welche persönlichen Konsequenzen der Erfolg für die vier Jungs hatte, haben sie uns in der aktuellen Folge von NOISIV Radio (ab Minute 6:16) erzählt.

Wer nun in die Oktober-Folge von NOISIV Radio hineingehört hat, wird feststellen, dass wir neben dem Interview mit Spring King, auch Gespräche mit Honne, Jagwar Ma oder Jez Dior gefeatured haben. Insofern mussten Teile des Gespräches der Schere zum Opfer fallen. Kein Problem: weitere Auszüge aus dem Gespräch mit Spring King könnt ihr hier nachlesen. Ganz im Gegensatz zur Aussage in der vorproduzierten Radiosendung, haben wir uns dazu entschieden, hier nur ausgewählte Auszüge des Interviews abzubilden.

Ich habe mit den vier Jungs von Spring King außerdem über den 30. Juni 2015 gesprochen, dem Tag als mit Beats 1 der Radiosender von Apple Music erstmals mit ihrem eigenen Track „City“ On Air ging – und vier ahnungs- und fassungslose Bandmitglieder zurückließ. Wir schwelgten über Radioshows und setzten uns mit dem aktuellen Zustand der Rockmusik und des Musikkonsums auseinander. Ein tolles Gespräch. Viel Spaß!

noisiv.de: Spring King was the very first band that got played on Apple Musics Beats 1 radio channel. How did you guys find out about it?

Tarek: We found out with everyone else basically.

James: You got a text I think. I didn’t know, I was at work and Pete was at work. It’s crazy though, cause I remember you were getting hundreds of emails, twitter and facebook notifications and stuff…

Tarek: I got about 400 emails from people, twitter and all that kinda stuff. I thought they were playing a joke on us, cause it was so surreal.

„I thought they were playing a joke on us!”

Like, how many bands are there in the world? How many unsigned bands are there in the world? How many better bands are there in the world than Spring King? [Laughs] You know what I mean? It was amazing and a great opportunity for us I think. I take it with me to my grave probably.

James: It helped us out so much and has taken us to the next level massively. It got so many more people interested in our music and we really kicked on since then. So much love for Zane.

A year later, when Beats 1 turned one on June 30th, they played „City“ again.

Tarek: I listened to that!


Tarek: Yes! [Laughs] Live!

A lot of musicians got their own shows on that channel, like Elton John, Drake or Josh Homme. Would you guys be interested in doing something like this?

James: That would be amazing.

Pete: Definitely!

Andy: I think it would be really eclectic though, hope that’s not any problem.

Pete: It might not be a problem though, might be a strong point actually. We have quite varied taste.

James: We’ll start on community radio and work our way up. [Laughs]

I think it’s what radio really needs nowadays. Are you guys still even listening to regular radio shows?

Tarek: I listen to a lot of smooth radio, which has a lot of classic 60s, 70s and 80s pop. BBC Radio 6 is also a really great station, they’re always playing real leftfield stuff. Also Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1, who’s on the forefront of electronic and a lot of rock music. Her premieres can be quite cool. Huw Stephens as well. I’ve grown up with Zane Lowe. You remember MTV2 with that brown leather sofa? Throughout my youth Zane Lowe had been one of those people I always kind of listened to for music. When he was on BBC Radio 1, that was cool as well.

James: 1Xtra [on BBC Radio 1] is pretty good you know. They got a lot of that r’n’b, grime and things like that.

Tarek: Even BBC Radio 2. My brother listens to Radio 2 a lot, so I ended up listening to it and there’s a lot more stories and things to think about.

You’re full length debut came out in june. Things must have been different since then, right?

James: We’ve just been keeping on, really. [Laughs] We’ve just been touring quite heavily since february this year. It’s been great to have it out, the receptions been amazing. We had so many great comments from fans and critically it was well received, so we’re all really happy and it’s nice to have it out in the public eye. (…)

„It’ll be nice to have december off and to reflect.”

We’ll still be busy [touring] until december and it’s great. But I think it’ll be nice to have december off and to reflect. It’s been a crazy year for us.

Pete: We’ll have something like 40 gigs in 3 months.

James: I don’t wanna think about it. [Laughs]

Pete: [Laughs] It’s amazing. But it’s gonna be not a lot of sleep basically.

Welche persönlichen Opfer die Produktion der Platte nach sich zog und wie sich Tarek Musa seit den abgeschlossenen Arbeiten an „Tell Me If You Like Do“ auch als Produzent weiterentwickeln konnte, haben die Jungs bei NOISIV Radio (ab Minute 6:16) weiterausgeführt.

The band went on to talk about some of the personal sacrifices some of the band members had to take for the production of „Tell Me If You Like To“ on NOISIV Radio. Also, Tarek Musa elaborates on the development of his own production and mixing skills and how they changed since the production wrapped. It starts on the minute 6:16 mark.

Tarek, how do you feel, when you see all those people singing along to your lyrics?

Tarek: It’s crazy and really surreal. I was gonna say it’s creepy, cause those words were in my head and now everyone’s singing them back at me. [Laughs] It’s actually weird, because sometimes, if I forget a lyric and i’m so into the drumming zone, it’s kind of embarrasing when I mess up the lyrics, while the crowds getting them spot on. But it’s great and a really surreal thing, cause it’s something you can not compute. It’s not a natural thing in the day to day world.

You toured with Courtney Barnett, Spector and of course Slaves, who are about to release their new record. How did that go?

James: They’re the coolest band and their live shows are insane. They’re just crazy and they just do what they want as well, which is great.

Tarek: They gave us the opportunity, just like Courtney Barnett, to play in front of their fans. On stages we never really played on that kind of size before. It was like a real moment for us, to really learn how the big bands do it, be professional around them and to play to big audiences. It was great.

A lot of people are saying that rock music’s dead, while completely dismissing some of the great acts we just talked about and of course you yourself. Do you think it’s coming back?

Tarek: I don’t think it’ll ever go away. People like things loud, chaotic and a bit aggressive. When I look around, it kinda feels like it does peak, before it slows down and peaks again. A lot of that has maybe to do with the way it’s coming out there. I think it’s great at the moment, that people can just record themselves with Garage Band or Pro Tools and buy a laptop with recording equipment for like 400 pounds.

„People like things loud, chaotic and a bit aggressive.”

Also the way that music’s delivered to the fans changes and has changed over the years. You know, vinyl was massive at one point, then it was cd’s. Now it’s kind of vinyl again, but really it’s more streaming than vinyl. It just goes in waves, but it still exists. It’s just about how you get that to people in a way that is exciting and new. Even though, it has always been there.

Pete: I think perhaps the ethos of rock n‘ roll was kind of dying. Like the idea of taking tellys out of hotel rooms and stuff like that. I think that kind of died down a little bit now. It’s been done. So I think there’s almost like a new wave of rock, that is just about the music itself. Like Tarek says, people are making their music at home: so it’s about [the music], rather than taking drugs or going mental. However… [Laughs]

A wise man once said that hip hop’s the new rock n‘ roll.

Tarek: I think in a way it took over in a big way.

James: I think some of the most exciting stuff going on these days isn’t in rock music necessarily, it’s in hip-hop and r’n’b. That’s some of the most forward thinking music that’s going on. You know, between the age of 13 and 18, indie and rock music was like everything to me. Then I went to university and it took on to so much hip-hop, electronic music, jazz and these guys are all different influences as well. I don’t think it’s the new rock n‘ roll necessarily and a lot of that is complete garbage to be honest.

Pete: Yeah.

James: It’s the same as any pop music, really. If you go through any era of pop music in history, your gonna find a lot of imitations, a lot of nothing-songs. But I think in there are some absolute gems and to me the most forward thinking moments of the last few years have come through hip hop.

Anything you liked in particular?

Pete: Kendrick Lamar!

James: „Nothing Is The Same“ by Drake is one of my favourite albums of all time. I know the guys hate it, but I think it’s amazing. But nothing comes close to Kendrick, man. I don’t know if you listened to „To Pimp A Butterfly“, but I don’t think that any of us or anyone could make a record like that for the next decade. The scope of the musicianship, the people he worked with… it’s mindblowing.

„Nothing comes close to Kendrick”

I had so many arguments with people, normally because i’ve been drinking. [Laughs] I just think it’s incredible and I ran out of superlatives to describe it. No rock music has done that or made me feel like that in a long time.

Time to wrap this up. One final question though: which 80s song do you wish you had written yourself?

Pete: I’m going to go first! 10CC – „I’m Not in Love“.

Tarek: I knew it!

Pete: Definitely that one. It’s incredible that song. It’s ridiculous. [Laughs]

Andrew: I was going to go for this one as well, honestly.

Tarek: The one from Donnie Darko by Echo & The Bunnymen… „The Killing Moon“! It’s an amazing tune and I think it’s from the 80s. It’s a hit. I love that tune.

Andrew: I think „Big Mouth Strikes Again“ by The Smiths.

James: Yeah, amazing song.

Andrew: I’ll probably go for „China Girl“ or „Let’s Dance“ by David Bowie. Probably „China Girl“. I don’t think it’s his best, but those songs are incredible.

Pete: I also think of „Ghost Town“ by The Specials. It’s just about I think, like late 80s.

Tarek: I think it’s from ’78, man.

Pete: Is it? [Laughs]

Let’s count that one in! Thank you guys for the amazing interview!

noisiv.de likes to thank Pete, Andrew, James and Tarek of Spring King for the incredible conversation we had at the Reeperbahn Festival 2016 in Hamburg. If you’re interested in listening to the interview, feel free to listen to parts of our actual conversation on the recent episode of our monthly radio show NOISIV Radio. The interview clocks in around the 16:06 minute mark:

„Tell Me If You Like To“ ist am 10. Juni via Island Records erschienen.