Vital Vinyl: John Hoyles Discusses Spiders’ Sophomore LP, ‘Shake Electric’
On their sophomore LP, Shake Electric, Sweden’s own Spiders took their metal expertise that was showcased on their debut, Flash Point, and expanded it into the realm of ‘70s and ‘80s rock and roll, creating sounds reminiscent of T. Rex, David Bowie and Joan Jett.
With Shake Electric's gritty and in-your-face rock and roll, it only makes sense that the record received a proper vinyl release -- and thanks to Spiders respect for the format, it got just that. Pressed on clear wax and housed in a beautiful gatefold jacket -- and packed with a massive poster -- the listening experience is elevated to a whole new level when Shake Electric is spinning on your turntable.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with guitarist John Hoyles about the new album, the songwriting process behind it and how important vinyl is to him (spoiler: it's really important). Check out our exclusive interview below:
Shake Electric has been out for a few months now. How does it feel to have it wrapped up and out to the masses?
It feels fantastic to finally have the album out and that people seem to be liking it. When I look back on all the hard work we put into the record we are very proud of the end result and have been getting some good response.
What's the writing process like for the band? Is it a collaborative experience?
I wrote all the songs on our first album, Flash Point, because I had an idea of what I wanted the album to sound like and most of the songs were already in my head. But on our latest album we worked together more from scratch. Me and Ann-Sofie [Hoyles, frontwoman] came up with the riffs and the basic idea around the songs and then we all helped arrange the music and write lyrics. It’s more fun working together because the music sounds more varied and interesting compared to just one person writing.
When you set out to write and create Shake Electric, how many songs did you enter the studio with -- was it hard to whittle the list down to the 10 on the record?
We had 13 songs to start with and it was hard to choose what songs should be on the record. The ones that didn’t make it on the album I think didn’t fit in with the other songs and the album's concept. But maybe we will release them later or use them for a 7".
One of the best parts about the listening experience is consuming an album from start to finish -- not jumping around track to track. Do you write music with the album experience in mind?
Yes. I always think about how the album is going to sound on a vinyl LP. The first and last song on side A and B are important and so is getting the songs to fit together so they stand out from each other. I like to take the time to listen to a record from start to finish almost like watching a movie.
Shake Electric received a killer vinyl release. Beautiful packaging, a sick pressing ... From a professional standpoint, why is vinyl important to you as a band?
I think guitar music sounds a whole lot better on vinyl. It’s a warmer, rounder sound that suits Spiders and our music perfectly. Also the artwork becomes more important. The cover becomes a lot more detailed compared to a CD or Spotify ... you can frame them and hang them on the wall.
How important is vinyl to you personally?
I’ve always liked vinyl and have maybe a 1000 LPs in my collection. Youtube and Spotify are good for looking up new bands to see what they sound like, but then I always try to find the album on vinyl. They take up a lot lot of space but it’s worth it.
Why do you think we've seen a sudden re-interest in vinyl in recent years?
I think in this internet age people want to buy something real and to be able to touch and hold the album instead of just seeing it on their computer.
Now with Shake Electric out, have you already started thinking about your next release?
Yes, we have been touring since Shake Electric was released, but now we have some time off to think about the next album. I have loads of ideas and we are really keen on rehearsing new songs and trying them out playing live. I hope we can release it at the end of this year.