Spring King are here to make summer approximately 4352423 times better with their infectious indie tunes - and their new album’s imminent.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Spring King are back. Their brilliant debut saw them hurtling forward, held together by gaffer tape, good luck and buckets of hope, as they tried to come to terms with their demons.
‘Animal’, the first taste of new album ‘A Better Life’, sees them moving faster. There’s a streamlined purpose and just as much hope.
“’Animal’ takes you two hundred miles an hour, and by the end of it, you’ve got rid of all the demons. You’ve shaken them out,” starts Tarek Musa before adding a smile. “It’s a workout.”
“Guitar-wise, it’s inspired by Pantera. Not that it sounds anything like it. I was really getting back into heavy music,” explains Pete Darlington, who set out to write 100 riffs for this record.
“The spirit of a lot of that stuff is there. For me, that song was the first time we captured the first step of what we needed to do next. It was the first time we knew where to go. It captures the essence of what the next record. It has the energy of the old stuff, but it sounds bigger; it’s heavier, but it’s super melodic as well. All of those things, they’re the new record.”
“The new record feels like one of those shots of ginger. It’s the most concentrated form of what you can get,” adds Tarek.
“Every single element of every single song has been carefully looked at and thought about, from a writing perspective, lyrical perspective, production perspective,” Pete continues. “There’s no fat anywhere. It’s super lean the whole way. It’s intense. And we know we’re an intense-sounding band anyway.
“Listening back, it feels like you’ve been on a bit of a ride. That’s the dream for me. I want people to listen through it, and feel like they’ve been through something, an emotional experience of some kind. There’s a lot of different vibes on the record. There’s some stuff that makes me think, shit, are we really going out there? I love the songs though. We’re just experimenting a little bit. It’s still the same band, it’s just something a bit different.”
“I always love recording in bedrooms, that’ll always be a thing for me, but for Spring King, it’s all about growth and not doing the same thing twice,” offers Tarek. “It’s about having an awareness of where you are, and where you want to go.”
And the band are aiming big. They’ve already announced a supermassive UK tour, with all roads leading to London’s Forum and Manchester’s The Ritz.
“We’re feeling ambitious and confident,” Pete begins. “We’re feeling happy with the music we’ve put together. It’s a big step up for us.
“It was put up or shut up,” adds James Green. “We’d love to do The Ritz; we’d love to do The Forum, so let’s do them. They’ll be the biggest shows we’ve ever done. It’s nice to stamp our authority on it and show people we mean business.
“It could be the biggest mistakes of our lives,” starts Pete. “But it doesn’t feel like that at all.”
‘A Better Life’ has been a workout in itself. Months of talking, dissecting, finding their feet and working out what Spring King can become have all been poured into the band’s second record, from the title and beyond.
“We were talking about what kind of message we wanted to give,” shared Pete. “Politics in this country is fucked. The world’s in a weird place and a lot of bands write angry music about that. And that’s great. I love that. For us though, I wanted to offer something positive. ‘A Better Life’ captured that.”
This is the first album Spring King have written properly together. Their debut saw them all flesh out Tarek’s and Pete’s songs. This time though, they all contributed to everything.
“It’s nice, cos someone might have a line that would inspire something else,” James reflects. “Instead of sitting on your own, banging your head against the wall trying to write a set of lyrics, it becomes a much more collaborative, inspirational process.
“It’s still 95% banging your head against a wall though. It felt pretty no holds barred. If someone’s idea gets put down, it’s not a personal dig. The best stuff just gets through.”
To start with, the band shared images with each other to help explain what was inspiring them and what the music meant because, for Spring King, the music has got to mean something.
“’Animal’ was a lot of rusty, burnt out cars. It was sci-fi, brutalist buildings and people setting fire to cars in the desert. It was dusty,” starts Tarek.
For Andy, everything felt apocalyptic. “It’s all I could think about, but it’s changed so much since that initial sharing process. The record is something completely different now. It’s interesting how we all thought it was going to be one thing, and it came out the other side as something completely different.”
‘Animal’ isn’t this rusty thing now. It’s different. The band and the record went on a similar journey, finding something out in that desert to bring them back.
“This record, it’s about letting people know that in this negative moment in time, you can take it as an opportunity,” James explains. “There’s always the opportunity for you to take the reigns, to take control of your own life. Grab it by the horns and put a positive spin on it. Take responsibility and take control of your destiny.”
“It’s about being aware of the frustrations you have and being able to pinpoint it as frustration and being able to get over that,” says Tarek. “It’s about being able to convert that into positive energy.”
Spring King’s future starts here, and they’re in the driving seat.
“We’ve grown up a little bit,” promises Tarek. “We know what we want now, completely. It’s to play harder shows; we’ve got bigger ambitions regarding what we have on stage, we’re going to try and do something spectacular. Something we’ve never done before. We’re just pushing it.
“‘A Better Life’ is so much more developed than the last record. It’s so much more challenging, in terms of challenging what we want and ourselves. Our ambitions off the back of this record are bigger than ever before.
“It’s about realising and capturing this opportunity to do something really big with it. I feel like we’re less naive than with the debut. We’re ready to go.”
Taken from the July issue of Dork. Order a copy here. Spring King’s album ‘A Better Life’ is out 17th August.