After a long pandemic break from the road, Spoon is back in Aspen
Austin-based indie rock band playing two nights at Belly Up
Special to the Apen Times
IF YOU GO …
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Saturday, Sept. 4 & Sunday, Sept. 5, 9:30 p.m.
How much: $95/GA
Tickets: Belly Up box office; bellyupaspen.com
More info: Proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination 14 days or more prior to event date required.
Spoon was about two-thirds of the way through recording their 10th studio album in March 2020. Unfortunately, the progress was delayed due to the pandemic restrictions that unfolded in the following months.
“We thought we were almost done, but then, for the next several months we could not see each other,” co-founder and frontman Britt Daniel in a recent phone interview from his home in Austin, Texas. “I ended up staying home alone and writing a lot more songs. I started sending them out to the band and we realized we were a lot further away from a finished record than we thought.”
It wasn’t until the fall that the band could pick up where they left off and continue their recording process.
“It’s very close,” Daniel said of the new album, now projected to come out this year. “All I can say is that it’s coming along. It’s just about there. We should have some news soon.”
Despite the unanticipated delay, Daniel conveys that the pandemic changed the original vision for the album and it actually had a positive effect on the new music: “I’d say that of the songs we were working on pre-pandemic, maybe four of them made it onto the album and then the rest were all new ones created during the pandemic.”
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Daniel said he counted the songs, completed to varying degrees for the record, and tallied 34.
“We’ve had a lot of tunes to choose from,” he said. “The downtime gave me a moment to slow down that I never would have taken for myself. I’m sure a lot of people feel similarly and that it just brought about a different type of writing.”
The return to live music for Spoon came on July 1 when the band played a sold-out show in their hometown of Austin.
“It was incredible,” Daniel said, “it was one of the best moments of walking onto stage that I have ever had and I definitely will never forget. It was a fantastic show in our hometown and it sold out in an hour. Everybody was psyched and loving the world.”
Now back on the roard, Spoon is headlining Belly Up Aspen for a highly anticipated two-night Labor Day stand on Saturday and Sunday.
The band approached the tour with anticipation and excitement.
“There’s a little bit of uncertainty of what it’s going to be like on tour with all of the new rules and what we’ve got to do to stay together and make sure that our group doesn’t somehow fall victim to the times,” Daniel explains. “It’s just a different world. It’s exhausting for everyone, but I have to say I’m very grateful that it’s not 2020.”
This weekend will be Spoon’s fourth appearance in Aspen, including shows at Belly Up and the Aspen Skiing Co.’s annual Core Party downown.
“We want to come back to Aspen as often as we can,” Daniel said. “The Belly Up is one of the best sounding rooms I’ve ever played in. It’s just such a nice size. It sounds and feels fantastic in there. It’s a really unique room. … Somehow they manage to get these insanely big bands to come there because it is such a special room. I saw LCD Soundsystem play there and I know the Flaming Lips have played there—just these bands that normally would never play in a 450-person capacity room. They go there because it’s special.”
Daniel and his mates are grateful to be on the road again after a 17-month forced hiatus.
“I know that for some bands and some performers, touring is not their favorite part of the job,” Daniel says. “For me, it is my favorite part of the job. It’s maybe not the most consequential part of the job because the records are the most important thing to me, but it’s a blast. I love the whole thing. I love waking up in a new town and I love having a show to look forward to every night.”
As for the upcoming Aspen shows, Daniel promised “it’s going to be a pulpy show. I’m going to squeeze all the juice out and we’re going to get even the pulp. I will make sure I squeeze all the juice I can out of it.”
Together 28 years now, the band still draws on inspiration from music legends like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground, John Lennon, Prince, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin.
“Just the classics,” Daniel said. “I’ve really come around to The Doors lately. I loved them when I first heard them and then I despised them for a while. They were so uncool, and now I’m back to where I started again.”
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