We spoke how to survive festival season, Pete’s new white jeans and of course, their debut album; Tell Me If You Like To.
Hailing all the way from Manchester and playing a mind-numbingly intense set (read review and see photos here) at Stereo, we made sure to sit down and chat to Tarek, James, Pete and Andy a.k.a Spring King.
So how has tour been so far for you guys?
Tarek: Well it started yesterday in Edinburgh
James: But technically speaking, we’ve been on tour for quite a while because we just got back from Europe
Tarek: Yeah! We played Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and it was amazing! It was our first time there so obviously it was a pretty big deal to us! Lot’s of people came to the shows and we had a positive response
James: Strangely well received! We did a tour there last November with Slaves – which was great – but we’ve barely been back to Europe since! So it’s been a pleasure really, yesterday in Edinburgh was so good! And we’ve got The Magic Gang and Get Inuit supporting and they’re all really good mates and incredible bands – far better than us! So it’s just been amazing
After seeing you guys at T in The Park, we know your set usually results with a good few mosh pits – what else can fans be expecting at a Spring King show?
Pete: I’d say expect to be happy
James: And for there to be loads of energy – I hope!
Tarek: Yeah there’s always a good atmosphere and we just want to have some fun and a bit of a laugh really! Sometimes there’s audience participation
James: Yeah we like a bit of that! Pete may or may not climb something
Pete: I wish I could climb something at every show, often there’s not usually the opportunity – maybe tonight will work, who knows!
Tarek: You could climb that big pillar maybe
Pete: I’ll see what I can do!
Ha! So what does a usual day on the road look like?
James: It’s usually pretty boring to be honest!
Tarek: Ha yeah! I mean if we’re on tour we usually wake up, have breakfast together – well most of the time! Basically Andy and James stay up a lot later than me and Pete usually do, so they’ll sometimes join us for breakfast or t’ll just be me and Pete. Then we just, wait what comes after breakfast?
James: Usually just get in the van and travel to the next venue pretty much!
Tarek: Oh yeah! We’ll usually put an album on as well, just whatever we’re all listening to at that moment. Then once we’re at the venue it’s soundcheck, load in, interviews etc then we sometimes go for a little walk around! Usually when we’re playing cities we try to get a day off, like when we were in Brussels we got a day off to go wondering
James: Yeah it was really nice!
Tarek: Then after all that we’ll just really hangout, get some food
James: Maybe go record shopping
Tarek: Yeah we also got to do that in Brussels which was good! Trying to find good food that makes us happy is important also ha!
Pete: I had time to buy a pair of white jeans the other day and I’ve just been trying to build up the courage to wear them! I’m quite excited by them but also slightly nervous
Ha! You’d fit right into Glasgow with them, don’t worry
Pete: Yes! Good to know
James: Maybe today’s the day
Pete: I’ve been looking for a good pair of white jeans for like two years because I’m quite small and skinny so I struggle to find trousers
Ah okay, so you’ll need a big debut for the first outing in them then
Pete: Exactly! It was quite an emotional moment for me when I found them, so I’m just waiting for the special and right moment to be able to present them to the world really
Good shout! So you guys have had a pretty buy summer, what has been the biggest highlight for you?
James: Reading and Leeds was a dream! Truck festival was an unexpected highlight for all of us I think- it all got a bit out of hand, in the best possible way of course! It was mental
Tarek: Going to Australia and playing Splendour in the Grass was amazing – it was out first time in Australia as well! I don’t know how many miles away it is but there were a lot of people at our set so we were all kind of just like “woah this is crazy!”
James: Yeah that was also definitely a highlight
What would be your top tips for surviving festival season then?
Tarek: Andy is the man for this one
Andy: I carry a huge amount of just about everything with me, I’ll show you guys the bag after but seriously name it and I’ve got it! Especially for touring and festival season, so always be prepared and try and stay dry because there’s nothing worse than when you’re lying in your tent and you’ve got wet socks
Tarek: Got to have spare socks man
James: Yes, always have spare socks. And a good tent, oh that’s an important one actually! Don’t have a cheap tent, get like a nice six man one where you have a porch and shit – even though they’re like £60, it’s worth it!
Andy: Try and bring a house with you, it’s the best way I can think to describe it really
James: Basically yeah
Tarek: Also don’t eat too much food when you’re stoned, you might choke to death – it happened to me once!
Tarek: Yeah I had to get the heimlich maneuver on me and everything
Pete: That was when you were sober was it not?
Tarek: No it wasn’t
Pete: Yeah you definitely were!
Tarek: Ha! Show’s how lucid I was then – it must of been when me and your (Pete) Dad were together
Pete: Don’t talk about my dad and you smoking together in an interview
Pete: I’m just joking – he won’t care ha!
Good to know! So where abouts did the name ‘Spring King’ come from?
Tarek: When I was at uni I did sound engineering and stuff and all my projects, when I had to mix and produce them I’d use a lot of this reverb called ‘Spring Reverb’. Basically everyone would just take the micky out of me and one guy kept calling me “spring king” which then just stuck I guess
We have to talk about the album, Tell Me If You Like To, first off how have you found the whole reception to it?
Tarek: Really good! We get a lot of messages online about which is so nice to see
James: Yeah and when it comes to live shows, they’re a lot busier and everyone knows the material better which just makes for a better gig overall really!
Tarek: Yeah and when we hang out after shows at the merch table it’s really nice to have people come up and tell us how much they’re loving the album or a song they were wanting to hear live etc. There was this one lady last night who was at least mid fifties and she was just going on about how much she loved it – which was cool!
Andy: Is that the one that brought the turd?
Andy: Basically last night this woman brought a fake turd to the show and asked us all to sign it
Ha! I bet you’ll see it on ebay in a few days
Andy: Just like “genuine turd signed by Spring King” ha!
Tarek: It was so weird though!
How was it to record the album then? Any particular nights or the process of a particular track come to mind?
Tarek: It was really good yeah! We had about three weeks to do it and had just come straight off tour so was right into the studio. It was really chill and cool, especially just going from something as hectic as tour to the countryside – like there wasn’t anything for miles, just us making tunes and eating kind of healthy!
James: There was one amazing night where we all sat up until like 3 o’clock in the morning listening to the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra and all this awesome music! That was a personal highlight for me I’d say
Tarek: Yeah it was really chill, there were beds there so we just slept there as well! There was a pool table so we could just do that until early hours in the morning – it was so cool. And we did it all ourselves as well so we didn’t have an engineer or anything, we had an assistant called Johnny who was a legend and helped out here and there
Andy: Nice wee shout out to Johnny, ha!
Tarek: Of course! But yeah we were also being given all this expensive studio space but we’d just go up into like the bedrooms and record most stuff in there, we just really liked the way it sounded! But our studio manager was just sort of like “what the hell are you guys doing?!” because we had so much equipment downstairs! We were so use to recording in small spaces though that it just made sense to do it
Ah cool! So 2016 is coming to an end and has seen a lot of great music, who have been your top picks?
Tarek: Definitely Get Inuit, they’d be a top pick for me! And The Magic Gang actually, to be honest the bands we have on tour with us are all favourites! We can’t really believe we managed to get this tour together, they’re all so good! Get Inuit, The Magic Gang, The Big Moon – all so cool
James: I’ve been loving this guy called Porches, who has an amazing album so definitely him as well! I guess all the music we’ve been listening to has all been bit internal just because we spend so much time in the van and don’t really get the chance to go to many shows. We did see Homeshake a while back who’s a king! All good stuff
What’s up next for you guys after tour then?
Pete: We have about six days off and then we’re going to America for three weeks
James: Because we’re idiots, ha!
Pete: Yeah because we’re insane! It should be really fun though, we’re going with Sundara Karma and Izzy Bizu so it’s a bit of a funny line up but we’re really excited! We get back in December and have a bit of time off hopefully, maybe to have Christmas with our families
James: Not with each other!
Pete: No, never
To finish the interview off we thought we’d play a game of Who’s Most Likely To!
Andy: Oh no
Tarek: I can see how this is going to end
So who’s most likely to get lost in a city on tour?
Tarek: Yeah Andy
James: I think this is only going to go one way to be honest
Andy: I get lost in the van sometimes
Tarek: He once went missing for about nine hours. We were staying in this really nice flat and he was like “I’m just going to downstairs and have a cigarette, I’ll be right back up!” So I fell asleep at like two in the morning and woke up a few hours later and we were sharing a bed but I woke up and he wasn’t there! He literally said he was just going down for a cigarette and five hours later he still wasn’t showing up so I was calling him, his phone was turned off though! Eventually he just rocked up like “you alright?”
Andy: I’d made friends with some hippies on the beach and they were just doing all sorts, it was good
Who’s most likely to miss a show? It sort of ties in with the last one
Tarek: Well none of us have ever missed a show
Pete: Ever, ever, ever
James: Here’s hoping!
Who’s most likely to win Euro Lover?
Tarek: Based on current evidence it’s our guitar tec – but that could all change!
And lastly, who’d most likely to get married on night out in Vegas?
Tarek: I could definitely see Pete getting married in Vegas
Pete: I’m quite a romantic really so yeah I could see myself doing that
James: Yeah quite spontaneous
Pete: Yeah I’m quite spontaneous and a romantic so yeah that makes sense, I’ll take it!