The Music Slut


8 Questions With: Spectrum

Earlier this week, I received the distinct pleasure of interviewing the legendary Spectrum frontman and founding member of Spacemen 3, Sonic Boom (aka Pete Kember) - whom will be headlining After The Jump's day stage on August 25th. Without further adieu, here's the full Q&A, from start to finish. Learn even more about Spectrum here at their official MySpace page.

1. How long have you been working on this upcoming Spectrum album. With all the other projects under your belt, why are you focusing on Spectrum this year, in particular?

I've been working on the stuff on & off for about 7 years . I've never stopped writing songs & decided to refresh myself by working on other aspects of my work - namely E.A.R - which is more soundscape than songs . Spectrum is my purely song-based material . Obviously both inform & influence each other tio some extent , but I love the two quite differant aproaches of pure pop based songs & the more left field work in sound design . I've also been doing a lot of remixes for differant bands , which again is refreshing & a way of working without getting stale . my music is based on some apparently simple precepts & it is always a challenge to stay true to my roots without glazing over . I'm not insensitive to the fact that there is a loyal & informed audience perpetually growing for the music I've made & it is as important to me now to convey what i do to each succesive generation . we always knew that we were some sort of rarified standard bearers for certain sections of the hipster populace & i've always considered it a point of honour to uphold that & evolve honestly in relation to my roots . I have always said that my music is based in long standing traditions & is merely a revolved view of what I believe to be the essence of music . I'm only interested in being progressive within certain constraints.

2. Can you discuss the current line-up? I hear that Will Carruthers is
on the new album, will he be touring with you?

For this tour , it is a 2 piece of Randall Nieman who plays on the lp & myself . Will may well be coming out on tour with us next year when we plan to do another large tour , of differant material , with the full band . Riodger Brogan from Los Angeles has also been involved with recording and is again likely to be on percussion duties next year .

3. The last Spectrum release, Forever Alien, was very 'spacey' sounding, is the new record similar or more guitar driven?

the new material is less spacey & more guitar based . Ofcourse as anyone who knows my work will attest , it is still within my usual working parameters . I'm very pleased with the way its been going .

4. Is it true, as you claim on your official site, that the LP will be a mix between 'Highs Lows & Heavenly Blows' and 'Perfect Prescription'? Can you elaborate on that?

the songs are very much of that tonality & style . ofcourse , it will be its own thing , but people like these comparisons to be made .

5. If you had to name one thing you miss most about Spacemen 3, what
would you choose?

that's interesting . and hard.......perhaps the innocence of it & the experience of learning on the go . nothing thats re-creatable .

6. What do you enjoy most about NYC?

my friends . the stores . the night-life .

7. What are your thoughts on the current state of psych-rock? In particular, bands that are seemingly, auditioning to be the next Spacemen 3 or My Bloody Valentine?

hmmm... i'm not sure i'm as knowledgeable as some about this . I like Psychic Ills a lot - if they fit into that . I like the Black Angels but I think there 2nd lp will be better still . i love an Austin band called the strange attractors . It's been nice to see the music we've made as still being part of the fabric of psychedelic & alternative rock .

8. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! We can't wait to see
you on the 25th. Can we expect any surprises?

we'll have to see.....


MP3: Spacemen 3 - Feel So Good

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