“Hot Thoughts”, Spoons 9th studio album is the bravest, most inventive work of their 25 year career. Without doubt, the previous works of Lead Singer Britt Daniel, drummer Jim Eno, bassist Rob Pope and Guitarist/Keyboardist Alex Fischel have scaled some lofty heights however “Hot Thoughts” is unique. It is a daring, futuristic chapter in the Spoon story. Its pop as high art, and its delivered with total confidence and focus. Jack Davison from Rabbit Radio caught up with Alex Fischel prior to two sell out shows in Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate the release of the new album. Heres what went down.
Jack Davison: Hey Alex, hows it going?
Alex Fischel: Good, how are you doing today?
J: Good man, really well. First off thanks for giving us your time today, appreciate it big time.
A: Thats a pleasure.
J: I suppose we can just get stuck straight in. How are you guys finding Australia so far?
A: Yeah, you know we’ve only been here for a little over 24 hours. Actually Britt (Lead Singer) just got in this morning so he's like fresh off the plane. But so far so good, I had some robins last night. Went for a run. Had a nice breakfast, its been good.
J: Beautiful and is this your first time to Australia? I know Britt has been before.
A: No this is my third actually, I came once with my other band Divine Fits and then the last spring tour we came here and this will be number three.
J: Wow, nice one. And I saw Britt actually laid some of the new album, “Hot Thoughts” down in Melbourne and he said that he thought Australia was like a combination of Texas and England. Do you think hes pretty on the money with that comparison?
A: Yeah definitely, you know. Theres a great vibe here and certainly there is a great vibe in Austin, Texas. And obviously theres a lot of British influence here so you feel that as well.
J: Yeah of course, and you boys are in Sydney today? You and Britt?
A: Yeah me and Britt are going to do a sort of intimate show tonight, just the two of us. Yeah.
J: Cool, then tomorrow at the Met?
A: Yeah exactly, full band.
J: And you guys are in the country for a while? Or just for these few shows in Sydney and Melbourne?
A: Yeah unfortunately its just for these shows. Id love to have some more time but the schedule has been so nuts lately. Um we go in yesterday morning and were leaving saturday morning the day after the melbourne show.
J: And where to next? Back to the States?
A: Yeah back to the States. We’re going to have some time off which will be nice. Its the first time we have had some time off in like maybe a month and a half. And then after that we are going to get into rehearsal mode, and gear up for some more proper touring.
J: Sounds busy man.
A: Yeah, yeah its been crazy. But good, you know. Id rather have it be this way than wondering what the fucks going on and having nothing to do.
J: I feel you. And ‘Hot Thoughts’ came out Friday, the new album. What are your thoughts on the album in comparison to some of the older Spoons stuff. Obviously you only joined the band in 2013 but even in comparison to the 2014 album. What are your thoughts?
A: I think its great. I thinks it a really cool step forward for the band. I think um, if you listen to the last record and in particular the last song, Inside Out, you can kind of hear the beginnings of were we ended up with this record and I think its translated pretty well. I mean what do you think? You like it?
J: Yeah I really like it, I found it a bit different but I really enjoyed it and I think its really cool.
A: Thank you. Yeah it was fun to make. It felt good to make it.
J: I bet. I saw you lads also did three shows in a row in Austin just prior to the album being released.
A: Yeah yeah, for south by south west. We did a little residency, three nights in a row. And we played at 1am and played some of the new songs. On the last night because we were playing at 1am, the record had already been out for an hour so that was exciting because everyone could buy the record at the show after midnight. It was cool.
J: Were the home town fans going nuts?
A: Yeah they were great, they were super fun, super exciting and it felt good.
J: Cool. Like I mentioned before you joined the band in 2013 and how have you found it since joining the band? Obviously you played with Britt in Divine Fitts but how have you found being in Spoon?
A: Its been really fun. At first you’re kinda like walking into a room with all of these guys that have known each other for a while and they kind of like know how they function so at first you've kind of just got to get the lay of the land and see how things work. But they were all very accommodating and from the get go I felt like I was welcome at the table to bring ideas. And of course as time goes on you feel more and more comfortable and more welcome to do that and more comfortable in the roles that you're taking. So its been great, onward and upward with our personal relationship.
J: I wont take up too much more of your time but because you lads are in Australia I thought I would ask if you have any favourite Australian acts at the moment?
A: Yeah we sometimes do an ‘Eddy Current Suppression Ring’ (Melbourne based band) cover and Divine Fitts did ‘Wrapped Up’ and Spoon also covered Memory Lane (Eddy Current Suppression Ring song) on the last record.
J: Yeah nice man. Well, like I said I don't want to take up to much of your time but I appreciate you giving us some of your time today and I hope the rest of the Australian stuff goes really well.
A: Thanks man, I appreciate you taking the time to have a chat.
J: No worries at all man, I hope you enjoy Sydney and the Croxton in Melbourne should be sick.
A: Cool man, Ill talk to you later.