What a fantastic, diverse and, at times, melancholic journey Warsaw indie post-punk band THE SPOUDS has been on for the past 10 years. What began in 2008 as a couple of friends hanging out in their rehearsal room exchanging songwriting ideas, quickly took on a life of its own and resulted in three LPs and 2 EPs and the sound evolved into a blend of their alt-styled feel reminiscent of post punk, noise rock, 90s alt rock and indie.
Today, we’re giving you the first listen of “Now or Whenever“, the fourth full length from THE SPOUDS, along with the band’s commentary about each and every track! Check it out below and be sure to catch them live on a couple of shows in Poland, starting October 6th in Warsaw (see the full itinerary below).
The title well reflects not only the sadness of the slacker feeling of the music itself, but also how the band works. This is a project we do after hours for ourselves and a handful of friends with similar musical roots. The material began to emerge before the premiere of the previous album “Fear Is The New Self-Awareness” and was already largely tested during live shows. The record was recorded in May of 2017 under the supervision of Michał Ścibior in Studio Wieloślad, a place where such acts as: Ugory, Pensjonat or Native Lungs recently recorded. Antoni Zajączkowski, the drummer of the band bezgwiezdnie, who worked on the last album of Złota Jesień and the upcoming album of Gołębie, took over the mixing and mastering. The album will be released by Trzy Szóstki a dynamically growing label, which consists of unique sounding guitar records and experimental electronics.
“Now or Whenever” is out this Thursday October 4th via Trzy Szóstki.
1: Let it slide
Grzegorz: This song is about tough relations. It is as much about regret as it about not being able to fix an up and down complicated relationship. In this sense those lyrics are quite universal, but I did not want them to be. By the end of the song it is quite clear that it is about a parent that failed you. I know that me and some guys from the band had been though some stuff when we talk about parent issues. I personally feel that I am being screwed over in some way or another for at least few years now. And while it is a fucked up situation( that I spoke about in another songs, some sung by me in my other band Spirits of the Air), I still have some hope that I chose wisely not to give up on my dad. I hear that hope in this lyrics too.
2: Lone Animal
Jacek: I’m really proud of this song because it’s my first lyrics and it got me enough self esteem to continue writing for my other bands (especially for daysdaysdays). This song is a kind of reminder why some relationships had to be ended, even if it really hurts.
3: Paper Food
Mateusz: This is the last track we have composed for the album and at the same time the one that has been through the most metamorphoses. We were aware of the raw power of this track, but not everyone was convinced of the vocal part. The final version of this part was invented while we recorded it in the studio. This is also the first and only so-called “studio” track of The Spouds. The vocals were sung very quietly, additionally one of them was recorded very close to the microphone. Playing this live will be a big challenge, which I am not sure we will be able to cope with. This is one of the two tracks brought for this album by Paweł, the second guitarist. I do not remember what I had in mind while working on the lyrics, but I did not have a particularly colorful life.
4: A Man Of His Word
Paweł: The song “A Man Of His Word” is about working and cooperating with people. It is an expression of frustration, in the sense that, sometimes you have to do absurd things at work, acting within groups or structures, while not giving them any thought at all. Moreover, you are aware of various absurdities and the fact that, for example, you do morally doubtful things at work, but you are not the person who makes decisions, so you just want to be at peace. So that no one would give you any hard time. There is total chaos behind the façade of competence. Where various group entities are growing to such an extent that no one is getting the “bigger picture”. There is also a reference to the problem of power. When you try to question someone’s authority for the common good it usually ends up wrong for you. A loose inspiration for the lyrics of the song is “First Day At Work” by Jad Fair & Daniel Johnston.
Kuba: I work in Warsaw’s Wilanów, a strange district inhabited mostly by wealthy people or poeple that aspire to be them. Many buses going to Wilanów from the center of the capital stop under the psychiatric hospital, while the next stop is already located near the luxury homes. When you often pass through this place you can meet people detached from reality. Many of them are residents of Wilanów, while many are definitely patients. Perhaps there are also patients from luxury housing estates. It’s sad but at the same time very reflective place. And during one autumn morning trip to work, the idea of writing this lyrics appeared.
The idea was also to some extent also inspired by the music video for the song UNKLE and Thom Yorke, “Rabbit In Your Headlights”.
Mateusz: Some of the songs on this album are so old, that it is difficult to identify myself with the lyrics, because of the way they are written and the content of them. This one has very well survived the test of time. The lyrics treat about the feeling when the relations with another, once important person, seem so heavy and complicated that it seems they are impossible to repair. On the one hand, it evokes “it all used to be better” kind of nostalgia, and on the other hand, the feeling of guilt that so many things have been screwed up.
7: Needle In His Heart
Kuba: This track was based on a guitar part that Mateusz brought to the rehersal, and which the band immediately associated with the Polish legend of American rock – Karate Free Stylers. Thanks to this association for many months was known under the working title of “KFS”. I wanted to make vocals and lyrics to this track by juxtaposing a fairly cheerful melody and quite unforgiving matter. Both, melody and lyrics are similar in one aspect: straightforwardness. The melody is frugal, while the lyrics treats about the common, sad aspect of the consciousness for most people — the memories of the past.
8: Actors Who Ruined Their Careers In A Matter Of Seconds
Mateusz: One of the oldest songs on the album and one of the two that were brought by Paweł. Another sad song about the sense of passing away and the lack of a satisfying path that one can be take in his life.
9: Outlet Store
Mateusz: Due to the fact that the recorded material is so old I’m reading the lyrics for these tracks a bit like I would read a diary. The interesting thing is that there are a lot of emotions out there that I realized back then, but did not had the strength or desire to do anything about them. In case this song those emotions are: alienation, anhedonia and being overworked that are confronted with the messages that the surrounding world sends. You work your hand to the bone, then you try to do something for others after hours, but not much is changed and you wonder what went wrong. We all know, that we grow up in a specific environment that does not hand great opportunities to everybody. However, even when you realize it, mass media and the social environment you live in exert pressure on you through which to it is easy to hate yourself.
10: A Comparative Studies
Mateusz: A track about “good advice” given without the ability to step into someone else’s shoes.
11: Sick Of Being Sorry
Mateusz: As probably a significant portion of people living in Poland, I grew up in the Catholic faith. My experiences in this field are not particularly hardcore, but sad enough to write a text about them. Nothing can discourage faith as well as the ardor of people who care about you. When the ardor of some people meets the institutional entanglement of faith in theoretically secular institutions, like in many schools, people buy faith in a sort of package, as a worldview without an alternative. I think catechists and priests, in addition to having disgusting views on issues such as contraception or the rights of LGBTQ people, are forcing an extremely harmful vision of God – the Old Testament, strict father God that is. I remember sickening homework that was once given to me. It was about sticking a pin in the body of Jesus, that was stuck to a cork board, every time you did a sinful deed. This type of experience and regular confession were one of the causes of my problems with forgiving myself my own mistakes. Because my sins were not only things done to yourself or someone else but also to an undefined higher deity.
The premiere of “Now or Whenever” coincides with THE SPOUDS 10th anniversary, which will be celebrated with a couple of live shows:
6.10 – Warszawa – Chmury / w. Welur, Den Drones, Czechoslovakia, Cudowne Lata
12.10 – Liberec – Klub Stamina /w. AveCaesar
13.10 – Ostrava – Klubovna Jeden Tag – Galerie Nibiru / w. AveCaesar
19.10 – Olsztyn – Carpenter Inn Irish Pub/w. Gars, daysdaysdays, Produkt
20.10 – Tczew – Warsztatowa Cafe /w. Gars, daysdaysdays, Also With Razors
26.10 – Poznań – Amore Del Tropico / w. Gołębie, Pensjonat
27.10 – Gorzów Wielkopolski – CKN Centrala / w. Gołębie