It's been five years since Tewkesbury ska-punk outfit, [spunge] last played O2 Academy Islington, so ahead of their tour this December, we caught up with them to talk about new music, having their own label and their personal highlights from 2018.
You’ve just released your new single, ‘Get Out’, a song that was inspired by a near fatal car crash suffered by two of the band members, was it a tough song to write?
Weirdly no. The way it affected me was to make me realise all the small stuff is just that... small. So, when I started on the lyrics for this I just tried to keep that in mind...
What’s the overall message of the song?
Just enjoy what you have... and if you don't then try and do something about it instead of saying there's no point or way to change it... I know a lot of people that really are the only thing stopping them doing what they really want to do or be.
That might be a job they hate, a frame of mind that damages their day to day, all sorts. I'm not saying that everyone can just go 'I'm doing it!' and give up everything and change like that. We all have reasons we can't, but it is really quite shocking how many people think they are trapped when really all they need to do is realise it's all down to them to change it.
This is your first new music since 2014, along with your other recent single, ‘Liar’ – does this mean a full album is on the way?
The way music is digested has changed a lot. You can grab whatever song you like from Spotify or wherever and make your own 'albums'. I remember whole band get togethers just about what order the songs should be on the album, but I doubt most people listen to them in order now anyway. Because of the change (which is a good one, I think) we've decided to release songs as we do them, so we'll be releasing new tracks regularly throughout 2019, and then maybe we'll bundle them all together so those that want them on physical formats can still pick them up. We know not everyone does digital, so an album of sorts, but the plan is to release regular and often new tunes.
How do you think the band has developed since your last album, Hang On?
We do the same we have always done, have fun writing and playing live. Maybe the lyrics are less about haircuts and animals now...
Since forming your own label, Dent’All Records, what have been the highlights and challenges you’ve faced in taking the DIY route?
It's really just a platform to release on... we did have other bands signed for a while but that was a while back now. We are lucky that we made connections way back when so distribution and things like that weren't an issue. Now, it's mostly online and we can handle most of that ourselves in conjunction with online distro companies. It's nice to have control like that...
You were quoted saying that the [brackets] in the band’s name are there “to stop the letters falling out”, after all these years what have been the metaphorical brackets in the band? How do you keep from falling out?
First and foremost we're mates. We just happen to play songs that some people like. It's that fact that keeps us from falling out because if we weren't playing together we would still be down the pub in a group having a laugh anyway.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the past 25 years of being in a band?
Enjoy it for enjoyment sake. And, the older you get the more time it takes to recover from tour.
As we come to the end of 2018, what have been your personal highlights?
The fact we still have these tunes in us to get out there. You always wonder if you wrote your last good one or whatever, but I genuinely think some of the stuff we are messing around with now is the best we've done for a long time.
What can fans expect in 2019?
More new songs, more shows, basically more of what we love to do... and what they seem to love us doing, which after 25 years of playing isn't something a lot of bands can say, so we are forever grateful.
Don't miss your chance to see [spunge] this December. Grab your tickets now:
O2 Academy Islington: Wednesday 6 December Buy Tickets
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