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Live From The Current Studio

Spoon share tunes and thoughts from 'Hot Thoughts'

Britt Daniel Spoon in The Current studio.
Britt Daniel Spoon in The Current studio.Nate Ryan | MPR
  Play Now [18:36]

by Jill Riley and Brian Oake

September 16, 2017

Spoon - Hot Thoughts (Live on The Current)
by MPR
Spoon - Can I Sit Next To You (Live on The Current)
by MPR
Spoon - Rainy Taxi (Live on The Current)
by MPR

In town for back-to-back sold-out shows at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul, Britt Daniel and Alex Fischel of Spoon wandered over to The Current for a session hosted by Brian Oake and Jill Riley.

Daniel and Fischel played stripped-down versions of songs from Spoon's latest album, Hot Thoughts, as well as a song from 2014's They Want My Soul. Between songs, Britt Daniel talked about how Hot Thoughts came together, and he also shed some light on what has made Spoon such an enduring band.

Interview Highlights

On how song ideas crystallized for Hot Thoughts:

"With this record, we had 40 or so ideas that were kind of songs. When we had that many things to look at, we could definitely shape it.

"There've been times I've been working on records where we've scrambled to get together any 10 songs. This time, there were more choices."

On how they chose to work with producer Dave Fridman on Hot Thoughts:

"I wanted to start working with him because my friend Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney had done a record with [Fridman] and she told me what it was like working with him and I said, 'That sounds good.' And I was such a fan of some of the records he'd made, like there's that Low record, The Great Destroyer, which is I think is one of the greatest albums of that decade, and he'd just put out Embryonic by Flaming Lips which is my favorite Flaming Lips record, so I was kind of intrigued.

"I think it's a good combo; I think it's a good thing to work with people that stretch your boundaries and do some things that we wouldn't normally have done. We always thought big-sounding records meant cookie-cutter, made-for-alternative-radio records. But [Fridman] has a way of making records that sound big, but the wheels are falling off. It's a good trick."

On Hot Thoughts being characterized as "dance rock" in album reviews:

"I always thought we used dance beats. When the first reviews or even mentions of the album came out, I started hearing 'dance rock' and I thought, 'Oh, that's cool.' I just thought 'Hot Thoughts' was a hit. I didn't know whether or not people would dance to it."

On what has helped keep Spoon enduringly independent:

"We just set our minds to, really. Whenever we make records, we go make it ourselves, we fund it ourselves, and then we figure out who wants to put it out. … That's just kind of the way we've done it. I just like to be thinking about, 'Does it feel good to me?'"

On places they've enjoyed playing shows:

"These [Palace Theatre] shows did sell out faster than any other ones, so that means something."

"When I look back on the touring we did on the last album, some of my favorite shows were in Fargo; Missoula, Montana; Oklahoma City. For some reason, those kind of places — Madison, last night, was insane — it's not the pressure you would feel in a place like New York City, and everybody's super psyched to be there. It's a good time."

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete session.

Songs Performed

"Hot Thoughts"
"Can I Sit Next to You"
"Rainy Taxi"
The first two songs are from Spoon's 2017 album, Hot Thoughts, out on Matador Records. The third song is from Spoon's 2014 album, They Want My Soul, available on Loma Vista/ANTI- Records.

Hosted by Brian Oake and Jill Riley
Produced by Anna Reed
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Riley Bruestle
Visuals by Nate Ryan and Steel Brooks
Web feature by Luke Taylor


Spoon - official site