The Spooks
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The Spooks

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
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"The Spooks Join Surfer Blood at the Next Making Time"

Our ears perked up a few weeks ago when we first heard about The Spooks from our friend Dave P at Making Time. The Fishtown garage-rock quartet is on the bill of the Friday, October 22nd, edition of Making Time, which features The Drums and recent Warner Bros. signee Surfer Blood. Dave told us he had recently been kicking around the idea of booking local bands; so, while The Drums and Surfer Blood are in the main room upstairs, The Spooks will be playing in the Ruby Lounge basement of Voyeur with a handful of DJs. Dave P will also be putting together a Making Time RADio local-band mix for us over here at The Key, which you should stay tuned for. (Speaking of Making Time RADio w/Dave P On WXPN, the show will get a special Friday-night treatment on October 15th from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.; in November, the show will move to the first Friday of every month from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.)

You can follow The Spooks on Tumblr; be sure to also give their Sleepy Monsters single a listen. Currently the band is readying its debut album, which will be released by YVYNYL‘s and I Guess I’m Floating‘s new local label, Small Plates Records. Check out this Cramps-meets-”Brand-New-Era”-by-The-Clash rocker, “Sea Monster.” - The Key


"It's Always Surfy in Philadelphia"

Maybe it’s just me, but Athens seems to be growing rapidly as a hotbed for the '60s garage revivalist scene. The number of bands playing here that fit that particularly grimy bill is growing exponentially, from Wild Harem’s memorably raucous visit to the Go Bar earlier this year to the epic Burger Records showcase at Little Kings. For whatever reason, the next generation of surf, psych and garage bands is flocking to the Classic City, and The Spooks, a bright young quartet out of Philadelphia, are next in line.

Getting ready to kick off a lengthy tour, lead singer and guitarist Wil Hannan takes a few minutes to chat with Flagpole about the scene in Philadelphia, the band’s new 7-inch (available as a free download at www.thespooks.bandcamp.com) and his excitement about returning to the Southeast.

“We start with a show on the 17th at a club called KFN with JEFF the Brotherhood,” Hannan begins, “and then we leave the 21st. The first night [of the tour] is in Greenville. We might also play in Atlanta, but we know some bands [in Athens] that we played with last year on tour. Mouser and Trashcans were good to us last time, and the audience was awesome,” he says.

“We’re playing for that 7-inch; we just put it up on Bandcamp. So, we’re covering the 7-inch costs, Sleepy Monsters, and in the fall we’ve got a full album coming out. When we all get back in the fall, we’re recording it with Adam Granduciel from this band called The War on Drugs, here. He also plays with Kurt Vile. He started a label here called yvynyl; well, it’s called Crate Club, but the side we’re on is called yvynyl. It’s all based in Philadelphia.”

While a lot of bands in this niche opt to cover obscure tunes they find digging through crates of dusty LPs, Hannan says all of The Spooks' material is original. "We really don’t do any covers. We’ve done a few here and there, but they were just for the night, just for fun.”

Surprisingly, while Athens has been inundated with garage rockers, Hannan says the garage scene back in Philadelphia is not exactly thriving. “People like the music here, but I wouldn’t say there’s an abundance of bands like that, no. We’ve got some friends that are into kind of a similar lo-fi aesthetic, but just for much more purist, throwback rock—not that we’re like a purist thing—it’s not like they have in Athens or in Austin or San Francisco.” He goes on, however, to describe Philly’s larger music scene with great enthusiasm, saying, “I mentioned The War on Drugs earlier; they’re really awesome. This band called the Party Photographers is really cool. [There are] some really awesome bands. There’s a lot of good stuff going on up here. It’s a really distinct, really fresh music scene right now. Not much has been goin’ on here since, like, I dunno… the funk scene? The soul scene?”

The aforementioned Wild Harem, whom The Spooks claim as a “brother band,” is joining them for several dates during the Texas leg of their country-circling tour. “We knew them before either of us was staging a band. Their singer Phil and I were friends for like four or five years. Phil and Jean-Paul, their bass player, came up to Philly when they were homeless and stayed with me and Alex, our drummer.”

In addition to being excited to come back to Athens, Hannan is pumped to head out west, saying “I’ve never been west of Arizona before. I know some of the other guys have been, but just being anywhere outside of our hometown is exciting. I'm definitely looking forward to playing in Oakland and Long Beach. That should be a lot of fun. I’m really most excited about playing the littler, desert shows out in New Mexico and Arizona. Those shows turn out to be surprisingly fun.”

Wrapping up our chat, Flagpole asks Hannan for a final word to the denizens of our fair town. “We’re excited to be back,” he offers, adding, “if anyone wants to give us a place to stay, that’d be awesome.” - Flagpole


"The Spooks"

Of the memorable bands we’ve witnessed at Philadelphia’s cavernous DIY venue the OX, few took hold of us like the Spooks. Imran was visibly quite taken by the spectacle of nasally vocals and thrashing surf riffs as the rest of us bobbed our heads along in a knowing manner.

The Spooks returned to illustrious Fishtown, PA just this evening to rock a homecoming show at Kung Fu Necktie, where just this past Monday, I guest DJed the Nite Market with Shawn, formerly of the Spooks (awkward!).

Anyhow, I’m looking forward to seeing these guys again, especially after their summer long tour. Bet they’re tight as hell right now. - Poco Party


"The Spooks are an Incredible Band"

The Spooks are an incredible band out of Philadelphia that completely shreds. They recently finished up their summer tour and I heard nothing but good things about their live shows. They will be playing with both The Drums and Surfer Blood on October 22 in Philadelphia at Making Time, so if your gonna be in Philadelphia definitely check that out. They are also planning to have their debut record released this fall on Trig Club so check that out as well.

October 22 - Making Time w/The Drums and Surfer Blood - Philadelphia, PA

The Spooks - Sleepy Sleepy - Daggers Rvle LA


"The Spooks - Sea Monster"

Wil from The Spooks sent me the mastered tracks to their 7” release Sleepy Monsters a while ago. I was saving these gems to drop on the TSURURADIO & HEAVY PERCUSSION mixtape which released today. I had such a hard time choosing which one to put on the mix, I had to blog this one as well. Make sure you check them out as well as Trig Club, the microlabel by YVYNYL and FrightenedbyBees. - Heavy Percussion


"The Deli's Featured Artist of the Month: The Spooks"

The Spooks have been scaring up plenty of buzz from their rockin’ live performances. We asked them a few questions to give you a preview of what you might see tonight at Kung Fu Necktie when they share the stage with Matador’s Harlem and garage-y buddies Junkers. We’re guessing that it might be what their drummer had for dinner.

The Deli: Where did the name “The Spooks” come from?
The Spooks: Well, contrary to popular misconception it hasn't got anything to do with secret agent slang or antiquated racial slurs. Think ghost.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?
TS: Probably Daft Punk or Free Energy. You know, the retro stuff.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
TS: Mostly those lo-fi beachy chillwave bands, especially the ones with aquatic names. That and the new MGMT and Vampire Weekend albums.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
TS: We've only known each other for a few years or whatever, but it turns out that we were all at the same concert when we were kids. Back in '91, coincidence had us all at the Tom Petty show when he played Philly on his "Touring the Great Wide Open" tour.

As for albums, I'm sure we were all listening to something by The Offspring by the time we'd gotten our first hand jobs...which is unfortunate.

TD: What do you love about Philly?
TS: The El Bar.

TD: What do you hate about Philly?
TS: These kids that seem to think that each new pair of shoes they buy from Urban Outfitters is going to bring them one step closer to living in Brooklyn.

TD: What are your plans for 2010?
TS: We'll be releasing our first LP, which we're recording with Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs. It's coming out on Trig Club, a new label started by the bloggers behind Yvnyl and Frightened By Bees.

Other than that, we'll be on our second national tour. We're headed down South and out to California in July, so that'll be rad. The dates should be posted pretty soon.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?
TS: The memorable ones usually have something to do with Alex, our drummer.

We were playing a basement in Philly, when we started to notice the crowd looking uncomfortable. We looked back to Alex, and he was still playing (and even keeping rhythm), but his cheeks were full of vomit. He got to a bathroom in between songs, but it was pretty gnarly.

Then, there was this house show in Austin. We'd just finished our set, and everyone was cheering and sort of laughing, which we assumed was a show of appreciation. Then the smell hit us. Apparently, Alex had spewed everywhere during our last song. It was pretty great watching him carry his pukey snare through the crowd of gagging Austin
scenesters.

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?
TS: Drunk.

myspace.com/spooksquares

(Photo by Tiffany Yoon)

- The Deli Staff - The Deli


"New 7" from The Spooks"

The Spooks will be stopping by Kung Fu Necktie on July 17th before heading out on a national tour in support of their new 7?, Sleepy Monsters. They’ll be back in town come September for a homecoming show at The Barbary. Give a listen to “Sleepy Sleepy” below and peep the awesome artwork courtesy of Undercover Zero‘s Nick Kulp.

In other Spooks-related news, did you know the dudes at YVYNYL and Frightened By Bees started a microlabel? Well, they did. Trig Club will be releasing The Spooks’ debut LP. The digital and vinyl release is due sometime this fall. Can’t wait!

- Jilian - Philthy


"The Spooks"

Will just sent me one of the singles from their upcoming self-released 7” they’ve been working on. These guys are such tight songwriters. Hints at so much classic stuff - The Seeds, The Kinks. This track is making us even more excited for the full-length they’re recording now. They’ll be putting it out on vinyl + digital this fall. Stay tuned! - Yvynyl


"The Spooks//Sleepy Sleepy"

I can happily say that since playing a show we presented back in January of this year, The Spooks, not ones to rest on their laurels, have only crafted an even more full, vibrant sound. The Spooks played a show for us at Rubber Gloves with Wild Harem, so impressive was the bands ability to drink like sailors and yet when they were on stage they played like an act well beyond their years. The band is back with this swinging-fuzztoned hit straight out of Link Wray’s dreams, a band absolutely at the top of their brand of sound. Certainly you’ll be looking forward to their future LP on Trig Club–certainly you’ll be looking forward to their show with Fergus & Geronimo and Uptown Bums at Rubber Gloves on August 4th. - Weekly Tape Deck


Discography

"Sleepy Monsters" Summer 2010
"The Spooks" Fall 2010

Photos

Bio

Drawing influences from early British and American r&b, late sixties psychedelia, post-punk noisiness and classic pop songwriting, The Spooks distinguish themselves with a tasteful blend of antiquity and modernity.

Formed just over a year ago in Fishtown, a gritty little artists' enclave in Philadelphia, The Spooks have come a long way in little time. They have finished two national tours and released two records, one of which was produced by Adam Granduciel of War on Drugs/Kurt Vile.

On stage, their notoriously raucous, intoxicated tantrums of live performance set them aside as an act that is not to be missed.