Interview – Black Spiders

Black Spiders are back after what feels like a long hiatus, with the band releasing their self-titled album at the end of the month. Naturally, we were very excited about this, so we decided to have a chat with frontman Pete Spiby – find out more below!

By Jane Howkins

Your self-titled album is coming out later this month. Are you excited? What can you tell us about the album?

Yes, we’re very excited to have people hear the new songs we’ve been working on, there’s some great ‘destined to become classics’ on there. The record is in the vein of our debut, which was a show no mercy attitude. There’s no point in getting back together to release mediocrity, right? The idea was to make sure every song was a punch in the face – for your ears and to really not relent, so there are no rock ballads, as such on this album. Lyrically the songs tackle, mental health, death, free spirit, relationship flaws, bad luck, good luck, friendships and of course wizards…

This is your first release for a long time, with the band going on hiatus in 2016. Does it feel good to be back? Why did you decide to release a new album now?

There has been a really positive attitude within the band, which helps with moving forward. It’s a strange time, but we’ve been friends for longer than we were a band and that never stopped, just the making music together part. Now, we realise that it’s a good to be part of a ball of snakes haha. When we got back together, that was the goal and plan. We had no idea what was to come, but no pandemic is gonna stop our return, so we kept to the plan. The music might have been out earlier except for restrictions and the holdup with production of the physical product.

How have things changed for you as a band since you went on hiatus? Has the writing and recording process changed at all?

Our lives probably get even more complicated, to be honest, but we’re determined to make it work. We’ve all been through the rollercoaster of life, but come out the other side with our arms up, screaming. We have written and recorded all new music in a completely different way this time around and we are currently thinking that this is the future way of doing things for us. We demo’d songs on garage band in our own bubbles and then Ozzy (guitarist) put them together properly and sent them out to everyone to work out extra parts, or whatever.

Mark (lead guitarist) even recorded his parts remotely, offshore in the Mediterranean!!

We managed to amass a good 2 dozen songs really quickly and probably wrote somewhere in the region of 40 songs towards the record. It was great, in all aspects, very different to what we used to do, which was basically to beat a idea to death in the rehearsal space, until it was ready to record.

Has the current pandemic affected the workings of the band much?

We have been restricted in getting together to rehearse, so we have still yet to play these songs together in the same room. Obviously touring has been off the table for quite a while and we have had to turn down offers over the last year. We only managed to get into the studio between restrictions and even then we were not all there at the same time, weird, but we somehow managed to to accomplish what we have. We are really hoping to get back to rehearsing proper asap and as we have yet to play these songs together with our new drummer, it’s going to be a fun trip.

One of the main singles released was Fly In The Soup, which we really enjoyed. Do you have plans to release any more singles anytime soon?

Hopefully many other people did too, we thought it was a great calling card, to say “We’re back!” So this was the obvious first single from the album. We recently released Good Times (Feb 12th) and made that release into an EP, as we know people we’re desperate for more music, so we gave them more. It’s possible we may do one after the album is out…

Do you think you’ll stay together as a band or will there be another hiatus? What do you think is next for Black Spiders in the future?

If it happens again then we’ll be done, or dead….

We hope to do some live dates, but we have enough ideas to look at recording another LP, so we have plenty to look forward together as a band.

Do you have any gigs lined up for the UK? Would you ever consider doing socially distanced gigs?

We have already had shows moved until 2022, there are a couple more that are scheduled, but its still unclear if they will go ahead. We have considered doing a one off streamed show, but the logistics and cost need to be worked out properly first, before we make any decisions. Gigs are meant to be hot and sweaty affairs, so any kind of ‘distanced’ gigs are not that appealing, we aren’t the sort of band who are good at faking it.

You’re based in Sheffield. What is the local music scene like and are there any local acts you can recommend?

There are some great bands in and around Sheffield, Pink Cigs, Baba Naga, Children of the State, Steel Trees, Servers, Toronto Blessings… I don’t get out much, so I’ve not seen any local talent for quite a while.

How have your music tastes changed over the years, have your influences changed much?

Mine (Pete) haven’t really changed that much, since the start of Black Spiders. There is always good new music out there and over that time I have come to appreciate things that my younger self may not have. I’ve recently trawled through some boxes of CDs that were in storage and have reacquainted myself with some 90’s music that I hadn’t thought about for a while. I’ve never really had a set favourite artist, album, song, or particular instrument player. There are too many good ones to make that kind of list, surely.

Any last words for the fans?

We are very glad that so many people are literally dying for new Black Spiders music, there will be more to come. We can’t wait to get out and play some gigs, once everything is safe for everyone to do so and you can be sure of a quality face-melting experience. We cannot wait!