Band Of The Week #0066 - Spielbergs


This week’s Band of the Week is Oslo trio Spielbergs, who have released their debut album ‘This Is Not The End’ via By The Time It Gets Dark. We had a chat with the band about the release.

A lot of bands recently are placing a lot of importance on lyrics. Is this the same for you? And if so, who do you consider to be an influence lyrically? (Such as lyricists, poets, etc.)
We try to be honest and as straight-forward as possible when writing. Hopefully this will resonate with some of the listeners. Sometimes, you listen to a song and think “I don’t have the faintest clue of what they are singing about!” It can still be a good song though, but you stop paying attention the lyrics. If it’s more concrete, if you feel you can relate to the person singing, the lyrics will have an impact on you. That said, it’s hard to come up with a name that’s a main influence, it’s more about the style of lyrics.

Despite being from Oslo, there are songs that reference American culture (‘NFL’ and ‘MacDonalds (Please Don’t Fuck Up My Order)’). What inspires these songs? Is it a critique of American/western culture?
While we do have opinions about American and western culture, both positive and negative, the songs mentioned aren’t really intended to be some sort of comment on that topic. They’re more personal and self-referring I’m afraid, about our own short-comings and relations to the people close to us. But of course, a song is always open to interpretation, and the meaning of a lyric will differ depending on the listener.

With the album being titled ‘This Is Not the End’ and song titles such as ‘We Are All Going to Die’, is your approach to music one of looking at what is bleak in the world but inspiring hope and a ‘fuck it’ attitude, as the instrumentation and melodies seem to suggest?
There is definitely a “we’re all going to hell, but maybe it’s going to be ok” thing going on. We have an emo background, so the lyrics are probably more us working out our issues through the songs. But we do try to play hard and loud to get some frustration out, and at the same time write melodies that are uplifting and positive.

 You have been compared to bands such as Japandroids and Dinosaur Jr. This is a fair comparison from the first to the last track of the album. Are these the bands that influenced you and the making of the album, or is it a sound that naturally developed?
We have listened to these bands, so the comparison is probably fair as you say. But we have not had any specific band in mind while working out our sound, it’s a natural mix of our backgrounds and all the different music we’ve been listening to. When we first started playing together, there was an almost instant feeling of “this is what we should sound like”. Then it’s been refined through hours and hours rehearsing and recording.

 What was the writing and recording process for the album? Where did you record it? Who with? What equipment did you use?
The writing process was mainly us playing around with a vast number of ideas, figuring out what we could make work, and what needed to be thrown away.  We then got in touch with our producers, Tord Øverland Knudsen, and Marius Drogsås Hagen. The first few songs we recorded in our rehearsal space, with them bringing their equipment there. Then we continued in their studio, Stable Studios here in Oslo, for the rest of the songs. Both Tord and Marius are excellent musicians as well as producers, so they provided a lot of input in the process.

We used mainly Fender guitars and basses, through a Fender Bassman amp and an Orange guitar amp. The drums are mostly Tama Star Classic.

Once the basis was put down, we played around with some cool analogue synths, a mellotron, a Roland Space Echo, pianos, an old FM-radio, and a bunch of different pedals.

Is the album a good representation of what you are and want to be as a band? Or is there another side to the band that you would hope to develop and explore in the future?
We feel it shows where Spielbergs are at right now. We’re constantly writing music and coming up with ideas, so there will be some exploration into different sides in the future. There are GBs upon GBs of demos and jams on our hard-drives, which spawns from indie-pop to 20 minute instrumentals. What we will end up with is hard to say, we go with whatever feels right at the moment.