Kirk Brandon (vocals) interview
The new album features some very rocked out guitar-courtesy of Adrian
Portas I presume?
“Yep. There's a lot of guitar bashing going down on this album. One particularly wild solo is on 'The People Who Live On The Moon'.... Adrian really lets rip on that one. It's that kind of trak. Blast off! It's my homage to an ex-girlfriend who had a Bolivian Passport , every bottle said drink me to her, and kept falling down stairs. Even I, realized it wasn't going to be a 'beautiful relationship' as she bounced down the woodwork yet again. Doh! 'People Who Live In The Moon' as in 24/7 lunatics! What you could call a modern relationship I suppose nowadays.”
And there are Celtic influences on the new album too?
“There's one song which is about drinking that wonderful 7.5 Nigerian Guinness. It isn't particularly celtic musically but there's always a drop of celtic hanging about Spear. I think it's a good thing to have a bit of celtic lyricism in music. From the great late 'Thin Lizzys' Phil Lynot through to Stuart Adamson & Bruce Watsons 'Big Country'. The celtic songwriter has always been seen as a rebel and an outsider, and has had lyricism in their way of writing songs.”
You have an incredibly loyal following, what do you attribute this too?
“I think one thing that people have always understood is that Spear is first and foremost a rock band. It may go off at tangents occassionaly or become fairly dark both lyric wise and musically but, when it hits the stage it's vintage Marshalls & Fenders cranked up. It's full on rock music. This is a sound that needs no introduction, people will always get it. It hammers. I don't know how to back off. When I sing it's the sound of my life, of me, I don't know how to retreat. I think audiences understand this instinctually and it comes across as an immediate communication. Stages amplify who and what you are and why you are doing it. Anyone can tell a faker up there, there's nowhere to hide.”
I saw you play with U2 at Wembley stadium back in the day. That must have been a great period for you?
“That was a momentous day. I dreamt since a boy, of playing Wembley... football! Alternatively, music would do! Stepping out on that Wembley stage was just about THE most memorable day in my life. 70/80,000 people, all up for it! brillianto! U2 watched us from the side of the stage, and Bono said some great things afterwards. Both he and The Edge were both really into my old band THEATRE OF HATE because of the innovative guitar work and the whole filmic soundscape created by Mick Jones of THE CLASH, who produced it. I came off and lay down on a bench and went to sleep backstage. Completely shattered after playing. The whole period itself was a high point... what with 'NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE' up the top end of the charts at the time.
When the whole thing works, the machine virtually operates on remote.”
And are you still doing anything with Theatre of Hate? It was great to see Billy Duffy on stage with you again when you supported the Cult.
“Theatre of Hate is an off/on situation. Certain members have health issues and it's a case of when and if available. The re-union tour was a truly great event for all involved. Luke Rendle the drummer was on great form and given an ovation basically, at the London Academy show by the crowd. He'd earned it and he was always a favourite with the London crowd. His is an absolutely unique drumming style which has influenced a ton of drummers. A certain amount of pride was up there that night on show. Ian and Billy shortly after hearing we were playing again, offered us some dates on THE CULT tour. Billy had played guitar with Theatre of Hate obviously and he joined us on stage several nights. The Manchester show with them was a great night when he came back on for the song "WESTWORLD' and played a blinding solo all over the end part of the song. The thousands of people there that night absolutely loved that moment. He let rip and played whatever came into his head!”
And finally, anything special planned for the forthcoming Vive Le Rock sponsored Spear Of Destiny tour?
“We are going to play 2 sets each night. The first set will be the new album 'OMEGA POINT" which is being released end of October. Then the second set will be culled from all the EPIC years albums, 'GRAPES OF WRATH', 'ONE EYED JACKS' and 'WORLD SERVICE'.
A lot of music from some great albums. It's obviously the launch of the new album, but the second set is a list of classic Spear songs which everyone wishes to see us play again. I believe they won't be disappointed.”