By his own admission, The Spoons’ Gord Deppe is not a prolific songwriter. He is not one to churn out a stack of new material for pure vanity sake, preferring to re-release anniversary editions of previous records like the band’s debut `Stick Figure Neighbourhood’ (1981) and their break-through `Arias & Symphonies (1982). The band’s previous studio album, `Static In Transmission’ was recorded and released eight years ago.
But still, the band’s revamped lineup which now features original members Deppe (lead guitar/vocals) and Sandy Horne (bass), along with Casey MQ (keyboards) and Chris Neill (drums) have been active since reuniting in 2012 to promote their re-releases, headline a Spirit Of The Eighties tour with Images In Vogue and performing at several festival dates which culminated in working with ace producer Jeff Carter on the 2011 release of `Static In Transmission’.
“I honestly thought `Static In Transmission’ would be our final album”, explained Deppe on the phone from Kansas City where he is moonlighting as the guest guitarist for 80’s retro band, A Flock Of Seagulls. “We are not on a record label, it’s not like the good ole days when a record company set your agenda for recording and touring, I didn’t feel it was necessary for us to record another album.”
“But then I realized I had a bunch of songs which is unusual for me because I have maybe weeks or months go by without doing anything,” Deppe added. “It’s a good thing. It’s one thing to be in a writing routine but it’s good to live life and get a new perspective on things so that when you do put out a new record, it’s not like a continuation of the last one, It’s like taking a whole new stand on things.”
These elements are obvious upon listening to the band’s latest `New Day, New World’ release which features the single ‘All The Wrong Things (In The Right Places)’. Understanding that The Spoons initially emerged from Burlington Ontario in 1979 just as the New Romantic movement was building momentum, the band’s latest release has elements of that original dance sound but has been updating to merge nicely with the current EDM movement.
“The album sounds like a new band that sounds a little 80’s, I want people to think, `Oh yeah that’s The Spoons, but it doesn’t sound retro, I can relate to this,” enthuses Deppe. “Our producer Jeff Carter wanted us to sound even more current. Sometimes in the studio, Jeff would be working on a part and we’d say, “that sounds really cool but it doesn’t fit what we are all about.”
Deppe honestly feels it’s the strongest album The Spoons have ever released in that the album’s 12 tracks reflect back to their early New Romantic roots of `Stick Figure Neighbourhood’ while also acknowledging the funk groove injected by Chic musician/producer Nile Rodgers on tracks like “Repeatable” and “Perfect Exception” “We open and close the album with the title track that’s like the grandiose arrangement of ‘Arias And Symphonies’ and then there are the straight-ahead dance tracks like the first single, ‘Beautiful Trap’ and ‘Snow Globes’ (with Horne providing lead vocals on ‘Paint By Number Day’), he noted. “Yes it’s true that we sort of lost track along the way, we even did a rock album for Anthem (Vertigo Tango) but now there are no record company pressures, we are free to revisit our roots and express ourselves the way we want to.”
Deppe says he doesn’t see The Spoons as a nostalgia band but he has no problem taking a bus man’s holiday over the past two years to play guitar for Mike Score’s revamped A Flock Of Seagulls. A gig which has seen Deppe, Score, bassist Pando and drummer Kevin Rankin opened for Corey Hart in front of 14,000 fans at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage and before some 50,000 at the Festival d’ete Quebec, Deppe has also played extensively with the Seagulls throughout the United States and Europe and is currently with the band in England where they have received a rapturous response in places like London and Score’s native Liverpool (where they played at The Cavern – initial home of The Beatles).
“We first met A Flock Of Seagulls when Rob Preuss (keyboards), Derrick Ross (drums), Sandy and I played with them at the 1982 Police Picnic at Toronto’s CNE Stadium and Mike and I stayed in touch over the years,” Deppe allowed. “When Mike reformed his band I joined in 2017 and the experience has been brilliant. It just shows you the power of having classic songs like “I Ran”, “Space Age Love Song” and “Wishing (I Had A Picture Of You). Every time we play those songs, the crowds go nuts no matter where we play or who we play for.”
As for The Spoons, Deppe admits his band is enjoying its own renaissance and will be touring again in the fall as they promote their new opus sandwiched in between A Flock Of Seagulls dates. “The whole experience has been great for me, I am having the best of both worlds playing with these two great bands,” Deppe enthused.