The spinning lamps
Gorgeously rich organs from Coco, and vocals from Joe who drawls over trebly guitar, voice crackling like a wireless; The Spinning Lamps hope to transport you back to the heady days of Jefferson Airplane and experimental retro. They chat to us ahead of their Bang On show about recreating the Factory scene and the deep hurt of stolen gear.
The lo down
BangOn Team: Tell us a little about your band. What’s your sound?
Joe: We're influenced by 60s and 70s groups like The Velvet Underground, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors. Our live show is based around the idea of improvisational freedom so you will never see the same show twice. From the experimental sounds of Coco playing the organ to the droning melodic sounds of live violin, you can expect to feel some nostalgic influences coming through in our live shows. Our sound has completely evolved since our last show at Auster Club in November last year. We have a whole new live set and we're looking forward to making some noise at Bang On.
Coco: We decided to simplify things more. The freedom of improvisation helps a lot and makes things much more fun. The sound indeed has changed a lot since our last show. We've been writing a lot of new stuff and when we realised our new direction which was pretty much going back to the roots in a way everything evolved nicely. Blue Sandelwood has been an influence regarding the experimental side of it, especially for the organ in particular, and the violin brings a really exciting energy and feel to it, which we are more than thrilled about.
BOT: What’s been your lowest and highest point as a band?
J: Highest point was supporting Tomorrows Tulips for their Berlin show at Antje Öklesund with David Watts Foundation before it shut down. Playing this venue felt like the early days of 70s Berlin. It was such a classic place, surely missed by many. The lowest point is when we finished a gig at the old Bang Bang Club supporting Carl Barat and after the show I left my guitar somewhere and it was stolen. That’s really the worst thing that can happen if you’re not watching your gear.
C: Playing the 100 Club in London was certainly one of the greatest experiences. Seeing all the photos on the wall of your biggest musical heroes, all having shared the same stage, from the 'Stones to the Sex Pistols was pretty amazing! Yeah, when Joe lost his guitar was terrible. We had such a fun night at the show, especially because we really loved that venue and then all of a sudden the guitar was gone.
BOT: What’s your ultimate aim?
J: To recreate that feeling of the Factory scene with every live show. Our aim has been to find a violin player that draws influence from John Cale and we recently found her at an event in Berlin. Her name's Henrieke and she's of another world playing the violin with our new music. All we plan to do is gig as much as we can and have a good time making music.
C: Just playing as much as we can, having fun, and enjoying the gigs. The idea of travelling again, meeting new people everyday and seeing different places has always been exciting.
BOT: What does Berlin do for you musically?
J: Berlin is a strange city for music in that most of our creative inspiration for music comes from other kinds of interesting events and the people of Berlin. Berlin is a fun city to enjoy the quality of life with friends, but the live music scene is not inspiring to us. I think our live organ and violin sounds could feel quite refreshing to people who are into the whole Factory scene and experimental 60's organ driven music.
C: Musically, not much. The music scene is quite small which is great in a way because you can connect with everyone easily but that's it, and after a while it can be quite a drag. I guess Berlin is the perfect place for music because of that: there's not much distraction. You see the same people, go to the same places and after a few months you’ve seen it all. Compared to London or New York, Berlin is not the most happening place live music-wise, but it’s a great city, the beer is cheap and döner places always welcome you in a nice way!
BOT: What do we have to look forward to in the coming months from The Spinning Lamps?
J: We have quite a few exciting gigs coming up after this Bang On party and our new EP is coming out on Rood Woof Records. Rood Woof are a great Berlin collective and we have some fantastic gig plans currently in the works with the guys including our EP launch party to be announced soon.
C: Yeah, we're looking forward! Things are moving forward and are looking to be very exciting!
Catch The Spinning Lamps with Lapwings and Susie Asado at Bang On’s Clash Symbols #2 on May 6th at Bei Ruth!