The Transformation of Spoon

Austin-based band Spoon is headlining this year’s Dallas Homegrown Festival.

By David BrownFebruary 6, 2015 10:34 am,

In it’s previous two years, the Dallas Homegrown Festival only booked bands that were local to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but this year, the line-up includes bands from all over the state.

Spoon just released their new album, “They Want My Soul” and the band is about to head out on an Australian tour.

This band has gone through transformations in their many years together.

“They started out much more punk and a lot more derivative, to be honest, they sounded a lot like other bands,” KUTX Music Director Jeff McCord says. “They went through the major label hook, line and sinker and definitely ended up on the sinking end of it. Their major-labeled record sold, I think, under 5,000 copies before it was deleted.”

“After this major label experience, Britt Daniel, their leader, seemed to rethink what he was doing and thought ‘I’m not going to be afraid to make the kind of music I want to make.’ So he started incorporating elements of soul and keyboards into his band,” McCord says.

“I’m sure, at some point, they had to just be going ‘let’s break up, this isn’t going to happen.’ And for them to just keep at it, keep writing songs, keep doing what they’re doing, just keep playing music and see what happens and then, all of the sudden, for them to make a really good living-the idea that they were able to start over again with their music is really great.” Austin American-Statesman music writer Michael Corcoran says.

Britt Daniel grew up in Temple, Texas and felt like an outsider. He says influences at a young age included Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and Velvet Underground.

“I didn’t really have a lot of access to new music but, at that time, when MTV started, it was pretty good so I found out about a lot of stuff there,” Daniel says. “Maybe I would have felt like an outsider anywhere, maybe I was just a difficult kid – I don’t know. I didn’t realize how difficult it was until I left and saw, that I was incredibly lonely and had no one I could relate to.”

“It took a while to become successful,” Daniel says, “But when we got a little success we really went for it and made a lot of records as fast as we could. More than anything, we needed a break from being on that sort of, that round about of writing, recording, touring.”

After the 2010 release of their first self-produced album, “Transference,” and an exhausting tour, emotions began to flare. A sense of “where is this going?” began to take hold. Daniel began a side project- Devine Fits– and the future of Spoon was uncertain.

“I actually took a real vacation and didn’t do anything for two or three months then I started playing with Devine Fits and playing with those guys made me appreciate a lot of things in different ways. And then Spoon came back really excited to make music again,” Daniel says.

This post was prepared with assistance from Texas Standard volunteer Megan Jo Olson.