INTERVIEW: Spyres on writing, touring, and their EP Dear Diary
You know that here at the Coven we live and breathe gigs - so when the opportunity came to chat with Spyres at their headline show at Suburbia in Southampton a few weeks ago, who were we to decline? The Glasgow indie-rockers have been on our live wishlist since they dropped their early singles, and we reviewed their EP back in August, so it was a real treat to finally get to see them in the flesh!
Support came from indie-rock four-piece Sterling Press, hailing from Liverpool. Kickstarting the night with their high energy alt-rock, teeming with sleazy indie influences and textures of punk noise, Sterling Press had the whole room gripped. The boys clearly already had fans in the crowd, with people singing along to their singles Daisy, Plastic Bag, and Very Fun Times.
Spyres fucking killed it. Though it was the end of their tour, the band blazed through their high octane set, fuelling the fire with thumping drum beat, headbanging guitar riffs, and soaring vocals. Covering their new EP Dear Diary, and the earlier singles, we even had a taste of some unreleased Sypres content - and fuck, we can't wait for those to be out in the wild. Driven by a thick bassline, Give Me Back My Man is one we'll be counting down to.
We had the chance to sit down with the band - Keira McGuire (vocals/guitar), Emily Downie (vocals/guitar), Jude Curran (bass), and Alex White (drums) - and get all the delicious details about the tour, EP, and what's to come!
Spyres! Amazing to finally see you tonight. How are you all?
Emily: Yeah we're really good! Last night of the tour though, so a bit bittersweet. Yeah, we're really happy.
How has the tour been?
Keira: It's been pretty surreal.
Emily: Every city we've been to, especially down south, you just don't expect that many people to show up. So to see the venues packed out, and people dancing and singing, it's totally not what we expecting, but it's been so good.
Keira: I think because we don't play England a lot we forget that people listen to us. We don't even realise that people outside Glasgow or Scotland listen to us, so it's nice to see everyone enjoying the music.
You've had a busy year. How has it been for you overall?
Emily: Yeah it's been really fun.
Jude: Bit of a gamechanger to be honest. Because the EP came out, we did the Softcult tour, a few festivals here and there, and now we're here.
Emily: It's been full-on, especially from being in lockdown for so long. Sort of from 0 to 100 really fast! But we missed it a lot, so we're just happy to be back and it's been a really good year so far.
How does it feel to have the EP out?
Emily: When we first started, we had that year where we only brought out two singles, and the EP was always kind of on the horizon for us. We were always aiming for that, and Covid kind of postponed it. It's kinda like we were running towards it and it kept getting further and further away. But it just feels amazing to now finally have it out.
Keira: I think we're really happy with the outcome of it as well. The reaction it's been having.
Jude: People singing along, yeah! Emily: Even on the tour, cause it only came out a couple of months ago, we weren't even expecting people to know the songs. To see people singing them word for word, that's like so weird!
Is there a particular song from the EP that you've been enjoying playing the most?
Jude: We've had it since the first year.
Emily: Everyone goes mad, and so do we, when we get to play it. It's just so heavy, and we get to make a lot of noise.
Keira: If you mess up, you probably can't tell because there's so much noise. It's probably our favourite to play, and everyone pure loves it.
That's our favourite too! It's so different to the other songs on the EP, but it also fits in so well.
Emily: Thank you! I think people weren't really expecting it, but it's our favourite song, and our favourite sort of stuff to listen to and play as well.
Keira: What's funny as well is that people, especially down south, don't realise that we've always played songs like that, whether it's a cover or our own. I don't think people realised that we ever did that and we had that heavier side to us. So even in Glasgow, people knew it after we played it for years, but it's good now people are like "okay, they can do this."
When it comes to the EP, was there anything that was cut out and you're still sitting on?
Emily: We were originally gonna put another song in it, but we ended up not, so that's a possibility! Test we had written in lockdown, but a lot of the songs were kind of written knowing there was gonna be an EP in the works. But I feel like it happened really naturally, and they all flow.
Keira: I feel like it came out really easily. Like sometimes we get dead frustrated writing songs. But because we had a deadline of like "right, we're recording this week", we just needed to have the songs done.
When it comes to songwriting as two vocalists, how does that work? Emily: We usually go to each other and bounce off ideas, and then we take it to the boys and they put in their own stuff, so it's really collaborative and fun. Sometimes you've demo it really soft and then you'll bring it to the band, and it brings it to life.
Is there anyone on your bucket list who you'd love to support?
Emily: Wolf Alice and Alvvays for me, they're from Canada and they're my favourite band.
Alex: Probably Paramore, it would be cool.
Bloody love Alvvays. What do you reckon is the next step for you as band?
Emily: We're planning a big hometown show. At the end of the year, new music as well.
Jude: We've got a big hometown show at the start of next year, so that's gonna be exciting.
Emily: Are we allowed to say that?! Jude: Of course we can! It's just a teaser.
We're big fans of the Scottish rock scene - it's so lively. Is there anyone we should be keeping an eye on?
Alex: I like Dead Pony, I think they're class.
Jude: Voodoos. The Roly Mo. Pleasure Heads. The Big Day, you should listen to them. So, so good!
Emily: The Big Day have just brought out their first single.
Great picks, we love them! When it comes to the future of Spyres, are there any plans for the next year?
Emily: Definitely more music. Gigging outside of the UK would be really fun, we've mostly played Scotland and England. We played in Wales for the first time this week, and that was really fun. Even festivals as well, like Glastonbury, they're pure bucket list.
Keira: I'm manifesting that.
Emily: We're playing the Barrowlands next month, supporting Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, and they're one of our favourite Glasgow bands. So we're really lucky we get to play the Barrowlands. It's such an iconic venue. Probably when we get home we're just gonna sleep.
Jude: We won't talk to each other for a week.
Emily: We'll be back in studio as well.
We're big fans of everything you bring out so we'll definitely be waiting to hear what's next!
Emily: Thank you so much!
Review and interview by Chloe Robbins
Photography by Daniel Blake