Twenty-three years after founding Spoon, singer Britt Daniel says the band is performing the best shows of its career.
Since the March release of Spoon’s ninth studio album, Hot Thoughts, the band has been hitting the road hard during what Daniel calls the busiest year of his life. The Austin, Texas-bred act will perform with the The Shins at Comerica Theatre on Tuesday, October 3.
“Somebody had this idea, ‘The Shins put out a record this year. Spoon put out a record this year. Let’s do some shows together.’ and I said, ‘OK,’” Daniel says with a laugh.
The jaunt allows the band to play shows in places they’ve never been to before including Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and southern U.S. cities like Charleston and Mobile. According to Daniel, the shows—and the scenery—have been great.
“You can feel the appreciation,” Daniel says. “For a lot of those cities, there’s just one street in the town where everything happens and I kind of like that vibe.”
Known for taking risks with each record, Daniel describes Hot Thoughts as a rock record without a lot of guitar on it. In fact, he adds, they didn’t use a single acoustic guitar.
“We just wanted to stay away from that sort of earthy feel,” he says. “If this is going to be earthy, it should be earthy in that the electronics are melting or something.”
For Hot Thoughts, the band worked with producer Dave Fridmann, who helmed half of Spoon’s previous album. This time around, however, they didn’t shy away from Fridmann’s desire to make their songs sound “big.”
“We thought ‘big’ meant cookie cutter or made for radio and he has a way of doing ‘big,’ but still making it sound dangerous, making it sound like the wheels are falling off,” Daniel says.
As a result, Spoon diverted from its path to produce songs like “Us” and “Pink Up.” Daniel’s favorite new track to perform, however, is an emotional ballad titled, “I Ain’t the One.” It shows some progression in his songwriting.
“It’s something that I could not have written when this band was starting to exist,” he says. “Somewhere along the line, I realized it was OK to really sing about what I was feeling.”
It all comes together in title track, in which the singer muses about wanting everyone to know the hot thoughts always in his mind.
“(It’s) the first song on the record and it’s the first single on the record and that kind of just defines where you’re at,” Daniel says.
As for his songwriting process, Daniel says not much has changed in the energetic way he approaches it.
“When I started out writing songs, it would be me strumming the guitar, getting jazzed some way either by listening to loud music or driving fast or drinking or having a coffee and coming up with melodies,” he says. “I still do that a lot of time.”
Spoon and The Shins, Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2800, comericatheatre.com, 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 3, $39.50-$50.