“It’s about stuff, isn’t it?” Spygenius get all metaphysical, in conversation with Ian Rushbury. Thanks to watching many hours of The Monkees TV show at a young and impressionable age, I believed for many years, that all pop groups lived together in their own big, dayglo houses. With crazy, pop art pictures on the wall, round TVs and those rather unsafe looking wicker chairs hanging from the ceiling in every room. I was crushed when I learned that most band members chose to live as far away from each other as was geographically possible and communicated exclusively via lawsuits. After an hour in the company of SPYGENIUS however, it’s very easy to imagine all four members of that band living together in some pop art paradise. They’re currently basking in the warm glow of zillions of rave reviews for their latest album, “Man on the Sea”, which follows not quite hot on the heels of 2016’s excellent “Pacephale.” Their new, double album is loaded with loveliness, but requires the listener to hold on tightly, as it whizzes through many chicanes from side one to side four. IDHAS caught them on a summer’s evening in early July 2020…
ALL AROUND RECORDS has a double-header about a double album, as Andrea Weiss offers both an interview with SPYGENIUS, and a review of their new "Man On The Sea" LP, out July 10 and up for pre-order (LP, CD, etc!) at now. "Their delightful update of college rock, in a better world, would be as big as Nirvana’s 'Nevermind'... Every song has something to recommend it... one of the most fun albums I’ve heard all year," says Andrea... and the interview is full of insights and backstory about the record, too! Read it in full by clicking the 'More' link.
SOUND OF SPITFIRE Radio in the UK and their amazing presenter CHRIS HYDE have an exclusive and intimate chat with Canterbury's finest psych-pop masterminds, SPYGENIUS -- with a repeat immediately thereafter! -- at Peter Watts and Ruth Rogers of the band take a deep dive into their back catalog and Chris frames it up with frest tracks from their new double album "Man On The Sea", many airing for the first time ever ahead of the July 10 release.
Spygenius are about to release their much awaited album, “Man On The Sea”. This is a big record. A vinyl double album, with beautiful artwork by Champniss (look him up–you won’t be sorry). It took a while to get this record made, but they made it right. Some of the songs come from the time when they were working on their last album, “Pacéphale”. I’ve listened to this new one several times straight through, and I feel it more than I’m capable of putting into words. Many of the songs feature the groovy, psychedelic, rollicking sound that Spygenius are known for. The theme is loosely about getting older, wiser–or at least more aware of things than you might have at a younger age, and facing up to some deep truths. The pacing and song order are excellent, and were actually designed to feel and sound a certain way. Peter really wanted the audience to experience an honest-to-goodness Record with Man On The Sea. The kind you listen to, a side at a time, where each side is about 20 minutes long and sounds right together. Basically, they bucked today’s trends in music–where short attention spans, digital downloads, and streaming prevail. Our chat was fun, lively, and um, perhaps a bit off-colour (“u” placement to honour my British/Welsh guests!)
The new Spygenius album, “Man On The Sea,” is an expansive (17 song, 79 minute CD / Digital Download, a double album if you get the vinyl version) ride that defies immediate description. Sweet Sweet Music spoke to Peter Watts about the new record and how it came together.
On today’s show, we were treated to a visit with Peter Watts and Ruth Rogers of Canterbury, UK band Spygenius. They’ve been around quite a while, but their entrance into the Big Stir* fold put them on my radar this year. So we asked the big, imperative questions, such as “Where did the name Spygenius come from?”, and “How do you pronounce the name of their album ‘Pacéphale’? That album, by the way, is being re-released on Big Stir Records sometime this year, and Spygenius is coming to California this summer, so we denizens of the Golden State will have our chance to see them play live. It was fun talking with them, 8 time zones away, and listening to a couple of their songs. You’d do well to give a listen to their music too.
Thanks so much to Peter Watts for this great interview. The first time I heard “Giving Way to Trains” I was so surprised. It was such a fantastic song and I couldn’t believe it was THIS obscure. It deserved better. It deserved to be an indiepop classic. Happily I found his actual band, Spygenius, and Peter was kind enough to answer some questions for me. Hopefully now the Murrumbidgee Whalers are not that obscure anymore! Roque - Cloudberry Cake.