By Alan Brostoff
Besides being the best thing to come out of England since JK Rowling, The Struts (singer Luke Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliot and drummer Gethin Davies) are what has been missing from good old rock and roll for some time: a strong four-piece band who rock like no other. That was on display at this year's Riot Fest. The band took the time to sit down with Goldmine before they hit the stage.
Goldmine: What music were you each listening to when you knew you wanted to become a band?
Luke: I think we all grew up quite eclectic. We had quite eclectic tastes. I really enjoyed in my younger years Michael Jackson, the Motown stuff, James Brown and a lot of Soul. I wanted tot be the first white soul brother when I was 10 years old. Still waiting for that to happen.
Gethin: I was into that whole UK indie thing. Bands like the Libertines, Razorlight, over here you had The Killers. I like a lot of the guitar-driven bands.
Jed: Like Gethin, I liked The Killers, Oasis, The Hives, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Razorlight. They all toped the charts with guitar music back in the day and sadly that has drifted a little bit but that is what we had over in England when I was 12-18 years old.
Adam: The first band I loved was Green Day. I did not listen to anything else for a little while. Later on Oasis was my next obsession. From there I started to go back through the years and learned who their influences were and listened to them as well.
Goldmine: What was it like the first time you heard your song on the radio?
Jed: The first time we heard it in the states was on KROQ, in L.A.. We were familiar with KROQ from when we were younger because we used to get torrent files with songs on them that had intros from KROQ. We were told by someone from our label that this play was scheduled so we got a Uber SUV and we drove around the block and we knew we would hear our song. That was five years ago in L.A. and that was pretty wild. A big, big moment for us as it would be for any band that hears their song on the radio.
Goldmine: You did some promotion work for Harley-Davidson where they talked about you being big motorcycle riders. How fun was that?
Luke: I’m actually going down to Nashville in a few days, as we have a day off, and I’m going to the Harley factory there. So I’m trying to figure out if it’s going to be a Road King or a Soft Tail Deluxe. I can’t wait to get back on the bike to be honest. I really enjoy it so shout out to Harley as they are absolutely wonderful people. It’s brilliant.
Goldmine: You had a special release on Record Store day in 2019 that was one of the harder to find items in the United States. How involved was the band in the selection of that release?
Gethin: We had a good product manager with Interscope that wanted to do a special kind of vinyl release and we had the opportunity to do it, so we threw it together and saw that there was a lot of hype around trying to get the record on line. It’s a cool thing as a band. I think it’s a great thing to try to get your hands on.
Jed: Of course we said we need it gold and gold it was.
Goldmine: Anyone out there that you would like to collaborate with?
Luke: I would like to do a song with Daft Punk and then after today, when I go see the Wu Tang Clan, I want to become their newest member.
Gethin: Just to throw everything off and then the whole band will go join GWAR (performing at Riot Fest while the interview was going on).
Goldmine: Do any of you collect records?
Jed: I do, but I was late to the party on that. I’m one of those whose dad had a great record collection, but he gave them away somehow. Now everyone is back into collecting it. We do collect stuff on the road every once in a while.
Gethin: The hardest thing I have found is that America has great record shops but I just can’t physically get them back home. I will go on eBay and splurge every once in a while. I have a good collection with some nice ones.
Goldmine: Any favorite record stores you like to visit?
Jed: We travel so much and visit a lot of radio stations at each stop we don’t get a lot of time to shop for records. There was one in Melbourne, Australia that was really good.
Gethin: There is one in St. Louis that is really good, Vintage Vinyl and Amoeba in L.A.
Goldmine: Is there a big difference to playing in the United States vs. playing in Europe? Jeb: Mainly its because of radio play, England in particular. The states are always important to us because it was the first place where we had real significant air play and we know it makes a difference to the size of the crowds we play and the diversity of it, but as Luke said it is catching up in the rest of the world. We are going back to play in Italy next, but the states have an energy that we have never seen before and it is always dear to our hearts.
Goldmine: What are each of you currently listening to?
Luke: I actually like to make tour playlists. Songs that kind of pop up during the tours. For memories sake I add them to this playlist. Recently some Muddy Waters and Liam Gallagher’s new stuff, some Ike and Tina Turner, Orange Juice and Air Supply to name a few.
Gethin: Our friends the Glorious Sons have a new album that I have been listening to and I’ve been listening to Lana Del Ray's new album a lot.
Jed: There is a fantastic band out of Louisville, Kentucky called White Reaper and they opened for us a few days last year and honestly I listen to them every day and they have three new songs out for their new record and I love it.
Adam: You should check out White Reaper, they are really cool. Glorious Sons new album is really cool and I have been listening to Luke’s play list. It’s a lot of '80s stuff and power ballads.
Luke: WE are going to bring back the power ballad. I think the next album will have at least 3-4 power ballads, one side of the album will just be the huge power ballad. Like: For the first time ever I have been listening to a lot of Kiss.
Goldmine: When is the next Struts album coming out?
Jed: We have a little rare time where we are off in November so we are going to spend that in L.A. writing. We did do some stuff that will be on the new album at Dave Grohl’s studio, 606, think about 6 or 7 songs during that window. The creativity is flowing in The Struts right now.
Goldmine: If there was no Struts, what job would each of you be doing?
Jed: I have been playing in bands since I was 12, but before that I always thought it would be fun to be an architect.
Luke: I would be doing movies. Either motion pictures or adult films.
Gethin: I would be a milk man.
Goldmine: There are not a lot of those out there.
Gethin: I would be the kind of milk man that comes up in conversation when the kid does not look like the dad.
Adam: I would like to try my hand at acting but other than that I would own a diner.