Black Spiders - Those Trusted And True Sons Of The North Are Back. 'We knew the new album had to be special. We've been away for a while. The first album was a straight shot, the second on the rocks, with this new one we had to kick down the brewery doors!' Pete Spiby
Back in June of 2017, Sheffield rock beasts Black Spiders waved goodbye to an army of loyal fans with some sonically charged shows before retreating into the shadows.
And then, in November of last year, with the world in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic and after a long year of very little fun from out of the silhouettes they returned with Fly In The Soup', the first new Black Spiders music in 6 years. Exactly the feel-good shot in the arm the world needed, while we await that other vaccine.
The seeds of the Black Spider return were actually planted last summer, when singer and guitarist Pete Spiby began taking to guitarist Ozzy Lister to start writing new material and before they knew it, they had amassed the best part of 40 songs in a very short period of time which they whittled down. And then the pandemic hit.
'It's certainly been a strange process, in unfamiliar territory,' explains Pete. 'We started to look at how we could do it, given the restrictions and the fact that lead guitarist Mark Thomas was isolated on a boat, in the Mediterranean and would have to record his parts remotely!! Not only that, but we had to replace our original drummer too. For us and probably most other bands, we would usually take a riff or song idea to a rehearsal and thrash it out till we either had something or it ended up in the song graveyard! This time around we couldn't do that, so myself, Ozzy and on occasion Adam Irwin (bass player) started to send ideas back and forth until we had something to work with in GarageBand. We got to a point where we had enough song ideas with basic structure to go into a studio. It was at this point when we had to look for a new drummer.'
With former drummer Tiger'Si Atkinson unavailable to play, with a week or two of grooming, the band took a chance on Planet Rock DJ Wyatt Wendels to occupy the drum stool. 'I've never joined or worked with a band in this way EVER,' laughs Wyatt. '2020 certainly made it surreal.
'A Pete/Ozzy writing session at the beginning of the year had produced some promising results, but it felt like barriers were popping up everywhere,' explains bassist Adam Irwin. 'We started talking about how we could use technology such as GarageBand to help, and slowly but surely the song writing gathered pace. It was time to hook up with our old producer Matt Elliss and try these new songs out in the studio.
'Heading into the studio to record songs we'd written but never played together, with a drummer that we'd never met, is one of the stranger experiences I've had while being in a band. Thankfully, Wyatt has turned out to be an excellent addition, who despite his faults (loud, southern) has fit right into the band dynamic. Covid has made life really tough for so many of us in our industry. And yet, this new way of song writing has been liberating, this is the most consistent and prolific we've ever been, and I am immensely proud of this album.'
Against all of the odds, Black Spiders have crafted an album that features 13 tracks of high-energy, feel-good rock n'roll contrasted by demonic doom that despite the disjointed, isolated way it was recorded. It sounds like a band, firing on all cylinders.
'We had to dig down deep to pull out some gems and what would we want from Black Spiders,' questions Pete. War, vengeance, mental health, death, conservation & climate change, where are we from? Relationships, friendships, our flaws. Where are we going? Alien life and Mother Earth - some of which made the record.'
Kicking off with the aforementioned Fly In The Soup'single, this 3rd ST long-player wastes no time in grabbing you by the scruff of the neck and dragging you through an album where good times, hooks and riffs are not in short supply, but the doom-drenched likes of Wizard Shall Not Kill Wizard'and the psychedelic groove of album closer Crooked Black Wings'give us an album of many moods and dynamics and a reason to be cheerful in 2021.
And why does the album have no title? 'It wasn't hard picking a title for the album, as we decided that the focus should be on the band, not the album title, so we decided not to have one. Let the music do the talking...
1. Fly In The Soup
2. Stabbed In The Back
3. Wizard Shall Not Kill Wizard
4. Back In The Convent
5. Give Em What They Want
6. Good Times
7. Death Comes Creepin
8. Nothing Better
9. Rock And Roll
10. Free Ride
11. No Luck No Bones
12. Down To The River
13. Crooked Black Wings