MUSIC FEATURE: Behind The Noise – SPQR
Photo Credit: Liam Powell
Liverpool art-rock quartet SPQR release their third EP, No Brain, No Pain, this week through their own label, Nuthin Gud Records. The band recently shared their new single Just Sumfin, a track the frontman Peter Harrison says is about “feelings not being validated.” We caught up with Harrison to delve into the track’s themes, as well as the writing process, the stories behind the video and more.
Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you as a band?
Well do you know what, this is good track to ask this question of! It stands out because it is the first SPQR release that has no distorted guitars – they’re all clean or only very lightly overdriven. I think this one is the first step in the right direction. I want to write music that I like, however I like, and doing whacky and different releases now, at least opens up that world slightly earlier on.
How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?
This particular one was very similar to the usual style of writing, which is just me on my own working it out. The first verse came very quickly, and the rest became more of a slog. But isn’t that always the case! Recording and production wise, I was definitely more hands on with this one. I think all of the sounds and textures you hear are mine, as opposed to someone else in the band like Con or Bex who are also really good producers. I suppose because I’d been absolutely cramming the engineering side of studio work I had more of an idea how to get the sounds I wanted myself. Which is great for me. The less people involved the better! And I’m always learning more every day so I’m gonna push this fuckin’ self -recording thing as far as it’ll go.
Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?
Feelings not being validated. Ever feel like you’re going nuts because you’re feeling something very strongly and no-one understands why? Sometimes you just need someone to say “I understand”, don’t you? But in an age of know it all pseudo therapists everyone has an agenda and an analysis and a solution. Whereas sometimes it’s not what you need. The lyric “I wanna see blood” connects directly to that.
Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?
Nope! The video was more a visual concept on its own. We wanted to do a performance video, but still wanted it to be very us, and that’s what mastermind director Liam and mastermind Bex came up with. To be honest I think I’d always try and keep the vids separate. I am shit at them, I don’t like doing them as I have zero confidence whatsoever. So I’m super happy to give it to talented people and let them do their thing with it!
Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?
All the extras are our friends! Of course. Its all done in one shot in Vessel Studios in Liverpool. It didn’t take very long really, it was just a fun day. Much different to the last video which turned out AMAZING but was not a fun day. It was fuckin’ freezing.
Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
If you got this far then thanks, and thanks to Bring The Noise UK for letting me write a bit. See you soon, we hope!
SPQR‘s No Brain, No Pain EP is due for release on 30th April 2020, available to stream or purchase HERE.