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Tarek Musa (Spring King lead band member) tells us about flying all the way to Texas for SXSW to find a broken drum kit and play a show where they couldn’t move. Their album Tell Me If You Like To is out now (read a review in this week’s print magazine, 13 June) and they head out on tour in October.

Tell us a bit about your sound and your influences.
The Spring King sound is heavily influenced by a few different aspects of the punk and rock spectrum – bands like The Clash, Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys and The Ramones for sure. We play mainly uptempo songs, and try to keep the sound scrappy and raw whilst trying to get our passion for pop music across.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?
We’ve definitely gotten tighter as a unit. We understand each other as people and as musicians better than ever. Touring together for over three years has meant we’ve had time to develop into what we want at a natural and organic speed. Our sound will change from release to release because we take in our surroundings and what we’re currently listening to at any given time.

Were there any alternative band names before you arrived at this one?
It’s always been Spring King – the name was there from day one!

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
We’ve just released our debut album Tell Me If You Like To. We recorded, mixed and produced it ourselves between my house and a recording studio. We wanted to keep things very similar to how we’ve always done things, so for the most part it was recorded very quickly.

How do you stand out from the crowd in a saturated industry?
Being proactive with how your music is delivered to the public is important. We are very involved and hands-on with how things roll. We delivered this record how we wanted it to sound, with no changes and all artwork, videos and photos done by friends – we try to keep it all quite in house. I think being ourselves is all we can do, and hopefully fans enjoy that.

What’s on your rider?
Rum, beers, fruit and crisps. If we’re feeling lucky we might ask for something fancy like an avocado.

Tell us about your worst live show.
We’ve played some pretty bad shows. I remember a show at SXSW that we played where James couldn’t move because the cable he borrowed wouldn’t reach any further. Any movement would have resulted in the main power to all the speakers being cut. The PA system was half broken on one side and the drums were falling apart. We had flown all the way over though so we just gave it our best and ended up having a fun time, although we were told it didn’t sound so good out front.

Antonia Charlesworth

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