Get rockin’ with Spector

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Upcoming indie sensation Spector will rock Malaysia tomorrow. Aref Omar talks to lead singer Frederick Macpherson

HE’S been compared with Jarvis Cocker and Morrisey by the media, but Spector frontman Frederick Macpherson is naturally weary of it.

“I don’t think it’s fair to them to be compared with me. They’re so much better, it’s outrageous really,” says the self-deprecating 20-something during a phone interview.

An ex-MTV presenter, Macpherson says that their music has always been inspirational though. From Brit Pop and the early-2000s garage rock to the synth-bands of the ‘80s and indie pop movement, he explains that Spector’s music is an amalgamation of influences during his years of growing up in London.

“They were bands such as Roxy Music, Depeche Mode, The Strokes and The Killers,” he adds.

Macpherson and his band will be bringing their indie-chic dress sense and catchy tunes to Malaysians tomorrow for a rocking concert as part of Spector’s promo tour in conjunction with the release of its hit debut album Enjoy It While It Lasts.

Presented by Topman, the concert will also feature local favourites Twilight Action Girl as the opening act.

Hailed as one of the new indie bands to look out for, its album Enjoy It While It Lasts was nominated for BBC’s Sound Of 2012 Poll in December last year. He explains that the album will be something that people can easily relate to.

“Lots of love songs with sad endings, cynical circumstances, crumbling relationships and trust issues,” he says.

When asked whether the title refers to the fickle nature of fame and fortune, he replies: “Lots of things like friendships come and go, so we all just need to hold on to the good times.”

The band was initially named Spectre, after the ominous terrorist organisation in the early James Bond films. Unfortunately, the name had already been taken so a little tweak was done in honour of the legendary producer Phil Spector.

Macpherson had previously fronted indie band Les Incompetents and the progressive rock outfit Ox. Eagle. Lion. Man. before forming Spector in 2010.

Longtime friend Christopher Burman (guitar), Thomas Shickle (bass), Jed Cullen (synth, guitar) and Danny Blandy (drums) make up the rest of the band.

“I was like a Simon Cowell character, going around London to find the right people,” says Macpherson of his initial search for band mates. “I just wanted five people — with the right chemistry and spirit for the band — who could get along before we even got down to playing the music together,” he says.

Like most modern day singer-songwriters, Macpherson wrote all the songs in his bedroom studio. “I passed the song demos to the other guys who added on their creative input to get what you hear on the album,” he says.

Spector’s addictive singles like Chevy Thunder, Celestine and Never Fade Away will surely get music lovers moving to the grooves.

“A few are of personal breakups but they’re mostly just my experiences while growing up, from a teen to the early stages of adult life, sort of a quarter-life crisis,” he quips.

Other songs from the 12-track album include True Love (For Now), Grey Shirt & Tie, Twenty Nothing, Lay Low, Upset Boulevard, No Adventure and Grim Reefer.

Macpherson is confident that the electronic-tinged tracks will translate well to the live stage. “I really think so, it’s a big loud rock sound for sure,” he says.

From humble performances across the London live circuit to playing at the Reading/Leeds Festival, Spector has since toured with the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and Florence + The Machine.

Another highlight for the band was its show at the Coachella festival in the US. “It’s always exciting to play live, whether it’s at a small venue or a big festival — you never know what’ll happen,” he says, adding that the band is really happy to be playing in Malaysia.

“We’re a light-hearted group of men, self-deprecating and we don’t have any real rules while being onstage.

“It’s going to be a melting pot of excitement and energy,” says Macpherson.

“Sometimes while we’re up onstage it all falls into shambles, which surprisingly works for that moment in a good way.”

Spector — Live In Malaysia
When:
Tomorrow, 8pm
Where: Stage Club, Avenue K, KL
Admission: Redeem one pair of tickets with any purchase of RM200 and above in a single receipt at Topman Suria KLCC or Mid Valley Megamall. Exclusive for Fashion Fast Forward members. Visit www.universalmusic.com.my
Note: 18 years and above only.

WIN: SPECTOR/NST TICKET GIVEAWAY

BE one of 10 lucky music lovers to win free tickets to the Spector — Live In Malaysia concert.

Each winner will get four free tickets courtesy of Universal Music Malaysia. Just answer all five questions and complete the slogan below:
1.     Name the title of Spector’s debut album.
2.     What was the band’s album nominated for in December 2011?
3.     List five songs from Spector’s debut album.
4.     Name all five Spector band members.
5.     Who is the main sponsor of Spector — Live In Malaysia 2012?

I deserve to win the Spector — Live In Malaysia tickets because... (in not more than 25 words)

Email your answers and slogan (by 6pm today) to nstentertainment@gmail.com. Include your full name, IC number and handphone number.

Winners will be informed tomorrow by Universal Music and can collect their tickets at the Stage Club in Avenue K on the day of the concert from 6.30pm onwards.

Note: The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entertained. Winners will be picked on a first-come, first-served basis.

The bespectacled Macpherson (second from left) with his musical cohorts of Spector


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