by Francis Andrews in New Music on Tuesday 15 April 2008

We love the incessant rumble and roll of London’s The Duke Spirit. So we caught up with the group for a chat. You’ve gone for a very spatial sound, delivering songs that stretch for miles. Ironic considering you hail from the concrete jungle that is London. ‘It’s not ironic: music isn’t site-specific. Some of the most interesting stuff happens when, and where , you least expect it. You can’t predict that, or it becomes a pigeonhole. You make the music you are compelled to make, nothing more’. Did the contract for Chris Goss (of sandblasted KYUSS and QOTSA fame) stipulate that your new album — Neptune — had to be recorded in the desert? ‘No, hbe didn’t. It was more a case of cut your coat according to your cloth. He suggested it as we had been there before for the Unkle collaboration and it was so easy to work there — we felt totally creative. He aims high, though. We could have made a sprawler of a record with a load more cash, spending years in the studio, I reckon! And Chris would have been happy marshalling those sounds into something awesome. I’m not sure it would have been this record, though! We’re all in love with this record. It sounds hi-fi where we wanted it to, but making it was so easy and down-home, without all the big city distractions’. Neptune is, in your words, about sadness and redemption, death and rebirth, containing the sounds of the ocean but recorded in the desert. Is conflict a source of creation for you? ‘Personal conflict isn’t part of our writing process either. We’re pretty honest but fair with each other, so we make decisions quick with regards to parts, arrangements, and sounds. You all want to hear a song sounding perfect when you’re working it out. It’s like music addiction, getting to the perfect little pocket of sound. Then you get excited about it and refine it, and then it’s a song’.
the duke spirit neptune