Could the future of rock and roll be a return to the good old days of shimmering Les Pauls and blistering Marshall half stacks? British band The Struts certainly believe that the classic rock vibe is still in style, and it seems many people agree — the band has been selling out shows across the nation. Luckily for Santa Barbara, The Struts will be playing the Velvet Jones on Monday, March 28. The show is presented by KJEE and if you’ve been listening to the radio you’ve probably heard their hit singles, “Could Have Been Me” and “Kiss This.” The songs are incredibly catchy and their retro fetishist style is hard not to love.
This tour follows the release of their 2014 debut album, Everybody Wants — they released an EP Have You Heard in August 2015 — which has been garnering acclaim from rock group legends like Mötley Crüe, who was so impressed, they invited The Struts to go on tour, and the Rolling Stones, who had the band open their last show in Paris.
Lead singer Luke Spiller is often compared to Freddie Mercury for his high-flying vocals and his sensual and electric dance moves. This wild frontman and The Struts have won over hoards of fans with their energetic live performances. I talked with Luke Spiller, the lead singer of the brash and playfully obscene band, to get some insight into these rockstars’ world.
So what was it like touring with Mötley Crüe? “It great to tour with them, it was amazing to have an audience that wasn’t there for us particularly, so it was a great challenge every night, four nights a week.”
What inspires your music? I’m inspired by what I love and certain acts that I listen to, I have to express myself.
Do you have any pre-show rituals? We tend to run around and play a few AC/DC songs to kind of get into the groove of things. We’ll usually play this playlist and when we get to “Highway to Hel” we’ll usually stop it and walk on after that.”
How has this new success impacted your life? It’s been great playing professionally and living off the art is really fun, and for the album to come out properly has been wonderful, and I can’t wait to get on with the second one.”
How was playing with the Stones? It was about 70,000 to 80,000 people…so it was a little bit daunting, but I felt surprisingly comfortable, so not that bad.
How important is your religious upbringing to your music and your self, especially given that rock ’n’ roll is usually about sin? I can’t really change how I was raised, but it shaped me so I wouldn’t have it any other way. What I sing about and what not — some of it’s personal, but most of it is fantasy. I write within characters a lot of the time, and these are caricatures of myself. My personality is different from my art if that makes any sense. I am who I am, and the music is something else.
411: The Struts play Monday, March 28, at Velvet Jones.