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TheSpores are a 4 piece funk/ rock band from Saffron Walden. After only being together for roughly a year, they won the Saffron Walden battle of the bands and came second in the national Liquid Disco UK Battle of the Bands, being selected from 450 competitors, where they played to an audience of 2,500. Nicki Smith caught up with the band claiming their Walden prize at Threecircles Studio in Wimbish.
When did the Band start?
Huw: The Summer of 2005, Ben and Duncan wanted to do a German song for a school thing, and then they asked me to play drums, We did that for a few gigs and then we asked Adam to come and do some bass, and it lifted off from there.
Ben: we havn’t even had a whole year with Adam.
How did you get the name The Spores?
Adam: Duncan is obsessed with mushrooms, and spores are in mushrooms.
Who are your main influences?
Duncan: early Chilli Peppers, the funky stuff
Duncan: classic rock stuff
What do you think sets you apart from other local bands?
Adam: we don’t sound exactly like other bands.
Huw; there’s not many other bands that are like us, eg, classic rock
Duncan: there’s quite a lot of emo bands
Adam: we don’t want to base ourselves on other bands, we create a lot of our own style.
What have you been upto since Saffron Walden Battle of the Bands?
Duncan: We did Liquid Disco UK Battle of the Bands and got through to the final, and came second out of the whole UK, and that’s like “wow”! There were 12 bands in the final, an audience of 2,500 people, and we got to play on stage infront of them, we also won another days recording.
Ben: we keep winning stuff, early Christmas presents for the band you could say.
Duncan: Yeah, so we’re gonna make an album, and get it out hopefully this year, with a launch party.
Obviously it was a big step up, playing in front of 2,500 people. How nervous were you?
Ben: Surprisingly, I wasn’t that nervous
Huw: I was really nervous, Ben was meditating.
Duncan: The waiting was the worst!
Huw: Once you get onstage it’s not actually that bad.
Adam: After the first song it was fine.
Were the heats tough? Did you have to audition, or send off demo’s?
Duncan: We sent off a demo at the start of the summer this year.
Huw: They listened to 450 bands and accepted 90 through to the heats.
Duncan: we went to do the first heat in Dunmow, that was with five other bands. We got through that, then we went to another heat.
Huw: The second heat I think we won by three votes.
Duncan: it was quite tough competition.
This year at Walden Battle of the Bands, were there any bands that you thought were really strange?
Adam: the band that taped their nipples.
Ben: good old Gil!
Winning SW Battle of the Bands, was it a big thing for you?
Duncan: It was the first time we realised that we were quite good, we thought all the bands in the competition were good.
How did that compare to playing the the UK final? Which one were you happier about?
Duncan: I was more happy about Saffron Walden Battle of the Bands. Generally the whole feel of the competition was much better.
Adam: It was much more organised.
Huw: Liquid Disco was so unorganised.
Adam: The sound was much worse than Saffron Walden. There was such a better atmosphere in Walden too.
How do you feel about the Walden scene at the moment?
Adam: I think it keeps going up and down, there’s high points, for example the summer, and then other times when there’s not really much happening.
Huw: It’s a very musically hilly area
Being a funk band in this area is quite rare. Are you ever worried that your peers will judge you for not jumping on the band wagon with nu metal/ heavier music?
Adam:We have quite a big fan base
Duncan: They might think some of our music is a bit weird.
Ben, where do you buy your funky trousers from?
Ben: Strawberry Fair, off markets, there’s this crazy American guy, im thinking about something to make for him.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Adam: Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Huw: he’s seriously tall, he’s huge!
If you could meet any music icon, who would it be and why?
Adam: Les Claypool from Primus, just because he is the best bassist.
Huw: I would like to meet Salvador Dali
Duncan: He’s kind of dead
Huw: But if I could, I would.
What gigs have you been too recently?
Adam: Me and Huw saw the Chilli Peppers in Ipswich.
Duncan: I was going to go and see Imogen Heap at the Junction, but it got cancelled.
What’s next for The Spores in the coming year? Anything planned?
Adam: Release our album and do a lunch gig, where people come and leave with the album.
Huw: We’ve got more gigs lined up
Ben: Next year we’ll try and do Cambridge.
Duncan: It’s a bit annoying because we’re not 18, so there aren’t many places we can play, or they won’t let us play in places because we’re not residents in Cambridge, which is a bit crap.
Ben: Strawberry Fair
Duncan: Yeah, we’re gonna try and get a slot at Strawberry Fair.
Finally, describe yourself in 3 words:
Funkylicios , psychedelic and nuts.