U.K. indie rockers The Duke Spirit have released a new single titled "Houses", off their new album "Sky Is Mine" via EX Voto Records. Each off the songs off this album, has an approach that revises and steps back, looking for humanity on a planetary scale. It is the most tender album that The Duke Spirit has made to date actually. It just combines such a shimmer of melodies, energy infused rock with a dark grandeur that captures it all into a raw characteristic unlike any other. With that, guitarist Toby Butler goes into discussion about the album, it's single, and what lays ahead.
1. Can you tell us how your band form?
Toby: We formed in 2002 when Luke, Liela and myself recorded a 2 song 7" and put it out ourselves. Our long time mentor and friend Simon Raymonde heard it and got in touch. We started working on our first EP with him and then 1st album.
2. What accomplishments are you most and least proud of as a band?
Toby: Getting to album number 5 is a good achievement. We're now pretty much self sufficient as a band. We record and produce ourselves. Make our own videos, do our own artwork. That's quite a liberating feeling. I wish we'd been more productive early on, but we don't need to dwell on the negatives eh!
3. How has being in a band impacted your life?
Toby: It is my life largely. It was all encompassing to begin with. Nowadays we all have other projects, as well as families too, so it's a little less intense.
4. How do you describe your sound to people who ask you what your band sounds like?
Toby: We sound like David and Goliath.
5. Do you have any major goals for the band?
Toby: Just to keep making music now. Having goals can cause frustration. It's more important to keep making music that excites you, and stimulates you.
6. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Toby: The Clash, Spiritualized, Townes Van Zant, George Harrison, Howling Wolf, Phillip Glass, Bo Diddley.
7. How about when it comes to the song writing, what are your songs about and how is the song writing process laid out?
Toby: The song usually starts out with a basic drum beat, bass line and guitar part that I'll build in Logic. Then keep adding and taking away stuff until I'm excited by it. Then Liela will start to get involved trying out vocal parts until she's happy. They'll turn into words and themes about a million things. too much to put in 1 questionnaire.
8. "Houses", was released as a video/single, why this song in particular? Will you be releasing anymore singles off this album?
Toby: Houses seemed like a good single to show where we've moved to on this album. It's a simple but more melodically sweet song for us. Magenta has also been released off this album. I think and hope another song will be released soon.
9. Why go with a title like "Sky Is Mine"? What does it actually mean for the album's sake?
Toby: Because in times of social and political difficulties, it's important to remember the sky is yours.
10. Can you describe to me the story behind the artwork for "Sky Is Mine"?
Toby: It represents the duality of life. Josie Ford does all our artwork, and has done since our 3rd album Bruiser.
11. How would you say that "Sky Is Mine", compares, differs, and is equal to your previous releases?
Toby: It's natural evolution. We're able to let songs breath now. I feel we're able to stretch our sound more and get to the emotion of it all with this record.
12. What's your take on "Sky Is Mine" as a whole?
Toby: It was self-produced, so I'm super proud of it. I feel there's no filter on it. It's a raw representation of where we're at straight from us.
13. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Sky Is Mine"?
Toby: Maybe Paris, Texas, or Night of the Hunter.
14. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs off this album?
Toby: Not really. It's more important to either excite or be emotive.
15. What ís in the future for The Duke Spirit?
Toby: More recording, more projects. Just more.