Spoon’s music stands the test of time with enough songs for a greatest hits album

Spoon performs with Cage the Elephant and Beck Aug. 24 at Raleigh’s Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek.
Spoon performs with Cage the Elephant and Beck Aug. 24 at Raleigh’s Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek.

When Spoon drummer Jim Eno was asked what it’s like to be part of a tour that features his band, Beck and Cage the Elephant, the veteran alt-rocker laughed.

“This is like summer camp,” Eno says in a phone interview with The News & Observer. “We see the same guys each day and we watch each other’s sets. We often will just hang out with each other at a taco truck at the end of the evening.”

The three acts will perform Aug. 24 at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek.

Eno and singer-songwriter Britt Daniel formed the band in 1993. In a phone interview from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., he talks about the band’s forthcoming album. He also details what it was like to be successful enough to make a greatest hits album, and he looks back to one of the band’s early showcases, which featured an All-Star indie rock lineup.

Q: During your last tour, Britt said that Spoon would veer in another direction after making a synth-laden album. Will there be more guitars on the next album?

A: I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to make a more guitar-oriented record this time out. That’s what we’re on track to accomplish.

Q: Will there be a new song or two in the set?

A: The only new one we’ll play is “No Bullet Spent,” which is the one new track from our greatest hits album (“Everything Hits at Once,” which dropped in July.) With the time we’re allotted (45 minutes), we have to mostly stick to the favorites. We’ll be back soon enough on our own tour with a new studio album, but it’s cool to have a greatest hits album out. When there’s a new album, we’ll play plenty of new songs.

Q: How hard is it to believe that Spoon still exists more than a quarter-century after forming?

A: It’s been a pleasure watching Britt get better and better as a songwriter since we started. His consistency as a songwriter is a big reason why we’re still around. Each of our records is different, and there are twists. We try to make it interesting for us. The last thing we’ll ever do is repeat ourselves. We’ve come a long way from where we were when we made our first album.

Q: That initial album “Telephono” still sounds fresh. I recall shortly after that album was released, I caught one of the best-ever showcases at South By Southwest at the late, lamented club Liberty Lunch. The bill was filled with Matador recording artists. There was Chavez, Silkworm, Liz Phair, Spoon and Guided By Voices.

A: I remember that. Guided By Voices was amazing. They had such a great lineup during that ‘96 tour.

Q: You started out with Matador and you’re back with Matador.

A: We have a lot of respect and admiration for the recording artists on this label. It’s great to be part of something like this. They always have your back.

Q: You’re good friends with Beck and the guys from Cage the Elephant. It’s a fun time but what’s the most pragmatic reason to be part of this tour?

A: We play to 10 to 15,000 people every night and that’s significant, because we want people to hear our music. It’s great exposure for a band like ours.

Q: Don’t make it sound like you’re just some ordinary band. An ordinary band doesn’t release a greatest hits album. What was it like to work on such a project?

A: It wasn’t easy. We wanted it to be a three-disc set but we whittled it down to one album. We decided to go with the songs we play live often. If those songs have stood the test of time, then that’s the songs that deserve to be on a greatest hits album.


Who: Beck, Spoon and Cage the Elephant

When: 6 p.m. Aug. 24

Where: Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh

Tickets: Start at $29.50

Info: 919-831-6400 or walnutcreekamphitheatre.com

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