The Struts Promo Image (Cred to Ben Cope) copyBen Cope

The Struts, the British rock sensation that has taken the music world by storm, are back with a vengeance. Their fourth studio album, “Pretty Vicious,” is a testament to the band’s evolution and the raw talent of their magnetic lead singer, Luke Spiller. With a voice that carries the unmistakable energy of an artist who lives and breathes rock ‘n’ roll, Spiller’s vibrant and spirited presence has propelled The Struts to new heights, captivating audiences across the globe with their electrifying performances and infectious tunes.

In an exclusive, no-holds-barred interview with Variety, Luke Spiller laid bare his thoughts on “Pretty Vicious,” their upcoming adrenaline-fueled tour, and his highly anticipated solo project. “Hey there! It’s great to chat with you,” he responded, the hint of a British accent underscoring his words. “I just woke up here in LA. It’s been a whirlwind, you know, coming back from the UK, got in late last night at LAX at around 8pm. Then I got to my pad, relaxed and got some sleep then bam! I’m up here early chatting with you mate. This is so much fun. There is so much to do, and I don’t want to miss any of it.”

 

The Struts’ journey began in Bristol, England, where Spiller and guitarist Adam Slack first crossed paths. Bonding over their shared love for classic rock acts like Queen, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith, they soon recruited bassist Jed Elliott and drummer Gethin Davies to complete the lineup. The band’s debut album, “Everybody Wants,” was released in 2016, showcasing their glam-rock-inspired sound and Spiller’s powerhouse vocals. The album’s lead single, “Could Have Been Me,” quickly gained traction, propelling the band into the international spotlight.

“Pretty Vicious,” released on November 3rd, 2022, is a 12-track powerhouse that hits on all cylinders. “With beautiful keys laced throughout their title track ‘Pretty Vicious’. ‘Too Good at Raising Hell’, brings back that pop rock vibe with those incredible sing-along lyrics Luke is so good at. Inviting us all to get into whether you’re at home, in your car or right in front of the band singing along they have this natural ability to involve everyone and bring them into their world and that boogie down rock that just oozes out of them,” Spiller enthused.

One standout track, “Hands Down,” reveals a vulnerable side of Spiller. “The song ‘Hands Down’ strips Luke down from a very vulnerable break up that’s got his body shaking and he’s he doesn’t think it will be long before he breaks, all he’s looking for is her hands to come back to him and make it all right. The buildup in this song is so brilliantly crafted, they all work so well together,” he explained.

The Struts _HGNOY_ Promo Image (Cred to Whitney Otte) copyWhitney Otte

Fresh off a whirlwind trip to the UK to reconnect with family and friends, Spiller emphasized the importance of staying grounded before diving headfirst into a tour. “Connecting with the ones you love and being grounded, I think is very important when getting ready to go on tour,” he noted. The Struts are gearing up for a jam-packed schedule, supporting rock royalty like Queens of the Stone Age and Staind, headlining their own electrifying shows, and tearing up the festival circuit.

Reflecting on the band’s rise to fame, Spiller shared, “They first got traction in Germany, which helped promote them to move stateside where they started putting in the work on the road. They sure have paid their dues.”

The Struts’ tireless work ethic and electrifying live performances soon caught the attention of some of rock’s biggest names, leading to the band opening for legendary acts like Guns N’ Roses, Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones, and The Who.

“Over the years, staying humble and quiet, you pick up things from each one of those bands that you try to incorporate into your own camp. We are always appreciative and honored to have opened for some of these incredible legends,” Spiller remarked, reflecting on the invaluable lessons learned from sharing the stage with his idols.

A poignant moment arose when Spiller discussed singing with the surviving members of Queen at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert, a bittersweet experience as Hawkins was a close friend. “Singing next to them and for Taylor that was a dream. They are all such kind mates and I’m proud to call them friends now,” he shared, his voice tinged with emotion.

As The Struts continue to evolve, Spiller hinted at exploring new musical directions in the future. “We’ve evolved so much over these years,” he reflected. “Now, with four albums under our belt, it’s been a fascinating ride. Each album has represented a new chapter for us, and we’re strongly considering a fresh direction for the next one, perhaps venturing beyond the confines of rock music.”

In a jaw-dropping revelation, Spiller announced he has been working on his first solo album. While details remain scarce, he confirmed that the late Taylor Hawkins will appear on one of the tracks. When asked about the theme of his upcoming solo project, Spiller simply stated, “Love, Sex and Heartbreak Baby.”

Spiller also shed light on the release of two new tracks this year, “How Can I Love You (Without Breaking Your Heart)” and “Heaven’s Got Nothing On You,” which were not included on “Pretty Vicious.He explained, “These tracks had waited in the wings, possessing a distinct character that didn’t quite align with the album’s overall vibe. We felt the time was ripe to unveil them; they needed to be heard in their own right.”

The Struts’ meteoric rise has not been without its challenges. In a music industry that often prioritizes instant gratification and fleeting trends, the band has remained steadfast in their commitment to creating authentic, heart-pounding rock music. “Humility is key,” Spiller emphasized. “It’s essential to remain grounded, no matter the heights you reach. We’ve learned to embrace that and to continually hone our craft, pouring heart and soul into our music without diluting its essence. That’s the advice I’d pass on to the aspiring rockers out there—stay true to yourself and your art.”

With “Pretty Vicious” serving as a testament to the band’s evolution and Spiller’s growth as an artist, fans can buckle up and prepare for the ride of a lifetime as The Struts and Luke Spiller continue to push the boundaries of rock music. Their music is a powerful reminder of the raw energy and unbridled passion that define the very essence of rock ‘n’ roll, and their journey is a shining example that with dedication, perseverance, and a whole lot of swagger, anything is possible.

As seen in the April 2024 issue:

519 Issue 67 March 2024 cover 2.0

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