Q&A with Leo Spauls

Swedish musician Leo Spauls, who is based out of London, filled out a quick Q&A for us! He just dropped his single “Mehringdamm” on July 23rd. Check it out!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR BANDMATES WHEN YOU MET?

That is a hilarious question. When I formed the UK band in January 2020, I went looking for musicians on Bandmix.com. Having chosen about seventy, I decided to contact about half of them, ending up having Skype meetings with about twenty musicians. That was an exciting experience and somewhat bizarre. Some of them seemed very skilled but perhaps not the ones you take with you on tour. Most musicians are rather odd birds, and talking to them online made this even more apparent. I remember this drummer guy who was an absolute rock star, young, beautiful, talented, but I felt trouble instinctively. He also seemed very sad when I told him I had chosen someone else. But, having run a theatre company for several years and dealing with some rather tricky personalities, I decided on the ones I felt I could trust. The hardest part was finding someone who could fill Mike Garson’s shoes (David Bowie’s pianist, who played on the last album). Of course, there was no need to try to imitate Mike’s playing, but I realised how few pianists were confident enough to give it a try.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY PLAYING SHOWS? 

I enjoyed playing Monarch Berlin. It’s a very indie venue. It’s at Kottbusser Tor, and the U-Bahn is running outside the windows. There is a recording of that show that you can find on Vimeo. I was in an excellent mood that day and perhaps had a beer or two before the show. When we played the song “One Day”, I suddenly remembered it was about my then ex-boyfriend, who had left me and just married another guy. I made a joke about it, and the audience loved it. When art becomes an extension of your own life, it becomes hilarious.

WHAT ARTIST WOULD BE YOUR DREAM COLLABORATION?

I am hoping to play live with Mike Garson someday. He made this streaming concert last winter, which was pretty impressive. It had Trent Reznor on it, Yungblud, Adam Lambert, Duran Duran, and many of the Bowie alumni. It appears that everyone he called said yes. I’m also hoping to play with St. Lenox someday, which perhaps is more realistic. I have never met him but listen to his music a lot.

WHAT SONG ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY?

At this point, it is “Show me your love”. It’s about meeting a guy from Brazil on a gay app, desperately wanting to leave his country and come to Europe. It’s easy to fall in love with someone like that. Everything is new and exciting in the beginning. However, the reality is something different. Your lover is not the guy you thought he was. Perhaps you are not the guy he thought you were either, and your romantic dream becomes a war zone. You wonder whatever it was that that brought you together in the first place. But you’ve invested so much in that relationship, time, energy. And now you don’t know when to let go. “And the poets sing, love is truly a dangerous thing.” is the message in this song. For the poets, for the lovers.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO GAS STATION ORDER?

Unfortunately, Camel filters. Still smoking.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR NON-MUSICAL INFLUENCES?

Having worked and written for the theatre for many years, I have read a few books. I made a play on William Burroughs, and the beatniks will always have a place in my heart. I also wrote a song based on a passage from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. It deals with when Swann, diagnosed with terminal cancer, tells his best friend about it, and she shows him no respect whatsoever but still has time to go back and change her shoes since they don’t match her dress. It tells a story about where your priorities are in life. I presented it to Mike, but he felt the vocals could use some more work, and we decided to pause that project. That was probably wise.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF? 

Don’t try to be good at everything. Instead, focus on one or two things. Keep practising the piano. And most importantly, go on antipsychotic drugs. You need it.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE YEAR? 

We are releasing three singles this year on the Animal Farm label. So that’s the most important thing that happens this year. Also, this time we are focusing on the UK market, so that’s a big step.

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