John Hoyles and Spiders actually could “save rock n roll”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 11:36 AM (PST)

Spiders pressphoto 1

Photo by Peter af Kleen

Maybe it is naive to put the burden of “saving rock n roll” entirely on proto metal/glam/garage punks Spiders from Gothenburg, Sweden, but the vibes and power the band bring are so good and so strong that you want to imagine a better world where their new song “Why Don’t You?” speeds to the top of the charts. So, so good.

The band have been around for a number of years at this point (and have shared the stages with the likes of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Graveyard and some new band called Metallica), but I had somehow never heard them until recently. Thank God. Not that  I wouldn’t have enjoyed their earlier stuff, far from it…but awareness of the group came along and restored my faith/made me feel good right at a time when I needed a pure rock n roll jolt of lightning. Here is hoping they do the same for you.

It’s a breath of fresh air to have a band cut through the plasticity of pop culture so flawlessly. Shit, “Why Don’t You?” is pretty much a perfect rock song even if they had never done anything else.

John Hoyles checked in for a fun conversation BELOW.

You are by far one of the most exciting and talented rock n roll bands I have heard in a long time. You seem like real disciples of the art. Not just the classic looks and aesthetic in the “Why Dont You?” video or the fun stuff, the glam, the style points…the songs have this intense power. The attention to fine details from tone to the soulful vocals, it really reminds me of what I love best about Slade with like ABBA worthy hooks but so much rougher and dirtier sounding. How did this project come about?


John: Thank you! Well it all came about a few years ago when I left my old band Witchcraft. I needed a change and moved to Gothenburg where Sweden’s rock scene was happening. I met up with Axel from Graveyard and jammed some riffs I had and asked Ann-Sofie to sing and ex bass player Matteo to join in. We wrote some songs; got some gigs and it all went from there. We hadn’t really planned to be a proper band; it just went from one thing to another. Now two albums and a bunch of 7″ later we are a hard working touring band.


 Hope your tour with Graveyard has been splendid. SO sad I had to miss your New York area appearances due to a family matter. How has the trek been? I feel like this little tour is historic in a sense, as the bands are so high quality.


John: One of the main goals for Spiders was to tour the USA and it feels so great to finally be here. It’s difficult and expensive for a small band like us to make it to America and it’s thanks to Graveyard who invited us along that we are finally here! It’s so fun to be on tour and share the same nightliner coach with one’s friends. We play a show, hang out, go to sleep and then wake up in a new town every morning. It’s so cool.
Also the response from the audience in the states has been superb; they seem to get what we are doing and see where we come from better than the crowds in Europe. They like a show.


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 Ann-Sofie  has a great stage presence and really seems to just hop right into the song. The “Why Don’t You?” video reminds me of early Jagger at his best with the power vocal of Heart’s “Barracuda”. Was it hard to find the right fit of all the musicians? You seem to have all lucked out in finding one another or maybe it was a good karma rewards for believing in rock n roll.


John: Yes she’s great. We have known each other for a long time and have all grown up listening to old style rock music. When we started the band we didn’t decide on what kind of music we were going to play, old rock n roll is the only kind of music we can play, we are not much good at anything else.


 I have to buy one of your cool totebags. Your Merch designs are awesome. Any exciting vinyl layout plans for full length or are you still too busy writing it?


John: Thanks, a guy from San Francisco called Alan Forbes has designed a lot for us, also David Paul Seymour, another talented artist has done a couple of t-shirts. We are too busy writing new music to have come up with any real ideas yet about the album title or layout.




Finland is often touted as the most metal supporting country, though with all due respect to them it seems Gothenburg (despite a grand melodeath history as #1 because of At The Gates) Sweden is  producing a lot of the best classic heavy, psych and proto metal or even some doom with Order Of Israfel. It seems like the scene is really cool in your city right now and definitely where I would want to go if I moved to Europe.


John: Yes Gothenburg is a cool town, it’s by the sea on the west coast of Sweden. There’s some cool venues like Pustervik and Truckstop Alaska that put on cool shows. Also some cool bands worth checking out are great local bands like Night Viper and Hypnos.


What would you say are your main motivations for making music? To be as cool as early Kiss? Hahaha.


John: There are many reasons. One is that there’s nothing more exciting and fun writing music, working on it until it becomes a finished song. It can be really frustrating at times it occupies ones thoughts almost 10 hours a day it’s great when the song is finished and you can leave it behind its very satisfying. Another reason is that you get to travel. I would never have traveled this much if it hadn’t been for playing in a band. I’ve got to see most of Europe, the US and Japan through music so it’s so cool!


Do you see this as an ongoing project or hope so or is it more of a fun moment in your lives you are experiencing with friends right now? I really believe in your tunes. Was very impressed.


John: Both I think. It’s been an ongoing project for a few years and we work really hard with the band. But also we see it as a moment in our lives when we can do this and travel together, meet lots of cool people and have a fun time. It won’t last forever so we try to appreciate it as long as it lasts.


 Do you think it is harder for bands to be original these days? There is so much history to draw from but also more ways to combine and make a funky variety than ever. And you also just need imagination. Listened to The B-52′s “Roam” today and it was a pretty revolutionary little pop hit for its time because nothing sounded like it even though it had some touchstones to past movements. Primal Scream has done that a lot also over the years. I feel like your band could produce some very memorable and unique material that still appeals to fans of rock’s classic golden years. We have to believe more golden years can still be made NOW, yes?


John: Tough question. I don’t think one knows one’s being original until someone point it out years later. I think that rocks golden age was in the 60s and 70s when everything evolved really quickly but there are still rock bands making good and exciting music still.

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