Spindrift, the L.A. sextet who's distinct sound is like gravely, country Western hopped-up on magic mushrooms, is making Las Vegas its final hurrah before heading off to Europe to tour with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Already having made some hefty, steel-booted markings state-side — their song, "Indian Run" was featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Hell Ride, they starred in the indie flick accompaniment to their 2003 CD of the same name, The Legend of God's Gun, and they've shared a bill with a member of one of their major influences: Robby Krieger of The Doors. Now, they're ready to bring Europe a good ol' fashion showdown, minus the pistols and plus a slide guitar.
This Friday they're pulling on their finest Western wear and heading to the Gypsy Den to give First Friday a little Wild West flavor.
The Weekly caught up with Spindrift singer Kirpatrick Thomas to get a preview of the fun that's to come.
- Spindrift at First Friday
- May 7, 7 p.m. - midnight, free
- The Gypsy Den
This is going to be your first European tour?
Yes, it will be. We're very, very excited. This is definitely the biggest thing that we've done ... It will give us a little taste of Europe and it'll probably create enough buzz for the next time we go back.
How did the opportunity to tour with BRMC come about?
We supported Black Rebel Motorcycle Club for a gig in Los Angeles two years ago, and the show was sold out. The fire department came and shut it down — it was over capacity. That secured things as being very successful. And I know that they've been fans of Spindrift for a while. They're helpful in the sense of wanting to give bands that they like the exposure that they would need.
What can people look forward to at Friday's show?
New members are in the band. We've got Luke Dawson, he plays a new instrument — the pedal steel. It adds a more spooky, country-western flavor. We have Sasha [Vallely]; she's from the UK and she plays Native American flute. Her vocals are more prominent now. We do like a back and forth with male and female vocals coming in and out kind of like a Lee [Hazlewood] and Nancy [Sinatra], Sonny and Cher kind of thing. Then we have James Acton he plays the drums and the auto harp, which is an Appalachian folk instrument used for a lot of country and folk music. We've added in more elements to our sound that break it down closer to what I would call American music.
What's "American" music?
We're all from different parts of the United States. One guy's from Rhode Island, I'm from Delaware, one guy's from Salt Lake City, one guy's from Texas. And of course, we've got a girl from the United Kingdom, so it's a blend of everything. We don't just do rock 'n' roll; we don't just do country western music; we don't just play cinematic music or alternative music. It's a blend of everything. I think that we help to embrace just basically what America's all about — a combination of all that.
What's the story behind the name Spindrift?
It was a book titled Spindrift: Spray from a Psychic Sea. I was in a basement at a college in New Hampshire and it fell off the rack. I looked at it and that was the first thing I read.
You originally started Spindrift as an experimental punk band when you lived back East, when you came out West and redeveloped it, what made you want to keep the name instead of the usual route of finding a different moniker for the new sound and lineup?
Because I think your life is sort of a giant stream, or movie, or continuous painting. I just figured, why stop-start, stop-start, when you just do one continuous long story about your life? The songs you've written and the things you've been through and the other artists you've collaborated with. … Even up until now with getting new members in the band, it's the idea of all the different chapters of it. It's like a giant book that reads.
Any plans to do a The Legend of God's Gun sequel?
I'd say sequel, no. Another Western, yes. Concept record, yes. Other movie scoring possibilities are actually happening now. We've been working with The Legend of God's Gun director Mike Bruce with his next upcoming film called, The Treasure of the Black Jaguar. We've also been working with the cult director K.X. Williams on scoring a piece called Tecumseh's Curse, which will be out on YouTube next week. Basically, we're getting more into scoring. Our next projects will continue to be cinematically influenced.
Spindrift has a long history of playing in Vegas — when was the first time you made it out?
I'd say we've been coming to Vegas since probably about 2005. I had actually been rehearsing in Vegas prior to that. We had a drummer that lived there for a little bit. We had cut some drum tracks in Vegas for our first record Songs from the Ancient Age; that was in 2004. It was a very slow build, and I've seen Vegas change over the years every time we've come back. Crowds, the music scene, seems like the city's coming together much better these days. Vegas was the biggest booming city for a while there. I think people are starting to settle in finally and [think], "This is our home, we've been here for a few years, let's work on the culture.
Why choose Vegas for your farewell show before heading to Europe?
We know that Europe's going to be a lot of hard work for us; this'll give us a chance to at least take a swim or something. We wanted to go swimming before we go because it's generally rainy and a little chilly [there].