Music

The Spoons play Festival of Friends with new album "New Day New World"

“It’s funny, we met them 35 years ago when both of our bands played the Police Picnic,” recalls Deppe on his association with A Flock of Seaguls

The Spoons will be celebrating 40 years of making music next year with big plans afoot but while there’s a lot planned, guitarist, vocalist Gord Deppe may have never been busier. The Spoons have released their first album in years and Deppe has been doing double duty with another new wave band but this weekend, the Spoons make a stop at Gage Park for the Festival of Friends.

“It’s funny, we met them 35 years ago when both of our bands played the Police Picnic,” recalls Deppe on his association with A Flock of Seaguls. “Beside the Police and Talking Heads, we were the two young bands and I was really blown away with what they were doing. They were radically different from what I’d seen, especially the guitar work. I don’t think we got to talk a lot at that time but [lead singer of AFOS] Mike Score came up to Canada to do a charity show but didn’t bring up the rest of the band and ended up asking us to do a couple of songs with him. There was no talk of joining the band but we had a good time. Flash forward a couple of years later and I get a text about joining A Flock of Seagulls and I thought it was a prank. The guy he had didn’t end up working out and Mike really liked the Spoons and he liked what I brought to the band so yeah, now I’ve been playing with A Flock of Seagulls all over the world for the last two years.”

That band is set to tour through the states with an ’80s arena showcase with bands like Wang Chung, When In Rome, Missing Persons, Vapors, Real Life, the Motels and more playing in front of tens of thousands of people. But for Deppe, it’s just as important for him to get out there with the Spoons. 

“It’s nice to have both musical outlets because playing with them is different and exciting but I still love the Spoons,” says Deppe. “If somebody asked me to join Van Halen — that wouldn’t work but the style and music of A Flock of Seagulls is in my bones. And it seems that making new music with the Spoons is also something I have to do. 

“Honestly, I thought when we released Static In Transmission, our last album in 2011 that it would be in fact our last album,” adds Deppe. “I never thought there’d be another one but all of a sudden there were a bunch of songs that sounded really good. I didn’t force anything and it built up slowly. If you let a year or two go between records, you experience life and that gives you more things to write about and more perspective. In the old days, there was the record company cycle and it was all so systematic. Now you just wait until the songs are good to make a new album.”

New Day New World is the first studio release in over eight years and harkens back to classic albums like Arias & Symphonies with a grandiose and edgy new wave sound but updated for the modern world. The recording sessions were casual with Deppe and bassist, vocalist Sandy Horne and producer Jeff Carter using Horne’s Sky Studios in Guelph to record. Sessions were so relaxed, they even became a family affair with Gord’s son, Matthew Deppe playing piano on songs like “Life On Demand” and “Landing Lights”, and Sandy’s daughter, Alexis also provided background vocals. 

“Sandy’s husband Jeff is a really good producer and he produced our last album at their studio in Guelph,” says Deppe. “It was a really laid back way of recording and so it was a fun process. Our new album has elements of everything we’ve done but our best albums might be Arias & Symphonies and this one. The new album is completely different but it has a lot of the same elements — that’s what people are telling us about our new album. 

While he currently is travelling the world on a rigorous Flock of Seaguls schedule, Deppe has fond memories of growing up in Burlington and Hamilton and with the new album in toe, is excited to be coming back to play Hamilton and even bringing out a video crew potentially.

“I really do love Hamilton — our current drummer lives in Hamilton and my mom still lives in Burlington so I’m always back in the area all the time,” says Deppe. “All of my greatest musical memories are from Hamilton — I got my first guitar at Waddington’s on John Street, played one of my first live gigs with Sandy before the Spoons on top of Jackson Square, studied at McMaster and recorded our first album at Grant Avenue Studio. Sandy went to Mohawk and her dad was the manager of Robinson’s Department store. We didn’t really need to go to Toronto when we got started. Hamilton was a booming place in the ’70s and ’80s and I’m glad to see that it’s becoming that way again.

“Our history is important and next year is going to be our fortieth anniversary as a band and we’ve already had a few festivals interested in a show from the original line up,” continues Deppe. “Rob [Preuss, keyboards] and Derrick {Ross, drummer] are up for it so we’re excited about that and we’ll have to see what gets confirmed next year. But we’re excited about returning to the Festival of Friends. We’ll be playing songs from all of our catalogue and all the fans should be happy with the setlist. 

“But with the release of our first single, “The First and Last Time”, I thought I didn’t want to do a nostalgic lip syncing video. I wanted to do something different,” concludes Deppe. “I’ve got a director friend in Niagara Falls that does these haunted house explorations on a TV show. So we enlisted him to do a video like a ghost hunter show. This is going to be the first of three videos followed by “All The Wrong Things (In The Right Places)” and then “Beautiful Trap”. You see some imagery in the first one like the egg that people will remember from our single “Nova Heart”. By the end of it, there’s a purpose and by the third one coming out in 2020, it’ll will all make more sense. The old Gage Park bandshell has a great vintage vibe so I hope to have that in the new videos. We’ve done a lot of footage for all three but we plan on getting some performance footage at the Festival of Friends show so if you happen to be in the front... you could be in one of the Spoons new videos...”



The 44th Annual Festival of Friends kicks off this Friday August 2 with the Trews taking the stage at 9:30pm. Highlights for Saturday August 3 country day include Cootes Paradise at 3pm, the Handsome Devils at 4:30pm, with Tanya Tucker headlining at 9:30pm, and Sunday August 4 is '80s day with the Spoons at 8pm and Loverboy closing the festivities at 9:30pm. Click on spoonsmusic.com or festivaloffriends.ca


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