Interview: Spyderhuff – Angry Flames – Wrath

“Angry Flames – Wrath” is a lament for all that may go wrong in life and make you angry. An excuse to pour all of your angry words out of your chest, igniting your rage and burning it away. The song’s accompanying black-and-white, grungy, industrial-style video graphically promotes this ferociously agitated tune. The words are also played simultaneously with the video, so you may sing along and let the fires of your rage burn out of your lungs until all negative feelings have been extinguished.

A magnificent fusion of rock ‘n’ roll and the soulful blues. This beautiful example of creative ferocity transports us to the good old days of rock in the 1980s and 1990s, while the calm, clear voice transports us to the best of the blues. We’re bouncing our heads back and forth and thumping our feet to the rhythm of the instruments, thanks to the haunting notes of the guitar and the bold drumming.

The lyrics hit home because, while it’s preferable to leave unpleasant days behind and forget them, it’s also healthy to admit and express bitter emotions out loud. ‘Angry Flames – Wrath’ is the second single from the band’s current project, ‘Sin7,’ a series about the Seven Deadly Sins that will be published as singles throughout 2022.

Spyderhuff is a remote recording band based in several locales across the United States. Tom Kuhr and Don Beyer, longtime friends, founded the band. Spyderhuff, a short-lived studio band with drummer Jim Pauli, was formed in 1992. Spyderhuff was resurrected in 2020 with the EP Tired Wrangler, which was followed by the EP Think About Me in 2021. Julie Noe recently joined the band, bringing with her a new depth to the band’s music and her vocal talent.

Today we had a chance to interview Spyderhuff about their journey into the music industry and their freshly released song, “Angry Flames – Wrath”.

The band is led by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Tom Kuhr. Tom plays guitar, sax, harmonica, and keyboards.

Don Beyer plays bass, keyboards, and provides arrangements. He also is the wizard of production and final mixing.

Jim Pauli provides Spyderhuff with tasteful and creative drumming. He’s been playing drums for over 40 years.

‘Guitar’ Joey Gaydos joined the effort with his big brush stroke guitar tone. Joe is a veteran of the Detroit rock scene since the 1970s. Bands and album credits including ‘Mugsy’, ‘Cub Koda and the Points’, ‘Weapons’, ‘AZ.U.R’, ‘Blood Brothers’ (Rob Tyner of MC5), ‘Guitar Joey and the Best’, ‘Send More Cops’, ‘The Respectables’ (Nick Piunti), and ‘The Rockets’.

Tony Mitchell is another Detroit music veteran stretching back to the 1970s. Tony is a great drummer and percussionist. He played in the jazz-fusion band ‘Each’ and rock band ‘Full Nelson’ with Tom and Don. Then went on to the play with ‘Immunity’ and ‘Slight Return’.

Julie is latest member from the Detroit area. She provides great bluesy backing vocals that give the Spyderhuff sound added dimension. She sang in the oldies band Moose and Da Sharks for 20 years, sings with the Misty Blues Party Band, Velvet (Christmas caroling trio) and several other groups.

Janet Swanson is a brilliant writer with deep insight and razor-sharp wit. Her lyric contributions include ‘I’m in the Middle of a Big Wide World’ on the Tired wrangler EP and ‘Revenge in Heaven’ and ‘I Always Think About What People Think About When They Think About Me’ on the EP, Think About Me. The current project is a series about the Seven Deadly Sins entitled ‘SIN7’ and will feature lyrics branded with Janet’s unique sensibility.

Being raised in the Detroit area, one gets immersed in automotive history. Ed ‘Spider’ Huff worked with Henry Ford when they both were employed at the Detroit Edison powerplant in the 1890s. Ed was a self-taught genius concerning all things electrical and Henry would later use his talents for the development of the early ignition systems on all Ford cars. So, the name is a tribute to all the unsung heroes in back rooms hidden from history who make and keep the wheels turning.

First and foremost, it’s drive and punch that Detroit provides. There’s a lot of energy and movement in this town. Detroit is also a hot bed for many musical influences including punk, rock, blues, jazz, Motown, and electronic music. It’s that blending of genres that is important to the Spyderhuff sound.

What could be more fun than music about wrath, gluttony, lust, envy, sloth, pride, and greed? ‘SIN7’ is seven songs focusing on each of the Seven Deadly Sins and is being released as singles throughout 2022. The idea came from Janet Swanson looking for inspiration for song lyrics. She hit the jackpot with one song after the other flying in Tom’s direction for musical direction. The lyrics range from dark to humorous with a thread of tongue-in-cheek satire weaving in and out. The music is heavy to light with the Spyderhuff blues-rock seasoning sprinkled throughout.

Back in 2018 with Don now living in Florida and Tom living in Michigan, both were playing around with their home recording studios trying to figure out the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) technology. They decided to do a little blues project for the purpose of test-driving and developing a process for working together remotely. After some frustrations and setbacks, they managed to glue together something that works good for serious recording and bringing others into the project.

The process starts with Tom building the initial tracks with all instrumentation and vocals (some final and some for reference). Each track is sent to Don where he replaces the bass track and prepares a reference mix for other instruments. For example, to replace the reference drum track, Don will strip the drum track out and insert a click track. Don will then send the reference mix with the click track to Jim and he will record a new drum track. Jim can then try different drumbeats and take time getting a good performance. The real bonus of working this way is Jim can share different versions and explore possibilities without being on-the-clock and pressed for time. This basic approach is used for other contributors and instruments.

After Don has all the tracks, the final mix is next. Don’s system is setup specifically for the final mix with all the necessary equipment, plugins, and effects.

There are no current plans for performing live. The geography poses some challenges, but anything can happen.

Spyderhuff wants to keep creating music. Most importantly, music that bends and blends genres. Most of the members grew up in the late 60s and early 70s when music brought us together, today it seems music divides and separates us into musical tribes with no mingling allowed. It was not unusual to hear an FM rock station play Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, and Sly & The Family Stone programmed in one block. I don’t think you’d find those three tracks together on a playlist anywhere today. We need to a little more musical diversity. The word ‘eclectic’ shouldn’t be the kiss of death.

We really dig Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Primus, Artic Monkeys, Ghost of Vroom, Whitehorse, Dropkick Murphys, Dirty Honey, Sleep Nation, Loyal Lobos, and Satsang.

Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t be afraid to mix it up.

Don’t forget to follow Spyderhuff on facebook: spyderhuff on on Instagram: spyderhuff

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