Spector: “You never know when it’s gonna be the last time you see someone”

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Spector are expanding out the Spector Musical Universe with a new album, due later this year.

Words: Dillon Eastoe.

“Nobody can miss you if you’re never gone,” Fred Macpherson muses in his trademark laconic baritone on Spector’s mega comeback single ‘Catch You On the Way Back In’. Well, it’s been a year and a half since the band’s triumphant UK tour, and it turns out we’ve all missed the rush of a Spector gig more than we could have imagined. After a year stuck inside, the euphoria of bumping into each other, soaked in beer and shouting along to ‘Chevy Thunder’ feels like a different life. Thank the indie gods that Spector are back.

After a clutch of brilliant EPs across 2018-19, the Moth Boys are treating us to their first full album in over six years, with ‘Now or Whenever’ due to blast out of our speakers on 1st October.

‘Catch You On the Way Back In’ is a tantalising first peak. An outpouring of melancholia propelled by surging bass and a simple, nagging guitar line, the single finds Spector in their element, another addictive chorus disguising pensive lyrics. “It’s about that sense of anticipation at the end of the night, like are we going to keep this going? Are you leaving? Are you staying? Where you’re like, ‘Oh well, if not tonight, then I’ll catch you on the way back in’. It doesn’t make too much sense actually,” Fred explains, grinning. “It’s about how you never know when it’s gonna be the last time you see someone,” he elaborates. “You get so used to everything being regular, going to the same places, with the same people, and we’ve written a lot about that in the past, the drudgery of repetition, in our social lives and our romantic relationships. And this song is almost like a strange interruption to that; what if it’s the last time?”

Despite the pertinence of the lyrics to interrupted friendships, groups of mates torn asunder as borders came down and pubs closed up, Fred’s quick to point out the chorus was written before ALL OF THIS™, and that “Covid was just in a bat’s mind’s eye at that point.” Still, it’s a sentiment that cuts through as we begin to reconnect and emerge into the new normal of Pints by Appointment. The gloriously Spector album title is guitarist Jed Cullen’s work, but he passes back to Fred to talk us through it. “When we first started, we were in our early 20s, and we were writing songs about being a teenager in the past tense, and I’d always had this fantasy of when we grow up, life is going to be nothing like this. We’re not going to go round in these circles and be fixated on these minor things in relationships. And then various things in lyrics that were about the past started coming back into life, and you realise that a lot of these emotions are actually infinite. It felt like we weren’t just writing about the past, but we were writing about things that hadn’t happened yet or the present in ways we didn’t expect.

“This January was the tenth anniversary of our first gig, and when you look back on ten years of material, you’re like, wow, is this all different, or is this all essentially the same song? Is it set then? Is it set now? Do we leave ‘the past in the past’ to quote ourselves or is the past tomorrow?” Macpherson breaks off laughing. “I’m just talking shit now.”

Recorded in one studio, with one producer under the strictures of going it alone (it’s their first album since leaving Fiction Records), Fred and Jed promise that the record will pay tribute to the energy of their live shows. “When the opportunity of playing live was taken away from us, suddenly we wanted to do that more,” Fred explains. “We’ve got an album that’s full of real performances and real emotion. It’s from the heart rather than the head. At our gigs, as much as people enjoy singing along to our smarmy lyrics, the ones that hit hardest are the ones that are just emotional. [‘Now or Whenever’] ‘s a bit of a racket, maybe, but there’s a tender side as well. It’s a raw, human album where the sound of the playing connects with the emotion of it.”

With debut LP ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’ turning ten next year, talk turns to anniversary celebrations for the record that launched the band, with album shows, unheard demos and even re-recordings all in the mixer. “You remember this phase and this weird bubble of really intense working on this thing, and I’m really glad that we did,” Jed reminisces. “It’s an album that will encapsulate this moment, this era. With the debut, it’s been ten years, and definitely it feels really potent with memories and emotions, and for that reason, I wouldn’t want to change it.”

“There are lots of demos that would be fun for people to hear, or maybe less fun than we’d think,” Fred jokes. “Maybe that’s really boring, but yeah, we’ll definitely celebrate it, hopefully without having to listen to it from beginning to end.”

“I guess making albums, it’s like the thing where your parents mark your height against the wall and whatever happens in the future, you know you were that height at that time,” he continues, bringing things back around. “We could say anything we want about ‘Enjoy It While it Lasts’ today. We might hate it in 20 years time; we might say, of course, a classic sounding album. It’s just a way to mark where you are, and in a way, I see this new album as both a sequel and reboot. Like when they make a new Spiderman film, it’s within this universe, but it’s a new origin story. I feel like this ten years is almost full circle, and maybe we’ve made our most guitary album ever. It’s a new beginning, but also, it will hopefully make sense when you zoom out.”

With a fingers-crossed tour ready to be announced, the band are bullish about the need for the industry to come together to get shows back on the road. “Venues have been through hell,” Macpherson says pointedly. “The ones that have survived, have survived by the skin of their teeth. Thinking about the number of places that have been lost, festivals, venues, even artists who have given up, it’s very upsetting. So I think all acts have a duty to get live music going when we can.”

Getting back to the places we love and back to the things we know will be the perfect way to shout along to Spector’s new material, inspired as it was by that last marathon run around the UK’s independent venues. “A few points during those EPs, we didn’t even know what was happening next, if there would still be a band. We got to the end of this tour, and we realised, ‘Wow, no, there’s something here’. We need to honour its existence and its past and its present and give it a future.” With a live return tantalisingly within reach, and a new reboot in the Spector Musical Universe primed and ready to go, whenever can’t come soon enough.

Taken from the July 2021 edition of Dork, out now. Spector’s album ‘Now or Whenever’ is out 1st October.

Skalski, Spector Named to Butkus Award Watch List

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The Butkus Foundation announced today that Clemson linebackers James Skalski and Baylon Spector have been named as two of 51 players on the watch list for the collegiate Butkus Award. Additional information from award organizers is attached and included below.

CHICAGO – (July 26, 2021) – The Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s best linebackers kicked off its 37th annual selection process today by announcing its collegiate and high school preseason watch lists.

Each watch list contains 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey associated with the Award’s namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history.

The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 51 universities, including returning finalist Devin Lloyd of Utah and five returning semi-finalists.

The High School Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 51 secondary schools across 26 states, with Texas (6), Georgia (5) and Florida (4) fielding the most candidates.

Semi-finalists are expected to be named Nov. 1, finalists Nov. 22, and winners on or before Dec. 7. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.

The 2020 Butkus Award winners:

Collegiate: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame (now Cleveland Browns)

High School: Prince Kollie, David Crockett, Jonesborough, Tenn. (now Notre Dame)

Formed in 1985, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. Causes include Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults, and the I Play Clean® initiative encouraging athletes to train naturally without performance-enhancing drugs.

The Butkus Award is partnering with Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage to celebrate Butkus Award winners. The event is scheduled Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. Contact the Butkus Foundation for ticket and sponsorship information.

The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation and selected by a 51-member expert panel of coaches, scouts and journalists. The award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 recipients since 1935. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.



Christopher Allen Alabama

Will Anderson Alabama

Christian Harris Alabama*

Merlin Robertson Arizona State

Grant Morgan Arkansas*

Bumper Pool Arkansas

Zakoby McClain Auburn

Terrel Bernard Baylor

James Patterson Buffalo

Payton Wilgar BYU

James Skalski Clemson

Baylon Spector Clemson

Nate Landman Colorado*

Ventrell Miller Florida

Amari Gainer Florida State

Adam Anderson Georgia

Nakobe Dean Georgia*

Quay Walker Georgia

Jake Hansen Illinois

Micah McFadden Indiana

Mike Rose Iowa State

Damone Clark LSU

Lakia Henry Mississippi

Sam Williams Mississippi

Blaze Alldredge Missouri

Jeremiah Gemmel North Carolina

Payton Wilson North Carolina State

Jackson Hankey North Dakota State

Chris Bergin Northwestern

Brian Asamoah Oklahoma

Nik Bonnito Oklahoma

Malcolm Rodriguez Oklahoma State

Noah Sewell Oregon

Avery Roberts Oregon State

Jesse Luketa Penn State

Brandon Smith Penn State

Olakunle Fatukasi Rutgers*

Jordan Strachan South Carolina

Mikel Jones Syracuse

Demarvion Overshown Texas

Aaron Hansford Texas A&M

Colin Schooler Texas Tech

Carlton Martial Troy

Drake Jackson USC

Devin Lloyd Utah**

Anfernee Orji Vanderbilt

Nick Jackson Virginia

Zion Tupuola-Fetui Washington

Edefuan Ulofoshio Washington

Jack Sanborn Wisconsin

Chad Muma Wyoming

Note: * Returning semi-finalist, ** returning finalist

Clemson, Coastal, USC players on Thorpe, Butkus Award Watch Lists

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Clemson, Coastal Carolina and South Carolina each had representatives listed on the preseason watch lists that were released Monday including the Butkus Award going to the best linebacker and the Thorpe Award going to the best defensive back in the country.

The Tigers had 2 players on each list while the Chanticleers are on the Thorpe list and the Gamecocks on the Butkus list.

Clemson senior James Skalski headlines the list for the Butkus Award. A 2nd-team All-ACC selection last season, he had 44 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 9 games during 2020. He’s joined on the list by teammate Baylon Spector who led Clemson with 72 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks last season.

South Carolina’s Jordan Strachan is also on the Butkus Watch List. The transfer from Georgia State was 3rd team All-Sun Belt last season after he tied for first in FBS play with a school record 10.5 sacks. He also set a school record with 14 tackles for a loss.

The Tigers also had 2 players on the Thorpe list including senior safety Nolan Turner and junior cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. Turner was a 2nd team All-American last season after getting 66 tackles and a team high 3 interceptions. Booth Jr, a 2nd team All-ACC pick, had 30 tackles and 2 interceptions in 2020.

Coastal Carolina senior CB D’Jordan Strong joins them on the Thorpe list coming off a season where he was 1st team All-Sun Belt with 5 interceptions and 30 tackles.

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