The Spectors have released their second album OOH AAH AAH. It will be available in various formats, including digital, limited white vinyl and CD. It features ten songs plus one bonus track, Clyde & Bonnie, a 2016 Record Store Day 7” release. It was recorded at Hightime Studio (Thomas Valkiers) and Deaftone Studio (Jannes Van Rossom) in Belgium and mixed at Jaya Jaya Music in Melbourne by Australian Michael Badger of The Demon Parade, best known for his work with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.
First single Borderline inspired the album’s title with its ooh’ing and aah’ing, the London-set song tells a tale of sushi and love gone wrong and featured a video by Frederic Vanhalst and Didier Lenglaert.
After a particularly busy Summer, with the other band members eager to strike out on their own, Marieke decided to put The Spectors on hold. Looking to the future, she started writing material for a new album and experimenting with different line-ups, in the end settling on a return to dreampop basics and a quartet. Marieke Hutsebaut shares a few words with Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about their second album.
Is there a feeling of relief knowing the album is done?
Definitely. I have a form of autism called Asperger’s so I keep stressing about every little detail of the process until it’s done. I just can’t let it go. So I’m very relieved, and proud we managed to finish the album in time! I held a copy of the album in my hands last week and it felt better than meditation.
Did you feel that the album really challenged the band?
Kind of, making a new album is always a challenge. It’s been three years since our debut album Light Stays Close so we had to make something that would put us on the map again. Other than that, arranging the songs went pretty easy because everyone in the band feels the music.
Was it a tough decision to put the band on hold to write new songs and experiment with different line ups?
It was one of the toughest decisions I had to make in my life. Because I knew there was going to be a huge backlash of shit after I stopped working with the previous line up.
So the previous years have been really difficult, playing with different people, having to re-place people in the band again and again. I actually felt like just disbanding The Spectors. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t because the people in the band now are so awesome. Everything is so easy now, we have so much fun together and it actually feels like real friendship.
Were you surprised with the results of experimenting with different line ups?
Yes, I didn’t expect to find musicians as motivated as the ones who are in the band now. Experimenting has definitely been a good move.
What idea did you have in mind initially with the line up you pulled together?
Just to play shows and make an album with people who are really into the music.
Knowing what you know now do you ever think you’ll settle with a stable line up?
I think this line up is a keeper. Everyone in the band is now very motivated to make this work and to put a lot of work in it. They have so much passion for the music we make and that’s essentially the most important part of it all.
How would you describe The Spectors sound?
The Spectors are all about good and catchy songs. Everything we do is to make the song sound better. As for sound we like the songs to sound dreamy and melancholic but also powerful at the same time.
What inspired the album title?
OOH AAH AAH. These are the first three words in Borderline, our first single and the opening track to our album. Our music is all about the ooh’s and the aah’s. It means fuck all the artistic artwork and album titles. This is our album title and our artwork is simple and effective.
Who do you think was the biggest influence on you for the album?
When The Spectors first started out, it used to be my ex. We started the band together and wrote the first few songs. He left me and broke my heart. Some of the songs on the album are a bit older and are still about him. In the end I got over him and realised he wasn’t the right person to be with because he’s very self destructive and it rubbed off on me while I was with him.
My biggest inspiration now is just writing love songs. I believe in meeting your soulmate and just sticking together and being there for each other. But unless I find someone I’m actually crazy about I’d rather stay single and not waste my time.
Are there any plans to tour Australia?
Not at the moment. This album is supposed to be a little introduction to Australia. We’re planning to start working on the next album pretty soon. We’d like to have Michael Badger as a producer/mixer for that (he mixed this album) and perhaps try to get some guest appearances from Aussie musicians.
What does the rest of 2018 look like for The Spectors?
We have some pretty nice gigs booked right now! A lot will also depend on how well the album is received so we’ll have to see about that. But no matter what happens, I’m very glad I got to do it with Filip, Ruben and Davy!
Interview by Rob Lyon