Interview: Ulrika Spacek on luck, touring, and their living room

Ulrika SpacekUlrika Spacek currently enjoy a booming underground career on the indie rock scene. Their debut The Album Paranoia came out in early 2016, and its follow up Modern English Decoration was released a short year later on 2nd June 2017 through Tough Love Records. That's a quick turnaround, even for a self-proclaimed "productive" band.

Settling down with front man Rhys Edwards, the guitarist agrees that the band has moved on fast, but puts it down to the time in which they were working. "We started writing the second [album] straight after finishing the first one. That was the summer before the debut record was released. We just had a great time making our first 'album' and were keen to go straight into writing another record, with a new flow and narrative etc."

So far as innovation goes, he says they were "lucky in that ideas kept coming, and we were able to start it without any expectations. In short, we had already started our second record before anyone had heard our debut."


It's not as though the band has been sitting on their thumbs outside of the studio, either.

"As soon as The Album Paranoia came out we started touring," Edwards explains. "Putting that out at the start of the year really enabled us to have a full year of touring. It was amazing to go away as a group and visit as many places as we did. In the summer, when we were playing more sporadically because of festivals, we were able to return to the living room and open up [to] second album ideas."

Critics have already quoted Ulrika Spacek's live set-up as having a big influence on Modern English Decoration, their new album, which is perhaps unsurprising considering how invested they've become in touring. Despite this, Rhys highlights they "recorded it in a similar way to the first [album]. What was different this time is that we could play through some of the second album ideas in the practice room. That gave a new way of coming up with ideas to add to the recorded versions that were building back in the living room [where the band recorded]."

"We would like to see ourselves as both a recording and live band. Making albums is the thing first and foremost that we love, playing live and creating a little world in any room we play is also very important to us. It really feels that our live gigs have been the best way of building our audience. We like to switch back and forth in mindsets."

True to form, Ulrika Spacek is currently touring the continent and aren't set to return to the UK, as a live band at least, until October. The dates they've announced thus far are sporadic, and then there's the kicker... "From September we will be subletting our rooms and setting up home in the van for a while."

Their commitment to their music is obvious from this move alone, and Edwards promises the band will "announce the second batch of European dates very soon that fill up the current gaps in that schedule. Though we enjoy playing festivals, it really is the autumn headline shows that we are looking forward to. It's a nice feeling arriving in a venue and changing the way the room looks, at these gigs we will be able to do what we really want to do with visuals etc."


All that time on the road has inevitably taught the band some life lessons, and Rhys says his biggest realisation is that "you can stretch time, on the road a day feels like a week. When I'm back in London at work I am constantly looking at the clock wanting time to move faster. Life is better lived when you're content with time seeming longer, it probably means you're getting more from it."

That said, there's always room for change. Edwards admits Ulrika Spacek's approach to songwriting has changed over the years: "This project usually starts with the sounds and we find songs within them. This is in reverse from past experiences. We also entwine the visual side of things with the music at a very early stage."

"Every project is different, I guess. It just feels like a good time for us independently as musicians to be working together. We pull each other in different directions. I think there is a Janus-faced nature of this band, which we like in many of the bands we love."

So, besides touring, what's next for Ulrika Spacek? Can we expect another album in 2018?

"We will certainly be putting music out, it won't be a full length though. We see our first two albums as brother and sister records and think it will be nice to leave them both out there for a little while before we think about putting out another record!"

Ulrika Spacek's new album Modern English Decoration is out now via Tough Love Records.


One Response to “Interview: Ulrika Spacek on luck, touring, and their living room”


    1. Interview: Ulrika Spacek on luck, touring, and their living room – Live List - 22/07/2017

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