Spoon (band)

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Spoon performing live in 2017
Spoon performing live in 2017
Background information
OriginAustin, Texas, U.S.
Years active1993–present
Associated acts
Past members
  • Roman Kuebler
  • Eric Friend
  • Josh Zarbo
  • Andy Maguire
  • Greg Wilson
  • Sean Kirkpatrick
  • Scott Adair
  • Eric Harvey
  • Rob Pope

Spoon is an American indie rock band from Austin, Texas, formed in 1993. The band is the brainchild of Britt Daniel (vocals, guitar) and Jim Eno (drums) and has seen many lineup changes throughout their history. Alex Fischel (keyboards, guitar)[1] and Gerardo Larios (guitar, keyboards)[2] are also currently members of the band. Critics have described the band's musical style as indie rock,[3][4] indie pop,[4][5] art rock,[6][7] and experimental rock.[8]

Spoon released their debut studio album, Telephono, in 1996 through Matador Records. Their next full-length album, A Series of Sneaks, was released in 1998 through Elektra Records. The band subsequently signed with Merge Records, where Spoon achieved greater commercial and critical prominence with the albums Girls Can Tell (2001), Kill the Moonlight (2002), Gimme Fiction (2005), Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007), and Transference (2010). They signed with Loma Vista Recordings and ANTI- for the release of They Want My Soul (2014).[9][10] The band later returned to Matador to release their ninth album, Hot Thoughts (2017).


1993–1997: Early years[edit]

The band was formed in late 1993 by the lead singer and guitarist Britt Daniel and the drummer Jim Eno, after the two met as members of the Alien Beats.[11] The name Spoon was chosen to honor the 1970s German avant-garde band Can, whose hit song "Spoon" was the theme song to the 1985 movie Jagged Edge (Das Messer) in the United States.[12] Eno describes Spoon's music as "psychedelic".[13]

Spoon's first recording was the vinyl release of the EP Nefarious in May 1994.[11] In 1995 the band signed with Matador Records, and within a year, Spoon released its first full-length LP Telephono in 1996. The album was met with mixed reviews, with critics comparing their sound to Pavement, Pixies and Wire.[14] But comparisons aside, Telephono showed signs of a band slipping free of its influences, mixing post-punk with a blend of pop.[15]

Less than a year later, Spoon released its second EP, Soft Effects, which served as a transition to their more distinctive, honed sound.[16] Unlike its predecessors, Soft Effects was less noisy and brash, showcasing a more sophisticated, minimalist approach.[17]

In late 1996, Spoon was playing a gig at the Argo in Denton, Texas with Ed Cooper and local band Maxine's Radiator, which then featured Josh Zarbo on bass. Zarbo was invited to audition for Daniel and Eno in 1997, and subsequently became the band's full-time bassist until his permanent departure in 2007.[18]

1998–1999: Major label debut[edit]

After the release of Soft Effects, Spoon signed to Elektra Records in 1998. Elektra had also been the record label that found and developed the Pixies.[19] Through Elektra the band released A Series of Sneaks in May 1998. The album did not sell as well as the label had hoped; merely four months after the release of Sneaks, Spoon's Elektra A&R contact Ron Laffitte quit his job and that week the band was dropped from the label.[20] Angry with Laffitte, who had promised to stick with the band, Spoon recorded a vindictive yet humorously-titled two-song concept single entitled "The Agony of Laffitte," which was released by Saddle Creek Records. They lamented their experience with the music business executive and questioned his motivations with the songs "The Agony of Laffitte" and "Laffitte Don't Fail Me Now".[21]

2000–2006: Signing with Merge Records[edit]

Spoon signed with the indie rock label Merge Records and released the Love Ways EP in 2000.[17] They did this without bassist Josh Zarbo, who had briefly left the band.[22] In 2001, Spoon released its third LP entitled Girls Can Tell. The new record was a success, selling more copies than both their previous LP releases combined.[23] The band's next release in 2002, Kill the Moonlight had similar success.[23] Kill the Moonlight also contained the single, "The Way We Get By", which was popularized by its placement on the movie Stranger than Fiction (released later, in 2006) as well as the teen drama The O.C. [24] and on the first episode of the American version of the series Shameless. Their next album, Gimme Fiction, was released in May 2005, and debuted at number 44 on the Billboard 200, selling more than 160,000 copies.[25]

Spoon's Britt Daniel collaborated with Brian Reitzell to compose and arrange the soundtrack for the 2006 film Stranger than Fiction. The soundtrack consists chiefly of music performed by Spoon, and according to the liner notes of the official soundtrack, Brian Reitzell collaborated with Britt Daniel to compose the score, while also adapting several tracks from Kill the Moonlight and Gimme Fiction into instrumental versions of the songs.

2007–2012: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and Transference[edit]

On July 10, 2007, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was released and debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200.[26] Since the release of Kill the Moonlight in 2002, Spoon has performed on late night talk shows, such as Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Last Call with Carson Daly, and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien as well as the PBS show Austin City Limits. They were also musical guests on Saturday Night Live on October 6, 2007, where they performed "The Underdog"[27] and "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb".[28]

In 2009, the review aggregator Metacritic ranked Spoon as its "Top overall artist of the decade", based on the band's consistently high review scores between 2000 and 2009, among other factors.[29] On January 18, 2010, the band released its seventh studio album, Transference. It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, selling 53,000 copies in its first week. Their song "The Mystery Zone" was also chosen as the Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week on January 26, 2010.[30] Later that year, Spoon recorded the title track on the album See My Friends in collaboration with Ray Davies.

On April 12, 2010, Spoon made a guest appearance on Conan O'Brien's The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour in Eugene, Oregon, where they performed the song "I Summon You" from their album Gimme Fiction.[31]

2013–2016: They Want My Soul[edit]

Spoon released their eighth full-length album, They Want My Soul, on August 5, 2014. It was their first record released by Loma Vista Recordings, after five records on Merge.[32] It was recorded with Joe Chicarelli and Dave Fridmann.[33] That year they took part in the Hamilton, Ontario Supercrawl.[34] On October 30, 2014, Spoon appeared as the featured musical guests during The Daily Show's Democalypse 2014: South By South Mess. [35]

2017–2019: Hot Thoughts, greatest hits albums, and upcoming tenth studio album[edit]

On March 17, 2017 Spoon released their ninth studio album Hot Thoughts on Matador Records, their first on the label since their 1996 debut (Matador had handled the European release of Gimme Fiction in 2005.)

In April 2019, the band made the news via Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who was filmed playing the band's song "The Way We Get By" on piano before an event by his spokesperson, Lis Smith.[36] The band responded by sharing the video on their Facebook and Twitter pages, remarking: "So this guy can just do anyone's job, huh."[37]

In June 2019, the band announced the release of their greatest hits album, Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon. The album compiles the band's best-known songs, as well as a new single entitled "No Bullets Spent". The album was released on July 26, via Matador.[38] On July 9, Rob Pope announced he would be leaving the band.[39] On August 29, 2020, for Record Store Day, the band released All the Weird Kids Up Front (Más Rolas Chidas), a fan-selected companion piece to their best of, with a tracklist submitted and voted on by fans.[40]

The band began recording their tenth studio album in late 2018, at drummer Jim Eno's studio with producers Mark Rankin and Justin Raisen. It was nearly finished as of early 2020, but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the new release date tentatively set for early 2021.[41] On March 12, 2021, Spoon released covers of two Tom Petty songs, "Breakdown" and "A Face in the Crowd".[42]

Band members[edit]

Current members

  • Britt Daniel – lead vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion (1993–present)
  • Jim Eno – drums, percussion, programming (1993–present)
  • Alex Fischel – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals (2013–present)
  • Gerardo Larios – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2019–present; touring member 2017–2019)[43]

Current touring members

  • Ben Trokan – bass, keyboards (2019–present)

Former members

  • Greg Wilson (aka Wendel Stivers) – guitar (1993–1994)
  • Andy Maguire – bass, backing vocals (1993–1996)
  • John Croslin – bass (1996)
  • Scott "Clanky" Adair – bass (1996–1997)
  • Josh Zarbo – bass (1997–2000; 2002–2007)
  • Eric Friend – keyboards (2000-2004)
  • Roman Keubler – bass (2000–2002)
  • Eric Harvey – guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2004–2017)
  • Rob Pope – bass, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2006–2019)




  1. ^ Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton. "After Learning To Loosen Up, Spoon Readies Its Return: The All Songs Interview". NPR. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "SXSW Interview: Meet newest member of Spoon, Gerardo Larios". Axs.com. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Spoon Albums From Worst To Best". Stereogum. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Spoon". AllMusic. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  5. ^ "Spoon Reveal 10th Anniversary Edition of 'Gimme Fiction'". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  6. ^ "Album Review: Spoon – They Want My Soul". The Brock Press. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  7. ^ "Spoon: a spectacle in lights". San Diego Reader. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  8. ^ "Spoon - They Want My Soul". Uncut. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  9. ^ "Spoon Signs to Loma Vista; Album Expected Soon". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  10. ^ "Spoon (Europe only)". ANTI. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  11. ^ a b Hernandez, Raoul. "Drake Tungsten and His Boy Skellington." The Austin Chronicle, January 25, 1999.
  12. ^ Warren, Tamara. "Waxing Poetic", Anthem, Fall/Winter 2005, p. 54.
  13. ^ "Spoon. American Band Spoon. Spoon's Jim Eno in interview - Gimme Fiction". Three Monkeys Online. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  14. ^ Brian Howe, [1], "Pitchfork", August 1, 2006.
  15. ^ Jennifer Kelly, "Reviews: Soft Effects EP/Telephono", PopMatters, July 31, 2006.
  16. ^ Brian Howe, August 1, 2006.
  17. ^ a b Kareem Estefan, "Spoon – Artist Profile", "Stylus Magazine", September 1, 2003.
  18. ^ "Joshua Zarbo's MySpace biography". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  19. ^ Cook, John, Mac McCaughan, and Laura Ballance. Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin of Chapel Hill, 2009. [2]
  20. ^ Tim McMahan, "Lazy-I Interview: Spoon", The Omaha Weekly, April 18, 2001.
  21. ^ Camden Joy, "Total System Failure", The Village Voice, January 18, 2000.
  22. ^ Ken Lieck, "Dancing About Architecture," The Houston Chronicle, August 4, 2000.
  23. ^ a b Sean, "Sunday Music Spotlight – Spoon", Pop Culture Will Eat Itself , August 26, 2007.
  24. ^ Brooklyn Vegan Mike, "RIP The O.C. (& a list of EVERY song ever played)", Brooklyn Vegan, January 3, 2007.
  25. ^ Joe Gross, "In tune with Spoon", Austin 360, July 5, 2007.
  26. ^ Katie Hasty, "T.I. Holds Off Pumpkins, Interpol To Remain No. 1", Billboard, July 18, 2007.
  27. ^ SNL Archives | Detail Archived 2008-01-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  28. ^ SNL Archives | Detail Archived 2008-01-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  29. ^ "The Best Music of the Decade - Metacritic". Features.metacritic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  30. ^ "Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Spoon - Mystery Zone". www.mark-heringer.com. 2010-01-26. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  31. ^ "Conan O'Brien's Tour Opens in Oregon with Self-Pleasuring Panda - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  32. ^ Zoe Camp and Jeremy Gordon. "Spoon Announce New Album They Want My Soul". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  33. ^ Goldberg, Michael. "New Spoon Album Nearing Completion".
  34. ^ "Spoon James St. North, Hamilton ON, September 13". Exclaim!, By Calum Slingerland. Sep 14, 2014
  35. ^ "The Daily Show" Covers Midterm Elections in Austin with "Democalypse 2014: South By South Mess" Airing Oct 27-30 at 11 p.m. ET/PT". The Futon Critic. 2014-10-22. Retrieved 2014-10-22.
  36. ^ Smith, Lis (February 27, 2019). "Well, this is a novel form of prep: ⁦@PeteButtigieg⁩ tickling the ivories pre-⁦@scrippscollege⁩ event tonight—>pic.twitter.com/lHgDriE9tO". Twitter.com.
  37. ^ Bloom, Madison. "Watch Pete Buttigieg Cover Spoon's "The Way We Get By" on Piano". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  38. ^ Matozzo, Marissa. "Spoon Announce Greatest Hits Album, Release New Single "No Bullets Spent"". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  39. ^ "Spoon Bassist Rob Pope Leaves The Band". Stereogum.com. 9 July 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  40. ^ Young, Alex (5 March 2020). "Record Store Day 2020 Reveals Full List of Exclusive Releases". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  41. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (14 September 2020). "Spoon on Ice". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  42. ^ Martoccio, Angie (12 March 2021). "Watch Spoon Tear Through Tom Petty's 'Breakdown,' 'A Face in the Crowd'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  43. ^ "No Bullets Spent - NEW SONG OUT NOW / Pre-order the Best of Spoon / Tour dates". Spoon.cmail20.com. Retrieved 28 July 2019.

External links[edit]