“What time is it?” a sleepy scouse accent asks me down the phone.
If we’re being specific, it’s 11:04am. For new indie kids on the block, SPINN, it’s an ungodly hour of the morning.
It’s been a heavy night of partying, I learn, from a crackly voice that aches for the hydration of water. Still, Jonny Quinn gradually wakes up into high spirits. Good job too, considering he’s the lead vocal for the Liverpudlian band.
Joined by Andy Power on lead guitar, and Sean McLachlan who’s all about that bass, and newcomer George Whitehead hitting drums – the boys are finding their feet.
“I get on with a lot of them.” Jonny starts, before quickly laughing, “well, all of them!” With the relationship between them mainly consisting of winding each other up to the point where they all explode just to laugh it off, SPINN are a band with a sense of humour. They strike as the four boys at the back of the classroom who’d burst into laughter at jokes only they understand, and then flirt with whichever girl they were moved next to, before running riot in the playground in a guy gang.
Latest slice, ‘Home’, embodies this. It demonstrates that they might be finding their feet, but at the same time they’re stomping their turf.
Explaining, “We wanted a kind of nice, happy song and that’s what we went for. We wanted a straight up, clean cut, pop song and that was it. It’s gone down quite well.” ‘Home’ is a seriously irresistible number. It flutters through the air when played; light and carefree. Harmonies soar and gentle riffs weave between them. It’s simple. It needn’t be any more.
“We weren’t trying to be deep or anything with it, it’s literally quite meaningless compared to the other stuff we’ve got. We were really into surf bands at that point and wanted something that was quite dream poppy when we wrote it. I think it came out quite well.”
It’s Andy to blame for the jangly tones that nestle in the subconscious for days. Sean adds his part with faster moments – those ones that capture the youthful bliss of the band. Whilst Jonny confesses he’s into the slower moments, responsible for the softness that SPINN own. Having had “like eight drummers before” finding George, he’s described as the “little blonde cog… [he’s] just so chill, he’s just on the level as Mac Demarco would say.”
That’s how Jonny dotes on his band mates, explaining how “it’s like we’re all different cogs that make the SPINN machine work.” Before laughing proudly, “I just came up with that now!”
‘Home’ has been the defining song for the band and it’s made people sit up and listen. Up North especially. But without hesitation, home to this frontman, is apparently where the mug is. Affectionately talking about a little green mug with a smiley face on it, he declares “that is home.
“Nice cup of tea, and toast. As long as it’s milk, two sugars, with some toast and maybe like Rick and Morty on TV – sorted. I’m home. As long as I have me mug, I’m happy.”
Apparently for SPINN, it’s the smaller things in life that count. A mug, a Papa John’s pizza deal, getting to sit backstage when playing a festival, and of course hearing an audience sing back a song that you wrote. They’re voting Labour in this year’s election, because they “just love how progressive it is… [and] as a young person I can definitely appreciate it.”
Paying close attention to these things, their environment and never taking them for granted works in SPINN’s favour, as their music has a homely feel with complement to their DIY roots. Making artwork out of self-taken Polaroids and t-shirts to sell, the boys “really enjoy that aspect” of music, and it translates into their instantly connecting music. “I think that DIY is actually doing a lot better than it was a few years ago, like in terms of music and just generally, Skepta and JME have changed the game for everyone.
“They’ve done everything themselves and are like the biggest. We’re nothing like grime, obviously, but it’s the attitude towards like homemade music and doing everything yourself that matters. We go and record it all ourselves. They’ve provided a lot of inspiration.”
Arguably their coming together pays this sort of respect. When the boys were left without a drummer the night before a gig, George immediately responding to standing in and was initiated into the band. “He’s a true SPINN lad” laughs Jonny, joking that they’re going to have to mark themselves with tattoos to make it official. “I was going to get the first time we were played on the radio on my arm but I realised that it might look a bit like a bible passage. Other than that though, I was going to get a little spiral for SPINN, maybe over the heart. Or round my nipple as like an extending thing. It might hurt just a bit.”
Before however, it’s revealed that there’s another single hidden just up their sleeves. “It’s all in capitals to stand out when it’s number one.” Says Jonny, shaking off “It won’t be number one. If it is I will eat my hat.” Aptly called ‘NOTICE ME’, SPINN’s next single comes with a promise. If it gathers the right amount of attention then the boys will eat headwear.
“I reckon just standard beanie, because it’s not too much. You’d have to chew through a cap, and a top hat has ribbons and stuff…”
On that note, we’ll leave you to decide this July.
Image by Lauren Keir
Words by Tanyel Gumushan