FAULT is pleased to announce we will be doing a series of exclusive interviews with Spindrift’s Lucas Dawson. Spindrift hail from Los Angeles, California. Members are: Kirpatrick Thomas, Henry Evans, Lucas Dawson, Sasha Vallely and James Acton. Originally formed in 1992 by Kirpatrick Thomas, Spindrift has had a very impressive and extensive career.

Spindrift has been on the road non-stop the past couple years and has shared stages with such artists as The Black Angels, Vietnam, Charlie Louvin, A Place To Bury Strangers and The Dandy Warhols. Over the past year the band where handpicked to tour North America and Europe with artists Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Black Mountain. The group was also asked to write a score for the opening credits of the long lost iconic J.X. Williams 60’s film “Hollywood Play-Girls”.

Last but not least, they have just wrapped up recording their latest studio effort called Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1, which will be released later this spring via their label XEMU Records (Dead Meadow, The Morning After Girls). Spindrift’s new album was mixed and engineered by Ethan Allen (Gram Rabbit) and was mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, The Beastie Boys, Ramones). Starting March 28th the group will be doing 3 consecutive European tours in two months with bands Black Mountain, Dead Meadow and Kurt Vile. Spindrift and Luke will give us updates from the road as well as share tracks from their forthcoming release. FAULT caught up with Lucas Dawson this week to ask a few questions about the new album, the upcoming tour and what we can expect in 2011 from Spindrift.

FAULT : What an incredibly busy year for yourself and Spindrift- how did you manage to find the time to record the album?

We finished up the summer tour in mid-August with a couple months downtime afterwards to patiently finishing writing and recording the new songs at home in an effort to sculpt what would become the new album. Those demos were recorded much like to the previous album, “The West” was- in KP’s (Kirpatrick’s) little bachelor pad in Glendale, California on a digital multi-track recorder. Those tracks were sent to the Joshua Tree Inn, where I was living and working at the time. I recorded my pedal steel and guitar parts there and sent them back. After the pre-production was complete, we took that stuff on the road for six weeks around the states where we played the album as it was then start to finish every night.

FAULT: Where was Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1 recorded?

Well, immediately after the last show of the fall tour we began a solitary week at Hicksville Trailer Palace in Joshua Tree, California where we tracked the entire album LIVE in five days with engineer Ethan Allen at the helm. Surprisingly, some songs changed shape even more but we still ended up with a couple days left over to shoot some videos as well. Regarding Hicksville, the place is incredible. Its basically a tiny trailer park with 7 or 8 customized travel trailers from the 50?s and 60?s surrounding a heated salt water pool with speakers built-in for underwater listening. There’s a live room in the main house where all the tracking happened. We put Henry’s bass rig in a hallway and let the rest bleed.

FAULT: Does this album have a different sound/vibe from previous Spindrift material?

I think so. For one thing, the sonic quality of the recordings are better than anything Spindrift has put out in the past, and though there are still rowdy spaghetti western influenced numbers, there are also some that take on sort of a psychedelic country slant due to the introduction of the pedal steel guitar. There is also a psych-funk Bollywood number in there as well as a throbbing 12-minute epic, which ends with a heavy Judas Priest-esq ball buster. You know, crazy shit.

FAULT: Regarding the album, the group stated, “The songs were written as themes from films past and present and range greatly in style.” Can you tell us what some of those films are?

Mike Bruce, who directed “The Legend Of God’s Gun” (the Spindrift-made no-budget grind-house spaghetti-western feature-length film), came out with another feature length called “Treasure of the Black Jaguar.” The J.X. Williams Archive released a recently found fragment from “Hollywood Play-Girls” (1966) and are to release a film called Space Vixens (1967) soon as well. There’s also “Legend Of The Widower Colby Wallace” which is about a French trapper in the early 1800’s who encounters another human for the first time after years of seclusion in the Rocky Mountains. Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1 will have a fold-out poster with info on all the films and the songs that correspond. In essence there is a film for each song, or vice versa.

FAULT: So Spindrift was specifically chosen to score the “Hollywood Play-Girls” intro. How did that come about?

Our keyboardist actually wrote “Shadytown” well before she was ever in Spindrift. It was a song she brought to the table for the new record. We were approached by the J.X. Williams folks about scoring a credit sequence for a saucy film they had recently discovered. We recorded Shadytown and thought it’d be perfect for it.

FAULT: The intro track the band penned “Shadytown” is the perfect backdrop to “Hollywood Play-Girls” credits. Were you fans of J.X. Williams previously?

KP was for sure. Personally, I kinda knew of him but that was partly because of the JX stickers I kept seeing in the towns we were touring through. I’d see one in a truck stop pisser and think, “What the hell is an ‘Auteur’?”

Spindrift-Sasha Vallely – Shadytown (Theme from Hollywood Play-Girls)

FAULT: Will you be playing the new tracks from “Classic Soundtracks” on this tour?

Absolutely- but not exclusively. We like to play stuff from the previous albums as well. The current line-up is only a little over a year old and we like to play older stuff with new spins and sounds.

FAULT: Any word yet of the next single to be released from the forthcoming LP?

“Legend of The Widower Colby Wallace” will premiere on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) this month. I don’t know if I can call the score a “single” but that’s what’s next. IFC has been kind enough to premiere each song/video so far and will continue to do so throughout the year.

FAULT: Spindrift is about to start a European tour with Black Mountain. What can fans expect from this amazing line up?

Faces melting.

FAULT: Since you’ve been touring so much, do you have a favourite venue or city to play?

I love playing in Texas regardless of the city or venue, but I guess my favorite is Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton, which was basically my home before I moved to Joshua Tree. There’s also Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown, California and the Stodola in Warsaw Poland was/is pretty special to me too- thanks to BRMC for that one.

FAULT: What Artist/Groups inspire you?

Sneeky Pete Kleinow of the Flying Burrito Bros played the first psychedelic pedal steel guitar I’d ever heard before. I don’t know that I would have ended up playing that instrument or “inn-keeping” at the Joshua Tree Inn (much less knowing about that place) without Gram Parsons’ music and his story. Hell, I probably wouldn’t have joined Spindrift if it weren’t for a random crossing of paths with KP Thomas out in that desert after moving there from Texas a month or so prior…

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Giving ol’ GP the trustafarian too much credit.

Black Mountain & Spindrift Tour Dates

28/03/11 : Den Atelier – Luxembourg (L)
29/03/11 : Fleche d’Or – Paris (D)
30/03/11 : De Zwerver – Leffinge (B)
04/04/11 : Live Club – Trezzo sull’Adda/Milan (I)
05/04/11 : Viper Theater – Florence (I)
06/04/11 : New Age – Roncade (Treviso) (I)
07/04/11 : Flex – Vienna (A)
08/04/11 : Lucerna Music Bar – Prague (CZ)
10/04/11 : Vega (small hall) – Copenhagen (DK)
12/04/11 : Parkteatret – Oslo (N)
13/04/11 : Park Lane – Goteborg (S)
14/04/11 : Strand – Stockholm (S)

Spindrift : http://www.myspace.com/thewest

Black Mountain: http://www.myspace.com/blackmountain

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Special thanks to Lucas Dawson