SPOON IS THE KIND OF BAND THAT PEOPLE KEEP DIS-
COVERING, even though the Austin group started 24 years ago.
So what keeps an indie-rock band growing and thriving on its
smooth ride toward a quarter-century mark?
Just listen to their ninth album, Hot Thoughts, which drops
March 17 on Matador Records. The 10-song record is a sonic
playground. It's Spoon's first album since 2014's critical smash,
They Want My Soul, which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200
(just as 2010's Transference did before that), and it makes perfect
sense as the next step in the band's steady, two-decade evolution
from scrappy Austin musicians to indie-rock gods. It's why
South by Southwest invited them to hold a three-night residency
this year, a first for the 30-year-old fest.
It's a long way from the early '90s, when Britt Daniel fled
Temple, Texas, at 18 to attend UT. "It was where all the cool stuff
was happening," Daniel recalls. After a stint in the band The
Alien Beats with drummer Jim Eno (then a microchip designer
for Motorola), the two formed Spoon, releasing their first full-
length album, Telephono, on Matador in 1996. The next 20 years
saw label and lineup changes (with Daniel and Eno the two
mainstays) as each album, starting with 2001's Girls Can Tell,
drew more and more commercial and critical success. The con-
sistent praise earned Spoon the title of "top overall artist of the
decade" in 2009 by review aggregator Metacritic.
Rock stars for the thinking person,
Spoon digs in on their ninth record,
Hot Thoughts, their prominent SXSW
residency, and why we can officially call
them an Austin-based band again.
by KATHY BLACKWELL