At heart, everything Spectrals does is autobiographical.
Virtually every single second on recent album 'Sob Story' comes from somewhere real, somewhere true. A project led by Louis Jones, Spectrals began as something painfully shy, utterly introverted before gradually opening up to embrace the outside world.
Filtering his thoughts, feelings through a morass of influences, Jones veers between brittle indie-rock and country, dreamy pastures of reverb and post-punk noir.
Pushing his voice to the forefront, Jones' lyrics are the soul of 'Sob Story'. Shorn of effect, the words seem to leap out of the stereo - direct, arresting and cutting straight to the bone.
Intrigued, Clash asked Spectrals to join Their Library...
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What is your favourite book and why?
I would guess that this is a pretty common one, 'Tender Is The Night' by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
What other authors do you like?
I've read plenty of other stuff, but his is the name that sticks with me.
What draws you to certain books?
It's very hard to say, I'm not as proactive with books as I am with music, they have to kind of end up in my hand. It'll be lying about in house or something, and i'll give it a go. I don't seek them out in the same way, but saying that I've always read and I was keen on it at school.
Have you ever discovered a real lost classic? What is it and why?
My nana and grandad rented a villa for half a year in Spain when I was little, so we used to go out there. My nana had this book that was split into three parts, but they all had some sort of bearing on each other, and it blew my mind. I never remember what it was called, so I can't look it up or anything. It sort of bothers me that I'll never work it out.
Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?
Yeah, I mean, F. Scott Fitzgerald has a way of writing that is very beautiful to me. His phrasing and the sort of details he includes, I don't really seem to get that anywhere else. I try to absorb some of that when writing lyrics. I do lyrics separate, sort of as poems, so I seem to read his stuff more when I'm preparing those.
What are you reading at the moment?
The last thing I read was 'Silence Of The Lambs' - just to see what it was all about, really. I can't read on tour because I get sick if I read in the moving van.
What is the first book you remember reading as a child?
Maybe 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' or something like that, or this one about dinosaurs that I was mad on but I can't remember the title.
Did you make good use of your library card?
Yeah I think so. There were always books about. Our parents read and were keen for us to go down and get a book out.
Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn’t finish?
Yeah, I started this Bret Easton Ellis one the other week and there was a bit where this lad snapped a dog's leg with a set of wire cutters, and I just stopped reading it.
Do you read book reviews?
I don't I'm afraid.
Would you ever re-read the same book?
Yeah, I do this all the time. I've found some that I like and I'm happy to keep going over them. I always get something new out of my favourite ones.
Have you ever identified with a character in a book? Which one and why?
No not so much since I've been older. I suppose Harry Potter when I was little... You know, that feeling of maybe you were meant for something a little out of the ordinary, waiting for your Hogwarts letter to come! But I don't feel that way now.
Do you read one book at a time or more than one?
One at a time.
Is there an author orpoet you would like to collaborate with?
I'd find collaboration like that hard, but If I met someone I was really into then yeah, sure!
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'Sob Story' is featured in our rundown of the most underrated albums 2013 has offered thus far - check out the full list HERE.
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Photo: Steven Duffy