Spaceface is a psychedelic rock band formed in Memphis Tennessee in 2012. Led by The Flaming Lips guitarist/keyboardist Jake Ingalls, their tight intricate parts and exploration of sonic sound made for an amazing show at the Terminal West in Atlanta Georgia. Imagine if the Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles was a band and not just an album, that’s what you would get with Spaceface. As they finish up their fall tour with White Denim, we got a chance to sit down with them and talk about tour life, inspiration, and upcoming music.
SoundFix: So your tours coming to an end, with your last stop being in Birmingham Alabama tomorrow night, what have been some of your favorite stops this tour?
Spaceface: Boston was a standout for sure, Chicago, and this show was pretty righteous. Last time we were in Atlanta we played at this DIY spot called Mammal Gallery. That was maybe 4 or 5 years ago, so being able to play in Atlanta again has felt triumphant.
SF: How did you guys get hooked up with White Denim?
Spaceface: They opened up for the Lips(Flaming Lips) in 2013. But after that, whenever they came to the area like Memphis or Oxford, we made sure to get the Spaceface posse together to come support them. Then we started hanging out with them, got their numbers, and it became a matter of Jake being endearing, and me(Matt, guitar) talking their ear off about gear, which they were into as well. It created a good dynamic between all of us.
SF: What’s your favorite part about being on the road?
Spaceface: Every day is a misadventure, constantly putting out fires. But then you get to have fun every night, hang out with your friends and see cool bands. We get to do weird stuff too, like the Crosstown Traffic cover just started in the middle of the tour. James(White Denim) and I were talking about Hendrix and he said “if you guys did a cover of Crosstown Traffic, I’d get up there and sing.” I thought he’d want to play guitar but instead he asked if we had a kazoo lying around so we promptly went to get one for him. But the misadventure thing is huge, we have a running joke that goes “0 days without incident.”
SF: Do you guys think that being based out of Memphis and the south-east region has had an impact on your sound?
Spaceface: It’s crazy how you want to avoid the Memphis soul, but it’s everywhere, which is actually a great thing. We spent a long time avoiding it, and this time around with our new stuff, we decided to fight our impulses and embrace the soul that is Memphis. It’s been really rewarding.
SF: When you guys play live, how far, if at all, do you improvise off of your recorded stuff?
Spaceface: I would say improvise is a strong word, but in rehearsal when we’re getting everyone up to speed on how the songs go, we realize we do each song a little bit differently than how it is on the record. We’ll ditch a bridge in favor of a solo section, or extend chorus’ or do different intros. We like to let the songs breathe. We just got to play with a 6 piece ensemble of strings and flutes. It was funny telling them “oh we actually extended this intro so just jot that down on your sheet music there.”
SF: Wow cool, are you guys going to release that soon?
Spaceface: Right now we’re focused on the new record that should be wrapped up in December. But we do have those tracks so I think ideally we’ll release that next fall in time for the holidays.
SF: What are some of your inspirations?
Spaceface: We’ve got a big conglomerate playlist on Spotify that we just keep adding to and it’s all over the place. It’s like anything from retro indie pop to old soul. There’s Roy Orbison and Hot Chocolate, we’re lucky to have a variety of influences and an intensely collaborative process. Our filter of influence is almost like we’re pitching inspiration to each other.
SF: Last question, for each of you. What is the best show you’ve ever seen?
Jake(guitar/vocals): Man, I’d have to say Flaming Lips 2007 Bonnaroo. I camped out for 8 hours and it literally changed my life.
Matt(guitar): I’d say my favorite concert experience would be seeing Dr. Dogg at a small bar venue called the Hi Tone in Memphis which used to be Elvis’ dojo. Everyone was shoulder to shoulder, knew all the words, and I met good friends at that show which is one of the best parts about going to concerts.
Daniel(drums): The first time I saw Wilco was at Memphis in May, I didn’t know any Wilco. I was there to see the Avett Brothers, then when Wilco came on it blew my mind.
Spaceface Setlist for Terminal West, November 22nd:
Rain Passing Through
Happens All The Time
Crosstown Traffic (Hendrix cover feat. James Petrali
Spread Your Head
Click this pre-save link to to be connected to Spaceface’s new Christmas single coming out on December 4th!
You can also buy the new single here: http://piaptk.com/products/656099-spaceface-xmas-party-pic-disc-lathe-7