The Spade was created in 2008 in Paris. The band was originally composed of Alex Kobs on the drums, Ben "Rudy" Flatstone on the bass, Clay Gombert on the guitar and Virgil MacBryde on the guitar and lead vocals. This formation toured the Paris clubs and concert halls for about a year, gaining some recognition and reaching the finals of the French national battle of the Bands: Emergenza. In 2010, after a 5 month break, MacBryde approached William Watkins with a project for a concept album. MacBryde and Watkins started composition of project JMT (The Journey Of A Modern Tribesman).
In September of the same year, Watkins officially became a member of The Spade, assuring lead guitar alongside Clement Gombert. In October 2010 MacBryde & Watkins both left for the UK where they met French theater comedian Jay Carnero and comics illustrator Tim Travé, who would later do some artwork work for the band, both of whom they befriended. In February 2011 Jay Carnero effectively became the band's bass player around the same time Clay Gombert left the band due to musical differences.
How did you decide on a band name?
The band used to be named "The Tings", however another British band with a similar name was getting bigger and bigger. Hence, the name of the band had to be changed, to not be confused with the Ting Tings. The four band members: Virgil, Ben, Alex, and Clem came together to find a new name. Virgil picked the longest straw and TheSpade was born.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
(Will:) "This is actually a funny original story. In July 2010, Virgil phoned me in a hurry: "Will! You gotta come here! Now!". So I ran up to his place in Paris, thinking something was wrong. He told me to sit down and listen. After what he started dancing about, telling me this dream he had where Joe Strummer told him that he has to make a Rock Opera about this 20 odd year old boy who left his well-off family to find the evergreen plains. But when he got there, the kid realised that the journey was really what counted. Plus the kid was schizophrenic. He told me all the story in details, and finished by " Dude! We gotta make the album!". Thus we began composing straight away, Sacrificed Generation was born this very day. Since then each song is born in Virgil's dream as part of a whole story. We've finished the first album The Journey Of A Modern Tribesman. But we're already composing the next album which is being created the same way, but the story remains a secret as for now."
Who are some of your major influences?
Each song is composed by Virgil and I, since the story of the song is already written, we need to find the appropriate music genre that is compatible with the atmosphere of the song. Virgil would find some songs on the internet that sound like the kind of stuff he thinks our music should be like. Therefore our influence is nearly unique to each song. However our major influences, I would say, are: Green Day, Kravitz, The Clash obviously, The Raconteurs, you will also a bit of Micheal Franti, Pink Floyd, or even The Beatles, and plenty others that don't come up to mind right now.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
I really like this question, since our albums are Rock Operas, there's always a story told, and some kind of moral. So we hope that people will listen closely to the story, and maybe see themselves in it. However, I cannot tell you what we want them to understand. This is for them to choose, we are only story tellers. This is so important to us that one of the last songs from JMT was meant to explain everything, the story, and the meaning. But it was crossed out.
Where can people get a hold of your music?
Our music is available nearly anywhere online, from Youtube to Facebook, etc… However the best place to get it is on our website www.TheSpadeBand.com, in the freebies section, since you can download it for FREE. So I encourage anyone to get it, share it, and enjoy it.
Finally, is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to?
"We send our thanks to Joe Strummer without whom this album would not have been possible."
Connect with The Spade