Spod’s cat is called Robby. It’s got long black fur and it’s “rad as all hell.” It’s basically accepted with Brent Griffin that cats are rad, and if you don’t agree, then you may not appreciate a good part of his album, Superfrenz. And that’s fair enough, because basically cats are rad. I can make a list:
1. They sleep all day, basically whenever they feel like it.
2. They like and dislike people.
3. They do things and people put them on the internet.
4. They’re killing machines.
That’s about all I can think of at the moment. But I mean, that’s enough, right? Spod’s powerpointastic video for his song ‘CATS’ is almost as flipping cool as cats are. The song, which features such lyrics as “CATS!” and also, “CATS!” has been described as “warped” and “offensive” as well as “outrageously cute and an incredibly catchy tune”, so make of that what you will.
Okay, so what have we established so far? Cats are great, and that makes up at least fifty percent of why Spod’s song about them is also great. The other half can be fairly safely put down to Spod himself.
Spod-related events of comparable coolness include: backup dancers dressed as birthday cakes, ghosts, other things doing synchronised dance movements; partial on stage nudity; completely entangling himself in streamers and microphone cables. His high-powered synthesised beat-dropping energised music has been explosively successful for ages now.
“I think I need up to upgrade from a 1998 mobile,” says Spod. “It cuts out all the time.” Luckily for us it doesn’t, but unluckily for him technological breakdown issues are a recurring motif for him, starting from the Superfrenz Hard-drive Meltdown Saga in which his whole album and tracks disappeared “into the ether” when his storage drive passed away.
“With that hard drive man, I’m cursed” he says, with a sigh. “I think it was that record that was cursed. After I rebuilt the album and finished it, I bought another hard drive and another backup hard drive. Then that drive died too, and then the backup died the next day. Fuck. Anyway, I thought ‘Move on, don’t look back.’”
And so he did – rebuilding continued and Superfrenz hit out ears with much success. But there was a lesson about digital diligence to be learnt.
“I won’t sort of continue working unless I have a good operating backup drive now,” Spod explains. But further, his attitude towards what to keep and what to throw away has changed.
“I think I’m also just a little less precious with my music now. I had about 800 different projects just because I’d start and move on to something else, and I’d be keeping everything. So now if stuff isn’t up to scratch I can just delete it. I’ve been made a better person after going through all that hell!”
All of this sounds like heaps of Spod+Robby+Computer Time, so the fact that he’s been doing some (loosely termed) collaborative work recently is a bit of a change.
“I’m pretty bad at collaborating,” he says, humbly. “I get sort of lost. I kind of just like to do everything in the one place.”
The Harddrive Meltdown Saga almost seems like a product of Spod’s individualistic writing style. With more swapping of tracks than jamming, losing files is the worst, but also least surprising kind of disaster that could happen.
“When you’re in a band you get to sit in a room and you bring either a riff or a song idea to a band and everyone interprets that through their own instruments and then you can sort of write like that: much easier. But electronically, you kind of have to finish the song otherwise it’s just going to sound like shit.”
“So you have to take your ideas a lot further and also, only one person can drive the computer at one time so it has to be more of a swap situation. You do a bit, give it to someone else, they do a bit, that’s how it works.”
That said, Spod mentions that he’s also “trying to get a live band together for the shows, so for Essential and Come Together I’ll hopefully have a band behind me.”
In between that and writing his next album, it’s all about being productive, playing heaps of shows and moving forward.
And hopefully less Meltdown, roughly the same amount of cats and more awesome, synthesised, infinite radness.