8/9/10. Spoon Benders
SOUNDS LIKE: Iggy Pop and Siouxsie Sioux became best friends and neuroscience enthusiasts.
Spoon Benders began with a lie.
Katy Black met AJ Herald, Spoon Benders' future drummer, at a coffee shop where Black worked at the time. "I wanted to hang out with her because I thought she was really cool," says Black. "So I lied and told her that I knew how to play guitar."
Eventually, with help from Herald—a jazz drummer from Los Angeles—Black not only learned how to play the guitar, she also became a frontwoman and songwriter. After meeting Buffy Pastor and Phoebe Grieves, Black and Herald started making snarling, swaggering punk as Spoon Benders.
The band released their first album, Dura Mater, in May, exactly one year after the quartet played their first show. The album pulls from Herald and Black's love of blues and punk classics like Howlin' Wolf, the Pleasure Seekers and the Stooges, but is also heavily influenced by garage and psych. Herald and Black also share an interest in neuroscience, which inspired the name of the album. Latin for "tough mother," dura mater is the leathery outer layer that helps protect the brain inside the skull.
"I dug the idea of a bunch of scientists and doctors naming something in our body 'dura mater' and having it translated 'tough mother,'" says Herald. "That's sassy and punk in itself, like this outer layer is a tough motherfucker."
It's also particularly applicable to Dura Mater's lyrical content, which sees Black fully unrestricted. Black spent her life mainly as a partner of musicians, so Spoon Benders is her first time in the spotlight.
"All of these songs were my first songs I've ever written in my life, so they're like a collection of everything," says Black. "Playing music wasn't available to me, so this was me empowering myself to do that."
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