TF Archives

Spod - Spodcasting

Author: Matt Unicomb
Monday, October 20, 2008

Sydney’s own synth maniac Spod is back with another LP, Superfrenz. 3D’s Matt Unicomb finds out all about analogue production, DIY music, and studio-phobia.

“I originally had an idea to do an album entirely about death,” Brent Griffin, AKA Spod, says.

Stories of his infamous hard drive meltdown, jaw dropping live shows, and the psychedelic implementation of analogue synths have reached legendary status. Back with another full-length, Spod is bigger and better than ever. Overcoming complications that would see most musicians chuck in the towel, a stronger Spod emerged. “I was pretty ready to just go, ‘fuck it,’” Griffin reflects on the death of his hard drive. “Some friends convinced me that I should actually finish [Superfrenz] and stop being such a pussy. I was like ‘you have a point.’ In hindsight it was a massive blessing.”

Sporting a collection of antique synthesisers that would make an electronic music buff blush, Griffin has since been able to inject an element of newfound music and technical ability into his already endowed composition technique. “I had access to better equipment,” Griffin notes. “I had the equipment that allowed me to do whatever I wanted. Having so much equipment can be incredibly exciting, because you can do whatever you want. It can also be really daunting – you can waste so much time. It’s pretty easy to get lost when you have a million ideas, but no idea about how to do them.”

The creative path Griffin has taken on the way to the final Superfrenz has been one full of twists and turns. Toying with numerous concepts and methods, the final result has been a mixture of the old and new – with the old material being given a procedural synth injection. This raw mixture is a representation of Griffin himself. “I was obsessed with the idea of doing an instrumental album entirely on analogue synths. I was kind of second guessing myself, like anyone does, so I took thinking out of it and thought ‘just do it and see what happens.’ This album sounds exactly like who I am.”

At the very basis of Spod’s conception is a DIY ethos that has been an ever-present factor in Griffin’s success as a musician. “Spod was my first ever band,” he explains. “I just went, ‘Yep, let’s call it Spod.’ I just got really drunk and got around on four tracks for a bunch of years.

“I didn’t know anyone who did music when I first started. Finding a drummer was like trying to conjure a wizard. That’s why I went and put it all on a backing track – I’ve never really looked back. Through doing that I’ve met amazing musicians who want to be in my band – that shit’s amazing.”

Interestingly – perhaps as a result of his DIY grounding – Griffin’s music is definitely not the product of, or will be subjected to, studio tweaking. “I find it all too alien,” Griffin says of the studio environment. “It just takes away what sounds you. As soon as you go into a studio with an idea, you lose any sense of perspective. It’s impossible to use exactly what sounds you want and in what way – I find it a massive compromise.”

WHO: Spod
WHAT: Superfrenz through MGM / Plays Oxford Art Factory
WHEN: Out now / Saturday 25 October