Spiritbox are a phenomenon. Around the mid-pandemic release of the 2021 album ‘Eternal Blue’, the band were one of the heavy metal’s most talked-about bands. Now, following appearances in the Top 20 in the UK, US and Canada, they’re starting to see what comes with the territory.

This year alone, they’ve done a sold-out headlining run of the UK and Europe, including two shows at London’s Roundhouse – after completing a US headlining tour, playing festivals, performing in Europe and Australia and opening for the likes of Ghost, Bring Me The Horizon and co-headlining with Motionless in White. “We’re getting used to [the attention],” Courtney LaPlante says of the attention her band’s received. “I think that we just need to physically see this stuff. So walking out to the sold-out show two nights in a row, at the Roundhouse – I physically saw it with my own eyes.”

The band have been relentless when it comes to releasing new music. Spiritbox shared the ‘Rotoscope’ EP last year and a single, ‘The Void’ earlier this year. And there’s more to come. “We have some new stuff on the horizon. I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised this year,” she teases about new music

Following the Roundhouse shows, LaPlante joins NME to about what she’s learned from touring, how her writing process has changed, and how their fans (who she’s dubbed “Boxies”) embrace their music, no matter where it goes. Watch the full interview above.

It felt like your performance at the Roundhouse was inspired by artists outside of the rock and metal world. Are there any artists you look to for influences in terms of your live performance?

“My answer is so typical of me. Everything anyone ever asks me – and sorry – but the answer is always Beyoncé. She’s my favourite artist. But, in general, getting to watch anyone who plays to a large amount of people, I try to study that because I’m used to playing shows in a club or in a festival situation where there’s jumbotrons and when you’re playing a venue like the Roundhouse, you’re not in either. It’s bigger than a club so people can’t see you from far away but it’s not big enough for video screens so they can see your small movements. Every time I get to play with a big artist and I get to watch them from the back of house or on the side I try to see how they can make movements that are impactful, that are efficient and aren’t wasting energy. But my lazy answer is just Beyoncé. All I do is I go on TikTok and I just watch TikToks of her Renaissance tour. So everything I do, I think of her, like her little movements. I’m obsessed with her.”

You’ve done two headline tours along with festival appearances and support slots this year. What have you learned from those live experiences that you’re carrying forward into new music?

“There’s the instant gratification of playing something. There’s a payoff, the crowd can tell a breakdown is about to happen, or it’s a really bouncy tempo. I can’t help but love that. It’s just so satisfying to have that connection with a bunch of people that probably, most of them don’t know who you are, and don’t know your music, but they can still have fun watching you and interact with you. I don’t know if it would inform the music that we make. But I do feel strongly that there’s certain types of music that don’t translate to bigger venues and certain songs that do and even certain ways of performing. My screaming voice doesn’t sound good in certain venues and I’ve actually changed a little bit the way that I scream, for the better, because I realised in a big boom-y arena it doesn’t cut through.

If I think too much about that stuff, I feel like it will mess up when I’m creating stuff. But when we are making something that’s bouncy, I do envision those people bouncing up and down. I stand there and I jump up and down while Michael [Stringer, Spiritbox guitarist and LaPlante’s husband] is writing a riff and I’m like, ‘Make it a little faster!’ or he’ll think about that when he’s making something. Even if I try not to think about that, I think I’ll always envision those people and envision a wall of death coming.”

Has your writing process changed at all since ‘Eternal Blue’?

“I’m starting to feel more comfortable being a little bit more literal in songs. Hiding behind metaphors is safer, but it’s also a little pretentious, because you’re not really having to commit to what you’re saying. You’re just writing something and you’re not really worrying about, ‘Does it connect to verse one and the chorus and verse two? And is the full song something that you’re actually trying to say?’ I think I’m getting better at that. And then Michael, he just gets better and better at writing songs. So I have a lot to live up to because he’ll present me with this song that I love.

“It’s funny because we’ve written new stuff – I already want to write new stuff and outdo that. And I want to challenge myself to do that. Ultimately, it’s all like, free therapy, writing…. I’m trying to keep it like that, not thinking about what our fans want to hear, or what you guys want to hear from us, just what comes out. My mindset is: ‘Does it make me feel happy to get this message out and feel good to sing? Awesome. Let’s cut it and put it on there.’”

‘Rotoscope’ EP saw some changes in sound. Were you expecting this kind of response?

“It was the opposite of ‘Eternal Blue’ how there’s this big lead-up and the drama and it was this climactic thing like, ‘[The] album’s out, will they sell albums?’ This crazy press tour, we were in all these magazines and we’ve never done anything like that in our lives. That was crazy to go from being in my office trying to [decide] like, ‘Oh, can you go to the coffee shop on our break? Or do I need to go home and make lunch at home?’ And then all of a sudden, I’m on the cover of a magazine. That doesn’t make any sense.

So with ‘Rotoscope,’ it didn’t feel stressful at all because we just put it out. It was awesome. I think people liked it. I want to play the whole thing in a row. I love those songs. They’re very special to me.”

You said this at the show, and you’ve said this before, that with Spiritbox, songs don’t have to be heavy in the musical sense, they can be heavy in the emotional sense. Is that something that’s still informing your upcoming music?

“I just love the freedom to get to do whatever you want, it all connects together. Because the thing that connects it is that it’s all written by the same people, so no matter what, we’re going to have our love of metal music be imprinted on those songs. Trying to write for a sub-genre, I think that’s far too stressful. We’re just writing music that we like: sometimes it’s going to be heavy-sounding or feeling; sometimes it’s going to be really beautiful and light-feeling and maybe the lyrics are just a little bit heavy.

“I think that we’ll always make heavy music. But it’s fun to know that our fans are accepting of whatever we make. They’re letting us figure ourselves out in real time. I like that they’re open-minded, but they’re also really honest. They don’t just lap up anything we do. They’re critical. I hope that we continue to attract really open-minded people.

The post Spiritbox: “Our fans are accepting of change – we’re still figuring ourselves out” appeared first on NME.


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