When I caught up with Sharleen Spiteri of Texas, we spent a large chunk of our conversation discussing the dreary weather of British summertime and the nation’s overeager tendency to remove clothing at the first sight of sunshine. The Glasgow native spoke to me from rainy London, the city she has called home for many years now.
When the small talk subsided, we began to discuss Texas’ ninth studio album Jump On Board, which was met with critical acclaim upon it’s release in May of this year. Despite the 27 years between the group’s first record and this, Spiteri doesn’t feel as though the writing process has changed dramatically.
“Not really, because it depends on the situation you’re in at the time, from a personal point of view. Different challenges present themselves based on that.”
In terms of their musical direction, Spiteri doesn’t put a huge emphasis on aiming for a specific result and trusts that the music will always reflect the process.
“My job isn’t to analyse the music really, it’s to make it. I don’t particularly feel the need to track how our music has changed from record to record, you just have to write music predominantly for yourself and think about the other things later, you know?
One thing I will say though, is that this was a really easy record to write, which I think comes across when listening to it. Having a bit of fun is really important with all this shit going on everywhere you look.
There is always the influence of other Scottish groups like Orange Juice and Altered Images though.”
On the group’s previous record, ‘The Conversation’, a common theme became collaboration, with Spiteri working with the likes of Richard Hawley and Bernard Butler during the process. The opportunity to team up with skilled musicians that excite them is something that they have come to sincerely cherish.
“Well, yes, you know, a lot of people get into music because maybe they feel like a geek or a loner, so the opportunity to work with amazing artists is one of the perks of being a musician and an opportunity you have to take on.
We love to collaborate. We’ve worked with everyone from the Wu Tang Clan to Rammstein and many people have asked ‘why are they doing a record with them?’ but why wouldn’t we?”
One group that they have never worked with, despite claims from The Office’s David Brent, is fictional pub-rockers Foregone Conclusion. As a fan of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s classic sitcom, I couldn’t resist asking if she had any feelings toward the mention of the band in an early episode.
“Are you kidding? Of course I do! I loved that show when it first came out and that was even before the Texas mention! Shortly after that I saw Ricky at an event and I almost leapt on him, he must have thought I was mad.
“Could I run a successful paper merchants? I think I’d fucking nail it!”
For now though, Spiteri and company are due to take the new material on the road, with a stop scheduled at De Montfort Hall on the 19th of September. She explaines the kind of show the people of Leicester can expect from them.
“Hopefully a really good one! I want people to go away feeling like we’ve blown them away.”
“The concert experience is so important now, so I want people to be properly invested in our music, whether it be a more tender song that they perceive their own meaning to or an upbeat number that they can dance to, I’d rather that than them staring at us through their smartphone!”
“Footage that appears online from concerts is great for any artist nowadays, because it’s free promotion but we spend so much of our lives looking at a screen that I want the communal experience at our shows to be as immersive and enjoyable as possible.”
This isn’t the first time Texas have played in the city. Spiteri remembers her experiences in Leicester fondly, but doesn’t necessarily have any tales she considers appropriate to share.
“We’ve played Leicester so many times, but I’d say most of our stories aren’t suitable for print (laughs).”