The Pink Spiders
Think pink. Pink Spiders, that is. The Nashville-based power pop trio is weaving a web of gritty rock'n'roll, catchy riffs and flashy looks in order to capture the attention of a mainstream audience.Think pink. Pink Spiders, that is.
The Nashville-based power pop trio is weaving a web of gritty rock'n'roll, catchy riffs and flashy looks in order to capture the attention of a mainstream audience. And since completing a successful stint on the Warped Tour, which has catapulted bands such as My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy into the stratosphere, they seem to be well on their way.
Last week, the Spiders' "Teenage Graffiti" (Suretone/Geffen) -- which was produced by Cars frontman Ric Ocasek -- debuted at No. 84 on the Billboard 200. At first, singer/guitarist Matt Friction found working with Ocasek "very intimidating."
"He was a childhood hero," Friction tells Billboard.com, "so it took awhile for us to warm up [to him] just 'cause, y'know, not only was he the lead singer of the Cars, but he is also such a respected producer. In fact, he told someone that we were so quiet the first few weeks that he didn't think we knew what band he was from. We were just honestly intimidated because he's just the king of cool."
That cool factor translated into a relatively stress-free environment in the studio for Friction and bandmates Jon Decious (bass) and Bob Ferrari (drums).
"He's like a Zen master. His whole thing is [focusing on] the vibe and the performances. He was really good at capturing what we do rather than changing it," says Friction, adding, "He became kind of my Obi-Wan Kenobi, I guess, and gave me [industry] advice. The way we were scooped up by a major was almost a Cinderella [story], and it's very easy for a band in that position to compromise or cut corners. He's very much opposed to that. He is really the perfect guy to get advice from because he's part of the ultimate old-school band yet he's still very popular, and he managed to walk that fine line of being very commercial while also maintain his integrity."
So far, the Spiders have taken Ocasek's advice to heart and made some wise marketing decisions -- like partnering with Cingular to promote the Motorola Pink RAZR and Pink SLVR phones -- while still staying true to their look and sound.
It was also a wise move to join this year's Warped Tour, but Friction notes that such an adventure "made us appreciate doing club shows again. When we played club shows at night it was like, 'Ooo, air conditioning' and we sounded good. Overall we had a blast, and we're good at making the best of the situation we're in, but I'm looking forward to playing indoors again."
That said, the band has tentative plans to hit the road this fall with Sugarcult, and then join Good Charlotte's tour at the end of the year.
"Hopefully if we can just stay on the road and keep selling a decent number of records then [the album] will just kind of build itself and we'll take off from there," he says, adding, "I don't really know how this stuff works, honestly. I'm good at booking an independent tour, finding somewhere to sleep, scamming grocery stores and finding a way to make gas money. But as far as selling a million records, I'm leaving that in the hands of the experts because I don't really know how to do that."