The Struts are largely satisfied with their debut album Everybody Wants — especially since the British rock troupe got to reconfigure it for its U.S. release after signing with Interscope. But the quartet, which does not skimp on the sonic bombast, still figures its best calling card is playing live — evidenced by the concert version of “Put Your Money On Me,” which Billboard is premiering exclusively below.
“If your live show isn’t something somewhat unique and exciting, then you’re kind of putting all your eggs into the music basket — which is also very important,” frontman Luke Spiller tells Billboard. “I always wanted The Struts to have the complete package of not only do we really sweat and bleed for great (recorded) tracks but our live performance is equally of importance. Me and Adam (Stack, The Struts’ guitarist) used to go to jam night at the pub and improvise playing blues and covers and stuff, so the live thing is really important.”
And Spiller is confident that’s helping to bring people to Struts shows during the group’s current swing through North America. “What I’m seeing is the shows are selling out and the crowd are amazing. They know every single word to everything single song,” Spiller notes. “I’m fully aware it’s gonna take awhile to really embed itself into the hearts of the American public, but so far it’s nothing but love over here.”
Spiller and company have had some notable live experiences to write home about, too. The Struts were picked to open the final four shows of Motley Crue‘s Final Tour, including the New Year’s Eve farewell show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “I think there definitely was a sense of everything coming to an end and nostalgia and whatnot, so that in itself was a big honor,” Spiller recalls. “It as like, ‘Wow, this band have been quite legendary, and here we are kind of helping them close the curtain. It was very cool.” Just as good? Opening for The Rolling Stones‘ 14 On Fire Tour during June of 2014 in Paris. “That was a bit of a dream come true, really. To even hear the soundcheck and listen to them play ‘Wild Horses’ and stuff, that was a real pinch-me moment, another one on the bucket list. And considering the circumstance and everything that comes along with being an unknown support act to a legendary rock’n’roll band, I think we did a great job.”
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The Struts plan to be on the road most of 2016, with dates in the U.S. and Europe until early July and more coming. And the group is at least relieved that if the live shows do send fans looking for their music, the version of “Everybody Wants” it released in early March in up to snuff and an improvement from the album that came out during July of 2014 in the U.K.
“We basically ran out of money on the first one,” Spiller explains. “There were a lot of setbacks with people who were around us and our label at the time, so the album that we put out originally was a lightly bit unfinished and slightly rushed in certain parts.” The Interscope edition of Everybody Wants also features five new songs recorded after the original sessions. “I think we’ve topped some of the older tracks,” Spiller says. “I think on the whole we’ve achieved something far greater than what we had originally. To be able to revisit your work and present it how you really wanted to is something of a fantasy. It’s like a second chance. In some weird way we’ve been able to hit the reset button on our art and actually do things the way we want to, with more insight.”