When describing albums we often discuss sounds, chords, composition, tempo and various other ingredients of the recorded music. Today I would like to introduce a band named Spoiwo, but rather than trying to summarize their debut release, I will let it speak for itself while I share with you the story behind Salute Solitude.
It begins quite a few years ago with a group of friends struggling to play musical instruments. Filled with ambition to join the ranks of the very best musicians and fueled by a shared vision, they kept practicing and working towards their future. Learning to play is not an easy task, initially even quite gruesome, just like the first rehearsal room. Unlike most starting bands, it was not a garage or a basement belonging to one of the then three members; this story begins in an atomic shelter located under a local school, in room S8 to be precise. Naturally this wasn’t the only place, but it will always be the very first and thus hold a very symbolic meaning. After about a year of hard work and practice, the trio became a quarter, as the line-up of a guitar, drums and a keyboard was extended by a bass guitar. At this point their compositions finally began shaping and soon after, having gathered their courage, in 2009, these young musicians debuted on a local talent show alongside a few other ambitious projects. Six years later, none of the other bands are still in existence. The first show instantly opened a world of new opportunities and they did not hesitate to seize those.
Not long after, during the next gig, the line-up of today’s Spoiwo was completed by Simona, playing a second set of keys. As they gained experience and polished their talents, the musicians continued playing live, along bands such as Maybeshewill, ioseb or Jeniferever, and creating what would later become their repertoire. A breakthrough occurred when, having won a talent showcase, Spoiwo were offered the chance to have their material professionally recorded. And this quickly led to a conclusion that capturing the essence of music appearing in the mind of an artist can be a true challenge, but eventually, thanks to a mixture of ingenuity and luck, the very first two tracks, Skin and Years of Silence, were recorded. It became obvious not long afterwards, that instrumental music can benefit greatly when supported with a visual part, but Spoiwo could not afford recording videos themselves. Instead, they looked for young and ambitious artists with whom they could work together. Fortunately, as soon as David Lindberg heard Years of Silence he decided to create a clip for this track, which was premiered in 2012. A few months later, co-operation with Kristof Brandl led to the video premiere of Skin. The name Spoiwo started to be recognized and attract more and more fans, as they were enchanted by the music and the statement behind it. While many “post-rock” bands compose songs using riffs and effects widely associated with this genre, Spoiwo focused on its core and the idea it represents – the sheer beauty of emotional expression unbounded by any constraints, strong, powerful, yet delicate in its harmony. They played their hearts out and did their very best to record it – just as they promised themselves at the beginning of this journey.
The journey, however, was far from being over; they began working towards recording a full album. For Spoiwo it was much more than a set of songs, Salute Solitude was a reflection of themselves and it grew as they matured. They spent years chasing after the very best of bands and with this album they wanted to join these ranks. This left no room for errors or even improvement, as they strived for perfection. It was their belief that the combination of talent, hard work and determination would allow them to overcome any and all difficulties ahead. The process began in rehearsal rooms, where the basis of compositions was created. Then came the fulfilling of those compositions with various tracks, a part that is just as exciting as exhausting. Constantly seeking the very best arrangement, they tried more than plenty combinations, working for weeks on each of the tracks. To help them achieve their goals, Spoiwo came with a very simple process of decision making: any resolution would require the approval of each of the five artists. Even if only a single of them would vote against a certain sound or passage, the band would continue working and trying until everyone was satisfied. If this were not enough, the same mindset was used for the process of mixing and mastering in the studio. As you can see, perfectionism is not an overstatement in this case.
All these decisions and experiences stretched the process of releasing the debut recording. But rather than resenting it, the band cherished it, treating the work on the album as a way to further discover and define themselves while strengthening the foundation of friendship upon which Spoiwo is built. It wasn’t until 2015 that the album was ready to be released. What has started in room S8 of the atomic shelter was about to turn a whole new page. Challenging the well known superstition, Salute Solitude was published on Friday, 13th of March. It is a pitch black CD with a single character etched onto it, one resembling digit “8” vertically cut into two halves. A symbolic reference to their first rehearsal room, the infinity, a symbol into which all of the letters in “Spoiwo” can be fitted. A symbol, whose full meaning is yet to be discovered and defined.
I had the chance to see Spoiwo play live a week prior to the release, together with Tides From Nebula, Skyharbor and sleepmakeswaves. They played a marvelous, monumental and heart-touching show. The music was much more than a compilation of songs, it was a real experience, one that is hard to pass by unnoticed and leaves a permanent impression. All the sweat and heart poured out by them to play that day with these stars came as a crushing wave on the listeners. I wouldn’t say that Spoiwo supported these bands, I believe they shared the scene with them, standing proudly among some of the best. As their equals.