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The return of Black Spiders: "Every song needs to punch you in the face"

Black Spiders crowd at Download Festival 2012
(Image credit: Will Ireland)

From their arrival on the scene in 2008, Sheffield-based band Black Spiders impressed with their high-octane, heavy rock’n’roll, effectively a superlative meld of Motorhead, Black Sabbath and AC/DC

Three albums and a ton of touring later – including supports with Ozzy Osbourne, Airbourne and Black Stone Cherry – the Spiders ground to a halt as “creatively, we weren’t progressing”. 

But a self-titled new album is imminent for Pete ‘Spider’ Spiby (guitar/lead vocals), Andrew ‘Ozzy’ Lister (guitar/vocals), Mark ‘Dark Shark’ Tomas (guitar/vocals), Wyatt Wendels (drums) and Adam ‘The Fox’ Irwin (bass). 

Here, lead Spider Spiby spills the beans.

Alt

The band went on hiatus in 2017. What changed to end that? 

During the time off we probably had more upheaval than we did up to taking a break [laughs]. I’d done a solo album [Failed Magician, 2018], but some songs were more Black Spiders. I talked to Ozzy [Lister] about it, then we all met up at his wedding in 2019 and decided to do something again. 

That’s a nice celebratory occasion to get you back together. 

A wedding, yeah. Myself and Ozzy started swapping ideas, and at the start of 2020 we demoed stuff. Then the pandemic began. 

It didn’t stop you, though

No. In fact if we’d known we could work the way we did we might not have had a break. We’d always been a band who went into a rehearsal room with loads of ideas. The new way seemed a lot more straightforward and positive. We ended up with more song ideas than ever. 

How did you find your new drummer, Wyatt Wendels [a presenter at Planet Rock radio]? 

I was a fan of Wyatt’s show, and he did this drum thing during the first lockdown called Cymbals Of Appreciation, recreating song intros, dedicated to key workers. I asked him: “Have you ever been in a band?” We sent him some demos and were impressed with what we got back, so we booked a studio in the time frame between lockdowns.

But you worked remotely

Yes. We’ve never been in a room together playing these songs. But things just clicked. We went in to record one at a time, and Wyatt smashed it. 

The songs on new album Black Spiders are bursting with the joy of rock. What were your inspirations? 

We knew if we were coming back we had to dig deep. We cherry-picked songs that would show a breadth of styles, but kept the parameters of the first album [Sons Of The North, 2011]. We had a Zoom meeting and Ozzy said: “Every song needs to punch you in the face.” 

You’re now on Patreon. How will that help support the band? 

At the moment we’re using this as a fan club, showing works-in-progress and things. We care about the people who already like us, and hopefully at some point we’ll all get together for some live shows, which is where we excel. 

What else do you see the band doing in 2021? 

If this carries on we’ll probably just do another album [laughs]. We’ve got the foundation, we know what we’re doing, and the new currency for people is music – and we’ve got plenty of that. 

Black Spiders is out now via Dark Riders.

Jo Kendall

Embracing weird, wild and wonderful sounds, Prog's new editor Jo's also a Classic Rock columnist, an avid tea-drinker and cupcake fancier.