The Struts combine forces with Robbie Williams for stirring ballad Strange Days

A portrait of The Struts
(Image credit: Beth Saravo)

It's only been five days since glam rock scamps The Struts released Another Hit Of Showmanship, featuring Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr, and they're already at it again.

This time it's former Take That singer, noisy neighbour of Jimmy Page and undeniable pop superstar Robbie Williams who guests, appearing on Strange Days, the title track of the Struts upcoming third album. Strange Days is due for release on October 16 via Interscope/Polydor. 

The collaboration initially came about as The Struts launched their Quarantine Radio Instagram Live show in the early days of lockdown.

"I was doing Quarantine Radio and Robbie hit me up out of the blue asking if we could talk,” explains Struts frontman Luke Spiller. “We ended up Face-Timing for about two hours the first time we’d ever spoken, talking about life and music and UFOs and everything else you can think of. 

"I asked if he’d like to work together at some point, and while we were making the album he graciously let us come over and record him singing on his front porch."

"We did a vocal for a wonderful song that has been gifted my way," says Williams. "It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to listen to this man sing. It’s great to be a fan of someone and then a part of this recording. It’s like having a hero here and I genuinely mean that."

Williams will be joining The Struts to perform Strange Days at Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground this Sunday, as part of Unicef's Soccer Aid event. Viewers in The UK will be able to catch the performance on ITV. 

Strange Days was recorded at the Los Angeles studio of John Levine, who also worked with The Struts on second album Young And Dangerous. The sessions took place during lockdown, with the band moving into Levine's home for the duration of the recording.

“It was so much fun to make a record this way instead of getting everything done in-between touring, working with multiple producers in multiple countries,” says Spiller. “We were all just burning to capture that excitement as much as we possibly could, and at times it felt like the songs were literally just falling from the sky. 

"It was undoubtedly a magical ten days for us – and I hope when people hear the album, it gives them a taste of that magic too."

As well as Hammond Jr. and Williams, the album features guest appearances from Def Leppard's Joe Elliott and Phil Collen on I Hate How Much I Want You, Rage Against Machine's Tom Morello adds guitar to Wild Child, and the band cover Kiss's Do You Love Me?.

Strange Days is available to pre-order now.

The Struts: Strange Days tracklist

1. Strange Days
2. All Dressed Up (With Nowhere To Go)
3. Do You Love Me
4. I Hate How Much I Want You
5. Wild Child
6. Cool
7. Burn It Down
8. Another Hit Of Showmanship
9. Can't Sleep
10. Am I Talking To The Champagne (Or Talking To You)

The Struts - Strange Days

(Image credit: Interscope / Polydor)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.