By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
But even if Spoon didn't become the next big thing in the "Self-Indulgent Live Music Capital of the World," it did catch the ear of one of today's maestros of hip, Gerard Cosloy, the combative co-owner of Matador Records (home to the likes of Pavement and Liz Phair). "I had heard that Gerard had heard us at an anti-South by Southwest show in 1994, and liked us," recalls Daniel. "We sent him our 7-inch [The Nefarious EP on Fluffer Records], we sent him our demos, and I sent a solo tape to him. Finally, he called and said, 'If you are ever in New York, let me know so I can set up a show for you.' So it was sorta like that for a while. He came and saw us whenever we were up there."
Meanwhile, Spoon had started recording an album on eight-track in Croslin's garage. Though the setup was technologically simple, Daniel says, "I think we really did indulge ourselves. We spent a long time recording this record. We spent four months recording, and maybe like five months mixing. That wasn't like eight hours a day, that was at night, some of it in between a record John was doing with the Wannabes. But still, there is an element of broadness to it, and I think there's also a lot going on on the record. It's not just guitar, bass, and drums. There's a lot of instrumentation and a lot of sound effects."
It also was good enough to convince Cosloy. "Once we had the rough mixes of this album, we sent those to him, and after about a month or so, he made us an offer," says Daniel.
So without the usual Austin fanfare, Spoon landed on one of today's trendiest labels, and has been out on tour opening shows for labelmates Guided By Voices. How did the band pull that off?
"I think the reason why things are happening for us on some level is because we were real dedicated, and primarily we had good songs," Daniel notes. "We worked real hard at recording a good record and finding good people to work with businesswise."
It's all been part of a continuing education. "I got better at telling what was a bad song and what was a good song. I got hooked up with more serious dudes," he concludes. "But we're still learning a lot.