On their great new album Hot Thoughts, Spoon augment their immaculate rock’n’roll songwriting with a battery of synths and studio ear candy, approaching something like their own funhouse-mirror vision of 2017 pop. In a new feature with Rolling Stone, Britt Daniel and the band revealed that when the album was in progress, they even went as far as to collaborate with a pair of bona fide pop hitmakers: Jack Ü, the big-tent EDM duo comprised of Diplo and Skrillex.
According to Rolling Stone, Spoon hoped Skrillex would remix the funky Hot Thoughts highlight “Can I Sit Next to You,” but ended up jamming with him for 20 minutes on original material as well. Daniel and multi-instrumentalist Jim Fischel gave a brief but tantalizing account of their encounter, which apparently took place at a Malibu mansion “owned by a guy who made porn” and involved Skrillex shouting “Bah!” at his computer while he worked. (This turned out to be part of the composition process.) From Rolling Stone:
“He worked so fast,” Fischel says, seated at a diner table with Daniel and Eno. “There was one point where the computer glitched out and he just yanked out the audio interface and just kept going on another machine. And all of a sudden, he just goes, ‘Bah! Bah!‘ just sampling his voice into the laptop microphone and he made a melody with that. It was like he had Tourette’s or something.”
“I didn’t know what the fuck he was doing with that, ‘Bah!‘” Daniel says, as they both laugh. “Then shortly after you’d hear it in the song.”
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The collaboration hasn’t been made public, but Daniel seems to hint in the piece that it might eventually see the light of day as a Jack Ü release.
In addition to his solo tracks and work as a pop producer, Skrillex is slowly building up a weird but impressive roster of rock collaborators: he co-produced Incubus’s forthcoming album 8, collaborated on orchestral arrangements with Van Dyke Parks, and now this. Hopefully someday we’ll hear it.