Interview by Jake Jeremy. Photos by Mark Richards.
Dan Goatham is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Kent’s finest melodic punk band: Spoilers.
I’ve known Dan ever since my early ska-punk playing days around the dirge of the Medway towns. Back then then he fronted 7 Day Conspiracy, a band who produced politically-charged punk anthems that made them one of the South East’s most sought after acts.
Spoilers are Dan’s latest project of many. They’re a 4-piece melodic punk act with a knack for writing tunes that are catchier than chlamydia and a whole lot less irritating. Back in 2015 they released their first EP Stay Afloat and they’ve since become a regular name on the UK live circuit.
I spoke to Dan just after his set at The Smokehouse in Ipswich, on a bill that also included Causal Nausea and Grand Collapse (check out our review here). Here’s what we got up to…
Shout Louder: I’m joined by Dan Goatham from… Spoilers, Southport, 7 Day Conspiracy, Melchett… Are there any bands I’m missing?
Dan: I played in a band called Morgan’s Puff Adder when I was growing up. They were a ska-punk band in Kent. That was like 15, 16, maybe 17 years ago.
Shout Louder: Wow, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time! [Check out their Myspace page here] I was in a ska punk band in Kent so I definitely remember MPA.
Dan: The Throwoffs?
Shout Louder: OK, less about me! [Both laugh awkwardly and knowingly.] Let’s talk Spoilers and specifically your influences. I’ve noticed that your vocal delivery is very Leatherface.
Dan: Yeah, very Leatherface, although some of the early stuff that Frankie [Stubbs] did was quite high, a lot of the stuff he did is quite low and he doesn’t push it too hard. But, yeah, they’re a massive influence throughout Spoilers in general. Everyone is a big fan of Leatherface.
Shout Louder: Cool. Any other bands you’d like to name?
Dan: Obviously Snuff, Husker Du, Goober Patrol… Consumed, Slade, early Green Day…
Shout Louder: I’ve noticed with Spoilers that you aren’t sticking to standard four chord punk. You guys know that you have six strings. There are little nuances in your songs; you’re playing parts higher up on the fretboard and that opens the melodies up a bit.
Dan: There are a lot of early ’90’s bands that took that approach, like Midway Still, Mega City Four, bands like that. I’ve grown up listening to a lot of that stuff so I think that’s where it comes from.
Shout Louder: Fundamentally, the band is still very British sounding too.
Dan: Yeah I think so. It’s kind of hard to not sound British when you come from Kent, everyone just sounds very typically British.
Shout Louder: I know you mentioned during your set tonight that there’s a new Spoilers album incoming… when’s that being recorded?
Dan: We started recording some demos at the beginning of the year. One of the songs was going to be on a split with another band which has been put on hold. Basically we’re going in to record in November, and I think we’ve got eight tracks finished. We’re going in to track everything and then return later to do vocals.
Shout Louder: Where are you recording?
Dan: It’s a place called Gravity Shack in South London with a guy called Dan Goudy, who actually produced the last album. He didn’t record it but he did mix and master it. We loved what he did so we decided to just do the whole recording with him this time.
Shout Louder: You said to me earlier about a potential new 7 Day Conspiracy album…?
Dan: Yeah, we’ve recorded a whole album. Everything is recorded except vocals; we haven’t written a lot of the lyrics for the songs. There’s a lot of vocal melodies but the words aren’t quite there. Everything has been put on hold because our drummer is developing a computer game that he’s written and designed – it’s unbelievable! He’s working for himself essentially but he’s been picked up by a huge company to make this game, so until it’s released it’s taking up his entire existence. All four of us are really close and we go back a long way, so we get together at least once a week for a beer and to talk a load of old shit.
Shout Louder: I remember the first time that I had a support slot with 7 Day at the RAFA club in Chatham (Kent).
Dan: Yeah, that’s just outside the Command House by the river.
Shout Louder: The venue that is basically one door and that’s it! Can’t get a gig at the Command? Then just play here…
Dan: The Command House gigs were great. 7 Day once supported Leatherface at the Command and Duncan from Snuff was on drums for Leatherface, so I remember that gig very well. Whenever I think of the Command House I think of that gig.
Shout Louder: I can see why! But yeah my main memory of supporting 7 Day for the first time was during soundcheck, when your drummer was happily just reading a book.
Dan: [Laughs] He likes a book that boy!
Shout Louder: Just like War and Peace on his snare, it was absolutely surreal and hilarious.
Dan: [Laughs] Probably stealing bits of it for his computer game.
Shout Louder: Borrowing mate, borrowing.
Dan: I have actually also recorded a covers thing with 7 Day. I think regardless of whether 7 Day gigs anymore we will always do something together, because we are really close mates. We’ve all grown up together.
Shout Louder: Well, Dan, thank you very much for your time.
Interview by Jake Jeremy. Photos by Mark Richards.