At this year’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show, British glam rock band The Struts took the stage to perform their hit single “Body Talks” off their second album Young & Dangerous. Not only were they closing out the show after a slew of massive names in music (Shawn Mendes, Halsey, and Bebe Rexha to name a few), they were also the backing track to iconic model, Adriana Lima’s final walk. After their explosive performance, the general consensus was in: The Struts have IT.
While there are many debates and think pieces about the status of rock in today’s music landscape that is dominated by hip hop, Latin, and more recently K-Pop, it’s hard to deny the presence of a band like The Struts. When they walked in for our interview at the Dream Hotel in Los Angeles, Luke Spiller (vocals), Adam Slack (guitar), Jed Elliott (bass), and Gethin Davies (drummer) looked like rockstars. And not in the “oh they look like they’re in a band” because they’re sporting the typical band uniform of black skinny jeans and cool haircut. No, The Struts when they walk into a room look and feel like that old rock and roll glamor that most people can only hope to carry.
The past couple of years for them has had its share of huge wins for the band, including the aforementioned Victoria’s Secret closing performance and opening for Foo Fighters and The Rolling Stones. But there is something else that the band has been doing and that’s finally putting a face to the rebirth of true rock and roll.
“I think it’s a formula that’s been tried and tested, decade after decade after decade,” Spiller said of the genre. “Whether that’s The Stones taking black music in America and putting their own spin it. Whether it’s other British bands listening to The Beatles and doing that kind of stuff — we’re just doing the same thing. There’s always going to be a void to be filled when it comes to this kind of vibe of music. In all honesty, I don’t think everyone can do it.”
While other acts like Greta Van Fleet have been polarizing in the world of nostalgic rock and whether or not it walks the line of pure plagiarism versus inspiration, The Struts have managed to be influenced by classic rock but still put their own fingerprints on it. Something that the band has acknowledged hasn’t been in the easiest in today’s musical climate.
“I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, honestly. Unless it’s 100% something you know what to do, don’t do it. It makes life harder for yourself,” admitted Spiller. “There are times as individuals where we wake up on the wrong side of the bed thinking, ‘I wish things would go quicker. I wish we would’ve done this. I wish would’ve done that.’ Sometimes we wonder if the road is that much longer for us because of what we decided to do and the answer is yes. But it doesn’t matter because it’s what makes us happy.”
“It comes in waves really,” Slack explained about rock music. “There are bands like Imagine Dragons that are also defining rock music but there hasn’t been a band like us — a frontman defined one — that has come around in awhile, especially ones doing classically inspired rock music.”
Spiller has been compared most frequently to Freddie Mercury with his theatrical vocals and flamboyant stage persona and not dissimilar to these classic rock bands, The Struts are making a name for themselves through their live shows. In many ways, it’s a showcase that rock isn’t necessarily confined to a genre of music but more as a way of life.
“Rock is still there. It might be the dominant music at the moment but it’s still there,” explained Davies. “When we step out on stage for our shows, we see these people connecting with our music and we know it’s working.”
With a trail of accolades and accomplishments already behind them, The Struts are on their way up and there seems to be nothing that can get in their way.
“It’s very hard to predict what will happen,” said Spiller. “The only thing I can say is as long as we’re around it definitely has a chance of having its resurgence. Unlike a lot of people, we’re 100% dedicated and rarely compromise the vision and what we’re about. The most important thing is what we’re doing what we’re doing and working at the highest standard that we can. A lot of our recently found success is that we pride ourselves on putting on a really great live show and more importantly — even before that — we make sure we have the best songs possible.
If it pans out the way we want it to, we’ll look back on this year and last year and it’ll be a really treasured time where we were at cusp of something really big and something that can really change our lives forever.”