Seldom is the rat a muse for musicians.
But for Sheffield’s Black Spiders, they’ve made the dirty little creature the focus of their latest release.
The band’s latest EP, Rat Mansion, is named after the band’s less than immaculate rehearsal space, as guitarist Oz Lister explains.
“We named the EP Rat Mansion because we’d been on tour and had a load of Pot Noodles in packets – they were all sealed but somehow the rats got in there. So when we walked in there was rat poo everywhere and the whole place smelled like a toilet. It was disgusting.”
The EP is released on their own label but with the backing of Cooking Vinyl’s subsidiary label, Double Cross.
“We pretty much manage ourselves though,” says Lister.
Black Spiders formed in about 2008. “Me and Pete Spiby started messing around playing riffs through amplifiers and it grew from there. We were both working as guitar technicians and I was touring a lot with bands like Mogwai but there came about when it was a choice between the band and our jobs.”
In true rock and roll style, the pair opted to go with the band.
“We take our name from Pete’s surname actually, which is ‘Spiby’ because when he was in his previous band a lot of people in the press referred to him as ‘Spider’. And the Black Spiders were also a biker gang in a Clint Eastwood film.”
The band’s musical niche is rock metal and they play across Europe. “We recently played at Rock am ‘Ring at the Nurburgring in Germany, we’ve just come back from Sonisphere and we’re playing at a festival in Holland soon.”
The band write and record in Sheffield, as well as produce their videos here. “Last time we shot a video in Sheffield I was running around bare-chested.”
Rat Mansion is available on ITunes now.