A Spoon-Fed Supergroup

Don’t call it a side project: Britt Daniel forms the indie power trio Divine Fits

October 17, 2012
Spoon’s Britt Daniel, left, recruited Sam Brown and Dan Boeckner for Divine Fits.

Every music geek has wondered what it would be like if two of their favorite artists collaborated.

As a teenager, Spoon frontman Britt Daniel envisioned an especially unlikely duo. “What would happen if Prince and [the Pixies’] Black Francis got together?” he says. “That’s what I wanted to know in 1989.”

Still lacking that answer, he’s settled for a dream team of his own creation. In his new band Divine Fits, Daniel joins Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs singer Dan Boeckner and New Bomb Turks drummer Sam Brown. In indie-rock circles, that’s a super-group. For Daniel, it’s an excuse to play in a band with a friend.

“I love Dan as a guy, I loved his records, and I loved seeing him onstage,” Daniel says. “Because of those three things, I thought the combination could be pretty great.”

Daniel and Boeckner invited Brown to be their drummer because they wanted Divine Fits to be more than a union of two songwriters. (Alex Fischel of L.A. rock band Papa plays keyboards on tour.)

“We wanted it to be a band where everybody had some kind of spark in their own way,” Daniel says.

Daniel and Boeckner share songwriting duties and trade vocals on the group’s debut, “A Thing Called Divine Fits.” The album is mostly a collection of synth-heavy songs. (Fans of Spoon and Wolf Parade will feel right at home.)

Divine Fits isn’t a one-off project, Daniel says. (Spoon fans, be calm; the band is just on a brief hiatus.) As the group began tour rehearsals, Daniel and Boeckner were already working on new songs to fill out the band’s setlist — and possibly another record. Those aren’t quite ready for the stage yet, though.

“You’ve gotta get lucky with new songs,” he says.

Backstory

When Divine Fits set out to record its debut disc, Dan Boeckner moved into Britt Daniel’s L.A. home for several months. “It allowed for an intense period where we were really getting [the record] done,” Daniel says.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Thu., 7 p.m., $20; 202-265-0930. (U Street)

 

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Marc Silver · October 17, 2012