“I guess I’d describe it as glam indie rock ‘n’ roll,” says Luke Spiller, trying to categorize the sound of the band he’s fronted for the past five years. The lead singer of emerging English quartet The Struts is currently in Los Angeles with his bandmates: lead guitarist Adam Slack; bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies, preparing for the U.S. release of their four-song EP, “Have You Heard,” dropping today, and an extensive Stateside tour that includes an already sold-out show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on Oct. 23. This is the foursome’s second time Stateside after making their debut during New York Fashion Week in February, performing at the John Varvatos Bowery Live event. Besides spending time in the studio, catching some rays by the pool, attending the L.A. premiere of “Straight Outta Compton,” and performing at the iHeartMedia Music Summit, the boys have been rummaging through thrift shops adding to their Sixties- and Seventies-inspired wardrobes. WWD caught up with Spiller by phone during a shopping excursion before heading to San Diego for a radio show and a gig at the House of Blues.
WWD: How are you enjoying your time in L.A.?
L.S.: It’s absolutely amazing. I’m currently on Melrose getting all stocked up for the upcoming dates. There’s a lot I need to update the wardrobe before we hit the road again.
WWD: The show you played for John Varvatos in February was the first time you performed in the United States — could you get a sense of how American audiences are different than European audiences?
L.S.: Not particularly. But in terms of the fans’ reaction, what we’ve had on social media; it’s been incredible. We’ve had over 2 million plays now on Spotify for our song “Could Have Been Me” so if the reaction to the live shows is going to be anywhere close to what we’ve had on social media, I think it’s possibly going to be the best stretch of dates we’ve ever had in our career.
WWD: What bands did you listen to as a teenager?
L.S.: Queen, The Stones, Aerosmith. I just had a deep fascination really with what had gone before [musically] and from an early age I kind of made it my business to completely self educate and to make myself aware of what had gone on before to know which way to push forward. We love bands that match our ambition, like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Cream.
WWD: How would you describe your fashion sense?
L.S.: I’ve had such a lack of things I’ve wanted to purchase, which kind of led me to start creating my own leather jackets. And I’m currently working on my own clothing label. It’s glam, stuff that really reflects the performance. The goal is to open some sort of online shop. I want to make it kind of all exclusives. Just kind of taking the clothes I’ve got on tour and using them as a mood board and then creating slightly more commercial products, whether it be a cool T-shirt or hand-painted leather jackets. I just think there’s such a lack of style, especially for men. I’m forever walking around in girls clothing, which I don’t mind, but it would be nice to have some things for men. It’s in the early stages at the moment but we’re in deep talks.
WWD: What is your ultimate stage outfit, what does it have to have?
L.S.: I guess it’s got to be big and loud and bombastic and just enhance the music. Not just watching four guys draped in Topman or Urban Outfitters. The bigger the show, the bigger the outfit has to be. Like when we played with The Rolling Stones, that was 80,000 people, so I ended up wearing a Zandra Rhodes outfit because visually you need to reach as many people as you can.