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Big Takeover Exclusives: August 26, 2022

Spray Allen
Rock band Spray Allen is formed of members of Sublime, Unwritten Law, and Late Night Episode, and they recently released their potent debut double album.

Spray Allen – live – Photo Credit: Thea Wilson

Spray Allen is bass player Eric Wilson of Sublime’s new band, and also features drummer Wade Youman of Unwritten Law, and vocalist Daniel Lonner and guitarist Eric Sherman from Late Night Episode.

Their new album Needful Things is 25-song double LP that came out digitally Friday, July 15, with vinyl coming out this fall season.

Elements of solo Mark Lanegan, Purple -era STP, and the Butthole Surfers at their most melodic can be heard across the span of these 25 songs. As a matter of fact, the sessions were actually recorded at the legendary Texas studio Sonic Ranch with Surfers guitarist Paul Leary, as well as Stu Brooks, bassist for the invincible Dub Trio.

Lonner explains the origins of Spray Allen, commenting, “Spray Allen was formed ceremoniously in a circle in the Mojave desert. After months on end of playing covers and learning each other’s love language we began to start crafting our original music. We had one rule, no rules. When songs started to form, Eric Wilson recruited long-time friend and collaborator Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers to help put the pieces together. After two years of molding the sound and three final weeks at Sonic Ranch our debut double album Needful Things was born.”

Check out a vivid music video that the band unleashed last year for “Stay Clean,” which they describe as, “The devil awakens and dances his way through the streets of San Diego, meeting characters who are on a journey to ‘Stay Clean.’”

VIDEO CREDITS: Producer – Spray Allen, Director Jake Frankenfield, Co-director Mykee Delmundo, Director of Photography: Jake Frankenfield – first AC: Elizabeth Ehlers, PA: Alissa Evans, PA: Edward Reuss, PA: Josh Lonner, PA: Eli Lonner

Lonner and Sherman have kindly taken part in this Top 10 Songs Playlist, with each of them providing their Top 5 Songs for the list:

Vocalist Daniel Lonner’s Five Songs:

Beastie Boys – “High Plains Drifter”
“One morning after taking psychedelics all night I was starting to come down off the effects when Wilson magically appeared in our jam room with a record player and an unopened copy of Paul’s Boutique. I was slightly familiar with the Beastie Boys but mainly the hits – I had not heard any of this album. Being from New York I felt pretty silly considering the artwork is beautiful shots of the Lower East Side where I had spent a lot of my early twenties. The artwork became 3D and holographic to me and Eric played the record for me at the loudest his PA system would go. The phasing chopped vocals on this track made the song sparkle. The low end all over this album is ridiculous and the Dust Brothers (who produced it) went above and beyond in the detail. Anytime our music leans in a hip-hop direction I think of this album.”

Led Zeppelin – “I’m Gonna Crawl”
“It’s a weird song and the last on In Through the Outdoor. I probably listened to it 100 times when we were writing for the album. It feels like a kiss good night from John Bonham with the time signature being in 6/8 with a really dynamically played hi-hat . You can really hear the composition finesse from John Paul John’s and Robert Plants vocal arch and lyrics are spooky. Jimmy Page is probably my all time favorite guitarist but all he does is hold it down with a lullaby on this one.”

The Doors – “Not to touch the Earth”
“My favorite song by The Doors is “When the Music’s Over”, but one night Wade exclaimed that he thought The Doors was the first punk band which confused me. I knew that Jim was a big influence on Iggy Pop but never thought of them as a punk band. When Wade played me “Not To Touch The Earth” I understood. The song feels like a storm building and when it hits the climax it ushers in complete chaos. I thought about this song a lot when we we’re recording “Into The Sun.”“

Half Pint – “Cost of Living”
“It is a crazy juxtaposition living with Wilson and being broke at the same time. Living with a legend but watching the cost of the lifestyle is pretty trippy. The lyrics spoke to me a lot in this one. Having Wilson show you reggae and dancehall music is really a one of a kind experience. He introduced me to Half Pint and so many other greats. I am very blessed to discover music through him.”

Dub Trio – “Needles”
“We we’re lucky enough to have Stu Brooks from Dub Trio work on a bunch of the songs from our album. The songs “Illuminate Me” and “The Innocent” were heavily influenced by the soundscape of “Needles”. The weird ethereal sound on the beginning of the song is actually Stu playing through his insane-o pedalboard creating a most heavenly pad sound. As a singer it is awesome to listen to a band without one, where it doesn’t feel like it’s missing. Bands like Dub Trio make you appreciate the musicality and emotion of the band, it’s more pure art than lyrics in my opinion.”

Guitarist Eric Sherman’s Five Songs:

Dead Boys – “Not anymore”
“Dirty guitars, pain-stricken vocals, but phrased like a pop song. We’ve played this song at almost every show and I really love the idea of making a lo-fi punk rock song that’s infectious.”

Fugazi – “Waiting Room”
“Fugazi sounds like they’ve been locked in a room playing together for years. Capturing that ethos was — and putting in the work before making the album — is / was extremely influential.”

Flying Burrito Brothers – “Christine’s Tune”
“Wilson put a few of us onto this band. Organic, soulful, beautiful harmonizations…whenever the acoustic guitar came out we aimed to create something they wouldn’t absolutely despise. Hope it worked out.”

Linkin Park – “Faint”
“Drums that bang, + big guitars + catchy hooks = a lot of the album, and a lot of the good LP songs. I don’t think we ever put this band on to listen to, but subconsciously growing up during the era that math crept into some of the music.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Strip My Mind”
“Sometimes less is more. 4 instruments can sound bigger than 20 sometimes — and one vocal can be more emotional and powerful than beautiful backing vocals.”