Britt Daniel is in a pretty good place — literally: the sun-drenched Côte d’Azur seaside town of Aix-en-Provence, France, where he and his band, Spoon, are supporting ever-popular dark-rock dukes Interpol on a three-week European tour. He’s in a pretty good place figuratively, too: A new album, Gimme Fiction, is due May 10 on Merge, and the prerelease buzz has been over-whelmingly positive. Following their well-received Continental jaunt, the group will hardly have a chance to grab clean socks back home in Austin before heading out again in late May to crisscross the U.S.
It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. ” Emotional,” however, is the last word you’d use to describe Daniel. Spoon themselves have been called many things: acerbic, bookish, eccentric, volatile — but away from the page and the stage, the man who writes and sings the group’s consistently evocative lyrics makes the Marlboro Man seem chatty. Inquire into his songwriting process and you’ll get ”Um, I write the songs, so that’s me doing that, and then I bring them into the band and we decide how to play them.” And what’s up with the new disc’s Little Red Riding Hood cover art? ”Well, you know, I don’t like to be too literal.” Gotcha. Perhaps the artist’s process is a thing best left unexamined. Better, perhaps, to look at the end result: five albums in nearly a decade, each one stronger than the last. And France or no France, that’s a place any band would envy.