Simon Harper discovers that staying home inspires a group of indie rockers...
The city of Austin in Texas is the live music capital of the world, or at least according to its bars and transport hubs.
Possibly because of that reputation, and dedication to promoting live music, Austin is a hotbed of talent - not only nurturing blues, folk and country acts, but also some of the most prodigiously gifted underground rock bands.
One of the finest acts to emerge from the burgeoning scene in Austin, Spoon have been creating spiky avant-pop for more than a decade.
Having remained in Austin, resisting the allure of the indie rock hotspots of New York and Los Angeles, Spoon mainman Britt Daniel is convinced that it's helped maintain their approach.
"Well, I just never figured that that had anything to do with the music. You might be able to go to better parties out there, or meet people better.
"It's very easy to stay focused on the music part of it here, I believe, and I think it's benefited us."
Beginning as Pixies-style rockers, their sound has broadened somewhat, culminating in a string of highly acclaimed albums, including Girls Can Tell, Kill the Moonlight and their latest, Gimme Fiction.
Critics have noted Daniel's wellheeled pop nous, especially on more recent material, which has garnered comparisons with the Beatles and David Bowie.
"I like the Beatles quite a bit," says the Spoon frontman, who along with drummer Jim Eno has been an ever-present in the band's line-up.
"You have to. If you could put a time capsule of the best things of mankind, you'd have to put the Beatles in there. I do like some Bowie, but the parts of Bowie that I like are the weirder, Low through Lodger era, and I don't think that our records really sound like those."
One of the most ear-catching songs on the outstanding Gimme Fiction belies such rock tendencies though.
Lead single I Turn My Camera On, with Daniel's Lennon-esque rasp giving way to a falsetto, bears the influence of the band's chief song-writer, who's also a fan of Marvin Gaye and Prince; it goes some way to explaining the kind of fluid funkiness not normally expected from a guitar band.
"I've always used [falsetto] a bit, like in and out of songs. That was the first time in a while when I'd done a whole song when it was falsetto, and you kind of know when you do something like that people are going to say 'Prince'. Which I have no problem with; I adore Prince's records, especially his 80s records. Yeah, I'll probably do it some more."
I Turn My Camera On, ostensibly a song about emotional distance, highlights just how much Spoon have developed since their formative years.
There have been subtle shifts between each Spoon album, although Daniel confesses that any difference from record to record isn't necessarily intentional.
"I think it's mostly just the way things turn out. There might be some slightly unconscious reaction to what we've just finished touring on, and then you kind of try some different things out just to keep yourself interested.
"It wasn't like we sat down and said 'Here's the grand plan for this one'. I actually did try to come up with a grand plan for [Gimme Fiction] and it didn't work out at all."
Despite this, the finished product stands as a highlight in a career which has seen Spoon release a number of excellent albums. Since the record was finished, the band have enjoyed slots at the Slintcurated All Tomorrow's Parties festival at Camber Sands, and the South By South West festival in Austin, and reactions to the new album have been incredibly positive.
"Yeah, it feels like it's going down well. It seems like, even when we were playing South By South West and All Tomorrow's Parties, which were a few months before the record came out, people already knew the songs from the record, because of that wonderful worldwide web. The record had a really huge first week, which kinda took everybody by surprise."
Although Spoon are due to be out on the road for a while longer, Daniel is obviously eager to get back into the studio as soon as possible, and start working on new material.
"Albums are where it's at for me," he drawls. "That's the end-all, be-all of music: to make great albums. I haven't written much recently. I wish I had," laughs Daniel, before letting out a mock sigh.
Surely he deserves a break.