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Dressed To Dazzle, The Struts Want To Make Rock Fun Again

As The Struts, Luke Spiller (center) and his bandmates play glittery, '70s-style arena rock — and dress for the job.
As The Struts, Luke Spiller (center) and his bandmates play glittery, '70s-style arena rock — and dress for the job.

With a look and sound that evoke flashy vintage arena rock, The Struts might seem a little campy. But Luke Spiller, the English band's 27-year-old frontman, says he and his bandmates are out to make rock fun again.

"Every band seems to be so self-conscious, and I think people are beyond that now," he says. "They want to let themselves go, they want to be dazzled by a performance, and they want songs that they can sing along to."

The Struts have become a staple on rock radio, and they're selling out concerts. The members pride themselves on their look as well as their songs; at their shows, you'll find glitter and multiple outfit changes backing up a high-octane sound that hearkens back to the golden age of Bowie and Queen.

While American hip-hop swept England in the 1990s, Spiller, the son of a gospel musician, was getting hooked on glamorous '70s rock. He started wearing makeup to school, joined a band, and laid the groundwork for his formidable sartorial presence at his first gig, wearing a slashed-up jumper emblazoned with silver flames that he'd concocted himself.

After The Struts had been signed, Spiller says, the band's label pushed back on his colorful vision. They asked him to tone down the makeup and cut his hair, and the band began to flounder. Then, a real '70s act intervened: over the phone, the band was informed it had been picked to open for The Rolling Stones. True to form, Spiller arrived in a special outfit he'd commissioned from the designer who dressed Queen.

Spiller says that's what people are craving: fun, good times, and some good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll. Hear the full story at the link above.

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