The Struts’ Luke Spiller + Taylor Hawkins Were Planning a Queen Covers Tour
If you've followed The Struts, it's probably no big surprise that Queen is one of their major influences. In a new interview with Chris Jericho on the Talk Is Jericho podcast, The Struts frontman Luke Spiller reveals that he bonded with late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins over their mutual love of Queen, so much so that the musicians were planning a tour together where they would dig into Queen's catalog.
“To think that just before Taylor died, four or five weeks before, we were rehearsing together, getting ready to do a bunch of shows where we were going to look at the early Queen stuff and really dig out the deep cuts and do a bunch of shows like that,” Spiller recalled.
When asked about what they might have covered, Spiller revealed, “‘We Will Rock You,’ the fast version, was one of the ones for instance."
Sadly, the proposed tour with Spiller and Hawkins indulging their Queen influences onstage never came to fruition, but it did bittersweetly provide The Struts singer a chance to live out a dream.
Spiller actually had a chance to perform the fast version of "We Will Rock You" at the 2022 Taylor Hawkins Tribute Shows with the members of Queen and Foo Fighters.
"That was crazy," said Spiller of the experience. "You had Roger Taylor on the drums and Brian [May] up there on guitar, mixed with Dave [Grohl] and the rest of the Foo Fighters and that was just insane. Wembley Stadium in from of 80,000-plus people. I got to sing ‘We Will Rock You,’ the fast version from their live album, Live Killers, which is a version me and Taylor used to do with his covers band Chevy Metal.”
“There’s no other way to describe it really than to say it was one of the most bittersweet experiences that I’ve ever had in my life where you’re all there on this incredible day with an incredible audience to sort of remember and send off this incredible person who equally was an amazing musician as well. But you’re also really sad, but then it’s amazing to see so many people inspired and gather for one person and one specific cause,” said the singer, later adding, “It was one of the saddest days of my life but at the same time one of the most incredible days.”
Queen's Impact on The Struts' Luke Spiller
Elsewhere within the chat, Spiller revealed how he first got into Queen. “Queen and The Darkness were like my first real musical obsessions,” explained the singer. “I remember really getting into Queen the day after I went into a record shop in Bristol where I grew up and I saw all of these albums in the CD section by Queen and I thought they’d done a lot. So I made the conscious decision that I’m gonna go by the debut and I’m gonna buy that now and I’m going to soak it all in and go chronologically and I did that over the span of sort of a year and I was just blown away. I loved the diversity and everything and I obviously admired the musicality and obviously Freddie’s voice.”
“It’s funny, once you really fall in love with one particular group, and you sort of read up on them, you buy magazines, you read through their interviews and they mention their influences, so I would go and check them out. For Queen, I was suddenly looking at Hendrix, who Freddie was a massive fan of, and later I would go on to discover Led Zeppelin, which again was a massive obsession for quite some time.”
The Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert then provided a surreal moment for the singer, as he recalled, “It was showtime and I remember walking through the backstage area at Wembley with myself and Brian sort of leading the pack to the stage and I just suddenly realized, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so surreal.’ Cause when I was growing up, I would watch these videos of Freddie [Mercury] and the band backstage at MSG doing ‘the walk.’ And there I was doing ‘the walk’ with my heroes.”
What Are The Struts Up To?
These days, Spiller is taking that Queen influence and putting it to good use in The Struts. The band just released their new album, Pretty Vicious, and they're heading toward the Midwest on their current tour, with dates in Las Vegas, Louisville, Columbia (Mo.), Omaha and Green Bay over the next week. Get ticketing details here.
And check out Luke Spiller's full chat on the Talk Is Jericho podcast below.
The Struts' Luke Spiller on the Talk Is Jericho Podcast
Rockers We've Lost in 2022
Gallery Credit: Todd Fooks