On the radar: The Struts

Since that period of unpleasantness surrounding the tea and taxation back in the 1700s, the English have become pretty popular in America. Derby glam rockers The Struts plugged away in the UK for years before their ode to living a life of righteousness, Could Have Been Me became a surprise hit in the US.

"It was blowing-up and we didn't even have a record deal," recalls guitarist Adam Slack - who, we kid you not, is fresh from a Rolling Stone photoshoot in New York when TG calls. "The song was a hit here and we didn't have the radio play in the UK, so we thought, 'Well, we've got to go where we're wanted…'"

We recorded It Could Have Been Me in a day. At the time I didn't even think I liked the song, but I like it now!

So, packing up their leather and leopard-print luggage, the band moved over to LA, where they promptly secured a major label record deal and found an obsessive new audience.

"We don't even have a fixed address, we're all still living out of suitcases, so it's constant touring," continues Adam. "We can sell out shows in the UK, but being so far away from home, in the middle of Atlanta, and having 600 people singing all our words, it's just amazing."

Everybody wants some

At this point you're probably thinking, 'Yeah, but do these chancers actually sound any good?' Well, yes, they do. Recently released debut album, Everybody Wants, is full of irresistible Brit-popping, glamrocking hits-in-the-making.

Adam does a killer line in growling melodic riffs, offering a choice of "loud and louder" courtesy of his Les Paul Jr, played through the boutique loveliness of a Divided By 13 BTR 23 amp and Xotic RC Booster, while frontman Luke Spiller jives across the triangulated territory between Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler and Noddy Holder.

"He's always been like that," laughs Adam. "The first time I met him I was like, 'Can you sing Far, Far Away by Slade?' And he did it. I just thought, 'You're the one!' He's always been flamboyant, too. My mum used to give him some of the clothes she'd wear in the 70s. He still wears them now!"

The Struts are nothing if not committed. "That was what Could Have Been Me was about. We didn't want to look back and think, 'That could have been me, if I'd just given it a little bit more effort,'" adds Adam. "We recorded the whole song in a day. At the time I didn't even think I liked the song, but I like it now!"

  • For fans of: Slade, Oasis, Rival Sons
  • Hear: Could Have Been Me
Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.