Features One Question Interviews SPELLS

One Question Interviews: SPELLS

P. Bohner (SPELLS)

SPB: The band name is almost refreshingly simple. How did you choose it?

Bohner: Well first off, I would like to say that I am personally not a fan of being IN bands that contain the article "THE". I love bands that have articles in their name but I personally gravitate to names without it. Band names like DEVO, Drive Like Jehu, !!!, Shellac, etc. just always sound better to my ears. When Charlie and I first started writing songs and decided we were going to do an actual band thing, we had a running list of names on a dry erase board that we would just write stuff down when we got together to play. It was a pretty good list that I wish we had taken a picture of or kept around. I think some of the names revolved around Andrew Ridgeley but remember Charlie saying that we couldn't use that name because he has that in mind for another project.  (It was The Andrew Ridgeleys and no, Charlie hasn't used it... yet!)

Around that time I was listening to a Mrs. Magician 7" called The Spells on repeat. I was just obsessed with the sound of the record. The guitar tone to start the song off just screamed a ‘60s beach vibe that just sucked you into the song. I gravitated mostly to the way the drum sound was just "in the pocket". It just really plays well with the song as a whole. Not too flashy and just the right amount of swing to accompany the swaying guitar and vocal melodies. It was and is a drum sound that I tend to try to emulate in SPELLS. WWHBD (What Would Hal Blaine Do?) is my other drumming philosophy, except he wouldn't be in SPELLS, that's for damn sure! 

So going back to The Spells, the line in the song: "I've had the chills/ I've had the spells/ I'm 27 now so what the hell/ I can't be this pathetic forever." was just on repeat in my head. The song refers to that feeling you have when someone has left you and you feel so empty, but I can remember my grandmother saying she would have "spells" from time to time when she would get headaches. I thought it was just a cool ambiguous meaning. It can mean a headache, being dizzy, being in love with someone, having someone fall in love with you (shout out to Screamin' Jay Hawkins), falling out of love, or even magic.

So heading into practice later on, I wrote down SPELLS on the band name board. We had just added The Shithead to the mix and he and Charlie were immediately sold on the name and how it was stylized. Yes, we always capitalize it. Why? It just looks better. Lower case "e's" next to lower case "l's" look weird to me. We don't have much we can control in this world, but we can hopefully control the way our name is spelled ;) Did we bother to look up if there were other bands with the same name? Nope. I'm almost sure there was. There always is. In fact, shout out to the band Spells from back in the day! They went on to form bands like The GEDS who fucking rule! Also, big ups to Carrie Brownstein for also having a previous band called The Spells. Do you see how those are spelled? We are so unique and spell it in all caps. S.P.E.L.L.S. spells SPELLS. SPELLS Rules!


*footnote - The Beatles was already taken.


Words by Loren on Jan. 13, 2021, 8:15 p.m.

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Posted by Loren on Jan. 13, 2021, 8:15 p.m.

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