The Struts are a growing English rock band from Derby, Derbyshire, England. The band consists of vocalist Luke Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies. When it was formed in 2009, the original lineup composed of Spiller, Slack, bassist Jamie Binns, and drummer Rafe Thomas.
The band's influences include Queen, The Darkness, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, The Killers, The Smiths, Oasis, The Libertines, The Strokes, and My Chemical Romance. The Struts is known for their bold as brass over the top sense of rock n’ roll style. Also, their frontman Luke has more than a passing resemblance to Freddie Mercury.
Singer-songwriter and lead vocalist of the band, Luke Spiller was raised in Bristol in a Christian family. His exposure to music was mainly limited to gospel music. However, at the age of seven, he discovered Michael Jackson's Off the Wall. Inspired by Jackson, his first ambitions were to be a contemporary dancer. Things changed for Luke by the age of 11 as he was listening to Led Zeppelin, Queen, AC/DC, and Leonard Cohen. In addition to pretending to be Jackson in front of a mirror, he was imitating Bon Scott and Freddie Mercury. He began playing in bands as a teenager, only started to sing at age 16.
In 2009, Luke was living in Clevedon and there was where he met Derby-based guitarist/songwriter Adam Slack, who had also been playing with bands since his teens. At the time, both of their bands were "coming apart". Slack and Spiller quickly connected musically. Spiller moved to Derby to live with Slack. They lived, wrote, and recorded together for nearly three years. The pair recruited mutual friends Jamie Binns and Rafe Thomas to play bass and drums. In 2012, Binns and Thomas were replaced with bassist Jed Elliott and drummer Gethin Davies.
The band got the name The Struts based on an offhand comment made at a rehearsal. Luke Spiller said in a 2015 interview, "I was just moving around and somebody was like, 'you strut around a lot.' From then on, we knew we had a great name. We couldn't believe it hadn't been taken." The band played frequently throughout the UK but was still less known to mainstream listeners. In June 2012, they released their first single, "I Just Know" after developing a following. The Struts were signed by Future Records and later on, transferred to Virgin EMI after Future's demise and subsequently put out a four-track EP titled “Kiss This”.
In 2014, the band toured extensively in England and France. During the tour, they performed for 80,000 people as the opener for The Rolling Stones in Paris. That summer, they did a 24-date tour that included a gig at the Isle of Wight Festival. Spiller wore clothing designed for him by Zandra Rhodes, who formerly dressed the late Freddie Mercury.
As the Struts reputation as a live band grew, their audience increased till their shows were frequently sold-out. Spiller's talent as a frontman was often noted by the press. The reviews of Spiller described him as "a force of nature" and as a "physical, mesmerizing entertainer... vocally strong, expressive and blessed with excellent range". Spiller's looks and stage presence was described as "the musical love child of Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger".
Mike Oldfield recruited Spiller to sing on his 2014 album Man on the Rocks. Impressed by Spiller, Oldfield complimented him by saying, "He did a much better job of sounding like a rock star than me”.
The Struts first television performance was on Vintage TV's 'Live Sessions'. Toyah, Nik Kershaw, and Judie Tzuke performed on the same session as The Struts that was aired on 20 March. The band played two tracks, 'Kiss This' and 'Could Have Been Me’.
The Struts released Everybody Wants (debut album) in July 2014 in the UK. It charted in the UK and received positive reviews. One of the listeners stated on his Amazon review:
“This is the best debut album from any band since Guns N' Roses released "Appetite for Destruction" almost thirty years ago. It might even be better than that. There are no weak songs on this album. It's hard to designate a single category for the Struts because they show so much diversity on this record…”
In early 2015, The Struts signed to Interscope Records/Polydor. Later on, in August of that year, they released the EP Have You Heard which is their first U.S. release. They began a tour of the States in support of the record in September 2015. 20 dates were sold out. The band's Los Angeles debut at The Troubador was sold out in less than 30 minutes. Their other single "Could Have Been Me" became the lead single. It hit No. 1 on the Spotify Viral Top 50, No. 4 on the iTunes rock singles chart, and in the Top 5 on the U.S. alternative and active rock charts, and was also the official theme song of the WWE's NXT brand's 2015 pay-per-view NXT Takeover: London. The music video for the track had more than 1.5 million views within two months of its Vevo debut.
In early 2015, the Struts relocated to Los Angeles. Their first television appearance in America was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in August 2015. The band performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers later that year.
On 9 August 2016, they opened for the band Guns N' Roses for their Not in This Lifetime... tour at AT&T Park in San Francisco. They took the chance and debuted their new single "Put Your Hands Up" as the opening act of the concert.
Furthermore, on 3 March 2017, the band released "Live And Unplugged" a 5-song acoustic EP that includes a cover of "Hotline Bling".
In July 2017, they opened for the band The Who in Quebec City. They played for over 80 000 people, their biggest crowd to date.
On 23 September 2017, The Struts opened for The Rolling Stones during the #nofilter tour in Italy.
Almost a month later, on 12 October 2017, The Struts opened for the Foo Fighters at the Washington DC opening of The Anthem. Their act was a part of the North American leg of the Foo Fighters' Concrete and Gold Tour.
In June 2018, the band announced that they finished recording their second album, and it was in the final mixing stages. In the announcement, Luke Spiller said, “I think everyone's really going to enjoy it. We were very much aware that even though the band has lived with the first album and the songs that come with it for quite a while, for everyone else, it's relatively fresh. So I felt like it was really important to make this second album somewhat depart from the first one. Not a departure musically, I didn't want to go completely left. I think it's important to give people more of what they fall in love with.”
The Struts headlined their Body Talks tour, with bands Spirit Animal and White Reaper after the tour with Foo Fighters. The band also collaborated with American singer and songwriter Kesha for the remix of their single "Body Talks". The Struts premiered the single "Bulletproof Baby" in September. They then released their second album Young & Dangerous on 26 October 2018.