Spitalfield stops doing bad things and talks

By Matt Lee

Spitalfield, in support of the group’s newest album “Stop Doing Bad Things,” will headline The House Café, 263 E. Lincoln Highway, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Lead singer Mark Rose talked with Weekender about the origin of the band’s name, its newest music video and the experiences of being in a rock band.

Weekender: Where did you come up with the name Spitalfield?

Mark Rose: The name itself is a town in London where Jack the Ripper is from. Our original guitar player, who is not with the band anymore, came up with the name and we just stuck with it. It kind of has a darker undertone to it and we are a pop-oriented band, so we thought it was unique.

WE: Who or what inspires you to write the lyrics for most of the songs?

MR: I am inspired mostly by things that happen to me and my friends, family and … people I care about. With the amount of time we spend on the road touring, I find myself with a lot of different experiences and feeling a lot of different ways. I try to write lyrics that people can relate to, but everything I write is about things that have happened to me.

WE: Recently, you guys have had a video on MTV2, right?

MR: Yeah, the first single off the new record, “Gold Dust vs. State of Illinois.” We actually filmed it last February and it debuted at the end of March. It has been on Fuse and MTV2.

WE: When you write the music, do you try to send any kind of a message to people?

MR: Sometimes. “Tampa Bum Blues,” “The Future is Now” and “Simple Minds, Simple Lives” kind of convey a message and it might be a general message, too. It’s kind of like looking at your life, looking where you’re at and where you want to be and evaluating various things.

WE: Do you feel like your band has matured to the point where you want to be or do you feel you have more maturing to do?

MR: We’ve obviously matured a lot. Naturally, when playing music together, you learn so much about each other the more you play together. The fact that we play 250 shows a year puts us in a situation where we know each other better now than we ever did. I know the inside and outside of my band. We are like a family and right now, we are probably the strongest we’ve ever been. There’s always room to grow and I expect our third record to officially define us in the long run. Hopefully, the third record will propel us to where we want to be.

WE: What’s been your best experience playing live?

MR: Collectively, it’s being able to hit cities time and time again to the point where you really start to develop a fan base. We’ve seen the country and are starting to be able to see the world. I’m 22 years old and I feel like I’ve seen so much that I’d be content.

WE: What’s the worst?

MR: The toughest thing is the amount of time we spend away from friends and family. It’s really tough to keep contact with everybody. You can always call people and e-mail people, and thank God for that, but it’s weird. You leave and come back and your little brother is suddenly as tall as you. Strange things happen and that’s tough to deal with sometimes, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything right now.

WE: When you were growing up, who inspired you?

MR: The first bands I really got into would be Nirvana, Soundgarden and Metallica. Those records really excited me about music. Currently, the Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and Queens of the Stone Age really leave an imprint on us.

WE: What would be the best advice for somebody in a rock band right now that hopes to become famous one day?

MR: Make sure you surround yourself with people that are in it for the right reasons. As long as you are passionate about what you do, it shouldn’t be about how well-received you are. It shouldn’t be about how many people are there to see you at your first show, because everyone starts somewhere. As long as you care about what you’re doing, there’s support for everything out there and you just have to find it.