Fireside Chat


60 minsFirst aired 13 Aug 2018
Philippe Marzoni

One of the most consistently witty bands in the history of pop music discuss their need for constant reinvention.

Formed in 1971 by brothers Russell and Ron Mael, Sparks is a Los Angeles-based band whose sound has defied genre classifications from the beginning, inspiring and influencing generations of artists from Björk to Depeche Mode. With an astonishing 23 albums to date, Sparks has garnered a cult following for its prolific output, witty lyrics and, in particular, lead singer Russell’s voice – a captivating falsetto, performed with flamboyant charm. Sparks’ best-known single, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us” (from their breakthrough third album, 1974’s Kimono My House), brought together elements of baroque, glam rock and synth pop. After the release of the 2017 album Hippopotamus, Sparks is back in the spotlight. In the summer of 2018, award-winning British film director and producer Edgar Wright (Spaced, Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead) announced that he is in the process of making a documentary about the band, which will include new concert footage.


Interview by Mark “Frosty” McNeill
Written and engineered by Marc Übel
Produced by Carmen Hofmann

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