Originally formed in 2010 in Oakland, California, as a studio project, and now based in Los Angeles, Spirit In The Room have been described as 'a challenge to categorize', their music taking in everything from Black Sabbath, Refused, and Nine Inch Nails to The Birthday Party, Jesus Lizard, and Joy Division. They even throw a cover of Discharge's Maimed And Slaughtered into their work, the hardest of hardcore punk rock. Clearly this is not a band who panders to people's expectations of them.
“Fuck no!” Sanders laughs. “Plus, I don't know what people expect. I don't know how to label it and I've given up on people's expectations. We play that Discharge cover every set and we have a song called Vicious Eyes that's very mellow, then we'll go into Q Lazarus' Goodbye Horses. The whole point of Spirit In The Room was not to have to be in five bands because I love more than one style. From a business standpoint, it might not be the best idea, crossing genres and throwing people for a loop, but that's what I like. I'm a huge Birthday Party fan, and the Jesus Lizard, the Fall... I love all sorts of shit.”
The band, Dennis points out, is a labour of love, and the line up changes regularly. Before relocating, Spirit would drive from Oakland to LA to play shows to a handful of people, barely covering expenses but slowly building a cult-like following and gaining richly deserved recognition. It currently features Darren Howard on live bass, and Kyle Nadeau on live guitar, but Dennis writes and records all the music. He writes all the lyrics, too.