As his career as lead singer for Britain’s glam-rocking The Struts speeds up, Luke Spiller has met — and opened for — The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Foo Fighters. On the band’s triumphant new sophomore disc “Young & Dangerous,” he duets with pop chanteuse Kesha on the thumping single “Body Talks,” in an unlikely team up that made perfect sense in the studio. He had no idea what a huge metalhead she was until they started talking about recording together backstage one night. Being open to such possibilities is part of his philosophical way of dealing with so many strangers. “If I genuinely like someone, or I see something in them that I admire and find interesting, then I will go out of my way to make some kind of connection and build a relationship,” Spiller says. “My spare time is very rare, and I want to use it accordingly, making myself happy.”
So you’re playing more piano on this tour?
It’s interesting; things for me personally have always come a bit later, like having sex for the first time or writing my first song or becoming an actual songwriter. And piano is just one of those things that — once I was 19 or 20 and making my own demos, and learning the craft of what makes a song — I was always writing them on. I rarely picked up a guitar, which is strange because my dad’s a guitar player. And playing piano live adds a great new dynamic to the show. But I’ve been doing a bit of harmonica on his tour, as well.
You guys are moving beyond Sweet and Slade into the grittiness of the first four Aerosmith albums.
And those albums are very different from the (post-rehab) ones where Desmond Child was getting called in. He’s actually a great friend of mine and I have learned truckloads from that man. I learned the importance of lyrics and the importance of believing in the words you’re singing. When we were in the studio, writing out our lyrics, we would turn them into this Shakespearean monologue that we read aloud. But his reasoning was, If you can’t stand up and say your lyrics with extreme emotion, then how in the hell are you ever going to sing them convincingly?
Who else has made an impression?
We met Alice Cooper in Vegas; he was playing the same day we were shooting our video there for “Freak Like You.” So I just walked over to him and said, “Would you like to be in our new music video?” And he loved the band, and immediately said, “Yeah! Let’s do it!”
IF YOU GO
Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 9
Contact: (800) 745-3000, www.livenaton.com