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Watch Spoon play their swaggering, guitar-driven rocker The Hardest Cut on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Austin, TX alt-rock veterans Spoon appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night for a live performance of their single The Hardest Cut

The song was first debuted back in October as the lead track for new album Lucifer On The Sofa. This version is a little rougher round the edges but still sounds great, with a three-guitar lineup featuring frontman Britt Daniel flanked by Gerardo Larios and Alex Fischel.

Indeed, the fact it adapts so well for live performance is testament to the success of a collection that has seen the band go back to basics with their writing and draw inspiration from classic rock combos.

The record was born out of Daniel’s return to Austin and the desire to channel some of the city’s live energy into their writing and recording.

The Hardest Cut was the first song that Alex and I wrote when he and I moved to Texas – I moved back, he was moving there for the first time,” Daniel recently told Guitar World. “When we got off the highway we started writing this song, and it felt like Texas highway music, you know? I think there’s something to that. The state affected the sound of that one.”

Meanwhile, the track’s ear-catching and rather unhinged solo – courtesy of Larios – is one of the record’s highlights. 

“We talked about a few different approaches to that solo,” says Daniel. “The song kind of has the tempo of London Calling, and I think we went and listened to that a bit. There’s not really a proper solo on [London Calling], so I was just like, 'What about doing a Dave Davies kind of thing, where you just let it rip and come blazing out the gate with this flurry of notes.' And that’s what he did! It sounds great. We’ve never had a guitar solo like that.”

For more on Spoon’s latest album, Lucifer on the Sofa, read Guitar World’s full Britt Daniel interview.

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.