Sailing to Byzantium (Passchendaele 1917, A Dying Soldier's Dream)
Englishman Jonathan Spottiswoode (bottom right) leads Spottiswoode and His Enemies.
For more than 10 years now, the New York City rock band Spottiswoode and His Enemies have managed to keep performing together. They're certainly not mainstream — although they don't really want to be — and most of the members have day jobs. But they are a staple of the New York scene.
Spottiswoode and His Enemies just celebrated their 10th anniversary with a show at Joe's Pub in New York. They also released two albums to commemorate the big occasion: That's What I Like and Salvation. The band recorded 33 songs' worth of material in six days.
Jonathan Spottiswoode, the band's leader, joined Susan Stamberg to play a few solo renditions of songs from his catalog. Along the way, he talked about the band's new releases and about trying to make it as a musician.
"Maybe there was an illusion that was created in the '50s and '60s and '70s where there were all these huge bands making tons of money," Spottiswoode says, "and there still are a few. But I think maybe the old-fashioned way, where you just — you're an itinerant musician and you depended on the kindness of strangers is — maybe that's the path again these days as things kind of implode.
"And as long as I've got my Enemies around me, I'm fine."