Between wrapping his first headlining tour, gearing up for a new EP release, and dropping the music video for his latest single, “Sweater”, Spencer Sutherland somehow managed to squeeze in a coffee date with Celeb Secrets. Nestled in at a bustling Manhattan coffee shop with his girlfriend (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s Madison Iseman) and manager in tow, the singer-songwriter shared all the details on his music, writing process, and life on tour.
Fresh off the final date of the Sweater Shows, a four-city tour through the midwest and east coast, Spencer wasn’t feeling an ounce of burnout. In fact, he couldn’t wait to talk about his next moves — but not before recapping the tour.
Spencer made it clear that the Sweater Shows are more than a show: they’re an experience. “The show is high energy, then we have an acoustic section, then it’s [more] high energy,” he said, revealing that he also color-coordinated his stage backdrop, stools, and drum heads as part of that experience. “I think that’s missing at a lot of concerts. I know that if I went to a concert, I’d want to be engulfed in it in every aspect.”
The Sweater Shows, were, of course, named for Spencer’s most recent single, “Sweater.” The earworm tells of a melancholy Spencer who is struck by anger and disbelief after seeing an ex-girlfriend wearing his sweater in public, post-breakup. The real life story that inspired the song, which involves Spencer’s 8th grade girlfriend and a cartoon sponge, is heartbreakingly hilarious.
“We broke up, and a couple weeks later, she wore my hoodie to school. So I pulled from that inspiration,” he said of his middle school trauma. “And the term, ‘that’s my sweater,’ came about because Spongebob was on TV. I thought it was a cool saying based on [the classic Spongebob tune] ‘The Best Time to Wear a Striped Sweater.’”
Paying homage to the humorous story behind Sweater, Spencer knew that, although the track came from a place of hurt, he had to add an element of comedy to the music video.
“I like to poke fun at serious things,” he said. “I’m also a big fan of classic Wes Anderson-style cinema, or Quentin Tarantino-style, where it’s a serious story, but then Samuel L. Jackson is in it and he’s really funny. So I was like, ‘I wanna do a Napoleon Dynamite goes bowling video.’”
Despite having just released the “Sweater” music video at the beginning of February, and the official audio just one week before that, the song has already struck a chord with Spencer’s growing fan base — videos on Spencer’s Instagram show fans scream-singing along to every word, just weeks after its debut. Spencer said hometown shows, and shows in big cities, bring out that sort of diehard fan-filled crowd.
“If I do a Midwest show, that’s kind of the heart of my fan base,” the Ohio native said. “So they’re always some of the craziest, most supportive crowds. But also, to play in Chicago, or Minneapolis, or New York, they’re major cities so a lot of people come out. It’s really cool to see the slight variation of the vibe in each city.”
And lucky for Spencer, he’ll get the chance to play dozens of major cities again soon: he’s hitting the road with pop duo Jack & Jack in April to support his next single (None of This Has Been About You, releasing this Friday) and a brand new EP.
Between the final Sweater Show and the kickoff of the Good Friends Are Nice tour with Jack & Jack, Spencer will have barely a month to relax and reset. But if you think that’s bad news to the musician, think again.
“I really just want to keep touring,” he said. “I love to play shows every single night. I like the whole show day where you load in, get coffee, sound check. I just love every part of that.”
Spencer finished our conversation by explaining that, at the moment, he couldn’t be happier with his life or the people in it. One might think that Spencer has it all. And while he just might, he still has a few more goals he’s chipping away at, like touring the world with his dream co-headliner — one he considers to be the Elvis of our generation.
“I couldn’t even imagine co-headlining with him, but a Bruno Mars tour would be my dream,” he admitted. “He’s a little more funky street party, but I think our vibes would be cool together.”
Something tells us that dream may happen sooner than Spencer thinks.
Catch Spencer on the road this Spring in these cities.