The Spook School, a queer Scottish indie band, just released their junior album, Could It Be Different? What isn’t different is the groups work ethic — they don’t plan on taking a break just yet.

The four-member band led by drummer Niall McCamley prides themselves on being one of the few musical acts in today’s music to explore topics such as gender roles and sexuality as well as advocating for the LGBTQ+ community.

“We sing a lot about how we feel and this is connecting to communities all over,” McCamley said.

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Their latest album Could It Be Different is described as the most honest thing the group has accomplished when it comes to their lyrics. The record has a consistent theme of vulnerability,  the songs are based on personal stories and past history surrounding the band members. The main idea behind the album is to let listeners know they are not the only ones facing difficult and emotional obstacles.

The Spook School is currently on a North American tour that began on the East Coast in Buffalo, New York. McCamley said that he was originally excited about coming to North America to see the snow, until he saw it. Taking the Wisconsin weather out of the equation, McCamley said the tour has been great.

“I have some really short shorts that I think America will be very disappointed if they don’t get to see them,” McCamley said.

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Niall also recounts his favorite part of the tour so far: When they got to meet and play with puppies in Buffalo. It turns out that the real purpose of The Spook School going on tour is to meet as many American pets as possible.

The indie band got its start in Edinburgh, Scotland while the four members were at university. The band started off as a bit of a joke, according to McCamley. He remembers at the start, nobody within the band thought anyone would take them seriously because of their whimsical shows. Despite this assumption, the band quickly grew in popularity and started touring outside of Scotland. The hard work paid off when they eventually signed with English independent record label, Fortuna Pop!

After signing with Fortuna Pop! They started playing bigger shows and released their first album, Dress Up in 2013. The release led to the groups first big show at a music festival in the UK called Indie Tracks.

“The first small snowflake that has slowly turned a bigger snowball,” McCamley remembers.

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The bands’ name comes from a Scottish architecture group by the same title. The real “Spook School” designed gothic style buildings that were not exactly popular. Niall jokingly admitted that the group, lacking originality, stole the name from the group of architects only to drag it through the mud.

Niall said the greatest influences to the performers are their friends and their own life experiences rather than other musicians. They identify as a queer band and they believe that goes hand in hand with being genuine in their music.

“We sing a lot about how we feel and this is connecting to communities all over,” McCamley said.

Through sharing their own experiences in their music, The Spook School have realized that they are not alone. McCamley and company have discovered that as time passes, they meet people and start to realize that the world isn’t as big as they thought. They are able to empathize with others, gaining solace knowing people feel the same way that they do.

The band’s sense of humor is an important factor to note before attending one of their shows. Niall describes the atmosphere of their shows as silly and high energy. The lyrics are often sad, but the shows are about having fun and bringing people together. He promises a lot of dancing, silliness and Scottish opinions. Hopefully, The Spook School will get to meet some badgers here in Madison and add them to their list of American pets.

The Spook School will be performing along with Diet Cig and Great Grandpa at The Sett on Feb. 2 at 9 p.m.