Interview with Glass Animals Bear Family

Quality Time- Q&A with GLASS ANIMALS

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Music is full of trends, fashions, cliches and bandwagons. It always has been and always will. Why pull out your ‘all-alone-in-the-bedroom shapes’ when you can put on your best Liam Gallagher and make what everyone is used to hearing? But every now and then a bunch of sexy young darlings pop their little heads up and make something that breaks the norm just a little bit. They get weird in their basement using an old fishing rod for a bass guitar and come up with something fresh, something hip, something exciting..

Wild Beasts, Alt-J, Gotye’s ‘Heart’s a Mess’.. They all come off a bit off kilter, a bit brainy, a bit funky but ultimately the inventiveness of these artists is what makes them stand out so effectively. Glass Animals are the latest band to use their inventive sound to create something worth getting excited about. The first signing to Wolf Tone, the label of producer Paul Epworth (Bloc Party’ s Silent Alarm is among his long list of projects), Glass Animals are a young four piece from Oxford in the UK whose most recent single ‘Psylla’ is quickly becoming the groove jam of 2014. Trust me, you’ll be singing it over and over again in your car,   with totally incorrect lyrics…”Makes Papa wanna groom his pickup truck”.

Glass Animals will be touring Oz for the very first come April, and boy are we excited. Bear Family will bring you all the action with photos and reviews from the shows.

Anyway, we had a quick chat over some tea and scones. We spoke about ‘Straya, Spice Girls and Jabba the Hutt’s house party.

BF- Can you guys give us a brief background on how you met, where you are from, and your  favourite Spice Girl?  

GA- For sure. We all met at school. We were the four dudes at our school who were into slightly ‘different’ music…we were into hip hop, all sorts of stuff from the 60’s/70’s, and R&B. Everyone else at school was into whatever was big on radio. To be honest I don’t think I could choose a favourite spice girl. I love them all. they’re all so spicy.

BF- It’s an exciting time for Glass Animals, with a trip to Australia coming up. But before you get here, a quick lingo test…

GA- Ok.. just a heads up I have no idea what any of these mean…

Define:

BoganIs it Australian for marmite? ‘dont ever put bogan on your toast Simon’

StrewthTHIS ONE I KNOW. Strewth is like…YIKES!.. I think… ‘Strewth that dingo just drank my Fosters’ or ‘Strewth! that bogan tastes like sh**’

LamingtonAustralian name for Spa town in England? ‘G’day jeff, gonna pop down to Lamington-Spa for a coffee. wanna join?’

Ciggy Butt Brain- A dumbass? “dude, stop being a ciggy butt brain”

BF – You’ve been busy working with Paul Epworth getting everything together for your debut LP to be released in a few days. Paul has produced some our favourite albums, such as Bloc party’s ‘Silent Alarm’ and The Rapture’s ‘Pieces of the People we Love’, so we are keen to hear what influence Paul had on your upcoming release- What can we expect?

GA –  We wanted to work with Paul because he produced those records – those are the records we grew up with as a band, and the bands we went to see when we were young. With us, Paul took quite a hands-off role. I think he wanted to work with us in the first place because we knew what sound we wanted and for the most part, we knew how to get it. But he did a great job mentoring us, inspiring us, and pushing us out of our comfort zones. As for what to expect – expect something bigger, wilder, and bolder.  There are some heavy beats and heavy bass lines in there, and some more uptempo tunes.

We’ve been listening to a lot of snoop and Dre in the tour bus, and I listen to a lot of old soul like Nina Simone…listening back those flavours have crept in there. We’re really excited to share it with you dudes.

BF –  We’ve just been watching your video for the single ‘Psylla’ which is very reminiscent of a ‘Soupe Opera’ episode (youtube it). Can you let us know how that video concept came about?

GA- Soupe opera is wicked. We usually work with our friend Rafael Bonilla Jr. on videos – he’s an amazing animator from LA. We sat down with him and discussed what the song meant and went back and forth on how that could be depicted in film. I think we brought the initial concept of plants/things growing out of us to the table and he shaped that into the video.

BF-  A lot of Australian audiences will be new to Glass Animals, what can they expect from a GA live performance?

GA- Bass. Lots of it. Each show is different – we mix things up every time…we tend to see what the crowd is like and roll with it. If they’re up for partying then we’ll lift tempos and stretch out groove sections and we’ll all have a little dance.

BF- Unicorns-What are they all about?

GA- ‘It’s all about the benjamin’s baby….they wanna be ballers, shot-callers, brawlers — who be dippin in the Benz wit the spoilers, on the low from the Jake in the Taurus, livin the raw deal, three course meals, Spaghetti, fettucini, and veal’ – Puff Daddy

BF – That is Correct.

BF- What does 2014 hold for you?What are some of the things you are looking forward to the most?

GA- I’m not totally sure as it hasn’t happened yet. We’ll be releasing our first record so hopefully we’ll get to do a lot of travelling and shows to support that. I’m really looking forward to some collaborations – we’re heading to SXSW this week where we’ll be doing a bunch of gigs (I think about 9 in 6 days) and we’ve also got a little studio set up there so we can work with some of our friends from other parts of the world. Very excited.

BF- And last but not least, please include a self-portrait of Glass Animals- (preferably playing out your  favourite scene from Star Wars.)

Screenshot - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 08:54:56 PETGLASS ANIMALS TOUR DATES

Wednesday 2 April
Ding Dong Lounge
MelbourneThursday 3 April
Oxford Art Factory
Sydney

Friday 4 April
The Hi Fi
Brisbane

Alistair

Alistair is the founder of Bear Family. Alistair resides in Melbourne and can be found wandering the streets searching for bargains and peppermint tea. Come and say Hi, he's nice.
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