Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Eight questions with GLASS

(c) Sonny McCartney
1. Who are GLASS? (a short introduction)

GLASS are Jessica Winter and Scott Rimington.  Jessica: 5ft7 green eyed, slick back haired singer and synth player.  Scott, 6ft6 blue eyed, skin-head guitarist. 

2. When were your songs recorded and where? If there is an interesting story behind how you and any producers & session players met and started playing together, please do share...

Our songs have been recorded very sporadically over the past year or two with different producers because we have no money.  It’s quite interesting recording every song individually rather than fitting it into an album sound. We have a studio in the garden shed where we spend lots of time working out exactly how we want the songs to sound before we go into a proper studio so they don’t all sound too different to each other.  There is, however, a noticeably different production on each song.  When it comes to releasing an album, it’ll be more like a scrap book of songs, a piece of art in itself, reflecting the music industry and the lack of money in it, for us anyway!

3. Having GLASS in your headphones is a bit like entering a dream, something approaching the flight sequences from The Never Ending Story, or even Goldenaxe on SEGA Megadrive. There are clearly some retro power-harmonies going on, played on a combination of vintage & ultra-modern synths which take us back & into the future at the same time. How do you find the balance between the past & future in your soundscapes, and do you ever turn to fantasy films or novels for lyrics inspiration?

Thank you very much, I’m glad you have referenced those things.  We often discuss this past and present point as it’s so easy to fall into the past with music.  We have obvious inspirations from the 80s / 90s but what’s the point in being totally pastiche… I’d rather go and put an amazing record from that era on than try to replicate it.  It’s important to embrace what’s going on now, sonically and lyrically but also nice to include elements of music we are inspired from.  My lyrical inspiration is nearly always autobiographical.  Scott is used to the amount of drama and situations I end up in now, not a day goes past without something I can use for a song. Scott is also a very emotional being and he often writes dramatic stories in his lyrics which I can tell you is very much autobiographical too.  It all comes from the heart from both of us.  Things we can’t say in real life are said in our songs…

4. There's a haunting, surrealist photo banner across your profile: a shot of Jessica leaning impossibly back while a wrapt audience looks on. Which venue are you in: a church or warehouse of some kind? 

Ah yes, that was in a gallery on Crucifix Lane, London Bridge. We played with one of our favourite bands, La Shark.  It’s a great venue and the crowd were really cool too.

5. This surrealist composition of your photos & videos is extremely appealing to us... we were inspired by a recent London exhibition of Lee Miller's photography (including showcase of her involvement with the Surrealists) and, listening to GLASS at the time (Tipping Point had just reviewed "Broken Bones"), we were struck by a stylistic overlap. Are the Surrealist painters a movement you've studied at all, in connection with the recent visuals you've been putting out?

Speaking on behalf of GLASS and our video directors, Mint&Lime Films: whilst not directly referencing surrealism with this film, there are many elements to the movement that influence our work. We admire the combination of humour with darkness and a feeling of unease. The same goes for the songs themselves, for instance an upbeat groove but with melancholic undertones and lyrics.

We were especially interested in The Swimmer (1968) - A superficially glamorous facade of hollywood hiding an underlying psychological trauma. 

After informing Mint&Lime Films by the content of the song, my brother having an overdose, they felt that a still, almost dreamlike mood with a lot of long pauses and distance between the characters would be a powerful accompaniment to the subject - whilst not being too literal.

As our music video directors, they try to enhance and compliment the song by creating a bold visual moment that does not overshadow or confuse from our original message. We mainly stay away from a traditional narrative method to concentrate on an overall feel and emotion.

6. Who is your audience and how do you connect with your fans? Any crazy, fun, exciting stories are very welcome. We know you’re still relatively new to the giging circuit (which is why your rapid rise to busy-ness with gigs at both the Official and Alternative Great Escapes, and Blissfields later in the summer, has been all the more brilliant to behold)!

At the moment we have been picking up fans from doing support shows, I wouldn't be able to say we had a specific type of fan yet but the amount is growing...! Our shows are getting us a lot of press at the moment which is needed as we are in our element playing live! We are proving ourselves at the moment and doing all we can to keep peoples attention, from songwriting to performance.

Our performance is very energetic; we like to keep people on their toes… I love getting in the crowd, breaking the boundary between stage and audience.  Recently I fell into a PA and it flew across the room, I thought it was attached to the floor but it wasn’t and Scott managed to get underneath the stage whilst playing guitar, you could only see his boots sticking out of the side.  I’m covered in bruises from gigs.  We love letting go and losing it in front of a group of people, something very magical about that. I’m bored of boring gigs and I think everyone else is too. Taking that out of the equation, I hope the philharmonic orchestra have some free time in 2017 for GLASS………..  We are actually involving more people for our Daylight Music show at Union Chapel on 18th June - Scott will be playing the real church organ and we are getting live bass synth and drums… I’m really excited to do this show! I can’t wait to sing with a church organ!

7. Are you planning to experiment with a bigger live band sound with orchestral acoustic layers, any time soon? We love the arrangements you’ve already got, and we’re curious to know how they’ll grow as you gig, or what aspects you’re expecting to keep as they are. We were genuinely enamored by a previous project called Hall of Mirrors, with which we believe you were involved before GLASS was born… we’re enjoying the evolution of the soundscape.

Thank you very much!  

In an ideal world the live sound would have live drums mixed with electronic, and rather than backing tracks, it would be nice to have enough people to be able to play all parts live. Having sad that, I'm really enjoying just having two of us on stage, it looks great and the audience won't miss anything with only two of us to watch. Our movements are almost like a choreographed dance sometimes so it's nice to have everything focused on that. Also my laptop is very much part of me, I spend more time on it than with another human being at the moment. We created and recorded all backing tracks so it's probably the truest form to us as there is no one else playing their version of what we want!

8. What does your dream gig look like? Is there an artist you'd love to support? Will you be hoping to tour later in the year, and where would you most love to play... Though about God's Own Junkyard?

Wow, God’s Own Junkyard looks amazing.  Yes we would love to play there.  We are always on the hunt for new places to play.  Our support shows have been in normal venues and the sound is good but the atmosphere is quite stale sometimes.  Whenever we do a headline show, I’d like to avoid those places.  I’ve found a place I’m really excited about for our next main show, I can’t wait to get it all confirmed.  I’d love to support Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on one of her Japanese tours.  We’re a little bit obsessed with her at the moment, we’ll be going to see her play in KoKo in June, so I’ll somehow get that message to her!  She’s so cool.  

Thanks for these questions, they are the best yet!!

Glass will play this Saturday at our showcase with BN1 Mag, in Brighton. Subscribe to this blog for more interviews with our favourite Tigmus artists. And sign up to the mailing list here for playlists & gig announcements.

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