May I introduce you to Oxford based band Glass Animals?! Their new album ZABA has just been released and it is a little masterpiece. We are big fans of their sound and we had the pleasure to get an interview with the band. They just annouced their September/October North American tour. We have all tour dates for you.
KALTBLUT: For those of our readers who don’t know you yet, could you tell us who is who in the band and how you started to play music together?
GLASS ANIMALS: Sure! There are four of us. First, there’s Drew – he’s probably the coolest. Then there’s Edmund, he’s tallest. Then there’s joe, he looks very serious in photos but really he’s a joker and then there’s me, I’m called dave.
KALTBLUT: Your debut album “Zaba” has just been released, we are big fans of your sound, and congrats! How are you feeling so far, any surreal moments to report?
GLASS ANIMALS: Thanks! It feels good to have it released. We’ve had some praise from some pretty inspiring people which is always pretty surreal, somehow the record has also inspired some really bizarre fan art – some of the fan art we’ve received is amazing, some is very strange, incredibly sexual.
KALTBLUT: We read that you freaked out and removed your music from the internet at one point in 2010, but now you guys look pretty internet-savvy! Did you take part in the design and aesthetic surrounding the album?
GLASS ANIMALS: We’re slowly getting used to the internet. With regards to the aesthetic – definitely. We had a very strong idea as to what we wanted in our artwork. I could talk about it for hours but the basic gist was to create the images that the music made in our heads in the art. That involved getting the right colours, patterns, creatures, perspective, sense of space, etc. Credit to the illustrator Micah Lidberg and creative genius Davey Spens from boat studios for making it happen.
KALTBLUT: The worlds you create within your songs conjure up some great imagery, where do you get the inspirations for your lyrical content?
GLASS ANIMALS: Lyrical ideas can come from anywhere. they tend to draw from stories I’ve heard or people I’ve met. I never write about myself, they’re generally short stories about a central character.
KALTBLUT: There’s a childlike joy running through your music, are you all big kids at heart?
GLASS ANIMALS: I think so, I feel like while making music, it’s important to return to a slightly naive child-like state of curiosity, being in the studio is like being in a big playroom. I always want to play with all the toys and always find myself asking weird questions to myself like, “what happens if instead of playing that instrument with a bow I play it with a hammer?” or “what if I cover this drum in water and play it with this banana?”
KALTBLUT: Now that you’ve had a taste of life as musicians, do you think you could go back to the original plans you set out for yourself at university?
GLASS ANIMALS: No – this is too much fun.
KALTBLUT: Does the long-standing friendship and connection between you allow you to work as a team, or are you all very independent in your roles in the band?
GLASS ANIMALS: It allows us to be very open with each other, so if joe doesn’t like something, he tells me, and we get things done quickly. There’s no beating around the bush.
KALTBLUT: As your sound is combining touches of inspiration from various genres, who is bringing what to the band influence wise?
GLASS ANIMALS: Well we all listen to hip hop and experimental electronic music. I listen to a lot of old soul music – Al Green, Nina Simone, Otis Redding. Drew and I also listen to a lot of older bands like Can and Velvet Underground. Ed and Drew are basically an encyclopaedia for classical and jazz music, and joe and I listen to a lot of newer bands like Animal Collective, and LCD Soundsystem.
KALTBLUT: Where are you most looking forward to travelling to and playing your music live this year?
GLASS ANIMALS: Oh it’s all going to be good, we’re going to Australia which will be great. Japan which we’ve never done before. America again, and of course Berlin is always one of our favourite cities to visit. I think we’ll be playing Berlin Festival which I hear takes place at Tempelhof…it will be amazing to play a show there.