PHOTO CREDIT: Ant Adams
THANKS to the guys of Glass Peaks...
for talking with me about their new single, Misery, and how it came together. I was keen to learn how long they have known one another and whether they have plans for more material – they reveal some approaching artists worth looking out for.
I discover what sort of music the guys vibe to and how they spend their free time; which albums mean the most to them and how they are coping with the slightly cold weather – they each select a great song to end things with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Alf: Great, thanks! This week has been manic. We just put out our latest single, Misery, so we’ve been busy spreading it far and wide!
Jake: It's been pretty beautiful, thank you. Releasing new music into the world is always satisfying.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Alf: Sure! We’re Glass Peaks; a three piece based in Kent/London. We write songs: some are really aggressively loud and intense, others are a lot more intricate with softer tones - we have a diverse musical palette. There’s a strong sense of the ’80s that seems to always find its way back into our music.
Jake: Three idiots who try to write music…
PHOTO CREDIT: Ant Adams
Are you managing to stay warm in the winter weather?! Does it inspire musical ideas?
Alf: Yes. I have a new scarf that I love loads. I think I’m going to wear it in July, that’s how much I love it. For me, it actually has the opposite effect. I get really bummed out by the U.K. climate in the winter. I feel far more creative in the summer months, generally. But, you never know! Ideas for music can just hit you randomly out of nowhere!
Jake: I'm ALWAYS boiling so the winter is great for me. We've just had a wood cabin built at the back of my garden which is lovely to write in over the winter months.
Grant: I really hate the sun so this winter weather is perfect for me. I feel winter is a much more inspiration season than most.
Misery is your latest track. What is the tale behind the song?
Alf: It’s loosely based on Stephen King’s novel, Misery. It’s real dark story that was adapted into a terrifying film starring Cathy Bates. I wrote the lyrics after watching that movie one weekend accompanied by the worst hangover I’ve ever had. It was of those tunes that just fell out of me. The whole track is a commentary on addictive personalities and the idea of craving something.
There is a new label, Close-Up. Is that Glass Peaks’ label?
Alf: No, it’s not our label but I believe we’re the first band to sign to it! The Close-Up team are our booking agents and they decided to team up with a Modern Sky and start their own label. When they approached us to sign Misery to it we were absolutely thrilled. We’ve been working with Close-Up for years so it felt very logical and natural.
What is coming next for you guys in terms of material?
Alf: We have the next three (potentially four) tracks almost ready to go so we’re just planning those releases now. There’s so much work that goes into each release so we just want to make sure we get it right! We’re also putting out a video for Misery shortly, so do be sure to check that out!
Jake: In 2019, I would like to release as much music as we can. Show the world what we have in our back pocket.
Grant: A diverse spectrum I feel is what's on the horizon. Some of the new songs are a little different to what we've done before.
How did the band form? Do you recall when you all met?
Alf: I’ve known Jake for years. We used to work with one another at a terrible music exhibition - but it enabled us to pretty much play the guitar all day which was amazing. Jake went travelling to the States for a year and, when he returned, he started Glass Peaks with Grant. I got involved a little later down the line.
Jake: We grew from the ground, like an oak tree.
Grant: Yeah. Me and Jake were in a band before Glass Peaks and, as Alfie said, when he returned from the U.S. we started something new and fresh. Oh...and asked Alf to tag along.
In terms of music, do you share tastes? Would one find similar albums in your collections?
Alf: We do generally, yeah! I think you’d find a lot of crossover. We all share a love of Radiohead, Foals; Peter Gabriel etc. I’m really into the whole Shoegaze sound i.e. My Bloody Valentine, Ringo Deathstarr etc. I’m listening to loads of Beach House and The Phoenix Foundation at the moment. Grant has the best music taste of anybody I know though. It’s so unbelievably diverse; he’s always pulling corkers out of the bag when we’re driving around on tour.
Jake: If we're ever a bit down, I'll just stick on a bit of George Michael and instantly the mood is lifted. We all love good music, no matter what genre.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ant Adams
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Alf: We played the Isle of Wight Festival in 2018 which was pretty amazing. That definitely sticks in my mind as one to remember. I have some great memories of being in the studio in the summer and just really enjoying that intensely creative time with the guys. They’re always really great memories.
Jake: Oh, man, we could do a separate article about all the stupid sh*t we've got up to over the years. So many memories. I absolutely love these boys and the memories we've made.
Grant: I'll give you a bizarre one. Us three walking around Newcastle with a big group of lads. Led by a man holding a roman legionnaire sword asking who's in his gang.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ant Adams
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Alf: There are so many but Amnesiac by Radiohead stands out. I really like the fact that, despite it being recorded in the same sessions as Kid A, they decided to create another entire album that follows almost an entirely different narrative. It has some of my favourite tracks on it. Knives Out being a personal favourite.
Jake: I would have to say Foals - Antidote. It was an album that changed the way I played guitar forever.
Grant: So many for different reasons but here is one - Silent Alarm by Bloc Party. It was the album that really sucked me into music and playing.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Alf: You know what; I’d love to get on the Wolf Alice support slot. I’m a huge fan of their early work as well as Visions of a Life and I think, sonically, it would work really well. The rider would be made up of largely beers, beers and more beers. I think I can speak on behalf of the whole band in regard to that. Haha.
Jake: I would like to support The 1975. The fans are mad. Beers, hummus; crisps, beers; Nandos and puppies.
Grant: If they got back together The Maccabees. I miss them so much and our sounds would work together I think. Alf's already got the rider sorted.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jordan Logan
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Alf: We certainly do! We’re playing in Bristol at the Hy-Brasil Music Club on 20th Feb and we’re in London on the 22nd Feb at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. Both shows are with the lovely lads in Bedroom Boredom. We’ve just confirmed a few festival shows that we’re super-stoked about - we’ll be announcing those in due course.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Alf: I’d say just make sure you’re one-hundred percent up for it. You can’t make a real go of it unless you have more than one-hundred percent commitment and energy. You need to learn to take constructive criticism well (and also accept that some people will just straight up hate your music for no real reason).
Be prepared for knock-backs, setbacks; disappointments and more. If you can get through all of that with your chin up, good things will start to happen and it makes them all the more worth it.
Jake: Save money now. You'll need it.
IN THIS PHOTO: Shanghai Blues
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Alf: Hot Dreams are an amazing new artist who you should definitely check out. They recently posted the most gorgeous live performance video I’ve ever seen. Really stunning stuff. Submariner are another band to keep your eyes and ears open for; great lads with a great sound. Our roster pals Shanghai Blues and Hows Harry are all doing bits as well. There’s a lot of really great music out there right now.
IN THIS PHOTO: Indoor Pets
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Alf: Not really, no! Haha. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. When we do get downtime, I just like catching up with my mates. Spending time with the people you love is very important.
Jake: I'm a barber and that's something I absolutely love and makes me feel very calm. Apart from working and making music, I enjoy talking to my dog like she's a human.
Grant: Playing Football Manger till ungodly hours of the morning. Stress-preventing.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Alf: What a treat! Can you please play Chillers by Another Sky? I’m absolutely obsessed with that band at the moment and the track is just perfect poetry
Jake: Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
Grant: Amazing! Could you conjure The Distance by Cake
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PHOTO CREDIT: Ant Adams