Q&A with Glass Mountain

One of the most exciting and innovative EP’s of 2018 so far has been the excellent Wow and Flutter released by Glass Mountain. We took this opportunity to catch up with Will and Harry from the band to discuss the release, what’s to come from the band in 2018 and the West Yorkshire music scene. Enjoy!

So, you’ve just released your EP; how does it feel to have it out there?

WILLIAM: Wow & Flutter is our second EP and getting it out there is both hugely exciting and a bit of a relief! We finished mixing it back in August but the turnaround time for pressing vinyl is about 12 to 16 weeks, hence the February 2018 release date. That waiting time just felt like we were stuck in limbo, although we did have two music videos to shoot. We’re always keeping busy, which is nice. Rather than sitting around waiting, we started writing the next EP.

The EP is called Wow & Flutter; is there a theme running through the EP and what inspirations helped you to write it?

HARRY: Lewis suggested Wow & Flutter as the title. We didn’t really give it a second thought as we all collectively agreed that it just worked which, in a band, is a great thing! The EP is lyrically very personal, more so than the Glacial EP, and I think because of that, there are recurring themes. When we started the band, we always had these watchwords Yearn / Sorrow in our mindset when writing. This hasn’t really ever left us. The songs have to have an emotional resonance musically or lyrically, otherwise it just doesn’t cut it. On Wow & Flutter, Ghosts is the oldest of the bunch and definitely the most abstract lyrically. With Gin Flows Through My Veins, Wait All Alone and Have To Lie, they’re all glued together with recurring themes. I became more confident in my writing, being more honest and blunt. The themes tackled as a whole are loneliness and self-doubt, yearning and sorrow. In terms of inspiration; real life, self-discovery and growing up is what shaped the EP lyrically.

Will this be your only release of 2018 or can we expect more Glass Mountain?

WILLIAM: We already have 5 or 6 new songs all in various stages of progress and we hope to release something new in the Autumn. We don’t like to stand still or stagnate.

Our favourite track on the EP is Ghosts, which you’ve just released as the second single from it; what made this track stand out for you as a single?

WILLIAM: To date, it’s the most upbeat and straight forward song we’ve written. And more importantly for a single, it clocks in at around 4 minutes which is a stark contrast to our first single, Glacial which is almost 7 minutes long. Ghosts reminds me of childhood summers, of being carefree and having nothing to worry about other than hay fever and not getting my bike stolen. As a song, musically it shows a lighter, more carefree side to Glass Mountain. Usually we’re sonically darker. It’s got some nice slide guitars on it and a heavily distorted strings riff that sounds like My Bloody Valentine meets Flaming Lips.

What’s the recording process like for Glass Mountain? On this EP and generally?

WILLIAM: We like to take our time, in fact we’ve been known to record songs to a stage of completion only to then scrap them and start again from scratch. The music has to make us feel something, and in one instance [Cowboy Song] the track was completely recorded and sounded sonically amazing, and yet we weren’t really feeling anything at all about it. So, we re-recorded the song at a very slightly slower tempo, and suddenly it had regained the vital missing elements. On the whole, the studio sessions are a lot of fun. We love the process of layering sounds, and we tend to write our songs in the studio rather than in the practice room. It allows us to get very tuned into tiny details simply because we can hear ourselves perfectly through the studio speakers.

You’ve obviously built a reputation for being a good live band but do you feel there’s anything that gives you an edge on your recorded music?

WILLIAM: We love playing live. Our music benefits from the power of a great PA system, and we enjoy seeing the audience react to what we do. Our songs are often slow, cinematic and sorrowful, but we do play with a lot of energy. Plus, we like to interact with the audience. We tour with a video projector and a huge white backdrop. We project various pieces of abstract footage onto ourselves throughout the entire gig. It’s very dramatic and we enjoy watching the audience as their eyes dance around between watching us perform and the cinematic footage that’s going on all around them.

And do you feel like you’ve already crafted the sound you’re going for as a band, or are you continually working on it?

WILLIAM: Our sound is developing all the time. We’re not afraid to jump in at the deep end when we’re writing. Sometimes it doesn’t sound like Glass Mountain, but it’s important that in the privacy of our own space we can try all kinds of things out. Frank Zappa once said, “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible”. We have a song idea that we’re working on that sounds like a movie soundtrack vs mutant disco! Who knows where that will end up? We’re excited to explore our more outlandish ideas rather than just stick to our tried and tested recipe. As people, we’re hard to please and while we don’t scrap many song ideas, sometimes the songs can be in the development stages for several months until we feel that we’ve nailed it and are all happy to record it.

The scene in West Yorkshire is probably as hot as it’s ever been; who are you tipping for success this year?

WILLIAM: There are plenty of decent bands around here at the moment. It’s thriving, it’s competitive and it’s healthy. The new Hookworms album is superb. Still Life are a band from Leeds with big hooks and killer choruses – well worth checking out. Marsicans are good friends of ours and a great band. Their new, and as yet unreleased, songs are darker, heavier and much bolder than their more poppy releases. Night Owls are a noisy three piece that can turn from angular and spikey Metz-style grunge riffs to dark and yet hauntingly beautiful piano ballads. LELO is the project of our dear friend Ronan. It’s very dreamy and warm sounding but his lyrics are beautifully juxtaposed – one of his songs is about the passing of his grandfather. Weighty, honest and thought-provoking stuff.

And, finally, where would you like to be a year from now?

William: We’d like to be playing to bigger crowds in hotter countries! Bands always seem to tour in the winter in the UK. It’s fun but the weather can make it very hard work. Harry our singer keeps talking about one day buying a yacht. I really hope he does, and I REALLY hope he invites us all on it. And I REALLY, REALLY hope that it’s well stocked with gin and ice cold tonic water. It’s good to dream!

Thanks to the guys for their time – catch them this Friday at Hyde Park Book club playing a show with Come Play With Me!

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