Glass Animals have a way of transporting you to an entirely different world through their jungle-like music. In an atmosphere all their own, their live shows mix tribal set designs and other-worldly synths. Becoming one of the more popular live bands of 2015 they’re shedding new light on their debut album, ZABA, for those not fortunate enough to have heard it almost a year ago exactly when it was released.
Dave Bayley and Joe Seaward, the lead singer and drummer of Glass Animals, recently took some time out at Sasquatch Music Festival to share some stories from the road and how they’ve created such an incredible unique and dream-like vibe. Throughout the interview these guys proved that they’re not only talented but also very down to earth and have an awesome sense of humor.
EARMILK: You guys were friends before you actually started playing together. How long have you known each other and how did you meet?
Joe Seaward: We’ve known each other for a very long time.
Dave Bayley: Too long some might say. No, we still get along really well. We met ages ago, since we were 13.
J: Yeah we met at school.
EM: How has working and touring together affected your friendship as a group?
J: It’s damaged it irreparably. We’re only on speaking terms when we’re doing interviews.
D: I think we get along better than ever. We’ve kind of learned what Joe looks like when he’s angry, what I look like when I get angry and we all know how to cheer each other up.
EM: "Black Mambo" was release quite awhile before the rest of the album came out, what were you doing with that time?
D: We were trying to figure out what was going on. We didn’t really know anything about the music industry or the music world. None of us had ever been in bands before, we had no friends in the music industry. We were just trying to figure out who we were, what sounded good to us.
EM: Did you ever consider going into a different industry or trying something else?
J: No, not really. Dave was trying to be a doctor.
D: Yeah I was going to school and then after "Black Mambo" we got the record deal and that took some time.
EM: What kind of medicine?
D: I was going into Neuroscience, so brains and stuff.
EM: Having decided to go into music instead, do you feel like all the effort was time well spent?
J: Well we’re here which is cool and we don’t have any time to do anything else.
EM: You guys have a very identifiable sound that is consistent throughout ZABA. Was it hard getting back into that mindset after releasing "Black Mambo"?
D: Well making music never really stops. We have all sorts of stuff going on even if it’s not necessarily Glass Animals. Drew (Drew MacFarlane) and I are always writing stuff; working on other side projects. Since the music is always taking over, it’s not hard to get back into it.
EM: The content of your songs is very unique and abstract, what kind of state of mind do you need to be in to reach that kind of creativity?
J: Totally wasted.
D: Totally wasted! No, a lot of the songs were written at night, really late at night when I was going to sleep and I would wake up with an idea at like 4 in the morning. I would be in a total dream state. I think that definitely worked its way into the record.
EM: Is there a band or mentor that stands out to you as having had a big influence in how your album came together?
J: I think Paul (Paul Epworth) probably influenced it in the sense that he gave us his studio and signed us to his label. He gave us a lot of confidence which I don’t think we necessarily had very much of before we started. I think that was probably the main one.
EM: You guys are playing many different venues and festivals this year, such as Austin City Limits, is there a show you're most excited for?
J: I’m excited for loads of them.
D: Yeah, we’re doing a lot of cool shows. A lot of cities we’re playing on this tour are places we haven’t played before. It’s pretty cool. We just played Sacramento, Eugine Oregon, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Houston. I’m excited about all these new places. They’re really cool places, like San Diego, we’ve never been there.
J: Some cool ones towards the end too. Terminal 5 in New York is going to be nuts. Glastonbury is going to be cool for us because that’s where we’re from. There’s loads of amazing ones.
EM: Do you have any embarrassing experiences from live shows or while touring that you could share?
D: Loads probably. First ever London show I fell flat on my face as I walked on stage for the first time EVER.
EM: Well it breaks the ice.
J: Exactly, well it couldn’t get any worse than that.
D: Yeah, it breaks the ice. I once forgot a cable on stage at a festival and got drunk enough to where I thought it was okay to crawl back onto the stage during another band’s set and go get it.
EM: Who was playing, do you remember?
D: This crazy band of these Japanese acid heads called Acid Mothers Temple. They’re all like 80 years old, really long white hair and mustaches.
J: Fucking cool.
D: Really cool, great band. I crawled right up to the front of the stage thinking no one would see me because I was really low and then I got my cable and looked up and one of them was right in my face looking really upset. I just got up and ran.
EM: What does the rest of the year look like for you?
D: Yeah awesome. We just announced another fall tour which is really exciting. Coming back to the states to some really cool venues. Some venues that are slightly legendary to us because we’ve seen our favorite bands play there. Terminal 5 like he said and House of Blues in Boston.
EM: Any collabs that you would like to have happen in the future?
J: Yes, Beyonce. We say that in every interview because one day she’s going to read one of them and be like ‘hey guys’… * laughs*
D: We’re always up for collaborating with people we like.
J: Who can offer things we can’t do. Like sing like an angel.
D: Or rap, because I can’t rap so to work with hip hop artists. I don’t know yet but there are some collaborations in the pipeline I’m really excited about.