Glass Mountain – Interview

Over the past couple of years, Glass Mountain’s fanbase has grown, with them now being tipped to become big in the near future. We fully back that, and decided to have a chat with them to find out just how well things have gone for them this year!

By Jane Howkins

We hear it’s been quite a busy year for you so far; how has it been?

It has. We released our second EP Wow & Flutter, embarked on our first headline tour, played some great summer festivals [Long Division in Wakefield was a highlight] and curated our second Lazy Sunday Afternoon all dayer at Wharf Chambers in Leeds. One more end of the year show at the brand-new Salt Beer Factory in Saltaire to wrap it up for us and then we go into hibernation to drink mulled wine and work on more music. It’s been a lot of fun and a privilege to share stages with some amazing bands. Onwards and upwards!

Do you have many plans to make 2019 even bigger? Anything exciting coming up?

Currently we’re focusing all our energy on finishing the next batch of songs. The time we have together is precious these days as we’ve all become quite busy, so I expect in the New Year we’ll be throwing ourselves into our Cellar of Dreams studio to record them and then make a plan! We always have some tricks up our sleeve though; you’ll just have to sit tight.

You’re performing an interesting gig at the Salt Beer Factory in Saltaire in December. Are you excited for that?

Very excited! It’s a great new venue, which are few and far between in Bradford. Hopefully along with The Underground and the old Odeon being renovated into a huge 4000 capacity venue, they’ll help bring some touring acts back to the city! My Nan remembers seeing the Beatles at the old Odeon in 1963 and that’s just baffling to me; bands rarely visit nowadays and it’s nice to see people are trying to put it back on the map.

What can you tell us about the Saltaire show? We hear that there will be a 3D art display being projected during the show?

Our good friend Dan is an artist / musician who performs under the name why Isaac? And specializes in all things 3D. He’s currently squirrelled away creating a load of animated art to be projected around the venue throughout the night. Upon buying a ticket, you will receive a special pair of 3D glasses and will be directed when to put them on throughout the night. It should be a spectacle for sure; we’re just excited to see a sea of heads with red and blue glasses on!

You’re clearly interested in art; is this something that you would like to integrate into more of your performances?

Currently we use a projector at every show for the entire set. We always ask for a pitch-black room so that the videos are the only source of light and we’re totally masked by them. It’s an interesting dynamic as it blurs the line between audience and performers since you can’t really see us at all; it also becomes a kind of performance art when people move around the room and the projections warp around them and change their shape. Hopefully it creates an environment where people focus on the music, and the videos serve to bring people into our world for a night as well as giving them a visual stimulus that isn’t another four boring blokes stood on a stage!

Is it correct that you’re named after a David Hockney painting? We assume that you are fans of his, then. Who are your favourite artists?

Bradford’s golden boy! It’s an etching from his Grimm’s Fairytales illustration series. One is called The Glass Mountain and there’s also The Glass Mountain Shattered. William from the band was flicking through the book one day and it just struck him, and it’s a suitably cinematic name for a band. We love Warhol, Hokusai and recently Julian House, who did a load of artwork for Stereolab and Broadcast. I also really want to get to the Anni Albers exhibition that’s on at the Tate at the moment.

What sort of music interests you and influences you the most, and what have you been listening to recently?

The music that catches our attention always seems to be something completely unexpected whether in terms of song structure or production. The new Low album Double Negative, and Bon Iver’s 22, A Million are perfect examples. They’re both filled with traditionally great songs which have been fed through the shredder and shoddily sellotaped back together and back to front, then coated with layer upon layer of saturation. The final result is almost like the musical equivalent of a collage or a Rothko; you have to immerse yourself and acclimatise before the songs start to reveal themselves behind the dense textural landscape. They’re truly doing something different to everyone else and it’s very inspiring to us.

You’re playing alongside Talkboy and LELO; are those artists you were fans of or friends with before the show was announced? And what can you tell us about them?

Both! We go way back with LELO since we went to college together. Both bands also played our Lazy Sunday Afternoon and record in the Cellar of Dreams so it’ll be a nice little family reunion. LELO blends atmospheric electronica with melancholy guitars and infectious hooks, whilst Talkboy create textured, genre blending art rock with some lovely harmonies and great lyrics.

Why do you think people should come and see you perform at this gig, and what can people expect if they’ve never seen you live before?

People should come to support independent venues and artists; and this will also be the last show put on by our lovely label Hide & Seek Records before they wind down for a while, so we need loads of familiar faces around to give Dan and co a good send off. Our music benefits from a PA system, so expect big sounds, an immersive A/V experience, and some good old fashioned yearn and sorrow.

Any last words for your fans?

Be kind to each other. (And don’t let Jonny lose the van keys again.)