Ahead of their EP release show, at 360 Club in Leeds, we met up with Glass Mountain in a cramped backstage storage area at The Library. We chatted to singer and guitarist Harry, drummer Jonny, guitarist Lewis and keyboard player and bassist William about the fledgling but bright career to date and their latest EP “Glacial”.
William began by explaining how the band came into being. “I’ve got a studio and Harry was in a band that I had recorded, the session turned out great but then the band broke up. Then we just kind of kept in touch, over the summer I was kind of rattling around the house and he was at a loose end so I suggested that we get together and play guitars and see what happened. We did that a few times and felt there was something worth cracking on with. So then when you are sat in front of a studio speaker with a bass guitar in your lap and then you think ‘fuck I’m going to have to start programming drums’, which is a nightmare, the dullest thing in the world and it kills the spontaneity. I knew of Jonny, I had heard great things about Jonny’s drumming but we hadn’t even met. So I just messaged him on Facebook and said ‘look me and Harry are pretty much jamming do you want to come round, and pretty much an hour later we were writing together. As things were progressing we were offered our first gig we suddenly panicked because we had done loads of recordings but we thought ‘how the fuck do we make this sound big?’ and then Harry introduced us to Lewis. One rehearsal and then that was it we were ready to go.”
I wanted to know the story behind the band’s name and William told us it is closely linked to their Bradford based heritage. “It comes from a David Hockney etching, you know when you need to name your band and you are going through books and magazines, looking at famous paintings and books, titles from films, anything. We looked through all that and just kept hitting a brick wall and then one morning I had gone downstairs to grab my laptop and I just saw this book that I had bought a couple of years before and had never really paid any attention to it, It was “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” illustrated by David Hockney. I was going through it and that particular piece of work called “The Glass Mountain Shattered,” there is one called “The Glass Mountain” as well, and I just thought that was it. He is from Bradford as well so that was a nice little tie in.”
Glass Mountain are a group of talented individuals so I was intrigued to find out more about their writing process, and whether or not it was a collective process or the responsibility of one individual. Harry explained “It changes really, sometimes it will be William that comes up with an idea on keys or bass, or Jonny will have a groove. Jonny has done videos of his drumming before and we have taken the audio from it and put it into ProTools and made a loop and played over it, then when he comes to rehearse we have written a song based on his drum groove.” Lewis then added “The newer ones are coming out of jams, from us all playing in a room together.” William related this to the “Glacial” EP “that came mostly from me and Harry getting together and throwing ourselves into it. Normally if we haven’t got anything within half an hour we won’t get anything that day so we just go for a walk or go to the pub, but usually we will get something pretty fast. We sketch out the base of the song then it is Harry’s job to torture himself and try and come up with some lyrics. He is very particular.” Harry backed this up “I am yeah, I write loads of stuff that I hear or see in my phone. I usually go back to that unless it is something that comes to me straight away then I can just write a song straight away, but a lot of it is backtracking between notes.”
The band then went on to explain what the launch of their EP meant to them, starting with William. “The EP is out, it has been so well received, both by people who have pre-ordered it and we have had some amazing reviews. We love it but then you think ‘fucking hell what if it’s universally panned’.” The EP release followed the release of their first single “Glacial”. “We couldn’t really decide what to go with first then we thought why don’t we just go with the thing we all love the most, even though its seven minutes long. Then the questions came about when can we hear a radio edit, I said ‘yeah I will do that tomorrow’ then these guys said ‘fuck that leave it as it is’. Tonight is only our third gig but I think we are just really proud of what we have done and really excited about cracking on with EP2.”
The video for “Glacial” is highly artistic and innovative, William told us about the process of creating it. “We knew these guys called Shot By Sodium, they were really busy and they said come to us with a selection of ideas, and that was the idea they loved the most. Originally the plan was to just have the whole band in the same room with UV light and we all get covered in paint but then Harry was the first in front of the camera and they called us over and we were looking through the back of the camera and then we thought that the video just needs to be this, one shot, no edits, just Harry singing. It took a lot of takes to get it right, and between each take Harry had to go and completely wash as he has covered in it.”
Glass Mountain’s debut EP “Glacial” is being streamed exclusively on our website.
For all things Glass Mountain, including buying a copy of the lovely Deluxe Edition of the Glacial EP, check out the bands website.