24th Mar 2012 2:25pm | By Alasdair Morton
The Glasvegas frontman sits down to chat about the band's eagerly anticpiated third album, their forthcoming UK tour, and why its better being drummerless no more.
How’s the third album coming along?
We’re just playing music and practising songs with the band right now, trying to find out what we have to say and what sentiment we would like to express. The songs start in an infant stage, and in no time at all they start to take on a life of their own and they’re walking themselves.
How’s it taking shape so far – your first album was quite personal but follow-up Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\ less so ...
There were some personal songs on the first record, but not as much as people think. On Geraldine I sang, “My name is Geraldine and I’m you social worker,” people actually forget that sometimes I am not a female, I’m not called Geraldine, I’ve never had a pair of boobs! That song’s not personal to me. But I think this one will be more personal than the first two.
Is it important to have that?
I need to feel like I have a purpose, so when I’m standing onstage in Chicago on a Tuesday night, there is a reason for me doing it. For the first few songs on this album, I started to feel that again.
Is it going to continue the musical ambition of the last record?
Bands sometimes say they are doing things that no one has ever heard before, but I’d like to think that we are being curious and going to places we’ve not explored before. There are always going to be parts of this band’s sound, though, that will be in there somewhere. But we are moving in a different direction now.
Are you going to be playing any new stuff at the Garage show?
Yeah, a few new songs, we’ll be doing one called I’d Rather Be Dead and one called If.
How did Johanna’s (Löfgren, drummer) arrival change the band dynamic?
When she came in around the second album, she wasn’t involved in the recording, so this one will have more of her. It was strange – we were drummer less for the last album! Instead of me recording all the parts and then everyone hearing it at the end, this one’s been more collaborative. That’s normally how bands do it but it is a new approach for us.
Is the wardrobe going to be back in black or are you going to keep with the white for this one?
White is quite hard to maintain. It’s mad – I’m used to looking a bit ridiculous, I did in the past before I even wore white, but I still meet people who come up and say, “I am so happy that you are wearing black”. I never thought it would make someone think better things about their own life because of the colour of my clothes. It makes me wonder who the nutcase is here – me for wearing these or them for caring so much?
How do you feel about Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\’s success, or lack of commercially, 12 months on?
We’ve learned a few things. In a nutshell, we ran out of money recording and had no cash for advertising, not even in magazines. People might say “you shouldn’t need to advertise if it’s good enough” but that’s not the world we live in.
Did you part ways with the record company amicably then?
Three weeks after the album came out, we were dropped – which can’t be because there were good or bad songs on it. Mad things happened – we paid a guy £30,000 to mix the record but then had some disagreements and he never mixed a track. That wasn’t us that was the label, we never agreed to it.
Do you like doing hometown shows?
They are always really large – all your family comes down, so it is like the birthday party that you never asked for. The first time we played the Glasgow Barrowlands – where we used to go and watch other bands perform – it was amazing. After the show, my uncle walked into the dressing room and said, “I was a bit disappointed, you never played any Beatles songs”. I said: “Yeah, but we played our songs, did you hear everyone singing them?” And he said: “Yeah, but it would have been better if you’d done some Beatles stuff.”
The Stone Roses have reformed – you played with Ian Brown once before ...
Their reforming seems quite sincere. Our first support tour was with Ian Brown, and I have always appreciated how well he treated the band – we didn’t have a record deal, no one knew us, but he went out of his way to help us. Normally, the bands people think are quite mental and must be fucking maniacs actually turn out to be sweet and humble. Ian Brown, Oasis and U2, they probably wouldn’t like me saying that though, not good for their image.
Glasvegas play The Garage, N5 1RD
When: April 3.
Station: Highbury & Islington
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