A day with Glasvegas

 

Glasvegas @ KEXP Studio

Glasvegas @ KEXP Studio

 

It’s not often I get the chance at a “Musical Trifecta”, but last Saturday may have been one of my early highlights of 2009. After hearing a few songs from their EP and wanting to hear more, Glasvegas was a band I had circled on my Calendar for quite some time. With my connections at KEXP (and some great help from SONY/BMG) I was able spend most of the day with James and Rab at the station. I’ve been to tons of these over the years; however, because it was on a Saturday and it was this band – things were a bit different. While waiting, we all talked about how bands show up at the last minute for these In-Studios, often with a full band, and expect everything to sound great with no set-up. Despite their current hype level, the boys from Glasvegas (and quite a few “handlers”) showed up plenty early to get things tuned perfectly and the vocal chords warmed up. They both looked pretty rough (life on the road as a Rockstar), but I like bands that actually give a shit about what they’re going to sound like in there. These guys were true professionals. In a small space like that playing live with everyone listening, it’s important to get it right and we arguably have some of the best sound engineers in the country working that board. 

As things got closer (they were scheduled for 3:00 PM) I could almost sense that James was starting to get a bit nervous about the sound room filling up with people. Between Publicists, Photographers, Sound Engineers, Managers, and some of the staff that came in just for this, the small booth was now full with all eyes on James and Rab. That type of excitement only happens for a band like Glasvegas. They poked fun at themselves and joked with our lovely photographer about Seattle bands and grunge. Seems no matter what we do, we can’t shake that label!  Anyway, their performance was a simple stripped down set of 3 songs and a few questions thrown in the middle from one of my favorite DJ’s at the Station: Jack Waters. I thought they sounded great and I was surprised to hear everything turned down with James’ voice on display. He may not be the most gifted singer in the world, but his passion is unmistakeable and he sings every verse like it’s his last. You just can’t fake that and it’s something I look for in every band (**Insider Tip**).

With all the buzz, all the people vying for their attention, the Manager, the handlers – it was tough to get away and talk to them after the performance, but I did have an opportunity to ask them some questions and joke around a bit afterwards. I’ve talked to a lot of musicians before, but I was honestly a little nervous about talking to these guys for some reason. Maybe it was my own expectations or whatever. Ever since I saw them on Letterman the other night I was quite honestly worried that they would be jerks. Huge Egos the size of the door and no personalities. Boy was I wrong! In fact, you could say it was almost the exact opposite of that. And despite us shoving CD’s, Posters, and other things in front of them to sign (Shannon is great at this), they were more than gracious and signed everything laughing and with a smile on their face. Was it the trappings that made them more comfortable or the fact we were all super jazzed to see them too? I think they picked up on the fact that we hear and play a lot of good music at the Station and we were all there just to see them. True fans in every sense. James was happy to hear that myself and a lot of the staff there that day were also going to the show later that night at Chop Suey. I was really proud to be part of the KEXP family.

 

Chilling in the KEXP Parking lot with James and Rab

Chilling in the KEXP Parking lot with James and Rab

 

Now I’ve attempted to transcribe some of my audio for the sake of clarity but have given up after a few days now. I only had the chance at a few questions and if you haven’t noticed yet, these boys have a bit of an accent going. I never knew Scottish was such a foreign language but these guys lost all of us. You can almost make out about every 3rd word, but it was enough to know these guys are some jokesters. You wouldn’t know it from the pictures but these guys had me rolling.

For instance, instead of deflecting when I asked about their drummer, they strangely replied with: “We have to shave her face.”  They also joke about her eating al the time, but it’s all in good fun. I’m not actually sure they wanted all that shared, but oh well!

On the subject of the album, I brought up the point that it played was almost like a novel (which they confirmed!). I asked what the creative process was like?  (James) “There were some highs and some real real lows. Every good rock album has to have a little drama behind it” James also said he finds time to listen to Elvis’ debut album everyday “because it makes me happy”.

When I asked how the U.S. reception has been so far they had nothing but good things to say. (James): “It’s amazing for us to come all the way from Scotland and see everyone singing all the words to our songs!”

We then headed out to the parking lot to BS while they waited for burned copies of their In Studio performance. We talked about the rest of their schedule and if they heard about the action at Chop Suey last weekend? (James): “Yeah. We were looking for some good action, but not that kind!” He then mumbled something about Dublin and I told him we were going to have some KEXP branded Kevlar vests waiting for them at the Venue.

James replied with “It’s not my chest I’m worried about, it’s my nuts”. Rab and I laughed for a bit and before I knew it the guys were hopping in the van to go do their soundcheck at the Venue.

You can read more about their Chop Suey performance later that night HERE.

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~ by clickdagger on January 16, 2009.

One Response to “A day with Glasvegas”

  1. Great post, CD. And a great show to boot, glad you tipped me off to that one. I missed the in-studio, but I’ll have to check out the stream later, sounds like something I don’t want to miss.

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