Hailing from Kent, Glass Peaks are one of the counties most exciting bands. Despite only released one single in 2016, ‘Your Eyes’, this has caught the attention of BBC Introducing Kent and many other DJ’s. They call their music ‘melancholic alt-pop’ and have created something special. I saw them perform at a small gig in Canterbury, supporting Native People and the energy and passion they pour into their music will propel them forward to greater things. I managed to organise a quick chat about the band, their debut single and their headline show. Here’s what they had to say!
How did you all meet as a band and how do you feel you have developed as band?
ALFIE: Jake, Lewis and Grant were all previously in another band. That ended and after a period of time, I saw an early version of a song called Take Me that the guys had posted on Facebook. I loved the sound and noticed there wasn’t a bassist. I was immediately interested and so picked up the phone to Jake (whom I had previously worked a crappy part-time job with) and the rest is history!
You are part of the emerging music scene in Kent, with loads of bands breaking onto the scene such as Get Inuit and Native People. What’s it like to be part of this?
ALFIE: I think we’re all pretty stoked to be a part of the Kent music scene. There’s a lot of really driven bands who are passionate about their sound and committed to pushing themselves in the same way we are, so it’s nice to share some common values with bands hailing from our own turf.
LEW: Yeah it’s really great to be apart of a local scene, especially one that’s grown up as you have grown up. In our previous band, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, the Kent scene was very different to what it is now.
Who have been your influences as a band?
ALFIE: I take influence from so many different avenues that it’s hard to pin it down to anything solid, but I love the sound that Warpaint are creating, and I’m a big lover of bands like Radiohead, Beach House, Wolf Alice and more… If that gives you any more insight.
LEW: I’m the same as Alf really; music is music in my eyes and as I’ve got older and experienced new things I’ve found different music that has spoken to me.
You brand yourself as ‘melancholic alt-pop’, what about your music makes you fit to this label?
ALFIE: Most of our songs do have an air of melancholy about them; I don’t even think we consciously try to write in that way, it just happens quite naturally.
LEW: Yeah I think we just all have that in common, an ear for something a little different to your standard bar-chord progression.
ALFIE: Sonically, we write textured music with many layers; so the heavier sections have a ‘dark, wall of sound, washed in reverb’ type of feel to them. The pop term may come from the fact that a lot of our music is groove based. Songs like ‘Come and Go’ and ‘Speak and Spell’ are actually tracks with a particularly tight groove, especially in the drums and bass.
Your latest single ‘Your Eyes’ is breathtaking, how has the single been received?
ALFIE: Thank you! The single has picked up a fair bit of attention from some really cool blogs, which is cool. Recently, we were actually nominated for an award by IndieCentralMusic off the back of that single, so it’s really nice that the song is still receiving recognition in the months after we put it out. I think collectively, we’re very proud of that song and feel that it was a good introduction to our sound, even though our musical palette has already expanded since then!
LEW: Cheers Gus. Yeah it did well for us. First releases can sometimes be make or break for a band that nobody knows anything about but held us in good sted last year, we basically got put on shows and festivals all based on one track. Your Eyes was the first full song we wrote and it came on leaps and bounds in the lead up to us getting it in the studio, and like Alf said our music and sound is always progressing.
What inspires your lyrics and do you have any recurring messages you want to address?
LEW: I find inspiration in the smallest things. I usually go off the feeling I get from something or someone, or some words I’ve see written on a wall or something someone says in a crowd. From there my ideas build and my feelings grow around it.
ALFIE: For me, I’m very inspired by feeling. I rarely write any lyrics related to particular moments as I find that I’m too literal and more often than not, they’d come from somewhere quite dark that I don’t particularly want to revisit. Instead, if I do feel inspired to write about something that may have happened to me or someone I know, I’ll try and remember how I felt at the time, which makes it easier to put into words. It’s kind of like I’m not addressing myself, which I feel far more comfortable with.
What are you plans moving forward into 2017, in terms of gigging and releasing new material?
ALFIE: Lots of shows planned. Lots of new material planned. We’ve already shot the video for our next single and we’ve got another single lined up after that. We’re revisiting the studio to work with our producer in February, which is very exciting.
LEW: Busy. Excited.
You have been involved with BBC Introducing, what’s this been like?
ALFIE: BBC Introducing is such a phenomenal platform for emerging artists like us to be involved with. Abbie McCarthy made ‘Your Eyes’ Record of the Week on her show, which we were so pleased about.
LEW: It’s really helped us with exposure over the past year. We would recommend any new artist to upload their music to their portal, there are people out there listening, you have nothing to lose!
What has been the best gig you have ever been to?
ALFIE: Been to as an audience member? I’m sure we’re all going to have different answers here, but Radiohead at Glastonbury 2011 was something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. They’d just released King Of Limbs and played a secret set on the Park Stage. They ended on Street Spirit and it gently started raining and it was just overwhelming under all the lights with all of those people singing. TOO MUCH.
LEW: The best gig for me in terms of just out and out performance would have to be Maccabees on the Radio 1 stage, Reading 2012. I cried. In terms of out and out recklessness, The Hives. I nearly died. And in terms of just out and out pure F*CK ME, Morrissey at the O2.
You recently headlined Camden Assembly, what did this mean to you as a band?
ALFIE: It was amazing to headline that show. I think we sold it out in the end… I looked up at one point and was actually really stunned at how many people were in the room. It’s also the first gig we’ve played where people have actively started a mosh pit, which really upped the intensity for me. There was just so much positive energy in the room.
LEW: Ah man it was incredible, sweaty, flattering and a great year to celebrate the great first year as a band.
Your intensity is shown through drummer, Grant, how many times per show do his glasses fall off?
ALFIE: Every. Single. Show. All. Of. The. Time.