Glowbug, 3 EP's to the good and bursting with positive energy, the tracks we heard were everything we were looking for in a festive period drowned in musical mediocrity (as it is every year). It topped our year off with a certain element of perfection and another of satisfaction.
Glowbug is essentially multi-instrumentalist Daniel Anderson of Idiot Pilot and others... a very busy man indeed... recently he found the time to discuss a few things. Here is what he had to say.
(One For The People) What made you move from your previous projects into this current one (Glowbug)?
(Daniel Anderson) Glowbug began as the previous band I was working with, Idiot Pilot, went on indefinite hiatus but there really is no relationship between the two events. As a musician, I tend to work faster and dedicate more time to the recording process than some of the people that I have worked with in the past, and this makes for a huge amount of overflow art while I am waiting around. It’s good for me, because it affords me the time to explore musically with projects like Glowbug, and my folk rock band The Ghost and the Grace. It’s rare that a day goes by and I don’t record something. In the current state of the music industry, I think that kind of consistency is really important for a band to stay relevant and steadily release new material. Even though Glowbug is a relatively new project, it has taken off in ways that I could have never imagined.
"I think ultimately you’ve hit the heart of this project, which is to create songs that are dance friendly and kinetic but with a strong emotional core that people who like other genres can relate too."- Daniel Anderson, Glowbug, 2011
(1FTP) Being the multi-instrumentalist that you are, what instrument did you first learn and which did you last?
(Dan) I began taking piano lessons when I was about three years old and then switched to the guitar ten years later. At about the same time I started programming electronic music and discovered Aphex Twin, then learned to record and produce from there. Recently I have been messing around with learning the Violin. I’m not very good yet, but I can carry a tune.
(1FTP) We love just how easily the Glowbug sound can merge into other genres, we help run a predominantly Indie-Rock club night and No Fun and State Street slip in the set quite nicely. Can you see how that would work?
(Dan) It’s very flattering to hear that and I think ultimately you’ve hit the heart of this project, which is to create songs that are dance friendly and kinetic but with a strong emotional core that people who like other genres can relate too. Glowbug songs are very specific in their defining elements, the strings of consistency that tie them together, so I definitely try to push myself to be very creative in how I explore those boundaries. When you have such a specific sound palette to draw from it’s a real challenge as a songwriter, especially because my musical background is more structured as opposed to just adding and subtracting loops, which can be common in electronic music. I think that probably explains why the music can cross genres in the way you are describing.
(1FTP) Why Glowbug?
(Dan) Glowbug is a band name that I have wanted to use for a long time. Originally I envisioned it for a really spazzy post-hardcore band though, something like The Locust or Daughters. I love that music but it takes so much dedication to a specific sound that I don’t know if I could ever do it myself. When I started recording these dance songs, though, the name just fit so I went with it. Now it’s hard to imagine it as anything else.
(1FTP) Are you done with recording Glowbug stuff for the moment with you working on ancient lasers or is that a bit off subject?
(Dan) I am just finishing up the writing for the debut Glowbug full length and I am very, very happy with how it is turning out. I think it is my best and most thoughtful work so far and there are also some really great, hooky tracks that people can resonate with right away. That records going to be available very soon, depending on where and how it is released. I am consistently working on new Glowbug tracks. Ancient Lasers is almost finished, which is a record I co-wrote the songs for but I am not actually a member of the band, just the producer. It’s a really great collection of songs and I think that fans of my previous band, Idiot Pilot, will really dig it. I realized a few days ago that I have five records potentially coming out this year with various artists. There is the new Glowbug, new Ghost and the Grace, Ancient Lasers, an Idiot Pilot B-Sides collection, and a record that I did with Hyro Da Hero, who is a really amazing MC from Houston. That record was written with Mark and Cody from The Blood Brothers, (Champagne Champagne and Jaguar Love, respectively), and Paul from At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta and Sparta, and I am going to be touring behind it in the UK during late March and April, and then more touring throughout the year.
(1FTP) The 3 EP's have a modern yet slightly old school sound, a bit similar to Delorean and some others. Do you see this genre or however you would call it growing in popularity (quite popular now to be fair)
(Dan) I love Delorean so much but I see their sound as an intentional throw-back and not really something that’s trying to be current. The heyday of that particular sound was in the 90s when Halcyon And On And On by Orbital was on every soundtrack, and right now it’s just making a little splash again. It’s cool because that aesthetic is so nostalgic and emotional for me so I appreciate all of the bands that are bringing it back, but I think a more fitting comparison would be artists like Small Black and Washed Out, what people are calling “Chillwave”. However, most Glowbug songs have an upbeat, almost hyperactive center holding them together which isn’t common of the people I just mentioned. “Hyperwave” maybe? When I was younger every genre was “Post” something, now everything has a “wave” at the end of it, but honestly it’s not really something that bothers me at all, it’s just language.
(1FTP) Whats the general Glowbug plans for the near future?
(Dan) Glowbug songs are incredibly fun to write and perform and I plan on continuing to push forward with this project as long as I can. Right now that just means continuing to record and release material and work on getting the music out there for people to hear. We are just finishing up a music video for the song No Fun, by a friend of mine named Abiel Hoff, which may or may not be online before this is published. After that, I expect to be done with the first full-length record within a few months.
(1FTP) Any upcoming artists / friends we should know about?
(Dan) Hyro Da Hero is definitely making a huge name for himself, he’s got everything that it takes and he is extremely talented. I am really excited to spend the next long while touring behind those songs.
(1FTP) One For The People favourite now....... Fill in the gaps for us:
(Dan) Glowbug is ambient dance music mixed with Super Nintendo with a little bit of My Bloody Valentine thrown in.
We leave you with a rather large treat that is the BRAND NEW video for "No Fun" which also featured on last months Certified New Mixtape.