Interviews

Escape the noise: an interview with cinematic instrumental post rocker band GLORIES from Birmingham, Alabama

GLORIES band
GLORIES, a post-rock collective of musicians based in Birmingham, Alabama, began composing music in the fall of 2011. Through creativity and a strong emphasis placed on composition, Glories creates sweeping sounds and melodic themes that conjure a emotional response from the listener. The band’s debut release, Mother Reverb, was released in 2013. GLORIES released their follow up record, Put the Beast Out of Mind, in July of 2014, which was well received by reviewers and fans alike. The band’s third album, “There Is No Stillness” is out now and we took this chance to team up with them to explain the record, offer some insights on their understanding instrumental music, dive deeper into their concepts and find out what they’re up to in 2017.

Hey guys! Thanks so much for your time. How are you? How’s 2017 been treating you so far?

It’s been pretty good so far. We’ve been spending a lot of time finalizing details on the new album and its release.

How do you feel about this new record? How do you feel you have evolved since ‘Mother Reverb’?

We are very happy with how this record turned out. It is the best sounding record of ours, sonically. It has the production that we’ve always wanted our records to have. Mother Reverbwas a collection of all the first songs we wrote as a band and a process of finding our footing; not very aware of our strengths and weaknesses. The second record spurred our change and growth as a band and was our way of trying out different types of songs. Some were shorter and more concise than we had previously done. We feel like There Is No Stillness has elements of both previous albums. It has some of the darkness of Mother Reverb as well as the optimism and brightness of Put the Beast Out of Mind. We have also incorporated more programming and electronics to add new textures and dynamics to the tracks. We also had a lineup change in late 2015, which was a challenge to overcome but ultimately proved to be helpful in the creation of this batch of songs.

What excites you most about this particular period leading up to the release?

We are mostly excited to share it with everyone. We spent more time on this record than any other previous one. We’ve been sitting with some of these songs for over a year. At this point, it’s making sure all the details regarding the release are in order. We’ve gotten positive early reviews and a good response to the preorder and we hope that continues after the wide release on January 20. We think fans of our older material will still find bits of that in the new songs, but we also hope to gain some new fans.

Compared to your previous offerings, have you had different influences on you over the course of writing and recording for “There is No Stillness”?

Influences always come and go, but I think this band has a definite identity. I don’t think we would ever put out anything that didn’t sound like Glories. We have a lot of different individual influences and they all find various way into our music. We tend to put our heads down and demo out songs until we are happy with their structure.

How do you balance between the strictly instrumental side of your work and hidden messages, themes, and concepts that would serve as inspirations for certain moods? Can you expound more on the title of the record and the subject matter you had in your mind while composing this opus?

This is an amazing question. We don’t want to yet reveal any certain moods or themes of the songs on this album until people have been able to hear them and form their own impressions of the highs and lows and where they take them as a listener. Since we don’t use lyrics to guide listeners in a certain direction, we enjoy that our music can be interpreted in different ways by different people. To one person, a dynamic melody may be a sunset but to another might be a sunrise. We definitely pour our own emotions into our writing process but one of the main reasons that this is the music we make is for the listener to be able to find their own meaning. While we do our best not to adhere to a formula in writing, we always have the “flow” of a song in mind and try to place the dynamics in a way that we feel is natural.

here Is No Stillness refers to how busy and constantly moving the world we live in has become. We are constantly bombarded with city noise, texts, emails, notifications, and the like. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for a lot of people to balance the need to find any type of escape from all the noise and distractions of our age. It’s a loose commentary on all those things. We hope that people can find some sort of escape in our music. That’s what music does for us and our goal is to give some of that back to our listeners.

How does the cover art represent these ideas? How does it relate to “There Is No Stillness”?

When we visited Merrilee’s studio, we were drawn to pieces with all these reds and blues. This one seemed to fit the overall vibe of the record. It is vivid and had lots of movement, but is also abstract to allow for people to find their own subject while looking at it. The music on this record has lots of movement and the juxtaposition of many different sounds, while still being cohesive. The artwork shares some of those same characteristics, with there being many pieces and a lot going on; while the piece as a whole is stronger than the sum of its parts.

GLORIES promo

Given the unparalled level of cinematic experience and touching, sometimes monumental presentations, post rock and experimental music can be presented various different forms, distinguishing itself from more regular and digestible genres. I like this expression that instrumental acts and experimental artists could actually exhbit their work, not necessarily perform. How important is the visual presentation for the band? Do you plan on injecting some VJ projections into you live performances or releasing grand music videos that would emphasize the enormously ambitious journeys of your sonic nature?

We have definitely considered doing so but it’s not a huge priority for us at the moment. The imagery would have to be complementary to the sounds; more than just random lasers and shapes. It is something we will hopefully be exploring in the future as opportunities present themselves to incorporate our vision of visuals.

We do think it’s important to have some cohesive visual representation of the band. This is partly why we use Merrilee’s artwork as our album covers. It is visually striking work and hope that it’s a good companion to our music.

We would love to someday do music videos that complement our music, but it’s not realistic at this time. Hopefully some aspiring filmmakers will use our music in their work! We would enjoy doing some score-type material.

GLORIES lp3

Alright, so lastly, what is your focus regarding the artists you follow? Are you more interested in emerging or renowned artists? What new or recurring influences helped bring about the sounds on this beautiful record?

We try to listen to a lot of different stuff to draw inspiration for production techniques and tones. We all really appreciate different types of music. For example, Zach really loves Drake. We love the post-rock “big 5” (EITS, CASPIAN, TWDY, MOGWAI, GY!BE.) They are a definite influence for everyone doing this type of music. I listen to a lot of ambient/soundscape kind of stuff while doing schoolwork. We are all over the place with our musical tastes but it’s not something we really discuss and bring into our writing process. It’s all about jamming together and seeing what happens then keeping the good parts until the song is complete. “Telescopes” started as a simple electronic interlude and eventually evolved into a full band track.

GLORIES band (2)

What does 2017 have in store for GLORIES?

We plan on playing lots of shows to support the record and possibly writing some new stuff!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Feel free to add your final thoughts and take care!

Thanks for the opportunity to be featured on your site! We appreciate your time and hope everyone will take the time to check out our music.

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gloriesband@gmail.com
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