Glass Lungs Interview
By Maggie Bolcsfoldy
Hi guys, Thank-you for taking the time to talk with me.
Your album is coming out on the 29th. Are you all excited for the release, and how long in the making was it?
Excited, elated, relieved, anxious… all would be an understatement when talking about how we feel about this release. We entered VuDu Studios with Frank Mitaritonna last August, 2017 so it been a while. Almost a year of fine tuning, mixing, re-recording and mastering and we feel like we captured the essence, the energy, beauty and chaos the songs deserve.
How did you decide which song to release as a single?
We went back and forth on this a lot. Figuring out what the first song people hear from your album is stressful. We felt that “From the Wayside” was probably the catchiest on the album so that seemed like an almost universal choice between all of us. Last minute we felt that we wanted people to have a little more and hear the full dynamic of the album, so we released “Casting Stones” with it, which is the furthest from the sound of “From the Wayside”.
What are you hoping the outcome of this album will be?
After the release of our first full length we are hoping to develop a fan base beyond the New York City region and make this band something that is bigger than ourselves. Hopefully we make a ton of friends along the way and change positively with each tour. We hope to bring love, laughter, some real thoughts on life and hope to make people feel something with our music.
How did you guys become a band?
I am going to try and keep a long story as short as possible, haha. We started in 2015 with a different singer, drummer, and at the time Bill was on bass. Our first singles were written in that time, but I ended up moving to Portland, OR for 9 months. I knew I was moving back so I was trying to set up a band for when I got home. The first person I asked was Bill and after searching for singers for two months I found Chad. I kept in-touch with our old drummer, after hearing I was moving back he wanted to jam again and brought Nick back on. We recorded about four singles and then lost our drummer, that’s when we found Andy. Andy fit right in and knew the songs as soon as he came to the first practice. Immediately we shot a music video for “The Migrant Wind” and that felt like the turning point for us becoming a real band. Soon after that Bill had expressed that he wanted to be playing guitar in the band instead of bass which lead to Jay coming into the band. I’ve known Jay since we were kids and he naturally just fit in. It’s been a journey but totally worth it, and I think we’re at our strongest with this lineup.
How did you decide to name your band Glass Lungs?
Truthfully, I don’t know if anyone besides Jay knows this story. I have an amp tech I go to out by my parent house on Long Island. The two of us were chatting for a bit about vintage amps vs modern ones. He was explaining how Hiwatt amps have these unique qualities and the feeling of the amp breathing from being a tubed, he said “kind of like its Glass Lungs”. I thought that was super cool since we were such a gear-head band but I didn’t want them to think that was cheesy so I just left that part out. Most people take it more literally and that’s fine too.
Tell me about your musical backgrounds.
Chad is pretty much the only one in the band that doesn’t derive from the hardcore/metal scene, which is cool because he brings such a different sound that we haven’t been had in our musical careers. He is heavily influenced by Circa Survive, Anthony Green, Johnny Craig and the like and it comes across in his style of vocals. I came from a band on Facedown Records called Letter to the Exiles and met Nick on tour with his band on Eulogy Records called Life as a Ghost. Alex was in with a touring hardcore band that was very popular in New York called Bela Kiss. Bill and Jay have hopped around playing in varies hardcore and pop-punk bands as well prior to Glass Lungs.
Who writes the songs and is there a process and routine in writing them?
Usually Nick or I will come up with an initial riff and we jam on that until we start to piece a song together from it. We actually have a rule that nothing gets written outside of practice, everything is written on the spot when we’re all together. That’s been part of the process since we started the band in 2015. Things get refined as the song comes together. If we start writing a song and we’re not thrilled on it by the first chorus, we scrap it. If we finish a song it will get recorded. We don’t waste time on songs we’re not going to use.
What is your dream festival to play?
I’ll play any festival. They are the best kind of shows to play. Tons of people, food all around you, the energy is usually out of control… Overall I’d say a lot of the bigger festivals in Europe like this years, Hellfest Open Air in France, Wireless Festival in London, Download Festival in Derby, UK to name a few, seem unreal to play. It’s my personal dream to accomplish touring and playing massive festivals over there.
What was your favorite band as teenagers?
I was really into stuff like Grade and Hot Water Music, 90s aggressive punk rock, I guess. This was in the 2000’s though, my friends were always older than I was so they mostly influenced my music taste.
Who designed the album cover and the merch?
Our album cover was designed by Brian Morgante (Flesh and Bone Design). He must have honestly thought we were crazy while telling him what we wanted. When you’re living in the studio for nearly a month and don’t see much daylight you start to get a little delirious. We came up with a bunch of weird things like saying we get our sound through “space wizardry” which also became a t-shirt design from Brian. Our engineer Frank Mitaritonna from VuDu studios was saying we have a bunch of whale sounds on the record which sprung the idea “let put a whale in space on the cover!” And that’s exactly what happened. Later Brian did about two or three other designs for us for t-shirts as well as artist Scott Siskind.
I would love to hear about the making of the Wayside video.
The making of the video for our single, “From the Wayside”, was a ton of fun. Working with Grayson Sandford, an amazingly talented up-and-coming actor in NYC, and Suicide Girls and Comedy Central’s Roast Battle’s, Lindsey Jennings, was a real pleasure. Both actors played the character exactly how we imagined and they just ran with it. Big props to Lindsey Jennings too for working most of the shoot almost completely naked in the freezing cold end of November! What a trooper. If you haven’t seen it, it’s very visually stimulating. I recommend it to all who breathe air and enjoy art.
(Filmed and produced by Tom Flynn, who is a genius and has true artist vision)
How old were you all when you 1st started learning/playing music? And do any of you play multiple instruments, if yes which instruments?
I started playing drums at a really young age, my dad got me a drum kit one Christmas. He was a drummer as a kid and I think he wanted me to pick it up as well. My first band I played bass in though, that didn’t last too long. I picked up guitar short after and played in a band that the other guitarist just showed me what to play, that’s how I learned. Later I toured in a band that I played drums for but I still gravitated towards guitar and that’s what I ended up sticking with.
I ask every band and musician i interview this question, cause you can hear some great stories. Tell me a funny or crazy fan memory.
One time I was on tour in Mississippi and we were sleeping in the van at some strip mall parking lot after a long drive. At around 4am we heard someone fiercely pounding on the van side window. It was a young looking blonde teenage girl, all excited, trying to get our attention. She successfully woke us up. We begrudgingly slid the side door open and asked her what she wanted. Before we could finish asking her she blurted out “Ya’ll a real band?!?!?” to which we replied “Yes but we actually really need some sleep right now”. Like a scene from Will Ferrell’s “Step Brothers”, her freaking twin popped out behind her somehow perfectly and said “Ya’ll know ‘Rockstar’?” Without missing a beat, as if they had been practicing for this moment their whole lives, both in unison proceeded to sing the song I now know to be from Nicklback thanks to these over-zealous teenage girls. I mean, they sang the whole thing. They proceeded to start another “riveting” Nickleback jam when their mother interrupted and started calling for them. One of teens, red faced and pissed as if scorned from the devil himself, turned and screamed to her “Shut the fuck up bitch! I’m talking to a REAL band!”. Shocked and honestly quite amused by this bi-polar behavior, I looked at my fellow band mates and we all lost it. They finally left after serenading us with the rest of the second “lovely” butt-rock song, thankfully mostly because their savage, bull-looking mother started walking towards us ready to kill someone. You just never know what is going to happen on tour.
What was your 1st concert you went to?
I was lucky enough to have a father that was extremely passionate about music and going to live shows. It changed my life. I can’t remember who it was because I was very young when he took me to my first concert. He was into very progressive Jazz-fusion at the time and it opened up my mind to anything beyond a simple 4/4 time signature. From Spyro Gyra, Yellow Jackets to Pat Metheny and Chick Corea, they shaped my drumming mind to think beyond the norm and allowed me to think quickly and outside the box.
Where would you like to see your band in 10 years?
The shelf life of a band is not very long especially for bands who take the step of becoming a professional touring band due to the vigorous, poor lifestyle. If we are still a band in ten years that means we did something really right and are making money to sustain us as a band and individuals. If that happens, that would be a dream come true.
What can we look forward to in the future from Glass Lungs?
We have a lot planned for the future. We’re really focused on touring and setting up dates right now. We also have an acoustic EP in the works that are songs from the new full length totally reworked and reimagined. They’re coming out so cool, I’m really excited for that. We also have been working on new material already. As artists we have to constantly be creating and we want to keep putting out new material for everyone who follows Glass Lungs. We want people to be part of our journey and want to start showing that more. We just released an in-studio video on YouTube so people could kind of see what we were up to and all the fun we had working with Frank and hanging out with each other all day every day for a month. I’m excited for what’s to come.
Any upcoming shows or tours?
We are booking as we speak. So far we have a bunch of New York City and Brooklyn dates and a couple New England dates. We plan to tackle the east coast this summer and expand in the Fall/Winter. Check on our Spotify, and Website for all upcoming shows and tours!
MHF Magazine/Maggie Bolcsfoldy