- 15 Sep 16
Glass Animals dish the dirt on their second LP, talk about the "wild shit" that happens when they visit Ireland, and explain why they've used crisp packets for percussion.
Inspired by stories they heard on the road, and the characters who relayed them, Glass Animals’ second album sees the Oxford-based four-piece at their most inventive. Heaving with ideas, How To Be A Human Being crackles with pop, electro, indie, R&B and hip hop influences to create a smorgasbord of sonic goodness. Speaking of tasty, the group have now added the humble crisp packet to their arsenal of interesting instrumentation too, as drummer Joe Seaward explains.
“Yep, we went there,” he laughs. “The thing about Dave [Bayley, vocals, guitar] is he’ll have an idea for a sound in his head and rack his brains until he finds a way of creating it, and if that means crunching up a bag of crisps on the pavement to give him the ‘snare drum’ sound that he needs, that’s what he’ll do. It does make the recording process a bit mental at times, but it’s fun.”
Written in a matter of months, album number two is a rich affair, full of references to cult cartoons like Adventure Time and excitingly odd musical textures. It’s also dense with back stories which, over the year ahead, will unravel themselves even further as the four-piece release videos, artwork and more to flesh out their ideas. For starters they’ve unveiled a strange website (raygun123.com) to accompany their song ‘Life Itself’ and the tale of its protagonist Chuck Rogers.
“We didn’t make that website, Chuck made it,” says Joe. “It’s a glimpse into the world of that character in the song. The thing we set out to do was make the songs as cool or interesting as possible. If there are people in the world who want to invest more time in the album and understand more about the characters and disappear into a wormhole, we tried to offer them something to dig their teeth into. We tried to make it as immersive as we can, so the website is another titbit which offers information on who this guy is, where he’s from and why he turned out the way he did... we are going to give people all these dots they can join together and they can get lost in it if they care enough. The artwork, videos and live show all connect and feed into this weird universe and there are clues everywhere.”
One of the album highlights is the flute-led fever dream that is ‘Mama’s Gun,’ and Joe tells us he enlisted his dad to play the woodwind instrument for them.
“That song is very special to me, for obvious reasons. Will he be coming on tour with us? Absolutely not, no. We’re not going to do a Mystery Jets. He can stay firmly at home!”
Speaking of their live show, Glass Animals perform at this year’s Electric Picnic and Joe says he’s hoping for more “wild shit” to happen to them when they’re over.
“We had a great time the last time we played at Electric Picnic. Ireland has always been very good to us. Every time we’ve come over we’ve had mad parties. Weird things always happen to us there, though. Like last time Dave’s shoes got stolen. Some girl set up a Twitter account called ‘I’ve stolen Dave’s shoes’ and we all went on this wild goose chase around Dublin trying to fucking find these shoes because he didn’t have any others... wild shit happens when we’re there. It’s really, really fun. We’ll come back as many times as you’ll have us.”