1. Because their show at Mao Livehouse last Thursday was promoted by Live Nation, they stayed on the 36th floor of the Ritz Carlton, and ate a swell catered dinner in that back lounge area of Mao Livehouse. This dinner was even open to journalists and I'll tell you, the salad was fresh.
2. The road crew said the staff at Mao treated them with kindness and respect. This blows my fucking mind.
3. They're really, really nice guys.
You'd think from that they'd be real assholes. Maybe not Tricky-sized assholes, but at least have a chip on their skinny, pale shoulders. Not the case. They really couldn't be nicer. They were candid and talked to me as long as I wanted, answering all my questions like I was a real person. Shit, I can't get that from Boys Climbing Ropes. These guys are playing festivals all over the world. They didn't need to do this. But there you go. Here's what drummer Jonna Löfgren and lead guitarist Rab Allen told me about being underdogs, Katy Perry, and other stuff.
Free time in Shanghai.
Jonna: I went to that temple, Jingan Temple? That was pretty cool, this old building and behind it all these modern buildings. It's cool.
Differences between festival and club gigs.
Rab: We change the order slightly, so where we put the songs. We used to think that we could play the same set in front of 80,00 Germans or 300 Glaswegians, so we needed to change it.
Glasvegas bassist Paul Donoghue says visiting the set of Neighbours was the best thing you've ever done on tour.
Rab: It was ONE of the highlights!
Anything in China going to match that?
Rab: It would have to be something to do with Paul, he's the comedian in the band. I think he'd need to get arrested or something.
Sound for next album.
Rab: I guess that's the thing we're trying to figure out just now. We want to try and keep the human element to it, especially the sound of it. For the demos we've been doing everything live, it gives us a really good feeling about them - as opposed to the studio where you can fiddle and do all those little things to it. So with the album, I think we might try and do it live, and then maybe just add some vocals and some other little bits. But we want to try and keep it really natural and human sounding - kind of in contrast to the second album, where we added a lot of electronics to it. I would like to think we're moving forward with this album, rather than sideways! We're evolving. And obviously we now have Jonna on the drums, that opens up many doors, whereas before we had one door to go through. The drums are definitely something we've been exploring.
Differences, because this is the band's first independent album.
Rab: Not really, we had a lot of people before, so I guess being independent means we can work at our own pace. There are no people asking for demos every day, so we don't have to tell them to fuck off! We were established after the first album, so to have a label or not doesn't feel like there's a lot of difference just now.
On choosing 'Acrobat' to cover for a tribute to U2's 'Achtung Baby'.
Rab: They chose it for us, well, the manager of U2 went out with a list of songs from 'Achtung Baby' to various bands. They gave us 'Achtung Baby', 'Wild Horses' and 'The Fly', and we had to pick one. The thing is, you can't pick one that everyone knows, you have to pick one that no one knows, because you can't fuck that up! I think we recorded it live, it was a lot of fun.
Glasvegas - Acrobat
The Glasvegas song 'Snowflake Fell and It Felt Like a Kiss' referencing the controversial, originally recalled Crystals' song 'He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss).'
Rab: I think that's something with us; we wear our influences on our sleeve. We're not afraid to say that we are influenced by whoever. I think it's the same with James (lead singer), he's really open about where he gets things from.
Crystals - He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)
If people don't get their many, diverse references.
Rab: There's a song called 'Shine Like Stars' on the second record, and there's a couple of lines from The Beatles' 'Help', and no one has asked about that. I wondered how you got that reference. It's funny, not a lot of people get those references and there are a lot in there.
Listening to now...
Jonna: Bob Marley
Rab: Yeah, Bob Marley.
Cause it's getting warmer?
Jonna: It's definitely not warm in Glasgow.
Rab: We watched that movie 'Marley', it was really inspiring. I think James has watched it a few times now. It's not all trying to sound like that, you just want to be inspired by them. There are a few newer bands, but I think the Marley thing right now is our big one. And obviously Katy Perry.
Rab: Ok, well you don't need to give it any thought, sometimes it's just nice to turn on music which you don't need to think about too much. With Glasvegas we try and give people something to think about, which is a good thing as well! But if I want some mindless, easy thing to listen to, and I want a little dance while I'm getting ready, then it's Katy Perry.
So in a couple of years, when Q asks you guys to record a Katy Perry song, you'll choose...
Rab: I'm sure I'll be the only one doing it.
Rab: That's my favourite one, but I'd probably cover 'I Kissed a Girl'. I went to see her in Glasgow actually, with a girl who used to work with the band. Great.
On still feeling like underdogs...
Rab: Definitely, I think the thing is that we are actually the underdogs, well I certainly feel like it sometimes. It's nice, although we are the ones out touring, doing all these things. We always feel that we are the ones having to prove ourselves.
Jonna: This time, when we're staying in this amazing hotel, everyone is just so excited.
Rab: Yeah, next week all five of use will be in one bedroom in England.
Glasvegas will be winging their way back to sunny Glasgow by now, but those same dudes who brought them here are also bringing The Friendly Fires to Mao tomorrow (22nd of May)! Check our event listing here and wait for us to chat to them, too.