It’s never half full when it comes to Glass Animals. The British indie pop quartet serves up songs fit for a stoner with lyrics around mayonnaise and pork soda inspiring a hurl burger though catchy and refreshing as hell.
Their wonderfully wonky sophomore album ‘How To Be a Human Being’ was a lifestyle study based around a multitude of characters — one for each song — which found the band exploring their immersive minds honing in on drug-abuse, space-travel and lonerism, it would seem the stranger the lyric, the more people relish in screaming it back at them.
Dave: I’ve never been here before. Where should I go? What is there?
Sniffers: We’ve got a big tower in the city, you could look at that?
Dave: Sky Tower?
Sniffers: Yeah. Big and pointy. Otherwise I’d go to a black sand beach. Piha. Its brilliant.
Dave: A black sand beach?
Sniffers: Its amazing. Words don’t do it justice.
Dave: That sounds sick. We should see what time we leave tomorrow.
Sniffers: Cause you’re doing some solo shows in Aussie?
Dave: Yeah we’re doing Melbourne headline. We’ve done Sydney already, that was wicked actually.
Part 1: Pineapples
Sniffers: Should we launch into it?
Dave: Yeah lets do it
Sniffers: Would you rather be given Peanut Butter, Mayonnaise or a Pineapple by a fan?
Dave: Tough choice. I love peanut butter but a pineapple is very useful.
Sniffers: I saw you guys in Brooklyn and someone gave you a pineapple and you looked like you had no idea what to do with it.
Dave: I think thats the first time someone gave us a pineapple. We get given lots now. We put them on stage and throw them into the crowd. Hopefully people eat them and they’re not wasted.
Sniffers: You donated all of the pineapples from the James Corden show right?
Dave: We did yeah!
Sniffers: How did you find edible paint? Cause weren’t they all painted gold?
Dave: We were lucky, we didn’t know it existed. I think they’re used for cakes?
Sniffers: There is a lot of stuff that you guys do behind the scenes like that, do you employ someone full time to do Glass Animals weird shit? Like we want 100 gold pineapples? We want a video game or a website?
Dave: We do a lot of it ourselves! I did the websites, the game was a collaboration, the pineapples we had to get someone to paint… I have to admit I didn’t do that. We actually do have a person in Los Angeles that we ask to do quite a lot of weird shit that we can’t do ourselves.
Sniffers: You should get them a business card “Weird Shit Person for Glass Animals”
Dave: Yes! She’s great actually. With the pineapples, she arrived with a trolley that was about three times the size of an airport trolley just filled with pineapples. It was amazing.
Sniffers: When you were making Pork Soda? Did you imagine that the pineapples would become such a thing?
Dave: No it was totally an accident. Someone just brought one to a show once and it went from there.
Sniffers: Because you’re even using it in your tour artwork now?
Dave: Its in the tour artwork yeah, its become a weird thing. I don’t know how long we will use it but I’m not complaining. Its a good source of vitamin C.
Sniffers: Which is crucial when you’re on tour.
Dave: You don’t want scurvy on tour.
Part 2: Conversations with Strangers
Sniffers: Can you tell us a bit more about the “Conversations with Strangers” inspiration behind “How To Be A Human Being”?
Dave: Yeah man! We were travelling a lot, meeting loads of different people every day and some people just tell you strange stories. Because you’re a stranger, people open up to you and I opened up as well, sharing all sorts of ridiculous things. Stories about people who are trying to give themselves blowjobs, stories about people that think they’ve killed somebody, stories about people who’ve stood next to someone who’s been shot, stories about everything, hilarious to scary to awful to sad.
Sniffers: Do you have a good bank of stories for album 3?
Dave: Maybe! We’re unsure yet but the next album might be about something different.
Part 3: How To Be A Human Being
Sniffers: With ZABA, you had a couple rap version of tracks and before HTBAHB you had the Joey Bada$$ collaboration, is there anything planned for the HTBAHB tracks?
Dave: Yes. I can’t say what but its going to be a very interesting couple of months.
Sniffers: The chorus of Pork Soda sounds like cocaine fuelled ramblings, are they yours?
Dave: Haha no but thats what its supposed to sound like! Its just stream of consciousness. I just sat down, hyped on caffeine and did that song so quickly and those were my first lyrics. Sometimes I put down silly lyrics when I’m working on a song and some of the lines aren’t right as placeholders that have the right rhythm and this was one of those. But it fit really well so we kept it.
Sniffers: Have you changed the songs as you’ve been performing them live? Has there been much progression from the studio versions?
Dave: Definitely changes. Still early stages. We toured the first record for two and a half years so by the time we were finished the songs were like remixes. Its different every night. Sometimes we will play a song for nine minutes. Sometimes i’ll look back and think that only vaguely resembles the studio recording! I think Laneway will be the fun! The southern hemisphere is more forgiving with variations on songs, playing a round with it a bit more – not wanting to make any generalisations – but a bit more welcoming.
Sniffers: Instead of “play the song as it sounds in a way I can sing along to”?
Dave: Yeah! We will see what happens.
Sniffers: So all of the songs are about the different characters on the album cover?
Sniffers: Can you graffiti on the album art and give us a bit of background on some of the characters?
Dave: Yeah man!
Sniffers: So when you got all of these people together, was there a casting description or was it based on real people?
Dave: They’re actors and we had a very specific idea of what we wanted. We did the cover shoot and a couple videos all at the same time! We’ve had to bring some of the actors back for future videos and for the next one but I’m not allowed to talk about that.
Sniffers: You play your cards very close to your chest! Or have you been growled by your PR person before?
Dave: Yeah maybe a couple times…
Sniffers: What was the show you recorded that you’re putting out on vinyl?
Dave: Oh that was our release show! We had all of the actors there and you could take photos with the characters. The cocaine suit guy was walking around in speedos being seedy.
Sniffers: Is that who’s genitals are on your t-shirt?
Dave: Yeah thats him! We also had the kid riding around on his bike, the woman who thinks she can read minds was set up with tarot cards. It was really amazing seeing the characters come to life. It was really special.