With a recently released EP, a 12” out this month and new material being worked on as you read this, Wellington based duo Glass Vaults have been busy boys indeed. We recently caught up for a chat with Richard and Rowan to find out just what they’ve been up to.
Hello Glass Vaults, how are ya?
Richard: Good thanks :)
You guys are Wellington based; how are you finding the whole community there at the moment?
Richard: We have had mostly good experiences from the Wellington music community. There is a really supportive and like minded bunch of musicians, producers ect as well as a generous audience.
Rowan: It's nice and small down here so it makes for a nice little hub, in terms of music I think it's pretty strong at the moment, theres been some great releases this year.
Richard: At the moment its just myself and Rowan. We have talked about developing the line up for our live show :-p but currently what we have is working really well. We both write the music together and then work with Bevan Smith in the studio to produce our recordings.
You guys met at Uni, how did the relationship start?
Richard: Yeah, we were in a small class together for 3-4 years with about 8 others. We all shared a common studio space together and the whole class actually became really close over the years.
How did you get together as Glass Vaults?
Richard: I think it was the summer of 2008/ 2009 that we started hanging out a lot more together outside of university. That year around Easter time we spent some time at my family bach and started developing some music ideas. That time was really fun, its was cold and grey and yea, that's when we first started.
Rowan Yea those were good times, it's so nice to get away to work on things, especially when it's by the sea.
What other bands/projects have you been involved in?
Richard: I play guitar for Wellington band Secret Knives.
Rowan: No bands. I have been doing scores for short films, dance and theatre over the last few years and moved from that into music.
There’s a pretty heavy ambient/atmospheric realm to your sound, but also a large electronic aspect; do you feel either side plays a bigger part in your music?
Rowan: I think it's fair to say we both lean towards atmospheric sound in both what we listen to and the stuff that we produce. I really enjoy being able to dwell in another space. There are so many possibilities when it comes to electronic music. Sometimes too many but I love exploring new avenues with it, often you come across things you never would have anticipated using at the outset.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Richard: Perfume Genius, Toro Y Moi, Jonsi & Alex…
Rowan: Tame Impala, The Verve…
You’ve recently done shows with both Xiu Xiu and Grouper, how did they go?
Rowan: I really enjoyed the Grouper show, it was such a pleasant Tuesday night event.
Richard: Yeah they were both good, different but good :)
Are either of them an influence on GlassVaults?
Richard: Na I wouldn't say, directly anyways.
What is your writing/recording process?
Rowan: Generally we've written things while rehearsing for live shows then taken some time out to record them in one go, lately we're beginning to try open up the process of recording to be more fluid. Developing the recordings more as we go. It's a process that we'll always be exploring, trying to discover new methods.
Your Dream Collaboration?
Rowan: Bevan Smith tehe
You have the Glass EP being released as a 12” in November – tell us a bit about that. How’d you manage to hook up with (US Label) Jukboxr for the release?
Rowan: Yeah our copies are trapped in customs in Auckland as we speak grrr. Dale at Jukboxr got in touch with us after coming across us on the interwebs. He had been running a blog and was really interested in releasing limited edition vinyl packages. Luckily he was really keen to have the EP as his first release.
You’ve been working on some new material recently correct?
Rowan: Yea, we're looking to have a release early next year , hopefully with some singles leading up to it. Its coming along slowly but surely as Me and Rich are juggling some other design projects at the moment as well.
Are you simply expanding on the EP, or are there some new ideas coming into play?
Rowan: We're always looking to challenge what we're doing and explore new ideas, so though it will develop on from the EP we're excited about producing some new aspects in our sound.
What do you enjoy most about music?
Richard: The moment a new song, idea or melody... comes along/ is birthed. I find that moment really exciting. The fact that you have to act really fast otherwise it will be lost. Getting in that space is lovely :)
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt musically in the last year?
Richard: Not specifically musically but generally, nothing is ever solid or learned... you think you know how to write a good song or lyric... or you have found the equation but then you forget. That or the next one requires a different equation.
What’s the best concert you have ever been to?
Richard: Hmmmmm maybe Bright Eyes in Shepards bush London 2007 or The Polyphonic Spree the year they came to Auckland Big Day out. They where both glorious! Seth Frightening last New Years (Fields of Dreams) was a special time also and one time the Ragamuffin Children played on my friends deck in the sun... these were all amazing events.
Best or most memorable gig you have played?Rowan: Haha I'm still a fan of the first time we stumbled through a set in our friends backyard at the start of the year for a audience of about 10 -15 people.
The future holds…?
Rowan: A release early next year hopefully followed by some touring. It would be great to get away overseas.
The state of music in NZ is….
Rowan: I think there is plenty of great music and some really strong collectives around.
Glass Vaults debut EP is available to download free from their bandcamp page (link below). Here is track one: