NEW MUSIC: GLASS PEAKS ARE CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN
Label deal and new record have Glass Peaks eyeing up new altitudes
Words by Rob Hakimian
Kent indie rock trio Glass Peaks have been honing their craft for years now, but in 2019 they’ve recorded at Abbey Road, had an eye-opening chat with Dizzee Rascal and signed a record deal. It seems their commitment to their music is starting to pay real dividends – and it’s just the beginning.
“Take over the world,” quips vocalist Alfie Jefferies when asked what their ambitions are, before modifying them to the more achievable “to push our music to as many people as we possibly can”. This exemplifies the dichotomy that drives the band: dreams of reaching the biggest stages but an understanding of the realities and hard work that will go into getting anywhere near there.
This industriousness is evidenced by the fact of their having released three brand-new singles in 2019, with plenty more to come over the next year. It’s something that has earned them a newly-inked record deal with Sheffield label These Bloody Thieves, where they’ve found a kindred spirit in founder Rob Hirst.
“There is no better feeling than working with passionate people,” says guitarist Jake. “I remember one of the first things he said to us was ‘If I made music, I’d want it to sound just like this’.”
Alfie agrees: “I’m glad we have someone on board who is as passionate about the music as we are.”
Passion is rife in all of Glass Peaks’ gripping rock; their latest single Asbestos is about “the fragile truths of being so deeply invested in someone but losing the fire or spark”.
Alfie admits that hazardous substance of the title is quite an “intense metaphor”, but it’s his natural style: “I have legitimately tried to write songs about things that have made me happy, but they never seem to surface in the same way.”
This open show of emotion has connected them to many fans and remains a central driving force in their creative work. They are open about mental-health issues, with all their recent singles featuring some level of anguish drawn from their own experiences.
“Writing and singing about it can be very difficult, but it’s also an important release for me,” Alfie admits, but he sees a value in it: “I’d like to think that any of our songs that deal with such a difficult subject provide people with a sense of comfort and a relief that they’re not alone.”
Of course, the trio draw inspiration from sources beyond their own personal struggles, and outside of music as well. This year’s single Misery was inspired by Stephen King, with Alfie also citing Virginia Allen and Edgar Allan Poe as literary influences (although he would like to stress that he is “quite an upbeat, chirpy person despite all of that”).
Jake mentions that Salvador Dalí’s surrealism is something he has in mind in his playing: “A lot of my guitar work will be repetitive, to give it a sort of trance effect. I also like to mess with sounds to almost give it a non-guitar-like sound.”
Drummer Grant Tugwell points to Stanley Kubrick as a crucial discovery in his artistic development. “Ever since I was 10 his work has latched on to me and really opened my eyes to the possibilities of art and how beautiful it can be,” he reflects.
Music is still their central and guiding obsession, though, and they got to come into direct contact with a legendary piece of its history recently when given the opportunity to record a session at Abbey Road Studios.
It’s a place that “oozes history and creativity”, according to Grant, while Jake admits “As I pulled in through the famous white gates, I nearly cried”.
They made sure to invest themselves in the history and “soak it all up”. They were understandably overwhelmed. “I know everyone says it, but it just feels so special and magical when you’re in there,” Jake says – and you can see it resounding off them in the vibrant video from the session.
Beyond the history, they had an unexpected encounter at Abbey Road, finding themselves next door to Dizzee Rascal. While they certainly did the typical fan thing of getting selfies with him, they also tapped him for some sage advice from years in the industry.
“He said something which really stuck with me: ‘Stop working for social-media sites’,” Jake recalls. “‘Focus on putting out bangers,’ he said. Which is so true – why are we all so worried about putting out these paid social-media campaigns to get people to listen to us?!
“If the music is right, the people will come.”
Dizzee the rap guru “then played our tunes out loud and drove off in his red Ferrari”, putting the cherry on top of a day that will undoubtedly be a fondly remembered one in the history of the band.
Glass Peaks have certainly got plenty of plans for putting out “bangers” in the near future, promising loads of new music before the end of the year. “We have some of our best tunes in the locker and I can’t wait to get them out,” Alfie teases.
Perhaps even more exciting is the promise of a new and improved live show, building on their already renowned stage presence.
“We have always been quite theatrical, but I think we’re making an effort to step that up a notch. We perform every show like it’s our last,” Alfie says.
“Jake will throw himself around the stage, Grant will lose his glasses and I’ll scream until the veins in my neck are about to burst, no matter what size the venue or how many people are in the room.”
It’s a spectacle that we’re certainly buzzing to see, and we’re sure Glass Peaks will be playing to packed rooms in no time.
Asbestor by Glass Peak has been added to the #KeepitKent Spotify Playlist HERE