GLASS PEAKS (from l-r): Grant Tugwell (drums), Alf Jefferies (vocals/guitar), Jake Cox (guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by ANT ADAMS
Since forming in 2016, Glass Peaks have been consistently honing a diversely-influenced sound that is harmonic, laden with hooks, and an effective showcase for their musical talents, which has resulted in the band amassing a dedicated and rapidly-growing fan base, as well as plaudits from much of the British music press, and having just unveiled ‘Asbestos‘ – their new single – along with an accompanying video filmed at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, the Kent three-piece spoke to me about all of that, their influences, songwriting approach, future plans, and much more.
How did the band initially form?
ALF JEFFERIES (vocals/bass): Grant and Jake used to be in a band together a few years back. I spotted a video they posted online when they initially formed Glass Peaks, loved the sound they were creating, and I pretty much begged to be involved, and here we are three years later!
JAKE COX (guitar): I had worked out in the US for a few months, and on my return, I knew the first thing I wanted to do was to form a fresh new band, and three years later, here we are.
How did the name Glass Peaks come about?
ALF: Jake, Grant, and an old member of the band were sat in a chicken shop when they were trying to figure out the name. They had already landed on “Peaks” because of Grant‘s love of the show ‘Twin Peaks‘, and Jake wanting some aspect of nature in the bands name.
They were plucking random words out, and seeing what fit, and then realised they were sat opposite a glass shop. Thus, Glass Peaks was born out of chicken and double glazing.
JAKE: That’s the true story, but we like to tell people it’s because when you’re at the peak of life, love, your career etc, it’s like walking on glass, so tread carefully, as it could fall through at any point.
What are the band’s main musical influences?
ALF: Foals, Radiohead, Reverb, and all things a bit sad.
JAKE: I think we’re all heavily influenced by all things 80’s & 90’s.
GRANT TUGWELL (drums): TEARS FOR FEARS!
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
ALF: It varies, to be honest. I write lyrics/lines/poems all of the time without music, so there’s always ideas knocking about – however musically, we usually approach it as a three. One of us may have a riff, a beat, or a melody in mind, and we’ll then build around it.
More recently, I’ve been bringing almost fully-constructed tracks to the guys, and we’ve tweaked them from there, but that’s not always the case!
GRANT: Musically, I go with what sounds right. If it rolls, it rolls, if not, I try and throw a spanner in, and throw it in a completely different direction.
What inspires the band lyrically?
ALF: I usually write lyrics centered around anything I feel particularly strongly about, or something that has left a profound effect on me, but the downside to that is that it’s usually quite sad and bleak.
I suppose the upshot of that is that I’m able to get things off my chest, and I find songwriting to be a form of therapy, really, because if I didn’t have the ability to get whatever I’m feeling out in music, I wouldn’t know how to release it, so it’s a good thing, ultimately.
You have just unveiled a new single, entitled ‘Asbestos’. How was the recording process for that?
ALF: We recorded ‘Asbestos‘ with our friend Erim, who is based near to our practice space in Jake and Grant‘s home town. It’s always very nice to work on music with a great friend.
GRANT: The process was smooth. The song really nicely came together, as we had an idea of how we wanted it to sound, and when we added the cherries on top, it was only more sweet.
And the band were invited to the iconic Abbey Road Studios to record a live version of the track. How did that come about?
ALF: Our friend Liam was lucky enough to be studying at the Abbey Road Institute, and kindly invited us along to record a session.
That was really special for us, and we used it as an opportunity to invite the incredible Danny Lowman along to capture footage of the session on the day as well, which you can check out on YouTube.
Also, recording at Abbey Road must have been quite an experience for you all.
JAKE: It was truly magical. Such an inspiring place.
GRANT: It really was, as it’s something not a lot of people get to do. I didn’t think I’d ever walk those hallowed halls.
The band have supported the likes of The Amazons and White Lies, and have also performed at such festivals as Camden Rocks and Isle Of Wight. How were they as experiences?
JAKE: Amazing and very messy. I don’t think we’ve ever just played a show and gone straight home, as we like to make the most out of our gigs, and keep the night going until the early hours until Grant has been sick in his hands, or something rank, but yeah, supporting big bands is always fun, and there’s nothing better then playing festivals.
GRANT: Getting to see Depeche Mode live was a dream I was able to experience, so pretty awesome!
And how is it playing live on stage?
JAKE: Energy, energy, energy. We will always give it 100% up on the stage, and I feel we have such a beautiful connection up there.
GRANT: Euphoric. Getting up there with these two doing something I love is something that I wouldn’t pass up for anything.
ALF: I genuinely love nothing more than playing live on stage, as the adrenaline kick I get from it is like nothing else. We’re very energetic and throw everything into our live show, and if I come off stage and haven’t broken into an intense sweat, then I’ve not done my job properly.
We work incredibly hard up there, and we give it absolutely everything we have every single time.
Now that ‘Asbestos’ has been released, what are your plans?
ALF: We’re writing a lot at the moment, so we plan to continue writing, recording, and pressing on with releasing new music. We put out our first track of the year back in February, and we vowed that we would make this the year to release a lot more music into the world.
We’re definitely sticking to that, so expect to hear a lot of new material from us before 2020 arrives.
And lastly, what is the band’s long-term aim?
ALF: We want to make this our living, you know. We live for this band, and for the music we create together, so we’ll continue to grow our fan base, play lots of shows, release music, and try to push the boundaries of what is possible as independent artists in today’s industry.
JAKE: To be sponsored by Nando’s.
GRANT: To keep making music that we love, and to create experiences with people who come and see us.
‘ASBESTOS’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM GLASS PEAKS – IS AVAILABLE NOW VIA THESE BLOODY THIEVES RECORDS, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: