INTERVIEW: Glitter Bones

My second interview for The Noise Is brings me together with psychedelic pop Chicago/Indiana duo, Glitter Bones. I talked with the young dudes about Chicago life, “chillwave”, their upcoming vinyl release, and Pokémon! Hit the jump for the full interview.

The Noise Is: Glitter Bones is fresh off a big show at the Empty Bottle opening for Toro Y Moi. How did that go?
Nick Donlin: I feel it went really well. It was our first show adding Chris in the mix. We’re adding guitar and more textures to the music. Live guitar, I should say.
Zach Vouga: Yeah, it was certainly a landmark show for us.  We all had a blast exploring the new sounds we’ve been conjuring. We even broke our rapper buddy, Mr. C, out of rehab for the evening to perform a song with us.
TNI: How did that work out, and what song?
ZV: It was a newish song called “Chapel Footwork”. He was amazing.
ND: Yeah, he’s done a few shows with us in the past over various different songs. As long as the beat has some sort of root in hip hop, he flows over it extremely well. He’s very gifted.

TNI: So the beginning of Glitter Bones…where did it all start?
ZV: I was in a band with Chris (who is now playing with us again) called Dr. Breath.  I was writing music under that name since 2005.   Nick was always a close friend and he also wrote music under the name Paralyze Humanity Sequence.  Glitter Bones is essentially the fusion between the two.
ND: At the time I wasn’t really feeling working on my own,  I was sort of tired of the music I was making so we kind of proposed working together.   I was pretty high at the time, so I was extremely excited to try something new and so was Zachary.
ZV: It all really just fell together.  We sat down the next day and began writing “Returning the Magic”.
ND: Which was a super quick and painless process, very natural.

TNI: You guys went to the same high school in Indiana right?
ZV: Correct.
TNI: And now you’re both in Chicago for college?
ND: I went to Columbia in Chicago and hated it, then I moved back home.   But I’m moving back to the city in like a month.
ZV: I’m still at Columbia.  I love it, but am transferring to pursue other academic endeavors.
TNI: So in the past year or so, how has the switch to and from Chicago changed both of you personally and the band?
ND: I was already back home when we started Glitter Bones. It was surprisingly easy to get things together. We would just e-mail ideas back and forth, adding layers until it felt finished. Personally though, the move back put a lot of strain on myself. It gave me a lot of weird depression-like issues. But I’ve since worked a lot of that out and am feeling a lot better about everything.
TNI: Well that’s good news.
ZV: It’s hard not to be depressed in Indiana.  (laughs) Sorry Jeff.
ND: I think Glitter Bones had a lot to do with that change for the better though.  I was able to get a lot of that stuff out through the music.

TNI: Your debut EP, Returning The Magic, is four tracks of perfect psychedelic-pop, very reminiscent of Animal Collective and a few “chillwave” artists.  First off, I’m curious to know if you guys hate or embrace the “chillwave” movement.
ZV: Chill-wave has really acquired a nasty stigma, but I enjoy some of the artists who “pioneered” the genre.
ND: I just hate that name, “chillwave.”  I think it’s another stupid genre game.   It’s a way for journalists and other folks to lump a group of artists together in a lazy way.   There are a lot of musicians that share the chillwave title who sound absolutely nothing alike.
TNI: As for the EP, I know you said you recorded it by sending ideas back and forth.  Was that the main way you recorded the whole thing?
ZV: We got together and mastered them when we were ready to release, re-recorded tracks here and there.  The creative process was mainly through email though.
TNI: Were there any bands each of you listened to while recording that really fueled the music?
ZV: Just a bunch of AnCo and chillwave. (laughs)
ND: I don’t know, for me I wanted something as unique as possible. It’s always hard for me to pinpoint artists that inspire me because that is always constantly changing.  Week to week I’m listening to something different.
ZV:The internet has allowed for a massive wave of new musical influences.  It really came from so many different directions.

TNI: You originally self-released Returning The Magic via BandCamp, but in recent news for Glitter Bones, the EP is getting a vinyl release from Paris label SVN SNS RCRDS.   How did they find you guys and get in contact?
ND: We actually released it originally through this dude Jeremy Daly who called himself Unexpected Friendship.   He approached me about doing some free digital release when I was doing my solo work.   SVN SNS just messaged us on Myspace or something, saying they loved our work, and we in return asked if they’d be interested in doing something in the future.
ZV: They’re really cool dudes who are working hard to put out new music.
TNI: Do you know any details on the vinyl itself?
ND: We don’t really know when it’s coming out just yet.  We’re getting the finalized tracks and artwork to them this week.   We’ve remastered the original four for the A-side, and the B-side will contain two unreleased tracks, Goblins, and Ghost Drums, as well as two remixes.
ZV: The Mckenzie Toma and BIGCOLOUR remixes, which has yet to be released.

Random question time!

TNI: Favorite Chicago/Indiana spot?
ZV: I like Chicago’s south side.
ND: Me too.
ZV: And Nick’s basement, because his Mom and Dad are always preparing me excellent meals.
ND: Our friend Tyler has this property in Indiana called “The Diggins.”  It’s a huge forest with some amazing camp out spots, and a really nice cabin.

TNI: Most memorable childhood concert?
ND: Oh man, R.E.M in 1997, I think.
ZV: I saw Cheap Trick with my Dad way back when.  That was awesome.

TNI: Last album you purchased?
ZV: Pure Ecstasy’s “Voices”
ND: I couldn’t answer that question, I’ve been a little to broke to buy albums.

TNI: Favorite beer?
ZV: Anything Three Floyd’s, probably Robert the Bruce.
ND: That’s extremely difficult.  I really love Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout.  Big fan of Fat Tire as well.

TNI: Favorite Pokémon?
ZV: Geodude. Metapod is my second favorite. The Metapod/Geodude combo is deadly.
ND: Funny, Chris is playing Pokemon Silver right next to me.  Alakazam is probably my favorite though.   Any Pokemon with a mustache is awesome in my book.
ZV: What about you?
TNI: I loved Electabuzz when I was little.  I was totally an Electric guy.

TNI: Any other big shows/recordings sessions/etc planned for the summer and upcoming fall, save the vinyl release?
ZV: We are planning a full-length for the fall, hopefully.

You can check out Glitter Bones on MySpace, BandCamp, and Facebook. I’ll keep you updated with the vinyl release once more info comes out.  Also, they just released a brand new EP, Amulet Calls, via BandCamp.

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