New Orleans - GRAMMY U SoundChecks With Glass Animals

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  • Photo: Tom Allen/Glass Animals

By: Michelle Friedstadt / GRAMMY U New Orleans Representative

Glass Animals, an indie rock band from Oxford, England, are recognized as one of the leading global breakthrough artists of 2017. Their latest album, How To Be A Human Being, was released under Harvest Records in August 2016. They now have over 365 million total audio and visual streams, nearly 3 million monthly Spotify listeners, sold over 800,000 albums worldwide and have sold out their entire UK, EU, AUS and US tours. How To Be A Human Being debuted in the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 and topped the iTunes Alternative Albums chart in the U.S. and Australia. Their live performances, some of which include performances at notable festivals like Austin City Limits, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Lollapalooza have been recognized for their vibrant, energetic and moving aspects. Glass Animals fills their audience members with passion and emotion during their show as they dance and sing with their fans. How To Be A Human Being introduces fans to various fictional characters inspired by real people, mainly strangers such as taxi drivers who the band has encountered on tour. Glass Animals bring those characters to life through interactive sites, video game apps and merchandise for several of their songs including “Life Itself,” “Youth” and “Pork Soda.” This album is a follow up to their debut album Zaba from 2014, which includes their hit songs “Gooey,” “Pools,” and “Black Mambo,” established their unique and defined sound.

During their US tour, Glass Animals stopped in New Orleans, La., on October 12, 2017 to perform at Mardi Gras World. Before the show, members of the local GRAMMY U chapter had the opportunity to attend their private sound check followed by a Q&A session with band members Dave Bayley, Edmund Irwin-Singer, Drew MacFarlane and Joe Seaward, along with their Tour Manager Tom Allen. Students learned about life on the road, what tour management entails, about touring equipment such as sound and lighting systems, as well as the songwriting and recording process through the band’s experiences.

During the end of the sound check portion of the event, lead singer and guitarist Dave Bayley brought students up on stage to take a closer look at their instruments, equipment, stage props and set up. He explained the level of involvement he had working with the band’s team such as the stage and lighting designer. Although the band’s primary focus is their music, they explained the importance of working with the right label, manager, tour team, etc., to ensure the artist’s vision is met. The Q&A session was invaluable for students, as they were able to receive honest and helpful advice from the band. They advised everyone to be confident and stay true to themselves and their music. Dave Bayley talked about how to work together as band mates while also fulfilling personal musical goals. Additionally, they talked about their experience with being signed under their label Harvest Records and how lucky they feel because the label allows them to keep as much artistic freedom to they want. Students then discussed and asked questions about their image and branding, which they have done a phenomenal job of. Glass Animals is known for their funky music videos, album artwork, the use of pineapples and slogans such as "peanut butter vibes." After wrapping up the session, students were surprised with free tickets to the show that night at Mardi Gras World. Students left the event in awe of Glass Animals because of their incredible talent and their welcoming, friendly, and genuine personalities. GRAMMY U members who attended expressed how happy they were for the learning experience. They are looking forward to hearing the next album they release and seeing what they do next.

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