If you were around at The B-Side’s original launch, you’ll remember Glass Atlas. We caught up with them recently, after a long time no see and ahead of a show this Thursday at The Night Light, to discover they’re now a band talented in their prowess at incorporating psychedelic and dance elements into a unique genre self-described as “coast rock.”
What’s new? What have you been up to since the last time we chatted back in 2014?
There’s been a shift in focus, in the music and in life. I call Glass Atlas coast rock now; it’s more meaningful to me. It’s different from the repetitive, surfy, traffic music we’ve all heard. I find myself writing and thinking outdoors, about forests, waterways, and the ocean. One of my living heroes, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, in her film Mission Blue, says that nearly half the world’s fish life has been wiped out in the last fifty years. The same can be said for the world’s biodiversity: deforestation, livestock, industrial agriculture, polluted urbanization, and emptied oceans are all contributors. I want to be like her, I want my mission to permeate all aspects of my art, work, studies, and lifestyle, too.
These last couple years, I’ve been moving away from music scenes of computer music and selling tickets, and towards more purpose. I’ve also been vegetarian for almost two years now and happy as can be — it was something I decided on while on a desert music tour and I haven’t looked back since.
Last time, you mentioned that you were working on a second album following up 2013’s A Great Divide. How is that going?
I’ve put that album aside until it’s ready, and focused more elsewhere until the recording process unfurls again. Yet we are still experimenting with new stuff in live sound, both impromptu and rehearsed. We’re very excited for this set, and I think there is a good mix between the debut and new material.
Anything interesting planned in the near future for the band that you’re looking forward to?
Community building and making environmental music without being preachy. Sometimes it’s more about the riffs than the lyrics for me. I’ve become devoted to working on this and making a difference somehow. This is a callout to strangers, fans, collaborators to come out to our shows and connect, and continue making things meaningful happen. Also, we’ve done fundraisers before and are really excited for the Bang Magazine release show on August 7 at La Peña Cultural Center which is celebrating this local music magazine by a very good friend of mine. It’s also a fundraiser for the Bay Area Alternative Press which does amazing non-governmental printing and press. You should come out to that as well!
What should people know before coming into the show this week?
We’re definitely gonna bring some energy for this one. So spread the word, tell someone and talk about something meaningful! We’re very excited to play Oakland’s Night Light for our first show back since November and sharing the stage with two really unique acts, Big Thursday and Sea Dramas. Let’s keep this energy going!
Article by Vivian Chen