Daniel Anderson, the Creator of Glowbug, is possibly the nicest guy you could ever hope to talk to. He was nice enough to be the topic of The Green Heart’s first Music Interview. Daniel has been playing music almost his entire life. A founding member of Idiot Pilot, he is a member of The Ghost and the Grace and is a guitarist for Hyro Da Hero, but he is Glowbug, first and foremost. You can find Glowbug on Bandcamp.com and we highly recommend downloading his most recent album “Suit of Swords” free of charge. Glowbug is the perfect summer soundtrack for driving down a country road with the windows down, walking down a beach at sunset, or dancing yourself into oblivion. I like my Glowbug while out for an evening walk or all while doing pretty much anything.
TGH: I found Glowbug on bandcamp, and I discovered your musical history in reverse, it seemed like a very smooth and very interesting transition, listening to it in that order. Can you talk about how you artistically meta-morphed from Idiot Pilot to Glowbug?
I was responsible for almost of all of the music in Idiot Pilot instrumentally, so there really isn’t that much of a difference other than the fact that Glowbug is focused on expressing a different set of emotions. I think that if Idiot Pilot would have stuck around and continued to evolve naturally; it might sound a little like Glowbug at this point actually.
Most of your music on Bandcamp is free. What was the advantage in doing that?
The most obvious advantage is that people who would otherwise not check out your band can download an entire record and see if they like it. In the situation of “Suit of Swords” I was able to do that as well as raise a little money for charity, so it was a win/win.
Your most recent album “Suit of Swords” is packed full of hooks and the best melodies. How did you do that?
I don’t want Glowbug to be self-indulgent, so when I am writing these songs I try to edit myself down to the most concise series of moment’s possible. There is a time and a place for letting music breath, and pacing is important, but when I am writing Glowbug songs in particular I rarely want things to let up. It should be constant mania. Even if the song is slow or quiet it should never break emotional intensity and because of this the songs seem to end up having stacks and stacks of hooks. As experimental as Glowbug can get, at the heart it is a pop band, and pop music is all about the hooks.
“Heatwave” is obviously the cornerstone song off the album, but “Magic If” is a very strong track too, and it’s the middle track on the album. Why did you bury it?
I think the best way for that song to work is surrounded by other tracks. It’s a statement of it’s own, sure, but as a piece of the record it really shines. It’s a very weird song, so I guess I figured it was best for people to ease into it.
I’m stunned that I do not hear “Heatwave” played on every pop station once an hour, especially in the summer! It is a hit. What seems to be fan favorites?
Well, thank you very much for saying so. I think people gravitate towards that song, and it’s probably my favorite on the record, but The Cockroach has probably emerged as the key track. That song really took on a life of it’s own, which I never really expected.
“Smoke Eyes”, is a beautiful song. Can you tell me about what inspired it?
“Smoke Eyes” is about how people lie to themselves, and how difficult it can be to objectively look in the mirror especially when it comes to relationships. Smoky eyes is a reference to makeup, which makes people “look better”, but literal smoke in your eyes obscures your vision. Double meaning. It’s also kind of a love song, in a sick and twisted way, but that could be said of almost every Glowbug song. I write a lot of strange, backwards love songs.
Can you tell me a little about your work with Hyro Da Hero?
I’ve been playing with Hyro for quite a while now, first as the guitarist in his band and now producing beats as Glowbug for the new record. It’s very exciting and I think we are coming up with some really cool, unique stuff. Some of it is based on samples from older Glowbug tracks but for the most part it’s all new original songs. I don’t know how much of it will actually make the cut for the record, but there is a lot of material so I am sure some of it will see the light of day. We just did an Australian tour with Deftones and did some of those songs and it seemed to go over really well.
What are some of your current influences?
The next Glowbug record is going to be a pretty strange amalgamation of influences. I think it’s got the heart of previous Glowbug stuff, but I have also recently be rediscovering a lot of the heavier music that I grew up on, bands like The Blood Brothers or Norma Jean. I think there is going to be a bit of a post-hardcore of punk influence that might surprise some people. At the same time, I’ve also been listening to a lot of Afro-Cuban music and trying to bring that into the tracks in a big way. There was the time in the 80s when Talking Head, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, were all bringing in this strong world music instrumentation to their music and I’ve been really into that lately. There will but equal parts screaming and steel drums on the new songs.
What was the transition from damp Washington to sun-soaked L.A.?
It’s much brighter here, but that can be difficult when you’re in a dark studio and the weather is so beautiful outside. Washington can certainly make those long hours of working indoors easier. I love the feeling of living in Los Angeles though; it’s like a big, weird pop-culture stew.
You recently did the sound track for Lily and Kat. Was it difficult writing for film?
It was actually quite easy, and the people who I was working with were fantastic. I’m really excited for people to see the movie and experience the score, which is still very Glowbug sounding despite the different medium. I love scoring, it’s so much fun.
If you could be a member of any band, from anytime period, who would it be?
I once heard a rumor that Elvis would eat two cheeseburgers a night before bed, so Elvis.
People seem really upset about the delay over the release of The Ghost and The Grace’s second album. What do you have to say to those fans?
I’m sure that record will see the light of day at some point, but at the moment it’s just not where my focus is. Glowbug is much more fulfilling in a lot of ways. I love doing The Ghost and the Grace songs, but that whole project is an exercise in writing a very specific type of song and because of that it’s not as enjoyable as just writing what feels good.
What can you tell me about the next Album?
I am not exactly sure if it’s going to be an album, actually. Right now it’s a collection of 18 songs, and the way they are going to be released is kind of up in the air. In conecpt, there is a duality to the record, so we’ve been talking about doing two long EP’s. Right now I’m finishing up the final vocals and sending tracks off to Seattle for mixing, so it shouldn’t be too long.
Is there a working title?
If it’s released in two parts, the first will be “Headhunters” and the second will be “Hearteaters”.
Any surprises we should be excited for?
There are quite a few guest vocalists on these tracks, but I don’t want to give anything away yet. In general, I am just really excited to get the songs out into the world, I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people.
You have put out a clip of a new song on instagram, a really mean teaser by the way, what is the name of that song?
I’ve posted a few clips from new tracks, but I think the one you are talking about is called “Blood in the Waves”
One last question, I am a huge fan of Christmas Music, especially indie Christmas music, is there any a chance of some Glowbug Christmas music?
Anything is possible at Christmas.
Keep an eye out for Glowbug’s new work, but in the meantime, support Glowbug by downloading “Suit of Swords” for free or keep tabs on Daniel Anderson and Glowbug by Following, Liking, and listening with the links below.
Download Glowbug’s entire catalogue @ http://glowbug.bandcamp.com/
Follow Glowbug on Twitter@ https://twitter.com/GlowbugSounds
Like Glowbug on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/GlowbugOfficial