By Chelsea Booth
Once every so often, a band comes along, who within seconds, like a DJ back spinning a record, abruptly brings your world to a full stop. Glaze is one of those bands.
The trio consisting of Stephen McElwee (guitar and vocals), Austin Yeates (bass) and Jake Villarreal (drums), have been making a name for themselves in the Austin DIY scene. And even with only one EP, Glaze’s work feels ambitious, cohesive and confident.
Their 4-track EP Wasted Mind, threatens to swallow you whole as waves of thick shoegazey guitar crash on top of the group’s dreamy melodic vocals and glittering expansive soundscape. And right when you’re sure to be pulled under, Wasted Mind spits you right back out.
Glaze’s new single “Daisy” is the group’s most pop leaning tune, which juxtaposes the exciting tingle of first love with an overcast of a more eerie, mature and seasoned sense of impending heartbreak.
We got the chance to ask the band a few questions:
So you guys just played KVRX. How did that come to fruition? Were you guys nervous?
Austin Yeates: We got connected with KVRX at an earlier part of our band’s history, and we played a few shows that they hosted around Austin. Eventually, they asked us to play one of their Local Lives, and it was our first real experience playing in any sort of live-recorded setting. I’m sure we were a bit nervous at first, but at that point we were so comfortable with the team there, that we were excited to do it.
Jake Villarreal: If I remember correctly, I think KVRX was our first recorded in-studio performance. Yeah, I was pretty nervous.
You guys are based in Austin. What’s the scene like?
Austin: What’s great about the Austin scene is that there is so much music here to offer, whether you’re in the mood for something indie, punk or even country– if that’s what you’re into. All of the venues are a walking distance from each other, so you could potentially go to a few local shows in one night.
I read that you guys met at Texas State University, bonded over music and then subsequently started the band in 2015. What was some of the music you bonded over?
Stephen McElwee: I believe the first band that Austin and I really bonded over was The Strokes, and the Is This It album. Also, a lot of DIIV, Beach Fossils, Pixies, and The Smiths.
Austin: When we first started hanging out, we would just cruise around San Marcos and listen to post-punk music such as The Smiths & Interpol. Eventually we got into more modern shoegaze music, which eventually defined the sound that you can hear off of our EP, Wasted Mind.
Are those some of the band’s biggest influences? Individually, who would you say are your biggest influences?
Stephen: Definitely. It’s difficult to say just one!
Jake: I believe most of the band’s influences are definitely key in our songs. We don’t necessarily think, “It has to sound like _____,” but we definitely all have a similar direction when it comes to songwriting. Some of my biggest drum influencers in this genre would be bands like Beach Fossils, Metz, DIIV, & Nothing. I’ve been very into Palm and Porches lately, which I understand are very different sounds haha.
Austin: I would say some of the bands we listed earlier helped influence the band, but there was never really a point where we sat down and said, “Hey we like these bands, so we need to sound like this.” It really just started with us jamming, and if what we played sounded cool to us, then we stuck with it. I think we’re all inspired by different bands individually, so when we join forces with those different influences, the output can be something none of us expected.
Do you guys have any artists that really inspire you and/or your sound that might surprise fans?
Stephen: I grew up listening to a lot of oldly type romantic Spanish songs and I’d say that most likely left a permanent effect on me!
Jake: I’m actually a huge fan of jazz drummers and their ability to be so intricate and rhythmic across the kit. I believe jazz drummers truly play their drum kit as a musical instrument, versus simply accompanying a band. I’m also a big fan of math rock and pretty much anything with polyrhythms. Palm is incredible as I mentioned before!
Tell me a bit about the new single “Daisy.”
Stephen: It’s a simple song that deals with embracing the feelings one feels as love blossoms. I know that sounds corny as fuck, but that’s the gist of it. I’ve always liked the idea of integrating human senses into a song because I feel that sometimes we forget how powerful those senses can be– How one can be transported mentally elsewhere with a certain scent or sound.
Can we expect a LP any time in the near future?
Stephen: Hopefully we’ll be releasing new muzik soon!
Jake: We’re looking to put out another EP sometime in late 2018/early 2019!
Austin: Recording and releasing more music is our number one priority right now. Promise to have more out soon!
Anything else that you would like to add that I might have left out?
Thank you to everyone who has ever supported us, and have kept us going! Gucci! <3