On February 13 (Galentine’s Day for you Parks & Rec fans), Glossary will hit The Basement as part of their 2013 Winter Tour! They’ll be there along with Telegraph Canyon and Brother Hawk in support of their latest album Long Live All Of Us.
Member Todd Beene, also of Lucero, chatted about the record to TBB.
How’d the rural environment in Rockvale influence your sound on Long Live All of Us?
If it was up to me, we’d never do it any other way. It’s been that way on almost all of our records. When you’re really intensely working on a record, you’ve got sound coming into your ear-holes constantly and you get fatigued eventually. Being out in a rural setting gives you the chance to step outside, walk a little ways, and get quiet. It’s really easy to give yourself a break, and shoot BB guns. I think that’s the main influence. With Long Live All Of Us, the house we recorded in was very literally in between a Church and a busted meth house. The meth house had police tape all around it. Being in the middle there was so perfect since the duality of life in the South is something that’s been in our songs for so long and there we were with it right up in our faces every day. Early in the process when we were looking for places to record and Joey told me about this house’s location, my reaction was kind of “Cool, makes sense.”
How was it making such an upbeat record?
When the subject matter is hopeful, fun, and positive, it really makes it easy to get into the headspace of the record right away. It kind of takes the pressure off when making something that’s totally devoid of irony or forced style and just being able to enjoy it honestly. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard work and every day “at the office” wasn’t bouncing around making pandas crap sunshine into the computer. But the situation we set up for ourselves made it easy to just stop for the day and get away if it wasn’t happening or wasn’t feeling right.
Of all the tracks off Long Live All of Us, what do you love to perform live?
From my own individual perspective, probably “Keep It Coming.” I love playing that song because I get to butcher Steve Cropper, play harmony parts with Joey, and sing “baby!” Also, there’s no guitar solo, which means I’m not spacing out during part of the song thinking “Alright, so what the hell am I going to do for this solo … mmmmkay the Big Muff kind of sounds like shit tonight … I should really put tape on those knobs … but the Timmy got knocked down and I don’t think I have time to reach down and fix it … I should really put tape on those knobs … is that guy seriously texting in the front row right now? I’m gonna get all up in his shit when this solo starts … dammit it already started.”
What’s in the year ahead for Glossary?
Well, we finish up this West coast tour in February, head towards Austin for SXSW in March, then fly to Europe for the month of April. Then we hope to get started working a new record. Speaking of Europe, we just signed a deal with Xtra Mile to release Long Live All Of Us in UK/Europe on April 15th. We couldn’t be happier!
Wed. Feb. 13 GLOSSARY w/ Telegraph Canyon, Brother Hawk
1245 Glenwood Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA (404) 622-8686 $8 / $10 18+
The phrase “Long Live All of Us” is the title of Glossary’s seventh full-length album, but it’s also meant as an all-inclusive homage to humanity. Frontman Joey Kneiser says, in light of all the bad things happening in the world, the band just wanted to make a positive record.
Long Live All of Us allowed the band from Murfreesboro, TN to take their influences farther than ever before, adding piano, haunting pedal steel, R&B-influenced horns and more to their own style of romanticized rock & roll. The songs are well-intentioned narratives that emphasize the great attributes of mankind — mercy, redemption, forgiveness and second chances.
Over a period of one month, the band transformed a house in rural Rockvale, Tennessee, into a recording studio and self-produced Long Live All of Us with friend and engineer Mikey Allred. The setting, joked Kneiser, would have fit perfectly into a Glossary song. The house was sandwiched between a church and a condemned meth lab, which was still wrapped in police tape.
Previous records — like 2010’s Feral Fire on Lucero’s Liberty & Lament label — were all recorded in 10 days or less, and were made to have a live feel. For the first time ever, the band had the luxury of time on its side.
“That’s the rock & roll dream…to live in a house and write and record together all day,” says Kneiser. “It allowed us a chance to experiment, and if you really wanted to do something you could take the time to make it happen. It was really one of the greatest creative experiences that I’ve ever had.”
The result is a hodgepodge of American music, similar to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street or the Clash’s London Calling — records that spanned many different musical genres. For example, Long Live All of Us switches from a Gospel-influenced song to a hopping, R&B-styled groove, and then to a crawling, country-tinged ballad and on to a soulful, up-tempo rock song. Jim Spake (Al Green, Alex Chilton, John Hiatt, Lucero … so many more) and Nahshon Benford (Snowglobe, Lucero) both from Memphis added horns on several tracks, including jaunty, Stax-like rhythmic horns on “A Shoulder to Cry On” and a lyrical baritone sax solo on “Under the Barking Moon.”
“In the end,” Kneiser says, “when everything around us is constantly reminding us of what we’re doing wrong, we just wanted to remind us of what we’re doing right.”
“The best thing that we have going as human beings is each other,” he says.
Glossary is Bingham Barnes (bass), Kelly Kneiser (vocals, percussion), Joey Kneiser (vocals and guitar) , Todd Beene (pedal steel, guitar, vocals) and Eric Giles (drums).