Band from Kitimat is on road to stardom
WHERE: The Boot Pub
WHEN: Sunday, March 18
From small towns and smaller pubs in northern B.C., to opening for GOB and regular gigs in Vancouver, Glasshead is ready to explode into the punk spotlight.
"I'd say chemistry has everything to do with it," says Glasshead vocalist/guitarist Jason Parkes. "Most of us have been playing together all our lives. I've been playing with Ian (the bassist) for about 10 years, and Andrew our drummer for seven. We were all friends before (the band)."
The trio started out playing the Kitimat area in a hard punk act called Nutboy. And while they had begun to experience some moderate success, finding their work on compilation albums alongside bands like Millencollin and Digger, Nutboy disbanded.
"We just needed a break, for starters. We also wanted to write more pop-influenced stuff like Blink 182. I also wanted to try singing. Before I just played guitar," Parkes said.
Andrew and Jason soon found themselves back together with new musical direction and a couple new members: Petri on guitar and John on bass. A little more shifting would see John leave the band and Ian eager to step back in. Glasshead was born.
This new musical direction would take the band directly into the studio rather than traipsing through the bar scene.
"There were so many songs already that I had on four track. The situation in the studio was just a comfortable, cheap way to do tracking," Parkes says. "We were really in the mind set of putting together a project. The recording did take some while. It was a mellow process and fun. Then we got picked up by a little label and we really wanted to give music a shot."
Identity Records signed Glasshead about halfway through the recording process after hearing just a short demo.
"I think that friendship also had something to do with us getting the label so quickly. It has a lot to do with our songwriting... I write the music but I've also played drums my whole life. I just picked up a guitar a few years ago to start writing 'cause I was bored of drumming. But it makes it that much better when I've got players who can work with me so easily."
Glasshead's first CD, Thirteen, is already into its second pressing, with their first video on the way.
"We've never shot a video before. We went there expecting a home camcorder and a six pack of beer, and there ended up being a big production company there."
Parkes says the set for "02" is gloomy; Parkes himself bears a strong resemblance to Uncle Fester in the video. Director Craig Wallace came up with the concept, and Parkes says they owe him for much more than his ideas.
"The video's probably worth $15,000. and let's just say he did us a big favour!"
Glasshead is also beginning to enjoy the radio play they initially set out for. "Rape the Radio" is in rotation on Vancouver stations. "24 Hour Boy" also hit number 13 on MP3's alternative music chart.
Now that the initial tour drive to promote the album is winding down, Parkes says they've been able to concentrate on writing for the next album. He says they're in no hurry to push out another CD since Thirteen is still new to many - including crowds overseas, thanks to Napster. He's also thankful for a little quiet time to write, as he finds the process emotionally demanding.
"We're already working on seven songs in Turtle Studios (of Pearl Jam fame). It's already much higher quality than what we've done before. Every song we write just seems to get better. Everyone is offering input and that chemistry is going to make the album huge."