With a focused, sophisticated approach, a huge sound built around driving bass riffs and drums, a melodic interplay between guitars and vocals, and a live show that can rightly be called a performance glasshouse is carving a niche it can call its own.
Dan James (vocals, guitar) and Stew Riddle (bass, vocals) began glasshouse in 1997 when they met at University in Brisbane Australia and bonded over a mutual obsession with music and a need to start a band. They went out in search of other like minded musicians and ended up poaching Matt Wedmaier (drums, vocals) and Brendan Eyles (electric guitar) from other local groups.In October 2003 glasshouse began working in pre-production with US based producer Roger Sommers, who, in July 2004, shipped his portable recording studio to Brisbane and dedicated four weeks to track laying the new EP.
With Sommers' guidance, glasshouse has created six stunning tracks, packed with intensity, melody and emotion. Highlights such as 'It Burns' and 'One Night In Your Skin' epitomise the band's sound a glistening voice and powerful guitars set against a solid backdrop of complex rhythms. With their debut ep, ?nothing comes of thinking? independently released (distributed by Sony Music) in February 2005, glasshouse has consistently delivered their stylish rock in live performances which audiences and critics alike, have been quick to acclaim.INTERVIEW1. How did it feel to hear your song played all over the airwaves?
To be quite honest, I only heard it for the first time on the radio this week. It is a little surreal to say the least. After you've heard the song a million times in the recording process and rehearsing, it tends not to be too exciting hearing that same song again, but hearing it in the context of someone announcing the band name and song before it's played, it was quite exiting for me.2. Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?
Other then sex, drugs and rock n roll, not really. I've since found out that it is actually a lot of hard, time consuming work. Instant fame from a record executive that happened to be walking by your first gig, or past the rehearsal room, seemed to be a realistic idea before we started, 8 years ago. Somehow I've learnt that it may not be true.3. Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
As a band, we do write our own material. Generally the format goes, Dan brings in an idea, Stew Brendan and I cut it back to the bones, and flesh out from there. As far as inspiration goes, I'd like to say it was girls, love, and love for girls, but it seems to be a little more fatalistic than that. We dabble in a bit of the end of the world, and other peachy issues related to that.4. What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
Two of my favourite bands are Tool and Muse. They're basically GlassHouse favourites, but on the whole, I'm more of a radio listener. I listen to Triple J for 10hrs a day, so I tend to listen to a huge range of different genres of music. I try as much as I can to see live, local Australian music in fortitude valley, which, coincidently I'm doing tonight. If I don't get out and support everyone else, who the hell is going to come and support us???5. What's next? Tour/Album/Single?
We've only released the 'fury' of our ep, 'Nothing comes of Thinking', (plug), onto the world in the last 4 months, so we're still in the process of backing that up with gigs, gigs and more gigs. We're supporting The Butterfly Effect at Rockhampton this weekend for RockFest, then heading to Caboolture the next weekend to participate in RawCab, our first clothes optional festival. Ummm, don't know if we'll be participating in the optional part, but you may have to come and find out. (Free drinks definitely will aid in the process of band participation in nudity). From there we're playing the Woodstock Downunder festival on the 30th of April with acts such as Spiderbait, Killing Heidi and Evermore. There's an east coast tour planned for the end of May, and we're looking at recording a full length album in august. 6. Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
I could tell you of many moments where we've nearly crumbled, but the idea of giving away something we've all worked so hard for, and then going back and trying to find something else you may be remotely good at, is enough motivation to keep your head and focus. But it doesn't get easier. The more success and goals you seem to achieve, the harder everything gets. The pressure to always perform can really test your boundaries of pain threshold. A wise man once said of this industry, 'If it were easy, everyone would do it'. Plus you get to tour around, see the sights, meet new people and stand on stage while everyone looks at you. People would pay a lot of money for that.7. Do you prefer performing live or recording?
I definitely would have to say performing live is my preference. Putting it all out there for everyone to see is scary, but it also has its rewards. If you're not out there everyday, putting yourself in a situation that scares you or makes you feel uncomfortable, then you're not living! I love performing because it is daunting, and it makes me step well out of my quiet, lonely existence, and project the confident young man you see before you, hiding behind a drum kit at the back of a stage, just behind Dan.8. What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
I just remember sitting at the front of the school band in grade 3, blowing that squeaky bloody clarinet, turning around and looking at the grade 7 kid playing the drums. That's the moment when my life changed. Grade 4, drummer in the recorder band! The rest is history!9. What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Sacrifice. Without a doubt. I'm not married in the typical sense, but it does feel like I've made a similar vow to four guys of that magnitude. I tend to be easily distracted by my social life and sport, but now the band takes first preference. It has to. Oh, and also learning to play the drums. I've managed to get this far bluffing my way through it. It may be time for some lessons.10. What's a typical day like?
Alarm, snooze, alarm snooze, etc. We always try and keep a level head and remain grounded, so we all choose to still work day jobs. We may also need the money to live! So the day consists of work and either rehearsal or a gig after work. Then waking again in the morning, totally sleep deprived and wishing you didn't drink the night before. Poor us! That's during the week. Weekends are all about sport, friends and social gatherings at the pub. Well that's what my friends do. I enjoy that side of life whenever I can fit it in, but generally, like this weekend coming, we're on a plane at 8am sat morning up to Rockhampton, gigging sat and sun night, then flying back to Brisbane 6am Monday morning, just in time for work. 11. What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
I'd have to say meeting many people I never would have met, you know who you are, and travelling - being 'on the road'. Living one of your life long dreams of being in a band, performing songs you've crafted from scratch and getting positive feedback, sometimes even a clap or a cheer from the punters, is probably the most rewarding and my favourite part of playing. I'm also hoping that soon my favourite part will be touring around the world playing sold out shows to millions of people. I'll let you know when that happens. 12. If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
I'm going to go a band rather than artist, and say Muse. They seem like real level headed, skinny little sun deprived Englishmen, who look like they're enjoying every minute of their journey. I love their music, and am envious of their lifestyle, so that makes them my pick. 13. Are you single? What do you look for in a partner?
Well some of us in the band are single, and some aren't. Matt, Stew, Dan or Brendan. Unfortunately I cannot reveal such things. You'll have to come along to a gig and guess for yourself. What do I look for in a partner???? Well, firstly I look for someone who'll be able to put up with my crap for more than a couple of minutes. I definitely need someone who is very active, to keep up with me, and also someone who I can talk whatever shit to. In other words, my partner would be best described as a best friend, with other added bonuses of course. 14. Do you have a website fans can visit?www.glasshousemusic.com.au
Visit away. Sign the guestbook. Say hello. 15. Can you tell us 5 things required for a happy healthy & enjoyable life?
I could give you 100 reasons for a happy/enjoyable life. I just don't know if I'm the most qualified to give advice on a healthy life, but I'll give it a go.
1. Remember there's a steak in every beer, and it's cheaper than wine and spirits.
2. Friends/partners. They'll always keep you sane, and maybe bail you out of jail when your parents disown you.
3. Sport/Being active. It just means you can eat whatever the hell you want, and it's the perfect means to take your frustrations out on someone you don't know, or like, in a legal way. Of course that's only for team sports where contact is involved. Don't punch out your opposing player if your sport is chess. Sport also keeps you positive, and promotes stamina, apparently!
4. Love your mum. No one else is going to love you back the way mum does, plus she'll always be a source of nourishing meals when you've been over exerting yourself, or just abusing your liver too much.
5. Finally, be true to one's self. No one can tell you who you are. Expose your inner being to as many people as possible and don't be scared to follow whatever dreams you have. It worked for me. I got my own padded classroom at school.16. What message would you like to say to your fans?
I would like to thank them in years to come, for the success they have helped Glasshouse achieve, but in the meantime, thankyou all for your ongoing support. 60 Second QuizFull Name:
Matthew William WedmaierNickname(s):
Matty Willy Weddy: Dan calls me Dum Dum.Star Sign:
Anything mum cooksFavourite Film:
Fight ClubFavourite Actor:
MouldDescribe yourself in 3 words:
Kind, empathetic, floosyBest Feature:
Rippling athletic bodyWorst Feature:
Sense of humourPerson You Would Most Like to Meet:
Maynard James KeynanHobbies/Interests:
Music/Sport/finding the best way to hurt myself.First Job:
Check out Chick @ wooliesAre you a Pub, Bar or Club kind:
Pub then stumble to the club.What Can You Never Leave Home Without:
My pants and car keys.What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning:
Can I swear in this interview?? No, first thing I think is 'SNOOOOOOZE button'.