Interview : Glasvegas



God is in the TV’s own Joseph Coyle caught up with Paul Donoghue from Glasvegas to talk about touring, new band members and the pressures of  following up a highly successful début album.


How has your music evolved since we last heard from you?

I think that James writing the album in Santa Monica was the biggest thing in helping us move forward. He would look out at the waves on the Pacific from the balcony of the beach house and if the songs didn’t match the shimmer from the waves then they weren’t right. I think we opened ourselves up to new influences over there too. We’re all more open to trying new things with the songs too, if someone can play something, be it keyboard, bass, guitar whatever, if it fits we do it. Live James doesn’t play guitar any more so me and Rab have had to build rigs which James refers to as “NASA” and we’re playing keyboard with footpedals too so things have definitely got much fuller.


Do you feel under any pressure to duplicate the success of your last album?

The only pressure we felt was trying to get the sentiments in the lyrics across in the right way. I think we done that even if this album pushed us to our limits. Being uncomfortable is sometimes healthy as it pushes you to the brink and you have to take that leap over sometimes. We’re not a band who measure success as units sold or critical acclaim. Success to us is being able to sleep at night knowing you’ve done everything you can to make the album the absolute best it can be.


A few months ago you announced Jonna would be joining the band. What does Jonna bring to the band?

She has brought so much. We’ve been very lucky that she has fitted in so well, the three of us are very close and sometimes it can be hard for people to get us, but Jonna is an amazing person and fits in so well. It’s more important for us that everyone has fun and is moved by what they’re doing than has technical ability. The fact that Jonna is one of the best drummers I have ever seen was a complete bonus. Watching her onstage is a visual and sonic assault of the senses and I’m not saying that lightly, she’s a fucking machine.


You recently took your music to venues places normally missed by tour bands. What was the thinking behind this?

We wanted to take the circus to places it didn’t roll into very often. People shouldn’t have to get a ferry then a bus to see a show, it should be took to them. We also wanted to let the people of Scotland be the first to hear our new music and that honour went to the good people of the Orkney Islands on the first gig of our Scottish highlands Tour. We had an amazing time on that tour and I think it was the perfect way for us to get back into playing live. It was our first shows with Jonna on drums and with James no longer playing guitar and along with Rab and I we hadn’t been on a stage in 18 months so it exceeded all our expectations.


How important is Touring to you as a band? Are there any particular venues that hold a special place in your heart?

We’ve always loved touring. There’s always something that happens onstage that makes you feel alive, always some point that is unique to that moment and people don’t often experience that. The Barrowlands in Glasgow is the venue that will always mean the most to me. That’s the place you want to play when your trying to get your music out when you come from Glasgow. We always choose our own supports because our shows are very important to us and thats means everything.  We leave nothing to chance; from the music played as the stage intro and outro to the bands who support us!  Everything is thought out beforehand and controlled by us.


How does the creative process work for you as a band? where do you start with the genesis of ideas for songs/albums?

James writes everything so you would have to ask him where the genesis for ideas come from but he struggles to explain it himself. After he has written the song we have an input on sounds and parts but 99% of the time James will come up with those too. Understanding him when he says “make it sound sexier, and dirtier” has took us most of our adult life to achieve but I think we’re there now.


What can we expect from the new album?

Fireworks, electricity, honesty, and heart and soul…all the way from Santa Monica, California…and expect the unexpected!


The new Glasvegas album ‘EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \’ is out now on Columbia.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.