One of the many bands soon to land on our shores as part of Soundwave Festival is Welsh rock outfit Kids In Glass Houses. Supporting their most recent and third album ‘In Gold Blood‘ which was released last year, the band will also team up with Lostprophets and VersaEmerge for Sidewaves in Sydney and Melbourne. Recently Deborah Konopnicki caught up with vocalist Aled Phillips to chat about their recent album and upcoming Australian tour. Expand this post to take a read.
Hi Aled! How are you going?
Good thank you. How are you?
Great thanks! It’s not too long now until you guys come back down to Australia for the Soundwave festival. How are you looking forward to that?
We were talking about it the other day and everyone is pretty much buzzing! The last time that we came was a pretty quick visit. We were only there for five days and we played like seven shows, so it’ll be nice to come down as part of a huge festival. That should give us some time to see Australia.
You guys were announced as part of the third lot of bands, so was it always the aim to make it onto the festival or was it a late offer to hop on board?
Well we kind of caught wind quite a long time ago that there was a strong possibility that we’d be doing it. It took a long while to announce it so we just kept on nagging and said to our manager “announce us or we’re going to kill you!” (laughs). We’re literally jumping about because it’s such an awesome festival! There are going to be so many of our friends there and there is so much stuff that we’re going to do so it’s going to be fun. We can’t wait! It’s really cool that You Me At Six and Lostprophets are doing this too. It’ll be nice to have some people that we know, but there are just so, so many bands doing it that I don’t even know the whole line-up! I know that letlive. are doing it so it’ll be really cool to do it with them because we’ve become quite good friends. I want to see Marilyn Manson because I haven’t seen I’m since I was 12 and I want to see what it’s all about!
You guys have some great timing with Australian fans. Last time that you were here “Dirt” was only a recent release and you’ve been kind to us again and gave us a little while to get into your brand new record “In Gold Blood” before you hit town! How are you guys feeling about the new album?
Yeah, it’s gone down really well over here. It’s a bit of a departure so it took a little bit longer than previous records to settle in with our fans. I think that this album has a little bit more depth to it then the short pop songs that we were writing before. It’s really good cause it’s given us another dimension to playing live because there’s just more to offer the crowd. It’s been really good.
There was a lot of press during the writing and recording process that you were going to write a very different album. I’m some ways you did, but in many ways there are still so many similarities to “Dirt”. When you strip the songs back, they’re so well structured and catchy as hell.
Yeah, I think that we had a different pallet of influences when we were working on this new record, like Bruce Springsteen and things like that – all of the old school sort of stuff. It was basically the sound of it that was the main thing. The most important thing for us to do was to make the songs memorable. I think that’s something from all of our albums – that there have been songs to really latch onto. Whatever we do with the music, underneath it all we try to make all of the songs catchy.
When I first heard the album I think that the two songs that really stood out to me were “Gold Blood” and “Animals”. They were just so different to anything off of “Dirt”. They have so much attitude and substance. Where did those two songs stem from?
I think we kind of just sat down when we were writing records and thought that we were always kind of influenced by heavy music and hardcore and hard rock and punk, but we never really incorporated it into our music. We always just kind of played with our pop influences a lot more, so this time we were a lot more keen to get that influence across on this album. I don’t think that people expected us to do the same thing as the last two records so we just set off to do some fun thrashy kind of songs. They came out quite well. “Black Crush” is one of my favorites. It just came totally out of left field for everyone. We came up with a really cool riff and it’s one of my favorites to play live. It seems to have gone down really well with kids too.
“Dirt” was such a popular release among your fans. When you were in the studio creating this noticeably different record were you ever apprehensive and did you start thinking about how it might be received?
I think that there’s always a bit of apprehension. I don’t think that it was necessarily when we were recording, I think that we kind of decided that this was the record that we wanted to make and we threw our faith into that. It was really easy compared to our other records and we had a lot more fun doing it because we recorded it live instead of doing it bit-by-bit. It was really free and easy. I think that the apprehension comes after you’ve done everything and you’re free and you’ve kind of stopped the project. It becomes the public’s property and it’s out of your control. I think that’s when we become a little bit nervous. You just have to believe that you’ve done the best that you can and you hope that people will like it.
Why did you decide to record it live?
I think that we lost a little bit in the studio and people were always shocked when they saw us live because the songs were always so much more ‘in your face’; they sound a lot heavier. We wanted to re-capture that. Some of the techniques that we used, were influenced by how older bands recorded. The way that they recorded was that they recorded live. There is a lot more vibe that way. The way that people record these days is that everything is cut-up and edited and we just didn’t want to do that. We were really influenced by the older bands and we wanted to record in the way that they did. That was the main influence – to go back to the way that people used to work.
You mentioned Bruce Springsteen earlier as a big influence and he’s one of the names that I’ve seen popping up alongside of My Chemical Romance as ones that played a big part in the record. What was it about those particular artists that really struck a chord with you?
I think the My Chemical Romance thing is that with every album they’re really ambitious and they always try to do something beyond themselves and push themselves. That is just the sprit of the way that they operate. I really admire that. The Springsteen thing is that we were all listening to “Born To Run” on our way to the studio and it’s just such an inspirational record. The way that he wrote songs with such effort and thought; putting just the smallest bit of detail in there. Today, albums can be so rushed and stuck together. People just write songs for the sake of it but everything with Springsteen was so thought-out and details and even the track-listing tells the whole story, and that’s something that we focused on with this record.
Would you say that the effort that you’ve put into this new album has made you look back at previous releases less favorably?
Yeah. I don’t want to discredit any of our older stuff because I think that some of them are really good songs but I think that when you come out with something new you fall in love with it and have so much pride in it. I think to do something a bit more challenging was a bit more rewarding for us. It feels a lot better having done it. There are songs off our other albums that we ever don’t think about anymore. With that said we just played our first album from start to finish!
How did kids react to hearing the whole first album?
They loved it actually! Especially because it was Cardiff. We haven’t played some of those songs in three years and I don’t know if we ever will again! People really enjoyed it, so it didn’t really matter that we didn’t remember how to play some of the chords (laughs).
Would you say that your new attitude towards you work has transformed some of those early songs when you play them live?
When we were playing the old songs we kind of changed them a little bit so they would have a certain kind of flavor about them. It was kind of like looking at it from the sense that if we had written those songs now, what would we have done with them? It’s all a bit of a creative cycle I guess. I don’t know what we’ll do with the next record… probably go back to the start I guess!
With the new album out and one Aussie tour under your belt, what kind of set can fans expect to hear you play? Is it going to focus mainly on ‘”In Gold Blood”?
I think that we just want to make it as much fun for a crowd as possible. I think we’ll cater for everyone and fit as much energy as we can into the set. We want to make the set as good as possible. We’ll play some songs off of every album and see how it goes!
Just finally today, what would you say is the one thing that you’re most looking forward to about coming back to Australia and playing the Soundwave festival?
I think just coming back down and hanging out there really Everyone says that the vide is just so awesome and it has an amazing atmosphere. All the bands get to hang out quite a lot which is always a bit of fun. We didn’t really get to see a lot of Australia last time, like we didn’t even get to go to the beach! It’ll be nice to get like four or five days off in Melbourne and Sydney so it’ll be nice so get out and explore a bit and play some awesome shows!
Kids In Glass Houses – In Gold Blood – available now, Buy Online [Here]
Catch Kids In Glass Houses playing Soundwave Festival nationally
25th – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane [AA] SOLD OUT
26th – Showgrounds, Sydney [AA] SOLD OUT
2nd – Showgrounds, Melbourne [AA] SOLD OUT
3rd – Bonython Park, Adelaide [AA]
5th – Claremont Showgrounds, Perth [AA]
—> Full details at www.soundwavefestival.com
Also supporting Lostprophets on their headline shows
28th – Metro Theatre, Sydney [Lic/AA]
1st – Billboard The Venue, Melbourne [18+]