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Working for STALKER Magazine, it often happens that you come in contact with new music. From time to time it happens that a new band is suggested to us by friends. What happens much more rarely, however, is that one of these bands immediately wins you over. Exactly that happened with The Glade. The Swedish Independent Rockers recorded an outstanding debut with “What Turns On The Lights” ( review here ) and we were curious to learn more about them. Singer and guitar player Jonas Carping took the time to answer our questions – quite seriously, but always with a twinkle in the eye.
First of all, can you introduce yourselves and tell me a little bit about each band member?
Tobbe brings ignition with his driving bass. Nils adds the melodic lead guitar. Martin brings the pounding drums and Jonas the vocals and acoustic guitar. If you hear the thunder rolling. Watch out, a storm is coming. The Glade’s in town.
Are you full time musicians or do you – like so many – need other jobs to support yourselves?
We all have jobs aside of the music. It´s not always easy, but it has the benefit of musical freedom. Thanks to the financial benefit of a job. we can afford the studio costs and make the music we want to make.
Which backgrounds do you come from? Have you always made music or do you come from different careers?
Music has always been our greatest love. We all come from different parts of Sweden with different backgrounds too. And we found our way together basically through music. It´s a beautiful thing really.
I’ve read you formed the band in 2008. How did you meet each other and why did you end up playing together?
Me and Nils met at the back of a cab late one night. As we started talking we discovered we both had aspirations of starting a band. As it happens. I had a CD with a demo recording of a song I wrote. I passed it on to Nils. The song was Out Of The Grey and you´ll find it on The Glade´s first EP.
(“Out Of The Grey II” from “What Turns On The Lights” is actually the follow up to that song)
Have you played in other bands before and if so, in which bands?
Tobbe had bands down in Malmö. I had a high school band playing drums. Martin has had several bands too and Nils has been in a couple of bands as well. Today we all perform together as The Glade.
How did you come up with the band name – is there a story behind it?
The story of the band name starts at a place in Stockholm called Peppar. It continues on with Weissbeer and Tequila. It ends right about closing time with The Glade.
„What Turns On the Lights“ is your debut album. What are you most proud of about this album?
“What Turns On The Lights” is an album with very strong songs. The sound is raw but yet refined. We wanted to keep as much of the live energy as possible but still keep the high quality of a great sounding record. I think that shows when listening to the album. It sounds alive and also sophisticated in a way. Sophisticated is a nasty word to use when speaking about a rock album, but I´m Swedish, so I´m hoping I´ll get away with it.
Who came up with the cover design? The sneakers make me think of the movie “Big Fish”, but there are probably a million other things they could reference so why are they here?
A good coverart design should be able to speak for itself and no single answer should be the “right” one. So, if to someone, it´s a reference to Big Fish, then that´s the reference. There´s no right or wrong. Hicke Jakobsen makes all our coverart. He´s awesome. And a coverart open for discussions in terms of reference, that´s a good thing.
How has it been received so far?
We do all of the marketing and promotion ourselves. It´s a very time consuming thing. And not always enjoyable. But, when the record gets picked up and reviewed, as in Stalker. That makes it all worth it. Reading a great review, it really does mean a lot. And when things are struggling, you can go back to it, get that positive vibe back. It´s of great importance.
Do you have a favorite song on the album? Which one and why?
It tends to vary. And we all have different favorites I think. For me as a songwriter, I love the way the songs turned out on the album. I think we pushed each song to the limit, but managed not to cross the barrier where you start losing the songs energy. We kept the positive vibe and found the essence of the songs. My favorite, if you ask me right now, would be “Further On Up The Road” and “On Our Own”. Yeah, I had to pick two.
On your Bandcamp page I can see you’ve released several singles as a prelude to „What Turns On The Lights“, but I see no releases prior to that. Are there any more releases?
“What Turns On The Lights” is our debut full length album. Besides the singles that preceded the album, we´ve released a couple of EPs. There´s a collection on bandcamp called “Come Running”. It contains songs from these EPs which basically consists of our acoustic americana period. Then there´s also the first and second EP, with the more classic rock sounding stuff. They´re all available online on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon etc.
„Dance For Love“ was part of an UNICEF campaign where any money spent on the single went to children in need. How did you get involved with the campaign?
”Dance For Love” is a very special song to all of us. There´s a depth to it that we all love. So we wanted to do something special when releasing it. We discussed it and came up with the idea of the UNICEF donation campaign on bandcamp. We feel the song, amongst other things, bears the message of unity. And what could work better with this message than UNICEF. Our donation to UNICEF is still ongoing and anyone who feel so inclined can help support their cause through the UNICEF Dance For Love page on our bandcamp. As a rocknroll band, you tend not to do everything right all the time off the stage, but in this case we did something right. And that´s a good thing.
You describe your musical style as „alternative rock with folk influences“ and I´ve also heard it described as „Americana“. How did you develop your style? Where did the idea come from to play this particular music that feels so „un-Swedish“, at least to me?
As a band I´m sure we have as many different influences as there are bands on Spotify, almost. But I think we can all agree on Neil Young. And at least fifty percent of us can agree on Oasis. For me personally, especially when Neil Young´s already mentioned, no greater band has ever walked this earth than The Band. They are greatness. Greatness defined.
On your website it says „The Glade wants to mediate a message about the importance of doing what you feel is right for you and for others“ – how do you feel this message is received by your audience?
Our music stands for many things, but that is definitely one message of great importance to us. I think when people like the music. it means also automatically that they can relate to the meaning of the songs. This way our message takes off and makes it through to the listener. And if we can help inspire people to find their way and keep staying on it. Keeping the dream alive. Then that´s great. And that´s the greatness of music. Life is a struggle at many points in life. And we all need music to make it through. We´re no different than the listener, really. We love music and we need it.
What are your musical roots and influences?
Our influences vary. but our roots are pretty much the same. We all come from small towns all over Sweden and ended up in the capital for one reason. Music. I realize that is our geographical roots. But the same goes for musical roots. We come from different but similar places and we all ended up in rocknroll.
Can you tell me a little bit about your songwriting process? On your CD it says „All songs written by Jonas Carping” Should I imagine you sitting at home doing all the work, or are you the one who writes the lyrics? When do the others come into play?
Yes, I do write the songs for the band. But we all work on them together. We hammer it out in the rehearsal studio. It´s a joint effort in the end. Same goes for the songs that Nils brings to the band. The lyrics and the melodies are there, but we arrange them together in the group. It´s hard sometimes, and at times we do struggle. But usually it goes smoothly. At those times we´re like a well oiled song producing mean machine.
Where do you get your inspiration for songs?
All around really. There´s always those moments around somewhere that moves you. That strikes that nerve within. It can be your own life or the life of someone else. Situations you can relate to. If it hits that nerve, it gets the inspiration flowing and the work is to transform that into words and melodies.
I especially like your song “Further On Up The Road“ (and not only because it hast he same title as one of my favorite Springsteen songs ;) ) Would you give me a little background on this one? For example: Who are the questions about the yet unwritten pages directed at?
First of all it makes me happy that you like “Further On Up The Road”. It´s one of the songs we enjoy playing the most. It has a drive to it that we all love. As for meaning. There can be no “right” answer to the question of what a certain song means. A song can mean different things depending on the listener. And that´s the way it should be. For me as a listener, a certain songs meaning can have a great importance. And that importance should never be taken away by anyone telling me the “correct” meaning of a song. That is why I never share what the songs meant to me when writing them. Out of respect to the listener. And also, I don´t want to give those damn “knowitalls” any ammunition haha. But yeah, everyone has to be allowed their own interpretation of the songs. It´s of great importance. I can say though, without ruining to much, that I´m a Springsteen fan too.
In “Dance For Love” I love the contrast between the sweet, almost dreamy music and the lyrics that are full of defiance, of “we do what we believe in, no matter what others think”. Is there a history to this song you can tell me about? What inspired you to write this?
That song has a lot of history. To me it has an epic vibe to it, which I love. I very much agree with you on the contrast. I love contrast. It adds a little bit of tension, like electricity it keeps things moving. The title came from a photo that Hicke took of a sticker in Copenhagen. The sticker read “You never regret the time you spent dancing”. And out of that quote the title grew. The first version of the song actually had those words in it but was kept out of the final version. But it´s still where the title grew from.
You are independent musicians now. Do you prefer staying independent or are you looking for a record company?
Independence has its creative advantages. Nobody can tell us what our music should or should not sound like. But then again, a good record company would not limit our creativeness. Rather give us the time and support to help us grow our creativeness. So, I would say we´re not looking for “a” record company, but rather the right one.
Tell me something about your live shows – what would a perfect show be like (venue, audience, performance)?
It´s up to the band to ignite the atmosphere and to connect with the audience. Once that connection has been made. The energy will bounce back and forth, gaining strength as the show goes on. That´s what´s happening when you see a truly great band live. And that should be The Glade. Today we´re a really good live act. But to become a great one. We need more live shows. We need to get out on the road more, playing the new songs night after night, that´s when the magic really starts to happen.
Have you toured anywhere outside Sweden yet?
Yes we have, but not in Germany. We really want to come and play in Germany. It would awesome. So we´re hoping we can make that happen.
Do you have a weird /absurd story to tell, e.g. about mishaps at a gig/tour?
There´s many. Most go unnoticed by the audience thankfully. For instance at our first gig all the guitarists and bassplayers of the different bands on the bill had to soundcheck at the same time. None of the bands got to play together at all for the entire soundcheck. Each guitarists got like 5 minutes with the amp and then each bassplayer got 5 minutes with their bass-amp and that was basically it. The gig could have been a total disaster. But it went well though. Basically we made it through on pure adrenaline.
If you could freely choose a band to tour with, who would it be, and why?
Led Zeppelin. I realize it would destroy us. But it would be awesome. You did say freely, though. So, then I would put Coldplay in between. It would be a three band bill. The Glade would go on and do a good show and then Coldplay would follow, being totally lame as they always are. Led Zeppelin would then hit the stage and bring the house down. After the show people would be like “Remember that first band? They were pretty good”. The lameness of Coldplay would save us from being directly compared to Led Zeppelin. That´s a genius idea. RIP John Bonham.
What are your goals, dreams, what do you want to achieve with your music?
There´s so many different things we want to achieve. Some we have achieved already, like making a really good album that we´re all proud of. This means a lot. An album is a statement. And it lasts. An EP can hold great songs, but there is something greater than just the songs on a full album. It really is a statement and also a testimony of what we were and sounded like at that time in our musical lives.
What are your plans in the (near) future?
To answer that ideal record company question. It´s a hard one. As for a bit further ahead, well, we want to get out and play. There´s just nothing like it. Playing live is when the songs find their true meaning. The record should be the memory to keep from watching the band play. The concert is meant to be the experience. Watching a great band play you will always remember. And when listening to the record you can relive those moments. Being referred to as that great band is what we aim for. And “What Turns On The Lights” is our shot at getting the opportunity to becoming just that. A great band. Time will tell if The Glade becomes that great band. So far we have a really good record. And that´s the first step up a long and winding road. We´re looking forward to seeing where that road will take us. Hopefully we´ll see you, somewhere, further on up the road.