Saturday ACL Fest Interview: Glass Animals

6pm, Honda stage

“It’s easier to write behind the guise of another character,” admits Dave Bayley. “It feels less personal.”

Glass Animals’ frontman explains the songwriting process behind the UK quartet’s sophomore LP, How to Be a Human Being, which details encounters “on tour, at parties, with strangers.” While he insists there’s a lot of himself in the material, it’s difficult to tell him apart from the crowd. 2014 debut Zaba hid behind a shroud of soft and understated sounds, but the new LP bares all.

“It was like having a second baby and appreciating the spontaneity and mistakes,” quips Bayley.

Musically, there’s more live instrumentation from fuzzed guitar seesaws (“Take a Slice,” “Poplar St.”), bass chugs (“Pork Soda”), erratic key stabs (“The Other Side of Paradise”), and percussive jolts (“Youth”). Lyrically, there’s added transparency, the singer reigning omnipresent over his characters while finding himself amongst the deadbeat losers of “Life Itself,” the drug addicts in “Cane Shuga,” and the lustful gazers on “Take a Slice.”

“It was about bringing these stories to life,” offers Bayley. “While the instruments are meant to add into the thematic sense of the scene, the lyrics are meant to shed out elements and immerse the listener in the details of the character’s life.”

“Season 2 Episode 3” walks in on the couch-ridden stoner generating Game Boy noises as cable reruns play idly on the TV.

“Even though I’m shy, there’s a part of me in there,” laments the song’s co-author. “Hopefully others can see themselves in there, too.”

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Glass Animals, ACL Fest 2017, Dave Bayley

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