When last we left Gliss, their inspired brand of feedback-drenched bliss had charmed a nation with their 2011 release, Devoted and Imploded. Cut to 2012, where they’ve just released one of the best EP’s of the year and have finished recording their third album, Langsom Dans. In our opinion, Gliss is poised to become the most talked about band in the indie scene. Years of writing great songs and blowing away crowds with their amazing live shows, has garnered them a rabid following. You can expect Sirius XMU sessions, Glastonbury appearances and NME magazine covers in their future. Victoria Cecilia pulled back the curtain briefly, so that we can take a closer look at the little band that could…
TDOA: Let’s start with the “difficult” questions. Somehow I thought you had a full album coming out. Why have you decided to release this EP?
Victoria: We have a full length album coming out in February 2013, called Langsom Dans. (Danish for “slow dans”). As we started playing the songs from the album at shows there was a pretty big demand for the new songs, people kept writing us asking us for recordings, even a demo of the songs. So we decided to release an EP now, so our fans would be able to get something new, instead of having to wait until next year.
TDOA: After being disappointed by some many of my favorite bands new records, this EP is such a pleasant surprise. These songs sound like the logical evolution of your last album. Were they written around the same time or is there some distance between these songs and Devoted and Imploded?
Victoria: Devoted and Imploded was sort of a “best of” hand-painted, limited edition album. We included a couple of new tracks on there, and those two were written during the making of “Langsom Dans”.
TDOA: On your wikipedia page, there’s a reference to your third album “le debut”, with a indication that it will be a complete departure from your previous work. Complete fabrication or is/was that the plan?
Victoria: To us the new album is a departure from Devotion Implosion (our 2nd album) Devotion Implosion was very guitar heavy, and a lot of those songs were written at the rehearsal space. When we started writing songs for “Langsom Dans” we started out the same way – at the rehearsal space, jamming. We quickly realized that wasn’t gonna work this time. We just ended up with uninspiring material, and we burned out on it. One day Martin (Klingman) had a meltdown at the rehearsal space, and demanded we started writing material at home and bringing it in. That kicked things into gear. I started writing songs alone, for the first time, and showed them to Martin. He showed me some of his songs, he had been working on, and we ended up recording the basic structure for those songs. Then we started experimenting. We basically remixed everything. We deleted the chords, and kept only the vocal melody, and started adding keys and drum samples. This was an extremely long process. We would get together in the morning and all day mess with one snare sound, we would try every single effect on that snare until we had the sound we wanted. A few songs ended up getting completely reworked again after that. Towards the end we were literally losing our minds. Imagine being stuck in a small room for 2 years listening to drum samples! Then we called Michael Patterson, and it turned out he had a break in his schedule, and we went into his studio and finished up the album with him.
TDOA: Lyrically, how have you approached these new songs, compared to your approach on the older songs?
Victoria: This is the first time I wrote lyrics for the songs. I think I can speak for both of us when I say the lyrics on this album are extremely personal.
TDOA: Production always seems to be a priority for the band. Sonically, this has that “thick” sound that is becoming your trademark. Are there certain records or bands that have influenced your sound?
Victoria: Production is definitely a priority. It’s a collaboration, and none of us are ever 100% in agreement. I will be in the studio going “Make that vocal dry” and Martin will say “ You are high, that vocal needs extra reverb”. Then we yell at each other and if we can’t convince the other, then whoever can handle yelling the longest time wins.
TDOA: I suppose that I should ask if you agree that the sound is similar or if you were shooting for something different on this record?
Victoria: To me the sound of the album is different than the last albums. The new album is much more keybord heavy and electronic sounding. We still have 2-3 songs on it that are guitar driven.
TDOA: In the past, I’ve seen each of you switch instruments from song to song. Is that true on this EP, as well? Do each of you have a preferred instrument or do you like switching it up?
Victoria: We no longer switch instruments. The reason we did that in the past was because we wrote the songs while jamming. So if you were on drums on a song when it was written, you would play drums on that song forever. This time none of the songs were written at the rehearsal space. So we had to decide how to play it live after the album was completed. Our friend Gareth Jones, who mixed Devotion Implosion strongly encouraged us to play the instrument we are best at. And not switch instruments anymore. We took his advice.
TDOA: You’ve always made great videos to accompany your music. Do you consider visuals to be an important part of your artistic statement?
Victoria: Yes, certainly. We were very fortunate to meet a very inspiring director named Paul Boyd. He has worked on some of my favorite music videos. He offered to work with us, and he completely gets us. It’s been a real privilege working with him.
TDOA: What’s next for Gliss? Will you be doing more videos? When will the new album be released? Touring? So many questions, so little time!!!
Victoria: Next up is the album release. It is already in production. We will have a double vinyl for this album. So there is something to look forward to. During this fall we have – and will continue to- tour the west coast. Once the album comes out it is back to touring for real. This time around we also have a label that will be putting it out in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. So I will be looking forward to going to that part of the world. I have never been.
You can order the Hunting EP here!