by Leci Solis
Texas natives, Stephen McElwee and Austin Yeates, met Jake Villarreal two years ago while the three pursued undergrad studies at Texas State University. Almost instantly, the trio invented a discordantly melodic sound all of their own, enough to drum up excitement and earn them a cult following in their hometown and San Marcos, TX. Glaze is capable of crafting textured songs that thrust us into an indulgent music-induced stupor. Lament & ecstasy are complementary emotions for Glaze, both spurt simultaneously as melancholic tones tangled up with fizzling energy are darted into our ears in the form of high-intensity songs.
All throughout, the gushes of distorted guitar flash by like effulgent beams of noisy fast-paced shoegaze meshed with saturnine post-punk. Wild drumbeats and turbulent hi-hats move the entire whirlwind of music erratically forward, in and out of climax with the occasional hazy slow-down or jerk at a full-stop. The bass lines lurk from beneath like some stroboscopic presence on the ambient soundscape, with darkling and mind-numbing force. The singer croons his hypnotic, seen-it-all musings aloud that foretell the inevitable ups-and-downs- stream-of-consciousness instances of euphoric highs and emotional lows. Sputtering guitar riffs all ablaze and all, Glaze pour out emotions that give their music an irresistible immediacy.
q u i k t e r v i e w:
by Jerry Soto
1. The band aesthetic seems very vintage (new music video, live performance film photography like Melted Magazine’s, distorted choral sound). What are some artistic influences (film, music, art) from your younger years that inspired your music?
Stephen: I wasn’t allowed to listen to a lot of “world” music growing up, but animation had a HUGE influence on me growing up (especially a lot of shows from the late 90’s/ early ‘00's). Something about the vibrant colors and the saturation really stuck with me, and I think we try to convey some of that in our music video/image. Jake: I think there’s a specific look with film that you truly cannot get with digital. You might be able to add grain and edit to look like film, but there’s just no beating the original. What makes a lot of film special is that it’s imperfect; occasionally out of focus, dust and flares are what make the format so special. Everyone in the band has a special place for film and analog visuals, so I suppose that’s why we lean that way as a band.
2. (From their Spotify playlist) Do you cover any of your favorite songs, such as Starrsha by Ringo Deathstarr or Porches?
Stephen: We have have yet to do any official covers as a band, but I would love to Car by Porches. I think we could do a good job, and add some Glaze flavor to it. Jake: I’d be down for a Porches cover. I’ve always thought “A Forest” by The Cure would be a lot of fun to cover and could definitely incorporate some Glaze flare to.
3. Your Wasted Mind EP was mastered by Cacophony Recorders, which has assisted lots of local famous acts. Can you tell us about your experience and what other homely places around Austin are you fond of?
Stephen: Erik Wofford is great! He’s worked with a lot of impressive artists, and it’s crazy to think that the same person has listened to our music! Jake: Wasted Mind was such a fun record to make. Recorded back in San Marcos, where we all met, and mastered here in town with Erik. We recently went to our good friend Phillip Odom who owns Bad Wolf Recordings and is an assistant at Studio 4 with Will Yip. We love Phil, the work he puts out, and we’re all super excited to see where he’s going as an engineer!
4. (To Jake) We love your photography. How did you begin your work as a concert/culture photographer and when did you join Glaze? Jake: I picked up and tutored photography while in high school. I took a break while in college, but was able to save up for some better gear and really picked it back up again with concert photography around 2014. I’m fortunate enough to shoot for a local media company, which has allowed me to get in front of some of my lifetime idols. It’s been an unbelievable experience. My goal is to dip into lifestyle and portraiture next. I initially met Stephen and Austin back in college while we were all a part of the local college radio station. I booked Glaze a few times when I fiddled around as a show organizer and eventually joined the band in the summer of 2016.
Stephen: Jake is the best photographer in the Austin tri-county area, also best drummer!
5. Do you eat a lot of chow mein?
Stephen: Not really. I should probably be eating more Chow Mein to be honest.
6. When you play a live set or when people play your music inside econobox cars cruising at night (us), what is the ideal feeling you are trying to invoke in the listener?
Stephen: For our live set we try to keep things more lively. I think we put lots of energy in our performances, and I’d like that to be something contagious when experiencing live. As far as recordings go I’d say it's a bit more introspective, and for the listener to hear what each song means to you or says to you. Jake: I agree, I think it’s a goal of ours to incorporate a solid amount of energy into our performances - it’s what we love to do and we’re all happy to be on stage for people. Personally, I want my parts to come across as something fun that you can to jam along to, whether that’s air-drumming or just banging your head. Our manager’s little sister actually learned one of our songs on drums and I absolutely love that.