Monday, August 22, 2016

The Brvtalist X Glaare for

GLAARE - Surrender/Control

by The Brutalist

One of the best things about the current state of underground music is just how little genre matters. In fact, it’s usually a positive when you can’t quite pin down what you’re listening to. Los Angeles trio GLAARE is a great example of this. Fusing post-punk, new wave, shoegaze and hints of Cocteau Twins, GLAARE’s offerings are dark but hopeful, sporadic yet methodical but overall very pensive.

After putting out a well received self-titled EP, Cameron Adams, Rachel and Brandon Pierce return with, Surrender/Control, a 5 track digital release that is easily the group’s most focused effort to date. The moodiness of vocalist Rachel Pierce carries perfectly over Adams’ delicate riffs and Brandon’s percussion is spot on as always. Ethereal electronics add a nice layer to each song that helps set the melancholy atmosphere of the release. Standout tracks include the slowly infectious “Isky” and the gothic jam, “Suffer”. The introspectiveness on the title track is evident right away and its anthemic quality will appeal to fans across the board. While the band is relatively new, each member has played in a whole host of other projects ranging from doom metal to experimental electronics and this shows with their stellar production value and richness of sound.

The Brvtalist has been fortunate to know each member of the band and we reached out to discuss the new EP, the project’s progression and how it’s all come together.

The Brvtalist: It turns out I knew all the band members of Glaare, but from different places. You and Rachel through Deth Crux, Buried at Sea, etc. but Cameron I initially connected with through underground electronics shows. Talk about how the band came together and was it always the idea to sort of merge two different worlds?

GLAARE (Cameron): Glaare formed out of a need to satiate our creative impulses and transcend the mundanity of everyday life. I had not been doing anything with music for a quite some time when I was first introduced to Brandon and Rachael and jumped at the opportunity to play guitar in what they described as a "dirge shoegaze" band. There has always been talk of merging our influences in a way that would allow us to achieve our creative goals, but of course, this is much easier said than done and eventually we had to let the process guide itself. The reality is that it's taken us nearly four years to become what we are and to arrive at a place where our creative process feels natural, rewarding, and meaningful. "Surrender/Control" is a symbol of what lay beyond the obstacles we've faced both inside and outside of Glaare.

TB: I think one could argue that Glaare is a little less sonically aggressive than other projects all of the members have been in or are also pursuing. The tracks are emotional, introspective and maybe even a little romantic. Talk about the band's approach to crafting songs and what's it like for everyone to switch things up.

GL(Cameron): We don't have a concrete way of doing things, but we do find it necessary to do most of the work at our respective home studios. We're not the kind of band, technically speaking, that can show up and play until something happens. Not anymore, anyways. Ableton Live, Logic, and a few hardware synthesizers are essential to our process and this setup allows us the technical freedom necessary to write what we want to hear. Nearly every track on "Surrender/Control" was composed entirely on a laptop at home before we'd get together to edit the arrangements and sort out the details. Once things felt right, we'd head to our rehearsal space and introduce ideas for drums, vocals, and guitar. I'm a firm believer in "less is more" and insist on approaching writing in a very minimalistic way.

TB: Talk about the idea behind Surrender/Control. What did you guys set out to do with this EP and how does it build on previous material?

GL(Rachel): Our previous releases had aggressive overtones. We had a range of influences that spanned to areas more intense, like Black Metal, so that definitely came out a lot. Sometimes completely by accident. We would listen back, we’d hear a lot of metal, sometimes overly epic material as well. Like Did we intend for this?" With Surrender/Control, we really focused on conveying anger and pain from a completely different end of the spectrum. Almost like a repressed power that teases and taunts but never gives you the big release. It's much more haunting that way. Our influences this time around were further toward, shoegaze / dark wave / post punk. They always actually were, but sometimes you get caught up whilst writing in the moment and just keep making it bigger and louder and more grandiose. Exercising in restraint and minimalism was really important to us. Which by the way was not easy for me at all. I found it really challenging to pull back and nurture a voice that didn't rely on big notes and volume.

TB: Before this interview we were talking about how this is probably the band's most focused release. Talk a little bit about the evolution of everything thus far.

GL(Brandon): We parted ways with 2 of the members; one of them handled the majority of the writing duties. Now that we’re a 3 piece, it’s definitely narrowed the vision. With a 5-piece band, it’s a heavy undertaking to become a single-minded entity.

We do have a contributing synth player, Jeff Smith, who hails from ohGr. He really improved our live work flow. Having made tenure in industrial music, he’s fixed a lot of the issues we were having with the execution. I think we’re extremely selective when it comes to electronics, and since Cameron has a good handle on synthesis, we can only bring someone in with more experience.

TB: What’s coming up next for GLAARE and its members?

GL(Brandon): We have a short west coast tour first week of November with Clay Rendering, which is pretty perfect for us. We’re probably going to have another EP by spring of next year. Hopefully we can convince Black Mare/ Deth Crux to do a tour with us around that time since we overlap members. Not to mention between the 3 projects, we span a lot of sub-genres of dark music.  Cameron is working on a solo EP under the name Jewel Thief. Glaare is also trying to get to Iceland next year for Airwaves. We visited (Iceland) earlier this year and we’re pretty attached now; I think it lended us some influence sonically. It’s an amazing country.

Thank you to GLAARE for these insightful responses. 

Surrender/Control is out now and you can purchase on Bandcamp ( 
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