Virginian four-piece Glass Cloud have just released their debut album ‘The Royal Thousand‘ locally via UNFD. In their ranks they feature members of bands like Of Mice & Men and The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza. To find out more about the album, this week we caught up with bass player Travis Sykes through our On The Record questions. Expand this post to take a read. You can pick up the album now [Here].
Tell us about the release title.
It’s called The Royal Thousand. The title is a way of trying to separate ourselves in an otherwise bleak landscape in our scene. It’s not particularly meant to choose a specific “Thousand” people; We wanted to bring our fans in to our vibe of trying to do dope shit and be your own person and not just dig something because everyone else digs it, but because it’s actually ill. Nobody doubted it when people said Michael Jackson is dope, because he was. So, this record is for the Royal few who are still interested in music with substance.
Tell us about the artwork.
I had this image of a lion forever that I thought fit the vibe of the record. It’s stoic and strong but it isn’t bogusly snarling and ferocious. It’s subtle the way our music is. I worked directly with the artist, Evan Leake, when making the artwork and we talked a lot about the vision I had from the beginning. He is awesome and really captured it perfectly. One of the lion’s eyes is shadowed and one of the eyes has a reflection of the Earth in it. The theme of the art, as a whole, is the lion (the band) looking into time. One eye being the past and one eye being the future. The inside cover shows the lion at different stages in his life. I really love how it turned out.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
We have a whole lot of pre-order packages up on glasscloud.merchnow.com with all kinds of things in the them: shirts, posters, sunglasses, a flag, a beach bag, a towel, etc. and we’re so happy that we have UNFD offering a sick t-shirt/CD bundle as well for our friends in Australia! It’s all pretty awesome. The album will be out on CD in stores and through digital retailers in the US, UK/Europe, and Australia/NZ. Hopefully, we will be able to put it out on vinyl one day too.
Who will it be released through, and when?
It comes out July 10th on Equal Vision Records in the US, July 2nd on Basick Records in the UK and of course July 6th on We Are Unified in Australia and New Zealand.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We recorded in Escondido, California at Lambesis Studios; Our management knows the people who run it really well. It was cool. In the future we’ll probably do all our records on our own though. Our guitarist, Josh Travis, produced our record anyways and after going to a studio, we realized how much we really didn’t need all of that. So going forward we’ll probably go somewhere to get a really good drum sound and then handle the rest of it ourselves.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
Our guitarist, Josh, produced our record. He wrote all our instrumentals and I did all our lyrics and vocal arrangements. Josh is really our biggest asset. He is a brilliant writer and an incredibly talented producer. I feel like over the next five years or so, Josh will be widely recognized for this and other bands will want to work more with him.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
Not really. We talked a little about what we wanted to sound like. We knew we didn’t want to be as heavy as Josh’s old band (Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza). We wanted to have good structure and still maintain musicianship. It’s a workout to put constrictions on yourself and still try to shine, but it makes you that much better.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
I don’t really listen to a lot of heavy stuff. I mean, I love a lot of it, but it’s not something I just listen to on the daily. I was listening to a lot hip hop but, I always do. We all do. We’re all fans of all music. Anything good.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
Not particularly. Josh has a pretty concise idea of how he wants things to sound. I don’t think he takes a lot of that from other people.
How long did it take to record?
We were in the studio for a month. We did all the instrumentals in a week and spent three weeks on vocals.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
We recorded all our instruments first. Drums in two days, guitars in one, bass in one and a half. Then we spent a lot of time editing, and doing vocals. Josh would stay up for days editing and re-editing. He’s a perfectionist.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
Well, this is our first record, but it was a pretty standard thing. Josh was really in control of our sound and we trust him fully. We’d be dumb not to.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Nope. The record is all the four of us.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
Chad used this awesome Australian Sleishman drum kit. It sounds incredible. It belonged to the band As Silence Breaks. They were recording right before us and their drums were still there. Other than that, Josh and I used basically the same stuff we use live.
Any memorable studio moments?
Well, we lived there for a month. So, it got pretty weird at times haha. We had this Wilfred costume. It’s like a big shaggy dog outfit for a grown person. We made the guy who was working at the studio wear it all the time if he did something dumb. He was a cool cat too.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
We have a few up our sleeve. But, we’re saving them for other stuff.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
I love playing “If He Dies, He Dies” live. It’s the HYPEST song ever.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
This is our first record. soooo..
Anything else you want to say or tell us about the release?
It’s coming out July 10th in the US and July 6th in Australia/New Zealand! Find it in stores or online!