British rock band Kids in Glass Houses has come a long way since 2003. Having supported the likes of The Goo Goo Dolls and shared the stage with Funeral for a Friend, the band have packed an awful lot into the last ten years. Whilst their previous album In Gold Blood (2011) was a more mature offering, the band seem to have lightened up with their latest album, choosing to go with the flow and have some fun, something we couldn’t be happier about. With the release of their new album Peace last week, we sat down with bass player Shay before their gig at the Concorde 2, Brighton, to chat all things music and KIGH related!
CF: Let’s start with some quick-fire questions! Favourite film of all time?
Shay: From a kid and until now, it’s probably ‘E.T’.
CF: What are you addicted to?
Shay: Well I was addicted to ‘Breaking Bad’, but that’s finished now. It’s incredible, I wish I could just watch them all again!
CF: Favourite venue?
Shay: Other than the Concorde 2 (WIN!), I liked playing Shepard’s Bush Empire, that was really good show and I think it’s a beautiful venue.
CF: If you could learn something new, what would it be?
Shay: I would like to learn how to actually play the piano, that would be nice. More than just two chords! Either that or I would like to learn Welsh.
CF: Any funny or embarrassing band moments you’ll never forget?
Shay: Now you’re asking! I’m going to put it out there and make it embarrassing for someone else…because I’m that kind of guy! When we first headlined London Astoria, which was a pinnacle point in our career, at the time it was a massive deal for us. I can remember I looked over to Aled and he was on his knees, going mental and all of a sudden he tried to jump from his knees to his feet but in doing so he lost his balance and went hurtling 12ft across the stage. There’s a YouTube video of it! It was pretty epic! (You can find it here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RYeokviniQ – the big moment is at about 2.35 – thanks Shay!)
CF: Can you describe the new album, Peace, in 5 words?
Shay: Poppy, Rocky, Dancy and Cool.
CF: Who or what inspired the album? It’s very different to In Gold Blood?
Shay: Aled writes all the lyrics and all the vocals and he has a big part in the music aswell. We always try to progress with each album. With this album we were coming up with new ideas and writing different songs and we came up with the song ‘Drive’ which had quite a sythy element to it and we used that as the blueprint to the rest of the album. We thought it would be cool to write a more ‘poppy/syth/rocky’ album. (FYI you can definitely bop to this one!) With ‘In Gold Blood’, we took ourselves a bit too seriously with some of the songwriting and the recording process. We really stressed ourselves out, but with this one, more than anything, we wanted it to be fun. We wanted the recording process to be fun, we wanted the songs to sound like we were having fun. They are so much fun to play live and the response has been great!
CF: What do you think has changed since your last album release, in your own lives and the world of music?
Shay: We’ve become more comfortable with the band that we actually are. With this album we are playing to our strengths, which is more pop songs. On ‘In Gold Blood’ we tried to make these big, epic rock songs and it didn’t really suit us. We really struggled to get there, it was a really tough album to make because we were challenging ourselves so much. Now, we’re doing what comes naturally rather than trying to make these songs that don’t really make much sense to us.
CF: What other bands or genres inspire your style of music?
Shay: We have a lot of influences between us as musicians. The main influences for us would be The Police and their guitar work. We all love The Stereophonics and Oasis for their pop/rock songs. With this album I guess we’ve been more influenced by current artists. We’re listening to a lot more electronica, hip hop and broadening our musical tastes to bring more of a pop, eclectic feel rather than the same chord progressions and the same drum beats. We wanted to mix it up a little more.
CF: What KIGH song do you enjoy playing the most?
Shay: At the moment for me it’s a song on the new album called ‘VIP’. I love the feeling of it when we play it live but we’ve actually dropped it from the set! From the old stuff I like playing ‘The Morning After Life’, we don’t play it that often but it always feels really dramatic when we do. People really like it and relate to it.
CF: There’s a couple of your own covers of different songs on YouTube, my favourite being Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars…is there a particular cover you haven’t done yet and would like to give a KIGH feel to?
Shay: We aren’t talking about anything at the moment but it normally gets towards the end of the tour and we will start playing songs in sound checks, but I don’t think we will add anything to the set at the moment with 4 albums! If I picked a song to cover it would probably be a One Direction song or something similar!
CF: Do you have any say in your video concepts?
Shay: It’s all us, generally it is all our ideas. We put the first pitch forward and then see what other directives make it work. Sometimes they have more success than others. There are some videos that we look back on and think that wasn’t what we wanted to achieve but you can’t have it all. ‘Animals’ was really fun to make and the ‘Give Me What I Want’ video was hilarious.
CF: How do you keep yourselves entertained on tour?
Shay: We watch films, have a few beers, go for a wander and see what’s about. I haven’t seen much of Brighton today as I had a big sleep this morning but some of the other boys went for a wander and had a few chips!
CF: Social media – how important do you think it is to bands in this day and age?
Shay: Nowadays it’s a vital tool, I think if you didn’t use social media at all people would ask questions. If you use it effectively it’s a great way to spread news and get new songs out. When we first started this band there wasn’t a great deal except for MySpace and now there’s Facebook. Aled has about 3 times as many followers as the rest of us on Twitter so there is never any competition as to who has the most!
CF: What is the best thing you’ve done in Brighton?
Shay: The fans are always grateful that we’ve come to Brighton because it’s so near to London that a lot of big bands miss it off the touring cycle. One time we came here to support and we chilled out in the sunshine on the beach, which was really nice. It’s lovely in the summer here.
CF: Any new bands/singer-songwriters on your radar that you recommend to look out for?
Shay: Propellers who are supporting us are a great band, they’re pretty promising. And also, a welsh band called Straight Lines who are friends of ours. The lead singer is doing his own solo project at the moment, he’s recording stuff and putting it up online.
CF: What’s next on the Kids in Glass Houses calendar?
Shay: The album was out on Monday and then we have a week and a half of the tour left, and then onto Europe, Australia and Japan before the New Year.
Check out the brand new album, Peace, here – it’s well worth downloading!