Glass Animals

Three years after lead singer Dave started writing songs while suffering from insomnia, British band Glass Animals releases their highly anticipated debut album ZABAWe caught up with the four band members Dave, Drew, Edmund and Joe about the story behind the name Glass Animals and their plans for the future.

During medical school, Glass Animals lead singer Dave Bayley suffered from insomnia that led him to make music. He showed his work to three of his closets friends who put their own input on it and before they knew it the band Glass Animals had been created. We caught up with them about the story behind the name and their plans for the future.

How did Glass Animals come about?
Joe: Dave had insomnia, so he started writing songs on his computer late at night. He played them to us when they were almost done, and asked Drew, Ed and I if we would like to be in a band. We all said yes. And that is how Glass Animals came about.

Where does the name come from?

J: We opened up a dictionary, blind folded, and put our fingers down on two different words. The first was animals, the second was GRASS, but we changed it to GLASS because GRASS ANIMALS sounded not so exciting. 

No I’m kidding, we chose it because it sounded like what we thought the music and lyrics at the beginning sounded like. It fitted pretty well.

I get lots of ideas, hopefully
that will never stop happening

Tell us more about your ZABA debut album.

J: We wanted to create an album that the listener could play from start to finish, and go on a journey… to a different world for a bit. That was the only idea we really had in mind when we started making it. Each song is meant to be a different little compartment of that different universe. A bit like chapters of a children’s story book, which is where the name came from, Daves favourite book when he was a kid was called The Zabajaba Jungle.

Do you need to actively seek inspiration? And if so, where do you usually find it?
Dave: I’m quite lucky I guess…I get lots of ideas. Hopefully that will never stop happening. But they tend to come when I’m relaxed or doing something chilled like watching a flim or reading a book or going to sleep. If I’m ever stumped I’d do more things like that.

What about the lyrics?
D: The lyrics are generally written after the music has been recorded and the soundscape and atmosphere of the song has been made. I can then make up a story that goes well with the vibe of the song, and use words that compliment the soundscape. On the surface the songs are little stories. But if you want to dig deeper you can. The lyrics are quite abstract so hopefully people can’t really work out exactly what I’m talking about. Hopefully that means people can come up with their own personal interpretations… and also that people can’t see too far into my brain.

On the surface the songs
are little stories.

What are your thoughts on playing live? How do you prepare a live set?
J: Live shows are great. Always exciting, and a lot of fun. We get to visit really cool cities, and meet crazy people. Playing the songs live is neat because you can tweak and fiddle with them to make them different. So some songs we make much more ‘live’ and others stay relatively electronic. It depends on the song, and the crowd really. Sometimes a crowd reacts to speed and energy, so we crank the tempos, and the bass up, other times, people wanna chill and listen. Being adaptable makes it interesting for us too.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

J: I hope that Drew finds his glasses. He lost them yesterday. And is devastated. I think he will pull through.

Glass Animals debut album ZABA will be out on June 9