Q&A with Glass Mansions, new single “Faith” and the state of the music industry

South Carolina grunge pop band Glass Mansions released their latest single “Faith” today, Friday May 22, with a captivating music video alongside the track.  A collaboration between Glass Mansions and Vanlifers Natalie and Abigail Rodriguez, the video is a love letter to the road.

“Faith” has a zippy, electronic sound that got me dancing in the car while blasting it on repeat, with an all-too-important theme of being unapologetically yourself. I talked to Jayna and Blake of Glass Mansions about “Faith,” the video and how they are holding up amidst a drastically changing music scene.

ST: Do you have a favorite part of the song “Faith?”  A favorite lyric or hook?

Jayna: I really likes the bridge, I like the feel of it, it hits really hard and I was really frustrated with people and social media and stuff, and when i was in the vocal booth I wanted to capture that frustration and right before I say “I could be your faith,” right before that, there’s a breath where I’m exhaling bullshit and we put distortion on it and it’s layered in there. I wanted that in there.

Blake: For me personally, I love the vocal hook in the chorus. I think it compliments the keyboard part that we laid in there so well, which is the first hook of the song. Something about it just really fit to me and made it my favorite.

ST: I really like the bridge and the hook. The whole song is constructed really well. Whoever you worked with to record and master the tracks also did a phenomenal job. You are such talented musicians, I think all of your albums I have heard are so stellar, it’s no surprise your music has been featured on TV Shows like Vanderpump Rules. I’m honestly just waiting for you to blow up.

ST: So the song officially comes out May 22nd. What comes next for Glass Mansions?

Blake: When we went into the studio to record this we recorded another song that we’ve been working on. And I think basically what we are going to be doing, since we can’t tour, is release new music.

ST: Since you can’t tour, do you think you will do a full length album or a string of singles?

Blake: I think like what we did before, a few singles and then an EP comprised of some of those singles. I love being able to give each song a fair shake and be able to put the time into a video.  It’s difficult for us as a DIY band to put everything together at once, but if we can do a song and a video for it and nurture the song.

ST: Absolutely- we don’t cover a ton of singles. We typically add singles to the New Music Friday playlists, but with everyone having more time on their hands I wanted to cover this single and talk to artists who are doing it right with whole marketing campaigns around a single song to really give it the focus and attention it deserves. I personally really like seeing a full press effort for a song and getting lots of background information on the inspiration for the music. It allows the listener to form a more personal connection to it. I really appreciate what you guys are doing.

Blake: Thank you. And like I said, being able to take the time to give the song its proper due with the song release and video being a first impression to listeners is what we were really wanting to stress. The visual impact is just as important as the sonic impact. I think when people see the video and hear the song for the first time, I think people will experience it more in the way we intended.

Jayna: We were doing an Instagram live with the girls who did the video. The way the video came about is exactly what the song is about, so it’s like mind blowing.

ST: Jayna, you mentioned in talking about the album, “It’s such a waste of time to not be authentic.” How do you ensure you maintain an authentic presence online?

Jayna: Well, I think the whole song idea came about because of my mom. The first line of the song, “Momma always said be a better you,” she’s a real southern woman who is always telling me to censor myself and I don’t really believe we should. Another big part of that is not creating these brands for ourselves. I think people should post the bad things too. I got a lot more engagements from outside our normal fan base when I post about the hard times, people really connect and relate to that. We all go through the same struggles and we just don’t talk about it.

ST: I certainly can understand that. I struggle with anxiety and depression, and I certainly have connected with other artists who’ve shared their struggles either via music or on social media. I think the bad times can bring us together in the strength of knowing you’re not alone, so I can see where that could be another level of loyalty to your fanbase.

ST: How are you each doing in light of Coronavirus?

Blake: Well, it is interesting because my job at home is a DJ, so going from DJ’ing six nights a week, when your job is entertaining big groups of people and lockdown happens, all that goes out the window. It was interesting because earlier this year we started to tour, thinking this wouldn’t be a big deal and we were in Iowa when all the shows got cancelled. So, we just had to go home and quarantine. We basically just tried to pivot on that and livestream, letting us interact with people at a distance and still engage with them. We are also writing more music. That’s all we can do; and give attention to the relief; and not be distracted by anything else, which is really important to us.

Jayna: It has been a roller coaster, not having to go to work and being able to wake up on my own time, having a cup of coffee and not having to worry about anything except for the world ending. Having the moment to pause was something I day dreamed of my whole life, at first it seemed like a gift and then the whole music industry was crashing and burning. We wondered what we were going to do when this all came back around. It was really overwhelming at first, but we decided to share the music we had written and do things our way and focus on that.  We are just leaning into our music and letting that be the priority.

ST: How do you see the music scene changing after this? What do you imagine shows will look like in 6-12 months?

Jayna: So hard to say… Venues are starting to reopen in South Carolina with lower capacity. I’m dying to play a show, but we want the right kind of experience. A lot of uncomfortable shows that we may sit out and let other bands be the guinea pigs for. We may do some one-off shows in the fall, but we probably won’t tour again until next year. It has been cool to see the bigger artists struggling with streaming and the humbling “just like us” behind the scenes that live streaming has given us. I don’t think live music is going to die though.

Blake: The live experience is one of the last tribal experiences we have in the modern age. Seeing music performed live is an experience in itself. It’s not the same as listening to music on a livestream or listening to it on your headphones.

ST: You all have been live streaming and engaging with fans a lot. Do you have a favorite moment from that?

Blake: Some moments when we were live streaming, where we weren’t sure how the songs were gonna translate and we let that play out and see what happens.

Jayna: We had some really funny interactions because you can’t hide from how awkward live streams are. People who hadn’t seen our show kind of want to see the dumpster fire live show.

Blake: Come for the music stay for the comedy.

Jayna: We did a livestream with an Austin-based artist, Dossey, that we played with in the past and I think that’s a really cool thing, Watching artists interview other artists.

ST: Last but not least, is there anyone you want to shout out to give some exposure to?

Jayna and Blake: Natalie and Abby (Abigail and Natalie Rodriguez, who put out the video, blog and youtube channel) put the video together with us. Their whole page is amazing. It’s basically a blog and youtube channel that details their travels over the last year. Also,  Dossey, who has new music coming out soon.

Jayna: it’s a cool thing to watch too, for people stuck in the house as an escape.

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TAGS: Glass Mansions | Dossey

Jessi McKee

Email: jessi.spinningthoughts@outlook.com
Twitter: @jmckeephotos

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