Posted by: Necci – Apr 11, 2012
[Unfortunately, due to a sudden, unexpected page-count crunch, Alexander Rose's interview with up-and-coming 757 metal band Glass Cloud had to be cut from our newest issue. It's way too good an article to just disappear, though, so we decided to present it to you in all its uncut glory on our website! --ed.]
Every good band starts in a garage. Something about having to endure drum curfews placed on you by your parents, or being forced to turn down your guitar volume because your entire family is eating Thanksgiving dinner inside, leads musicians who travel this route to excel at their musical endeavors. Practicing and playing in every Hampton, Virginia garage they could find, drummer Chad Hasty and bassist Travis Sykes planted the seeds for what they hope to be lives filled with music. Having both shared the same lifelong dream of attending Berklee College of Music after graduating high school, Chad and Travis eventually graduated from that prestigious contemporary music school in Boston. Throughout this time, their longtime friend, Hampton resident Jerry Roush, had been touring and recording with the bands Sky Eats Airplane and Of Mice & Men. During their final semester at Berklee, Travis and Chad found themselves talking with Jerry about the potential of forming a new project. A day after graduating, Travis and Chad packed up their things and moved back to Hampton to begin forming what is now called Glass Cloud.
With Jerry on vocals, the only thing needed to complete the Glass Cloud lineup was a suitable guitar player. Enter Josh Travis, the 8-string guitar player best known for his work in the metal powerhouse that is The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. Jerry had known Josh for some time and approached him about the group he had begun to set up. With his existing band on somewhat of a hiatus, Josh began to send demos to Travis and Jerry in Virginia to play around with. Travis revealed that “Josh would send us 2-3 tracks at a time, sometimes multiple times a week.” It was not long before the combined forces produced a four-track demo that caught the eye of Jerry’s former label, Equal Vision Records. They began negotiations with Equal Vision, and soon found themselves with a record contract and flights booked to record a debut album in San Diego. It should be noted that up to this point, no music has been released by the band. A single 50-second audio clip can be heard in the background of a video update from their time in the studio, but that’s it. However, their debut album will be released by Equal Vision this summer, so eager fans do not have long to wait. Having grown up alongside three-quarters of this musical project, I wanted to find out more about the band who is gearing up to take over 2012.
Is there any meaning behind the name Glass Cloud?
Travis: Not really. [laughs] We wanted something that was visual and had two syllables. I had thought about how many successful names that consisted of two syllables – Wal-Mart, Beatles, etc. We wanted something that could be easily identifiable.
How do you feel about the Glass Cloud lineup?
Travis: Jerry could not have picked a better lineup. Chad and I just graduated after four years of intense music training, not to mention that he is one of the best drummers in the game. You have Jerry, who has toured the world and has awesome stage presence and vocals. Then you have Josh, who is an absolute songwriting genius.
Chad: It’s crazy, I feel like if you put Josh in an empty room with a guitar, he could pump out 40 songs in a week. [laughs]
With 3 out of the 4 members of the band coming from Hampton, Virginia, did Josh have any trouble fitting in with you guys?
Chad: I didn’t want to just go into the recording studio with Josh without meeting him first. We wanted to just kick it with him to see if we’d connect. Josh came to Virginia for a few days before we were set to fly to California. When he was here, we didn’t touch any of our instruments, we just vibed out. He’s one of those guys that, although I’ve only known him for just a few months, I now feel like I’ve known him for my entire life.
Travis: I had been sending tracks back and forth with Josh for several months by the time we first met in person. We had already clicked, and it was fun to finally go in the studio and bang out some of the tracks we had been working on.
Now that recording of your album is finished, how do you feel looking back on it?
Travis: I feel that the record is as good as it could be. With everyone coming through and giving a top-notch performance in the studio, I really feel like it couldn’t have come out any better. The album sounds like we had been in the studio forever, when we really were only there for a few weeks, having done so much work beforehand.
What does the immediate future hold for Glass Cloud?
Travis: We’re hoping to have our album released sometime around early summer. Other than that, we are back home now, getting ready to start practicing before we set out on our first live dates in March. Then we will be playing the Never Say Never Festival, South by So What Festival, The Jamboree Ohio, New England Metal Fest, and some tours we can’t talk about right now.
Chad: I’m getting anxious to start practicing for the live dates. Once we’re all set up in Virginia, it’s going to be practice, practice, practice until we hit the road. I want the live set to live up to what we recorded in the studio.
Do you think that because you have not released any music to the public, it could potentially limit your rate of success?
Travis: With the age of the internet, you can build an entire Zeitgeist on basically nothing if you have the right tools. The reason it’s working for us is because Equal Vision is behind us, our agent is behind us, our management is behind us--all because they’ve heard the record. They’ve heard the music and they know it won’t disappoint.
Growing up, you played shows all throughout Virginia. What are some memorable moments you had while in Richmond?
Travis: I remember playing a show at Nanci Raygun way back in the day. It was dope, because we had a good amount of people come out to see us. I feel like that doesn’t happen in many other cities around Virginia.
Check out the first single, White Flag, from the forthcoming album and be sure to grab the release on iTunes!
Glass Cloud is on tour right now but will be in northern Virginia next week, playing at Empire in West Springfield VA (formerly Jaxx) as part of the Road To Metal Fest Tour, along with I Wrestled A Bear Once, Louder Than Quiet, and more. Tickets are $12 in advance and can be ordered HERE.
By Alexander Rose