Beginning their life busking on the streets of York, before heading to almost every corner of the UK, Glass Caves quickly amassed a loyal and devoted following, who appreciate their no-nonsense, back-to-basics brand of self-promotion.
We sat down with the Glass Caves boys at NBHD Weekender to find out more about their journey from busking to breaking Record Store Day’s Top 40 with their self-funded debut ‘Alive’.
How did you find the set at NBHD today? Did you have fun?
Yeah, we really enjoyed it! The sound was great and the stage was a good size. Everything is great about this festival!
You finished University and started busking in cities around the UK to promote your music. You’ve worked hard to get here haven’t you?
Certainly. When we made the album we did a constant three-four months of busking to pay for it. The album went to Top 40 in the UK. We’re really proud of it!
How did Glass Caves begin?
Elliott and Connor were in a band when they were at school and they approached me (Matt) because they needed a vocalist and they’d seen my Damien Rice cover on YouTube. We started to write and locked ourselves in the garage for a solid three weeks. We came out of it with an EP, managed to gain a play on Radio 1 and then sold out venues in York and Leeds.
New releases like ‘Common Tongue’ and ‘Taipei Nights’ have more of a modern, alternative sound in comparison to your 2014 EP. Did you always have the idea of how you wanted to sound, or has it developed?
We had basic ideas for our new tracks and when we went into the studio, we built on that and just went with it without being too conscious of it. They all seem to fit into a similar category though. You can still tell it’s us – we just think you have to adapt and change over time to progress and put something a bit different out there for fans.
How did it feel to be on the soundtrack of Made in Chelsea on E4 last week?
It’s a great platform for us to be promoted on. It sounded great! We were really pleased.
Are you sticking around for the rest of the festival? Who will you be watching?
We want to watch the Howl and the Hum later. They’re from York and that’s where we started, so we’re big fans of them. We want to watch Larkins and Clean Cut Kid too. It’s a really strong line-up this weekend.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
We love Childish Gambino at the minute and Giant Rooks are great – they’re from Germany and playing the same stage as us at Y Not Festival. We’ve also been listening to a lot of Billie Eilish.
How was your SXSW experience?
It was just amazing. Austin was one of the best cities we’ve been to. We’ve been to a lot of cities and it was just something else. Everyone was really friendly and the bbq was mint! Even the taxi drivers came to watch our set. We played on two hotel rooftops there and it was just unbelievable.
Is the music industry as exciting as it seems, or is it tough for an emerging band trying to break through to a label?
The perception is that it’s very exciting but it is tough. To get anywhere you need to work hard. Every single band you see will be grafting. Every time we get on stage we enjoy ourselves and although it’s tough, we love it so much.
Is it true you self-fund? So everything goes into making your music?
Yeah – everything we make goes into the band. We can’t afford to do the band full time at the moment as we aren’t signed, so we all have full-time jobs to support our music. We’re hoping to get signed so we can get going with another album!
Words by Sophie Eastham // @sophyvictoriae