FEMALE Talks To: Dave Bayley Of Glass Animals On What They’re Looking Forward To In Kuala Lumpur (Exclusive!)

Urbanscapes is underway in KL and while there are still exciting things to look out for throughout the week, here’s one event that we’re definitely looking forward to the most!

Presented by U Mobile, the Unlimited Grooves Festival will be closing the arts and music festival at Sentul Depot with a line-up you wouldn’t want to miss. With local talents and international bands like The Drums, SALES, Jakob Ogawa, The Marias and Glass Animals, and more, we are definitely in for a treat cos we had the chance to interview Dave Bayley of Glass Animals prior to their show this weekend! 

Photography: Urbanscapes

If you’re not too familiar with the band, here’s a li’l insight before reading our exclusive interview with Dave. Believe it or not – the four-piece band led by singer, songwriter and producer Dave and his bandmates, Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer and Drew MacFarlane are longtime childhood friends, to begin with.

And imagine this: touring the world, meeting new people and singing what you’re most passionate about is truly a dream come true. With their successful hit on their debut album, Zaba (my fave album BTW) and platinum single ‘Gooey’, it’s hard not to vibe with their alternative and indie-pop tunes. I mean, who wouldn’t want to? Hit play and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Known for their wild and immersive live shows, we’re definitely in for a good time this coming Sunday. Find out what Dave and I had a chit chat about before they landed on Malaysian shores this weekend about their songwriting process, what Dave’s favourite tracks are and why he chose them. 

FEMALE: How does it feel performing and visiting Malaysia for the first time?

Dave Bayley: “WE’RE VERY EXCITED! I had a 5-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur airport once…there’s a rainforest in the middle of it! Amazing. If that’s anything to go by, I’m going to love Malaysia. Our first album is rainforest-themed so it’ll fit in perfectly…I hope.”

F: Are you guys excited to explore Kuala Lumpur while you’re here? What do you have planned?

DB: “YES. We only have one day, but we are taking tips so send us on Twitter or Instagram, please. Or, if there’s anyone who wants to give us a personal tour that would be great. I mainly like nature and walking around the city looking at cool buildings and going to cool book/art stores or interesting bars or galleries.” 

F: What have you guys been up to besides touring? Is there a new album on the way? 

DB: Well…Joe was hurt quite badly just over a year ago so we’ve been allowing him to recover before we start the next phase of things. I’ve been making some music and writing songs with other artists. Drew released a solo EP. Ed built loads of synths and microphones and electronics we’ve been using to make some new sounds. Nothing finished yet but maybe next year.”

F: If you were to describe your sound to someone who’s about to listen to Glass Animals for the first time, how would you describe it in a few words?  

DB: Someone told me once it sounded like Dr Dre holding a pineapple but on the internet.”

F: What is the process like usually before you start songwriting? Is there a special place you guys head to for inspiration before hitting the studio?

DB: I normally start things alone in my bedroom. Quite often I just wake up with an idea, or an idea pops into my head just as I’m falling asleep. I have a studio in my house now so if that happens I can run down and build the skeleton of the song. It normally happens when I’m feeling a bit sad and alone…that’s when I have ideas.”

F: I’ve read that you record your own samples everywhere you go, which one comes first? Lyrics or samples?

DB: I record and make a lot of sounds otherwise you end up using the same sounds everyone else finds on the internet. Songs can start with anything. Sometimes they start when I hear an inspiring sound…once I heard a motorcycle drive past and I decided to record a motorcycle and sample it over a keyboard so I could play the sound at different pitches like a synthesizer. And a song began from there. And many times I have a sentence or small phrase that is stuck in my head that builds into a story and the lyrics happen before the sounds.”

F: What are some of your favourite tracks off Zaba and How To Be A Human Being? 

DB: Hard to choose! It’s like choosing a favourite child. But I’ve always loved ‘Agnes’, it’s very personal to me. I also like ‘Hazey’ off Zaba at the moment. I like the way it’s reworked live.”

F: Is there a story behind these tracks you chose? 

DB: As for ‘Agnes’, yes… but it’s far too sad to tell right now! It is explained in the song though. And it is explained more in the video too, which involved me fainting after being spun around in a machine that simulates 10 times normal gravity. As for ‘Hazey’….that was a fun one to make. I made it in one day, about 48 hours before we had to turn in the final version of the album to the label.”

F: Lastly, what can we expect from Glass Animals next month since it’s our first time watching you live as well? 

DB: We’re excited to see YOU. It’s going to be fun. We change everything live…it’s all remixed and heavier and more suitable for dancing. We never play with a backing track or a click track so it’s all properly live…sometimes we make mistakes because of that, but it’s different every time and adds to the excitement.”

If you’re curious, we interviewed Jonathan Pierce of The Drums too! Read about it here.

, ,