7.08: Hometown Heroes: Glass Lux

If you haven't heard of Glass Lux by now, you will soon. This Chicago act has been playing all over the place, whether its out at SXSW or down the street from you at venues like Double Door or The Hideout. Their infectious melodies provided by vocalist Emily Morse and their one of a kind sound from producer / DJ Alfonso "Fonz" Mayen allows them to bring something unique to the electronic music scene. With a couple music videos and singles under their belt, they are quickly preparing to jettison into fame. I recently sat down with Mayen after his DJ set at Primary to talk about Italo disco, "The Great Gatsby", Los Angeles, and more.

 

Q. So how would you describe the sound of Glass Lux?
A. The sound of Glass Lux I would say would be a high influence of old italo disco, old school vintage synths, really sweet snazzy basslines, with old school drum machine sounds. With Emily [Morse], her voice is really unique and it gives it this really modern sound over it. Usually alot of italo disco is kind of more on the cheesey end of things, so we have really simple lyrics and a very 80s sound so our music is very 80s influenced with an italo disco sound, but Emily brings this dark kind of modern twist to it with her vocals and her lyrics.


Q. I know you listed the 80s as one of your influences, do you have any specific artists you guys are influenced by?
A. There's the whole post punk era; post punk and new wave stemming from obviously Joy Division, New Order, The Cure and then really oscure old school real Italo acts with bands like Fake or even like, a more known person like Giorgio Moroder. Really lately I was lucky enough to get into really obscure records from the 80s, like really obscure Italo. Like I said, usually really cheesy lyrics but the music is fucking awesome.


Q. Glass Lux is a live band, but you also do DJ sets like you did here tonight at Primary. Do you prefer performing one way over another or do you enjoy them for different reasons?
A. Well I always love playing live because that's like you putting yourself out there and you putting your soul into your band when you play live, its awesome. When I started DJing I used to love it and then I kind of fell out of love with it because it became something where, uhm, just like, when I DJ I like to play things that aren't typical and are really obscure, I guess, and I feel like with DJing that's what it should be. It should be playing something for someone that no one has ever heard and I felt like at some places I couldn't do that. You know, I'll mix some place and they only want to hear certain things and they're not going to have an open mind to things. Tonight actually is my first time mixing here at Primary and I actually had a really good time because I got to play like, a lot of good really obscure stuff, from techno to deep house and everyone was open ears to it and liked it so I definitely like DJing again after this time because for a little while it wasn't easy, because I won't play certain things I find cheesy or not cool.


Q. Outside of Glass Lux, you recently had success on the soundtrack for "The Great Gatsby" on which you did a track with Hollywood Holt. What was that experience like for you?
A. That experience has been really really cool. Uhm, me and Nigel [Holt] have a whole album together that we've written and can't wait to put it out because its something that really no one has ever heard and its something from both of us that alot of people wouldn't expect. The whole Great Gatsby thing came out of left field, so to me I just take from it is that its really awesome to know that I'm capable of doing something like that, that's worthy of a movie. Like, I went to the movie and I saw a track that I had helped make. It was a really surreal thing, but I've been saying its not the end all be all and I'm definitely looking forward to the future.


Q. Recently Glass Lux has had to opportunity to tour, and you guys have done shows like South By Southwest. How does a crowd in a place like Austin that is outside of your normal setting compare to playing for your hometown crowd in Chicago?
A. Definitely the crowd when we play outside Chicago is way more into it. When its a bunch of random people and its outside Chicago, they love it and they get down to it. We've had such a good response even like, Los Angeles and San Diego and in Austin we had a really great response. It's almost like when we play, we've had several people come up to us and be like "it's something we've never heard before" which is weird because in Chicago I feel like everyone has really good musical backgrounds and they know of things like new wave and house and everyone kind of knows this music so when we travel its something new to them, I guess. I feel like my experience outside of Chicago when we play in front of new people they're just really digging it and they think our shit is awesome. In Chicago, its not like that. People kind of just stand there and its weird, because they'll stand there and there will be no response but after the show they'll be like, "oh my god you guys were awesome". It's weird, its hard to get people in Chicago moving, whereas you'd think in a place like LA they would have the mentality of "oh they've heard it all, who do they think they are?" but that was one of our best shows that we've played and we had one of our best response there and we didn't expect that.


Q. For the future, what do you have planned for Glass Lux as well as for solo projects?
A. I hope with all these awesome opportunities I'm getting that I can be in a place where you know, I have tons of songs of my own and eventually I can put something out of my own. With Glass Lux we're putting more content out now, we just shot a video and we're going to proper studios and doing things the right way. We were always kind of doing shit ourselves and we always had awesome music down but we never had the other aspect of legitimately recording and being really video conscious, its been one of our drawbacks. We don't know how to do all that so we just found a team and we're learning to find people to help us like a manager, etc. because there's only so much we can do on our own, you know? I just want to be an artist making my art and finding something that will help me put it out.

 

For more information on Glass Lux and their upcoming projects, check here: http://www.glasslux.net/


 

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