Campus.ie contributor Miriam Doona caught up with guitarist and vocalist Gavin Cowley ahead of the release of the band’s debut album, I’m Dead, on August 9.
Your sound is rooted in blues. Do you as individuals, and as a group, have a particular regard for blues music?
I think that everyone is feeling a little bit of the blues in recent times. But sure, we do have many influences including old blues, roots and rock and roll. I guess kind of a stripped down sound is how we like it.
Can you define your sound?
We claim to be playing Urban Post-Rock Blues, but I think what we're trying to say is: “We do what we want.”
There are three of you that make up Glimmermen. You all have past experience in different bands of different musical genres. Has this helped to define the sound of Glimmermen?
J [Bassetti, double bass, Phil [Murray, drums] and I all bring our own particular influences to bear on the band’s sound. We are – and always have been – big fans of music and I guess you kind of find out out what you like and don’t like, what works and doesn’t work over many years of playing with people.
I can hear a Phil Lynott influence in your music, would it be safe to say that there is a fan amongst you?
Funny you should say that because other people have mentioned it. I think it’s fair to say we have all probably rocked out to Philo in the past. Certainly I have…
What did you listen to growing up and what are you listening to now?
When I was younger everything …Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Hendrix, Elvis, Dead Kennedys, Bob Dylan, Tension, Nomeansno, Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys.. We had a lot of music in the house growing up. Now a lot of that stuff still.. but I have been listening to a lot of Jazz, and Blues John Coltrane, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Robert Johnson & Howlin’ Wolf in recent years.
You are all over 15 years on the Irish music scene. What is your experience of the scene and how would you describe it?
I don’t think we’ve ever thought about it. We just do what we do as best we can and when we can – these days more emails and digital platforms, less coins and callboxes.
Who writes the songs in Glimmermen and what would you say is influential on your writing?
We all write the music for the songs. If you are talking lyrics I write about a lot of stuff, I guess heavily layered in meaning for me. Sometimes I forget exactly why I phrase something in a particular way. Sometimes it just sounds right to me or it will come from the sounds I make when we are rehearsing. Influences are internal and external.
Was there any defining moment for you that made you want to become a musician?
Yes, when I realized that with just a couple of chords I could try and write my own song as opposed to learning someone else’s.
Your debut EP Satellite People is available now and your debut LP I’m Dead is due out August 9. On that date you will also be going a gig in Whelan’s, are you looking forward to the gig?
The album ‘I’m Dead’ is coming out on Dublin label Transduction Records. We are super excited. It will be available on CD and 12” Vinyl on the night. A huge amount of money, time, work goes into recording, mixing, and releasing a record, for any band. Finally we let it go. It’s out there.
What is planned for Glimmermen after this date, do you have more gigs lined up?
I'm Dead by Glimmermen is out August 9 on Transduction Records. The band play Whelan's on August 10.