Q. So, who are you anyway?
We are The Upbeat Glass Smash! Or ThUGS for short. Anonymity – I can’t decide if that’s good or not – works for Daft Punk doesn’t it? …..Although they have names don’t they? The Upbeat Glass Smash started firstly with the purchase of the popular ‘music series’ on the Playstation and getting seriously hooked on it. However, the lack of saving or broadcasting yourself hindered any real progress. So, when I found a copy for my PC when I was a little bit older and wiser and the whole MySpace boom had kicked off with the Arctic Monkeys I found myself saying, I need some of that action!
The name came from a spell check I would always get at work: I used to work for a company with the initials TVHG and whenever I would send an e-mail, it suggested I replace it with Thug or Thugs for TVHG. Anyway, I had a vision of ‘THUG’ on a T-shirt being quite an amazingly marketable thing (never made one yet!) for the youth of today hence ‘The Upbeat Glass Smash’ (Possibly getting in after a night with a shoe sole covered in glass might also have had something to do with it).
Q. Describe your sound for us.
I first started playing about with catchy hooks and melodies without much of a real clue of what a chord or note was, or any sense of timing and rhythm. I’ve slowly evolved from there – picking up a guitar or keyboard and really getting to grips with musical theory and hopefully trying to better myself with each song I make – otheIs there much point otherwise?
I am always willing to listen to feedback; a guy I work with suggested lots more drums and since then I’ve been into loud noisy stuff with more of a thumping beat. I tend to go for an atmospheric sound, something you might hear in a nightclub and say, “Hey that was a bit different”. Usually though, I try to go with what I think sounds right together.
I’d say it was big, atmospheric, a little bit chaotic but catchy and quite addictive.
Q. So you rate yourself then?
Not really – maybe that is a key to success, a little bit of arrogance. I mean I was chuffed to bits when a mate sent me a text the other night after putting new songs on MySpace that simply said “12 Bars One Night Is….FUCKING BRILLIANT”. That’ll do for me!! I think I can create a fantastic sound and am probably limited by the tools I have. I wonder what I could come up with on a serious bit of kit…..
Q. Who are your influences?
First and foremost when I started out, I would spend hours trying to recreate Daft Punk’s first album and get absolutely nowhere near. Fatboy Slim, Air, Chemical Brothers; the mainstream dance acts of the mid 90s where my first influences. Now though, anything I hear is an influence and I try to replicate the tracks I enjoy listening to. To name a few; Brian Wilson (especially the Smile Album), the Who, AC/DC, Oasis and the Prodigy too. On one of the newer tracks I recently came across a guy on Youtube who made a load of stuff on Music 2000 (as I do) and his tunes helped me with the Radio Sunlight song. One thing which is at the front of my mind when I started trying to make something that sounds like The Who is what an incredibly good drummer Keith Moon was (you cannot replicate that style drumming on a computer!)
Q. Tell us one of your musical secrets.
I quite like reversing samples – Try telling that to your doctor!
Q. What’s in the future?
I’m currently having a little break from doing any stuff at the minute but have started a complete cover of the Who’s ‘Tommy’ Album in a dance style. I’d love for someone to come along and say, “We love this, could we use it on an advert, could we use this in a film?”. I also want to do some videos and get a load of stuff on Youtube.
Q. What’s your claim to fame?
I was reviewed by a local paper’s music writer. Wow eh?! He said my stuff was incredible, epic stuff.
Q. Musically, where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I would like to be still making music in ten years time. I have written pages and pages of lyrics with tunes in my head but – can I heck as like translate that into real living music. That’s the next step – A rock opera of my own would be good, in fact the words are written! Being able to perform live is where it’s at – look at Oasis – there is not one of their songs you can’t listen to for free on the Internet. So how do they make their money? 180,000 tickets in one hour is how. Being the best live band in the country is where it’s at.
Q. Myspace or Facebook?
Myspace for music. Facebook for poking – When I tried to add The Upbeat Glass Smash as a page on Facebook with a few tracks but to add any music you have to send them a copy of your passport!! Sod that!!
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