December 2012, Spindle Magazine Issue 6

It was back in 2009 when I first saw Glasvegas, at a time when buying a ticket to see Kings Of Leon, whom they were supporting, was still vaguely acceptable (in other words, pre sex on fire). In the wake of James Allan’s breakdown, with a spate of cancelled performances and dogged by rumours of an impending breakup, the chances of the band surviving to make another album looked doubtful and a graceful bow out, probable.

At times, somewhere around the split from Columbia and being pelted with bottles at V Festival, it even seemed sensible.

Luckily though, this didn’t pan out and they’re now once again back in the studio, recording their third album and, as far as can ever be said of a band for whom the term ‘moody’ is most often attributed, they’re happy to be there, as bassist, Paul Donoghue, confirms. “It’s been great doing it again. The four of us playing in a room is where we probably enjoy ourselves the most.”

We’ve heard rumblings (‘best song Allan’s ever written’; ‘so good James almost shat himself’) and there are some big promises to be lived up to.

“Everyone has an opinion about the best song James has written and I think there is an even better one than the one Rab was talking about then. James has an incredible talent when writing; he dismisses songs most people would kill for and comes back with something even better. And it was an incredibly hard part of a vocal, really stomach muscle tightening long note that held that almost led to his sphincter malfunction!”

So far, they seem to be making good on their word, as fans at recent gigs where they’ve been sampling their new material, can attest to. “It makes us very proud that people will actually stop and listen to songs they haven’t heard before; they don’t need to give us their precious time but because they do, we’ll always give as much as we can back to them.”

Part of the credit for this return to form (lest we forget, they were once lauded as ‘the most important band’ of their time in Britain) may be due to drummer Jonna Löfgren’s involvement who, though playing with the band since the release of their second album, wasn’t involved at the time of recording, has now become an active part of the creative process. The result is a more collaborative effort that lends new dimensions to their sound. “It’s so much more easier to work on new songs from the word go. James used to have to give us demos that had all the parts on it and we learned to play what was already there. Although he was always open for us to try our own parts, we usually ended up doing what James had already worked out as he had spent a lot of time on it. This time round we are working a bit differently… The songs are sounding better for it.”

The question of whether they’ll resign with a major label or go down the independent route as yet remains unanswered, though Paul hints of future possibilities.

“We’ve met some people already but nothing has been set in stone yet. You’d be best asking this question in a couple of months, things can change very quickly in music.”

But one thing looks to be for sure; any resurgence of break up rumours can certainly be dismissed. “I don’t fancy going back to building sites any time soon! We’ll keep doing what we’re doing until it doesn’t feel right any more. I think we still have more to say even past this album we’re currently writing but who knows?”