GETTING TO KNOW THE GLIDES
by Jacqueline Jax host of AVA Live Radio
AVA Live Radio: How did you get your start in music or what inspired you to begin?
Rikki: “I originally commandeered my brother’s snare drum around age 9. I pieced together my first drum set around 7th grade. Keep in mind, there was no Craigslist nor EBay so this was a search of the local newspaper and local music stores. I built the baddest, blue-sparkle, red-sparkle, imitation-gold and white drum set around. I’m kidding. It was hideous, but it was mine. As for what inspired me to begin, it could have been my sisters. But I am going to say AC/DC and Ozzy made me do it. (Perhaps Satan?) The songs on “Back in Black” and “Diary of a Madman” were some of the first I learned.”
Paul: “What inspired me to pick up guitar when I was 13 is probably the same thing that inspires every 13-year-old boy, and that’s girls. I probably would’ve gone straight to bass, except growing up rural where I lived nobody else played music and guitar is much easier to play when you’re by yourself, then bass. Luckily, the small town I grew up in, Issaquah, Washington, is 25 miles east of Seattle. So, once I was able, I left the small town and headed for the bright lights of the big city, and started joining some rock bands in the ‘90s. I probably should’ve picked up grunge, but I was much more into the dance oriented grooves by that time.”
Mark: “My grandfather was a guitar strummer and was an inspiration for me growing up. I still have his collection of old Mel Bay guitar lesson books. At the same time, my father was a huge blues and ‘60’s and ‘70’s classic rock fan who was always trying to steer me away from the cheesy pop tunes of the time that I was into. I always wanted to learn and finally decided to try when some other friends were learning Led Zeppelin, Boston, and Jane’s Addiction songs on acoustic guitar. I didn’t really start to improve until seeking instruction from my local community college. It was there that I began to study music fundamentals, something I had never really done earlier in my childhood. From that experience on, I was all in for guitar.
We have been labeled as alternative, but what we are doing musically is so much more. Our music doesn’t really fit into a particular traditional genre. Blending my love of classical and jazz with Rikki’s powerful pocket beats enhanced by Paul’s tasteful dance grooves and top all that off with TK’s lyrics and soulful voice, that’s how the whole alternative, retro, groove thing got started. People would always ask us what kind of music we played and that has become our own brand.”
TK: “We are four guys who love to play music and when the band came together, it was one of those things that just worked right away. We had all played in other bands and we were working on other projects at the time, but nothing had really taken off yet. Once the four of us came together, the whole became something much greater than the sum of our individual parts. The Glides are renaissance men. Collectively, our skills and talents culminate into a fresh alternative, retro, groove sound that, from the beginning, has been the reason ‘It’s Good to Be a Glide’.”
AVA Live Radio: What’s “One Time (Ms. Gadway)” about?
TK: “‘One Time (Ms. Gadway)’ is easily the most infectious groove on this EP. ‘One Time’ is a throwback to the late ‘60’s/early ‘70’s Swampers sound. The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and their influence has given us a lot. Once in the studio, Kolby Peoples spent time recrafting this song. Being sensitive to our original concept, but as all great producers do, he brought our music to another level. Simply, I believe that there are only two types of songs: songs for girls and songs about girls. ‘One Time’ is both. It is a dance number and it is written to a girl named Tiffany. Not any Tiffany, just one.”
AVA Live Radio: Is there a backstory about how it was written or recorded?
Mark: “The Glides don’t ever write music unless all four of us are in the same room at the same time. We don’t write music as individual artists, we write as a band. ‘One Time’ was a groove that got started with an idea Paul had for a bass line and really took off from there.”
Paul: “All of our songs are a full-on collaborative effort and you can hear each of our individual influences on this track. I provide the dance infused bass riffs, and am kind of the band’s engineer. Mark writes these amazing jazz infused guitar licks. Rikki plays drums, but brings a total understanding of it, and can play every instrument in the band. Travis is the singer/songwriter in the group. His soulful lyrics and voice add the ‘retro’ aspect to our grooves.”
AVA Live Radio: Tell us what we can expect from your music or new album.
Mark: “We are trying to create fun and exciting music to dance to that reﬂects inﬂuences of ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s R&B, funk, and soul, with a modern, almost punk twist. We set out to make the best recording possible so we went to the best studio in Phoenix, Full Well Recording Studio. Mike Bolenbach’s legendary recording studio is a playground for the professional recording artist.”
TK: “The Glides (self-titled) EP was recorded for our fans. The buzz about our live shows started to grow to the point that we needed merchandise. At first we made stickers and t-shirts with our snazzy logo. The audiences for each show keep growing larger and demand was always for more music.”
Paul: “We love all of our songs. Each one is special to us in its own way. We soon realized we would never be able to be the ones who decided which songs to record first. After shows and online attention we began to poll our fans and we were surprised by the strong response that we received, and how many people loved these songs as much as we do.”
Rikki: “We are proud to have someone like Mitchell Hillman of The Phoenix New Times reviewing our song “In The Night” and loving it. Getting positive mentions from some of the bigger publications in our area, like AZ Central and The New Times, leading up to our album release was really a great moment for us. It was really a point of realization that people were starting to take notice of The Glides, and not just our friends and families, but predominant people in the local Phoenix music scene. This made our CD release party an amazing event. Our fans didn’t let us down. It was a packed house we are truly thankful for all the love.”
AVA Live Radio: Where do you live and what is the music scene like in your town?
Mark: “We are from of Phoenix, Arizona. The music scene is thriving and there are so many new venues opening that are catering to live music. It is really exciting for the city. There are some really great bands in Phoenix. Hogjaw, The Early Grabs, Reason Unknown, and Hellrancho come to mind. We really enjoy the music coming from the Phoenix skate-punk scene. Our friends in Dephinger have been at it for 15 years and have drawn a lot of attention to the skateboard community. They are always promoting interesting underground shows and parties.”
Paul: “40% Badass (releasing November 12th) is easily the best album Dephinger have ever put out. I can’t wait to buy it on vinyl.”
Rikki: “After being out of the scene for years, I am now finding out our music scene in Phoenix is very diverse. I know some singer/songwriters, metal players, country lovers, tribute bands, a hip-hop singer and I am getting to see what the alternative scene has grown to be. We always appreciate the support from the local skate/punk community.”
AVA Live Radio: Places to go?
Mark: “Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub is our favorite venue to play.” (The Glides will be at Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub on December 17th, 2016 for their Christmas Show. Details to come…)
Paul: “My favorite venue is the famous Rhythm Room in downtown Phoenix. With The Glides, I finally fulfilled my dream of playing there.”
Rikki: “Our best shows in Phoenix have been on the west side. The west side crowd is always ready to party and get down with The Glides.”
AVA Live Radio: How do you feel about the music business?
TK: “I believe it’s an exciting time to be in the music business. Sure, the old ways of ‘making it’ are gone. But the old ways only benefited the guys on top, businessmen who have never created art for the love of it, who never once sacrificed for what the artist created while lining their pockets and posting record profits. Today, the possibilities are endless. The Glides have accomplished in one year more than we ever could have under the old music business model.
We have been blessed to have opened for international blues superstar Bex Marshall, recorded and released a disc, toured the West Coast, and made friends playing all over the great state of Arizona. We have created a webpage, online store, fan club, newsletter, logo design and so much more. We have accomplished whatever we have set our minds to with no limits or interference from some pinhead from the record company. We’ve maintained creative control. That said, we didn’t do it alone. Julie Hanich and Phil Kennedy head up a team of very creative and talented people, an inner circle as it were, that selflessly supports the band in so many ways. Without them we would not have enjoyed so much success so quickly.”
Mark: “Music and the business have certainly changed. So much music out there does not even have instruments or a live element to it. The Glides are proud to be part of the tradition of writing music without electronic or synthesized elements in it. We are happy to be making music DIY, without any label support, and still being able to tour.”
AVA Live Radio: What pros and cons have you experienced in the music thus far?
Paul: “Well, for the pros, I have to say all the friends I’ve made, and the joy that it gives me to write, perform, and record. They say it’s cheaper than therapy, and I have to agree. For the cons, it’s a common thread among musicians. You pour your heart, blood, and soul into something and no matter how great it is, or how wonderful of an artistic achievement, it doesn’t pay the bills. I know exactly how Monet felt.”
Rikki: “Pros: I get to play with some great guys, in front of people who enjoy what we do. That has been missing from my life for a while. Cons: I still work my 9-5 gig.”
TK: “The pros are the fans. Getting to travel to meet and celebrate life with them has simply been amazing. The only cons are how difficult it is to achieve balance. Juggling writing, recording, booking, touring, networking, press and the paperwork (dear God the paperwork) is a never-ending challenge. For The Glides, being DIY is truly to our advantage but the business of music never rests.”
AVA Live Radio: How do you turn your struggles into triumphs?
Mark: “So far we haven’t had any major struggles. Everyone in the band gets along and respects each other’s contributions.”
Paul: “As a small business owner, one of the most difficult challenges is balancing our extremely busy schedules. One of the ways that we have overcome this is delegating roles in the band. I own my own publishing company, so I am the go-to guy for legal and publishing matters for the band. Mark is our treasurer and handles the financial aspects of the band, Travis handles booking, and Rikki is in charge of our printed material and graphics.”
Rikki: “I designed our logo, based on a really rough sketch on a bar napkin, which Travis had sent me in a photo via his phone.”
TK: “The biggest struggle has been all of the things that are on our plates besides just making music when you are DIY. It’s not just a matter of making records and playing shows anymore. There are so many different digital platforms that are important, from social media to streaming music sites, to our website and blogs. There are just so many aspects that demand on your time. Delegated roles within the band, and a trust in talented people in our inner circles who have provided us with things like professional quality photography, web design, and social networking has been our secret weapon in overcoming these struggles. Believe us, there is strength in numbers. Relying upon the group has only strengthened our resolve and solidified us as a unit. We have become brothers solidified by the trials and tribulations of any band on the road. We are bound by our music.”
AVA Live Radio: I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Rikki: “My dad. He almost always kept his cool and did a great job raising four kids. I was 9 when my mom passed, and my dad just grabbed the reins and did his best. I have always tried to be as great a father as he was.”
(The rest of The Glides stay respectfully silent.)