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Seeing the world through the eyes of Glass Animals

Thursday 1st December 2016

How a passing moment can turn into a song.



Glass Animals
Glass Animals

Photo: Supplied

If Dave Bayley wasn’t the singer and production wizard behind indie pop band Glass Animals, he could be a playwright.

Both of the band’s albums are fully-realised concepts that the songs are hung from. The first, ‘Zaba’  is sonically and lyrically inspired by life in a fictitious rainforest. And each of the songs on the latest, ‘How To Be A Human Being’, is about a different character and heavily informed by a series of recordings he made while on tour, secretly documenting conversations he overheard or took part in.

“I love listening to people’s stories and hearing about other people’s lives. People are just incredible!” Dave says.

Take the song ‘Pork Soda’. Yes, it’s the title of a Primus album but the song title was inspired by a tattoo he saw on a fan in Columbus, Ohio.

And the song itself is about a homeless man who he thought said “Pineapples are in my head” when he passed him in the street.

Those words became stuck in Dave’s head and became the part of the chorus, and the man became character for the album.

“It’s painting a picture of this homeless guy thinking about lost love,” Dave says.

They recorded the song on the street with buses and cars going by. “It sounds like we’re all outside chanting this lyric.”

At university, Dave spent some time as a medical student and he was really into psychiatry, trying to see the world through other people’s eyes.

“That was my job, trying to understand how other people view the world.”

Davey says that he likes to approach albums as a whole concept because it gives them a strong core.

“To me it means they’re stronger as a whole than each of their parts individually … it’s like reading a book instead of having a nice chapter of the book.”

“It can all tie together and be stronger as a unit.”

LISTEN > Dave Bayley interviewed by Tony Stamp on Music 101:

*Glass Animals play Laneway Festival in Auckland on 30 January.


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