Glassmaps is the solo project of Howling Bells’ guitarist, Joel Stein, and with the release of their debut single ‘Summer Rain’ it wouldn’t come as a surprise if this band went on to do just as well as his former. The track is a mix of garage and blues rock getting into a dreamy chorus with tantalizing riffs and vocals throughout.
Having just signed to Lost In The Manor records, Glassmaps are setting themselves up for a huge year. Including sharing the stage with The Killers, Elbow, Tears For Fears and more at one of their biggest shows to date at British Summer Time next week. ‘Summer Rain’ is the first track from the upcoming album ‘Strangely Addicted’ set to be released in October, and if this single is anything to go by, it’s going to be an album to rememeber!
Congratulations on your new single ‘Summer Rain’! How does it feel to release it into the world?
Thanks. It feels great to have this song released, it’s the beginning of its own journey.
Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the track?
The songs inspiration stems from the personal battle of those negative thoughts that can sometimes haunt you, yet, these thoughts make you who you are: a necessary evil. I feel that at one point or another we all need to be saved.
The title ‘Summer Rain’ perfectly describes British summertime. Having come from a place with real summer sun, what’s the one thing you miss most from Australia?
Funny that because the song was written in Australia.
I miss the ocean and my mates that I grew up with. I’m very happy to be away from all the spiders and other strange and wonderful bugs that like to keep you company though.
How would you describe Glassmaps sound to someone who hasn’t heard you before?
I genuinely can’t do it because I know their reference points are going to be completely different. I tell them to hunt Glassmaps on one of the streaming platforms that pay us nothing.
People may recognize you as Howling Bells’ lead guitarist. How different is it for you to perform as a solo artist?
Two completely different worlds. In a sense I feel more creatively free as a solo artist, I find it easier to express myself creatively without any limitations, this is a reflection of performing. I am me at my fullest.
Being in a band you are tied to one another creatively, it’s a symbiotic relationship, you are intertwined to form one sound. I do miss being brought a song and creating guitar parts, it always felt like painting freely on a blank canvas.
Could you explain a bit about your creative process?
I guess I could say the music I write writes me first. Like everything, it’s about catching yourself at the right moment.
I walk down the street sometimes and know that there’s a song that needs to be written (it’s being written in my head) then and there but I can’t do anything about it because I don’t have a guitar or piano on me (one day), that song is gone. ‘My Head My heart’ was written on my iPhone whilst in a hospital waiting for my friend to come out (it wasn’t serious).
With the melody or lyrics, it’s different every time. We are so complex, our emotions are constantly changing hence our sound and vision, album by album.
People, ideas, weather, politics, sex, war, good, bad, evil, actors, environment, animals, pop, drugs, alcohol, TV, Internet, Bukowski, Ginsberg, the 60’s & 70’s, words, race, woman, men…… So much more.
I guess this is all part of the process.
You’re set to play British Summer Time in Hyde Park next week with The Killers, Elbow and tons more amazing acts! How are you feeling about it?
I’m really excited to share the stage with such incredible acts. I can’t believe you didn’t mention Tears For Fears!
Your album ‘Strangely Addicted’ is set to be released later this year, what can we expect from it?
A great album full of great songs and sounds.
What have you got coming up over the next few months?
Other than the sold-out Hyde Park show with The Killers and Tears for Fears on July 8th. There will definitely be other shows to follow and there will be another single release.