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Interview with Glacier


Last Updated on 11:57 AM by Giorgos Tsekas

When 6 years ago in November 2016, a tribute band was formed to play live at the Keep It True 2017 festival, under the name Devil in Disguise, with Michael Podrybau on vocals and backed by Alfonso Polo Cuevas, Michael “Mendoz” Mendoza, Mike Maselbas, and Adam Kopecky, I could feel the goosebumps upon my skin, as Glacier would eventually somehow return in the game! I knew I was right I had that damn feeling and when on January 8, 2018, it was announced that Devil in Disguise would carry on under the name Glacier, with the blessing of the surviving members of the band, I felt that soon enough new recordings, new albums and touring will be on the band’s return timetable. Their drummer Adam Kopecky answers our questions about the new Spears of the Empire EP, that follows their excellent LP “The Passing of Time”.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait 25 years for new material, and now, only two years after the brilliant “The Passing of Time”, we have on our hands new songs from you (“Spears of the Empire” and “The Word and the Will”). They’re both brilliant and work like two A’ side singles! Is the rest of the EP equal killer???

First, thank you for the compliments! We’ve been very eager to see how fans of the classic Glacier will receive the newer sound. I’m sorry to say, the EP is only the two songs, made to be opposing views of a single theme, but we are already building material for the next full length album and hoping to increase our pace from the previous works. Hopefully, it won’t be all that long before we’re releasing more. There is no shortage of ideas or interest among the group!

How did you come to write about the Bronze Age?

That direction grew from the music. Guitarist Mike Maselbas wanted to integrate some cultural themes into the writing. We just happened to start with the harmonic minor feel, and ran with it. Anyone who knows metal knows of Iron Maiden’s Powerslave, which is, of course, a masterpiece, so we all immediately decided to avoid fully Egyptian themes. Additionally, so much of known history (in the West, at least) derives from those mysterious days of Babylon and Assyria, and that element of mystery seems to enrich the storytelling process. Personally, I find myself drawn to the amnesiac aspect; that none of us know where we came from or why. For all we know, gods and monsters were once a firmer part of reality. Compelling stuff!

How did you decide to release an EP and not a full length? Is it just for the different thematic approach of the lyrics only?

Yes, in a way. We do feel there’s a bit more liberty for experimentation with EPs, as opposed to LPs. We want to keep the full albums closer in line with the established Glacier feel. But the singles and EPs make for good exercises in stylistic/thematic writing.

Initially, we were planning to do a five-part series of two-track EPs which would end as a box set of 10 tracks, each release having its own aesthetic in sound and look. In that event, the Bronze Age would have been one of five differing themes from across the world. Ultimately, the costs involved in manufacturing put that approach on hold. We prefer to keep expenses as affordable to the fans as possible, while maintaining a high quality product. We haven’t entirely abandoned the box set idea, but a second full album will be more economical and would be completed sooner.

Will the new upcoming full length album also depart from your traditional sound?

Not quite as boldly, no. Too much has changed since the original EP to ever mimic it, and trying to recreate the past feels wrong in any case, but we all agree on trying to draw from the core of what makes the band and to do justice to the legacy. That being said, this next album will feature some faster paced tracks on it, so be ready for an energetic live set!

Will a future album return your fans to the approach of the highly acclaimed EP release?

The two songs on the EP are so theme-based and paired together that we decided to keep them separate from the next album, which is being designed to embody and update the vintage Glacier feel. It will also incorporate some vibes from the ’88 Demo, featuring a bit more technicality in the songs. In that regard, it will somewhat echo this current EP, taking what we’ve learned along the way and re-applying it. We also continue to fuse as a group while working together, so the bar gets raised with each round. I’m very excited and hopeful about what we are going to achieve with this team.

Do you have plans for a tour in the US or Europe?

We certainly have intentions! Plans aren’t quite formed yet, but we do have some events in discussion. We have to do shorter runs than the big tours, but we absolutely intend to be more active on the road.

Have you already signed with a label for the EP or the next full length?

No, we have no upcoming contracts yet for either, though we are working with Postmortem Apocalypse on the EP’s manufacturing and distribution. We met Phil Ross through Manilla Road some years ago, and he’s been extremely helpful. We’re open to shipping quantities to additional distributors, but I believe we’ll reserve talk of signing with labels for the full length album.

The closing is yours.

None of us may have quite the freedom we did in our 20’s, but music is a huge part of life to everyone in the band. We’re in this for the long game, and we mean to achieve as much as we can, both on and off the road. Every step of our journey has grown in passion and confidence, thanks to the tremendous die-not fans out there, to the amazing stage and event crews, the excellent characters of fellow bands, and to the inspiring people who have become lifelong friends along the way. Cheers and gratitude!

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