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Heavy Glow Rolls (Interview)

Heavy Glow Rolls (Interview)

 By Al Bruting

Last week we sat down with soulful rocker Jared Mullins from Heavy Glow to talk about the latest album, tour and how recent experiences combined with realizations in his life has impacted the current release  "Pearls and Swine and Everything Fine."

MCB  Tell me about the bands line up for this album.  It looks like there’s a two-man core.

HG  We have several friends that are drummers coming out for different tours.  On the album, we worked with two drummers. I did all of the guitars and vocals, Joe Brooks did the bass playing.  It was basically a three piece line up.

MCB  Your a drummer and a guitar player.  Which one came first and where do you feel most at home.

HG  I haven't seriously played drums in five or six years. I started playing drums in my teens and it was my first instrument before moving to guitar.  

MCB  It looks like you have played bass as well

HG  I have played bass too.  When playing as a teenager, you start a band with the person that HAS the instrument regardless of weather they could play it or not.  "Hey you have a bass, cool, your in the band."  Starting off playing bass sounds simple, you think this will be so easy, its just root notes of chords right...

MCB  Your guitar tones stand out.  Can you talk about effects and influences and how you arrive at the guitar sound on songs like "Shakedown and Nerve Endings."

HG  Probably the most interesting thing is I have used the same gear on all of my albums and EP's.   The difference comes down to adjusting the levels and pedals get changed up.  Some felt the tone on "Midnight Moan" wasn't as strong as when I used the Fender Twin.  I am using the same equipment now as then and haven't changed it.

 Hot Mess

On this album I used an Octavia pedal which is the full blown Jimi Hendrix fuzz and overdrive pedal so that I could boost the octaves up a little especially on "Look What Your Doint to Me." Its really heavy on the rhythm guitar and on the guitar solo of "Hello September."  Outside the pedals its a Marshall JCM and a Fender Twin. The JCM really gives a crisp sound, it can get rubbery with too much reverb, but the Marshall has a lot of attack in it.

MCB  Tell us about writing these songs for the new album and did anything specifically impact them.  

HG  I think that the overall theme of the album is disenchanted romanticism.  I told this to the Darren Grealish who did the album artwork this and didn't offer direction except to try to make it look like disenchanted romanticism.  I think this sums up the album.

MCB  That's interesting having listened to the album and thinking of that theme while I look at the cover.  It falls pretty cleanly into place.

HG  Its all personal experience for me.  All of it.  Some of these songs I did have for the first album but they just didn't fit.  I am proud of this album lyrically.  It came from personal heartbreak, figuring out who you are and essentially what is worth putting my effort into and what isn't, which goes back to the title of the album, "Pearls and Swine."  This is our fourth release.  All of it comes from personal experience.  This is more of a growing up album, learning whats important and whats not and understanding there are things you just can't worry about after you put in your best effort.

This attitude helped bring confidence to the recording.  We did about a hundred live takes of each song and with ten songs that's a thousand takes they had to pull from.  We sat there looking at each other and sweating it out in the middle of a hot LA summer.

MCB  So you recorded together live and didn't lay it down in tracks.  There's a good energy that comes from the live interaction.

HG  Yes.  We played and used hand signals, eye contact and we battled it out.  "45 Shakedown" came out a little angrier because we were all pissed off at each other. We got really pissed off and we played the song really well.

MCB  How about playing outside the studio.  Does playing out live influence your music or is their anything else that stands out as impacting your sound.

HG  I think we have become a better band through touring.  We have another album that's been recorded and is getting ready to go that will have a lot more of the "on the road" energy to it.  Being on the road the job is to get the audiences attention and keep it and do this while keeping the integrity of the music intact.

MCB  This album shows multiple genre influences and creates at a tight and polished sound. Was their any specific sound you were trying to accomplish when assembling the tracks to be included.

HG  We were looking for more of a bass sound which is why we decided to work with Michael Patterson from Memphis.  The assumption being that he has more of an understanding of that kind of soul record sound from the 60's and 70's.  He also has a great resume working with acts that have a bass heavy sound. We aren't giving up on rock and roll, we were just looking for more of a bottom end and I knew he could mix it.  He's worked on Midnight Vultures from Beck which was an amazing cluster off all these different sounds on top of each other.  He knows how to mix.

That's what I went into with, sonically I just wanted it to have more bass and I wanted Joe to stand out. 

MCB  Are their any plans in the works for tour dates that would bring you around to Detroit.

HG  We would love to play Detroit.  We will be doing this tour in segments. This piece is a southwest and great plains tour and will go as far as Chicago.  A month after this, more tour dates will be announced for cities like Detroit, Cleveland, and Memphis. From there its off to the east coast.

MCB  Is their a question you never get asked in interviews that you would like to talk about.  

HG  People are still trying to figure out where Heavy Glow fits and what is Heavy Glow.  The intentional intrigue of Heavy Glow is that it incorporates a lot of genres and different rock and roll themes. 

"A lot of bands can rock, but not as many bands can roll. This is our roll album."

Jared thinks and communicates as clearly as he plays.  This album contains a good layering of sound thats sharp edges comes through in a language that rock fans can understand.
Heavy Glow Website