Glyder are back with a new line-up and a new album, 'Backroads To Byzantium'. Here we catch up with band members Bat, Pete and Jackie...

1. What are you currently up to?

JACKIE: We have a couple of dates supporting Y&T at the start of October, and an upcoming album launch party on the 19th November. Apart from that we have no concrete plans; we just wanna get out there and play as much as possible. Hopefully when this new album comes out it will help seal a few nice gigs for us.

2. Could you take us through the new album ‘Backroads To Byzantium’?

JACKIE: Some of the material on this album is a bit of a departure from the sound of the bands previous releases (this was always going to be the case due to the change in line up), it is though still tied to the Glyder sound because of the great twin guitar work of Bat & Pete. “Backroads to Byzantium” is definitely a rockin album; I think Bat & Pete would agree that this album has some of their best guitar playing to date.
All ten tracks deserve their place on the album, and they’re real catchy too; you’ll find it hard to get them out of your head! Some of this album is heavy in a way that Glyder have never been before, but then there is hints of Americana and Latin vibes on there too. It’s a real good mix; I reckon it has something for everyone. If you’re a fan of any decent & honest rock music then this album is a must for your collection.

Lyrically the album covers a varied range of subject matter, the opening track “Chronicled Deceit” is about the evils surrounding the tabloid press, and just how quick we are to believe everything we read/see.. Whatever we read/see in the media is usually just one groups view on the subject; we very rarely get an unbiased opinion of events. A lot of news seems merely nothing more than propaganda; this has happened throughout history, so its “chronicled deceit”.

With “Don’t Make Their Mistakes” it’s a song where the subject matter is important to me, and a topic that I’ve wanted to write about for sometime now. It’s also something that is relatable to many places in the world. The religious/political divide is still firmly in place in Northern Ireland, people have been breeding prejudice and hate for too long. People need to change the errors of their ways; unfortunately the situation seems to be regressing.

With “Fade To Dust” and “Motions Of Time” we take a look at our mortality, and how fleeting our time on this earth is. I think so many people just left life pass them by without ever really stopping to appreciate just how lucky we are. Around the time we were writing the album I had became very aware of my own mortality, this is what inspired some of those lyrics.

“End Of the Line” is written about the fear of global warming which has gripped so many with fear these days. I’m not really sure where I stand on that debate, I don’t think the argument is as black & white as people make out. It’s something that is affecting us in one way or another regardless of your stance on the matter, so I thought it was a relevant topic for people today. Songs like “Something She Knows” and “Two Wrongs” are a bit of a mix of fiction and past events from my life.

3. Jackie: how did you hook-up with the band? How do you as a singer adapt a previous vocalist’s songs?

For me joining the band was somewhat of a fluke. I know I could have very easily missed out on the opportunity to front the band. It had been about a year since I had played any music; I was feeling very disillusioned and deflated with everything that was music at that point.. I had been watching a documentary on the early days of Black Sabbath when I decided to get back into music (I guess

I just needed to be reminded how much I get from playing music, all my love for it came rushing back to me during that hour documentary.) When that documentary ended I felt the urge to play again so bad that I had to try to get something happening immediately, I took my mobile phone and went online in search of finding like minded musicians to get involved with. I stumbled across Bats add in looking for a vocalist.

When I realised the advert was for Glyder, I started to get excited. I replied straight away with some arrogance and egotism, I really wanted to be part of it so felt that I had to sell myself well. I didn’t want Bat to overlook my reply. If I recall correctly it was the next day or two after I replied that Bat had called me and offered me the job.

When it comes to playing songs off the previous Glyder releases I’ve tried to keep close to the way Tony originally sang them. I don’t want to alienate any existing fans; I think it’s important to keep it close to the original recording. I’ve played in a few classic rock cover bands over the years so I’ve developed a knack for mimicking other people’s voices pretty well. I don’t think you can hear much of a difference when we play the older songs, of course with the new material my style and influences are evident (I haven’t tried to sound like anyone else).

4. Pete: you and Bat are the only original members left. What made you both decide to carry on and what do you think this new line-up will bring to the Glyder sound when playing live?

We decided to carry on because the band had alot going for it still, we had built up our name alot and had the backing of a great record company- Steamhammer/SPV to record another album. I had some musical and song ideas and Bat had some too, and though we knew it would be difficult, we said it would be worth it to keep going and get the new material together for the album.

So far with Jackie, Graham and Des in the band we have recorded the album and done some gigs together and the band has really gelled well in that time. The guys are all great musicians and the energy they bring is obivous. This line up will naturally be compared to the old and so far people who have seen the new line up live and listened to the album have been totally convinced the band has taken on a new life, this gives me alot of confidence in what we can bring to audiences in the future, especially when we have a good run of gigs under our belt and the band experiences more together. The Glyder sound is still there in the guitars but Jackie, Graham and Des bring their own personalities to the music, both on the album and live which is really great.

5. Bat: any plans for another solo album? Were you pleased with the reviews and fans reaction to your album?

I was working on one up to the time we went to make Backroads and then my Daughter was born premature so I didn’t get to finish it. I will resume maybe later this year or next year. I got a great reaction but I could not afford to promote it and I had no label backing so it really flopped, to be honest I didn’t mind, I only made it for myself and hoped that some people might enjoy it. I got a few nice reviews and some nice airplays in Ireland. I might re-release in some time in the future. I wouldn’t mind re-doing some of the vocals and remixing it as I feel both could be done better.

6. You’ve been steadily building your live following and now headlining good sized venues. How does the band plan to get the next step up into the Shepherd’s Bush Empire sized venues?

Bat: We will have to see how well this album does and get a good agent. Up to now I was the main booker for the band, blagging slots here and there. Now with SPV behind us I hope to chip away at mainland Europe and see what happens after that!

7. Is the rock and metal scene still in good shape or do you think there maybe to many bands out there now competing for an audience that isn’t growing that much?

JACKIE: I don’t think the scene is in tatters the way that people would like to make out, there is definitely enough rock & metal fans out there to warrant bands like us to keep creating new music. As for there being too many bands out there I’m not sure; I would say that there are too many bands that should have worked harder honing their craft before playing in front of a live audience. I don’t want to sound arrogant or pretentious, but it seems a lot of people are in the game for the wrong reasons, and this is usually very obvious in the lack of good song writing, too much fakery exists.

I think that good solid song writing has to be the key to survive as a band, and it is this that will inevitably distinguish between who is worthy of any accolades. With Glyder we realise that we are never going to be mainstream, but we have a good few songs that are definitely able to cross over onto mainstream radio/TV. We aren’t trying to sell out, but with the vast amount of illegal downloading/file sharing that exists today its making it increasingly difficult for bands and labels to recoup the expense of recording and promoting albums. Getting royalties from radio/TV and playing as many shows as possible seems to be the only viable way for a lot of bands to survive financially.

8. This is the band’s second album with SPV. Does it help the band knowing it has a stable relationship with a label? Any chance of a SPV tour package with fellow SPV artists like Magnum, Fastway or Stormzone?

Bat: Yes having the support of SPV means we can have ads in magazine, airplay and exposure, You can only do so much yourself. Its important that labels survive otherwise there is no magazines and awareness. The internet is good but you need the right people to see you, get exposed in the right spots. There is a lot of shit to wade through to get to the good stuff. I guess a tour package like that makes sense, maybe that might happen next year….

9. Any good rock ‘n’ roll tales to tell…

Bat: As we are a new lineup we haven’t really toured yet so we really don’t have a lot to tell, with the last lineup we drank a lot but Jackie likes a nice cup of tea and is like the Daniel O’Donnell of Irish rock, maybe come back to me in a year and ill be able to give you a few stories!

10. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from music?

JACKIE: I’m actually in the process of trying to write my first novel, it falls into the sci fi/dystopian genre. I’ve completed the first draft of the first seven chapters, but I would imagine it will take me about a year to finish it; it’ll be something to do on those lonely nights on the road ha-ha. Apart from that I like to spend as much time possible with the people who are important to me.

Anything else to add and a message for your fans...

JACKIE: I would like to take a moment to say how much we appreciate everyone’s support of Glyder. Our fans are the most important thing to us, without all you dedicated rockers out there buying our albums and attending shows, there is just no way we could exist.

On a more serious note I’d like to briefly talk about an important issue that faces musicians today. If you don’t want to see your favourite bands die, then make sure and go out there & buy their albums!! As I mentioned earlier file sharing/illegal downloading has really changed the way the music business works these days. It’s making it impossible for many bands, and record labels to recoup all the expense of recording, and promoting quality albums. I am not going to be naïve and say that every illegal download is a lost sale, but we really are entering a dangerous time where people are convincing themselves they should be allowed to have music for free… Why? If this keeps continuing with such ferocity, there’s a good chance your favourite bands will just stop making albums in the future… This would be a very sad day, don’t let the album die!! I believe that if you like a band you should support them and buy their albums, for this is the only way they’ll be able to keep making them! It’s maybe not as big a deal for the bigger acts that have already made it, but for young bands trying to break through, file sharing/illegal downloading is making it very difficult!

Anyway that’s my rant over ha-ha. A Big thanks again to everyone who has supported us, and helped to spread the Glyder name. You guys ROCK!!
We are on a new journey; and we hope to see you on the road somewhere in 2012.

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