Shaky Knees 2021: Glove x Vinyl Mag

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Photo by CJ Harvey

Tampa-based post punk band, Glove, opened up Shaky Knees weekend flaunting an eclectic range of style no one was quite ready for. Drawing artistic influence from a diverse realm of inspiration, the group represents a striking rendition of a fleeting musical era marked by iconic, inventive techniques. Their music and stylish persona naturally invite a feverishly danceable set, conjured by synth’d out melodies and cyclical, hooking drum movement. Glove dwell in a sphere of music where old is acquainted with new; where nostalgia embraces the present’s innovation. Above all this, they’re seriously one of the most exciting new bands I’ve experienced in a while.

The group is comprised of Brie Deux (drums and vocals), Rod Wendt (guitar/bass and vocals), Michelle Primiani (synth keyboard/vocals), and Justin Burns (bass/vocals). Although specific musical roles are noted, they’re definitely not set in stone—switching up what they play depending on the song, or perhaps on how they’re feeling that particular day.

A few hours after they shook the Shaky stage, I grabbed a moment with the wonderful Brie and Michelle to talk the band’s formation, initial and growing artistic inspirations, creative processes, tour life, and much more.

VM: You guys are a relatively new band with several tours already under your belt. What’s that been like?

Glove: When we first started the group, we pretty much immediately went on tour. That was always the plan—it was the initial formulation of the band since it was what we all wanted to do. Rod and Brie were at first in another band, and I (Michelle) went on tour with them to do photography. When that band dissolved, we all got together to form Glove, and were like “Ok, what do we want to do?” And the answer was simple: “we want to tour.” So that’s what we did. At that time, Brie was already booking bands, so touring came together rather quickly.

Photo by CJ Harvey

VM: So would you say you kind of had established roles at the start of the band’s formation?

Glove: Yeah, for sure. At the beginning, Brie was kind of in charge of management and booking, I was doing a lot of the media and photography, and Rod and Justin were writing most of the songs. Now, it’s a lot more fluid creatively, since we have a team to help us out.

VM: How has the songwriting process developed since Glove got together?

Glove: So far, Rod and Justin have written a lot of it. They create a kind of basis for them, leaving a lot of creative input for Brie and I. They’ll bring a framework to the rest of the group, and we collectively make it our own.

VM: So far, you’ve played with some pretty prominent bands like White Reaper, Broncho, L.A. Witch, Wavves, the Growlers and more! How has scoring such influential opening spots affected your music and touring experience?

Glove: It’s really been a dream, and so much fun. I think for every show we’ve opened, we’ve learned something very distinct, and taken a new inspiration from each. We’re still kinda new, and a lot of these bands have been touring for a lot longer, so they really took us under their wing. From Broncho, we learned a lot from their lights show, and figured out how we wanted to do our lights. The Nude Party, too. We just feel really grateful, and happy to finally be back at it.

VM: You were playing a lot of shows before the pandemic, and readily slid back into tour life after. Have you noticed any differences in your approach to touring/playing shows now as compared to before?

Glove: Pre-pandemic, we were definitely on a really big, and constant, tour roll. We were grabbing any opportunity we could, which was super awesome, since saying yes to everything definitely got us out there. The pandemic actually gave us a chance to buckle down, reflect on what we’d accomplished so far, and figure out where we wanted to go next. It really put things into perspective—that’s when we got management and finished the album. Coming back into it post-pandemic, everything feels a lot more substantial—we take nothing for granted now.

Photo by Nicole Miller

VM: Glove started out completely DIY. Was it important for you guys to maintain a semi-DIY approach even as the band began to grow and develop a team?

Glove: Having a pretty strong creative purpose as a band, it’s really important that we remain in control even as we grow and acquire help along the way. Having people around us that are as stoked about our vision as we are has definitely been a huge help.

VM: You’ve been given various descriptors since emerging as a band with a rather distinguished, targeted style and sound. Across the board, I’ve gathered “proto rock” “synth rock”, “post-punk”, “new wave rock”, even “rock n roll.” How do you best define your sound?

Glove: Hmm. For now, maybe new-wave dance-rock? But it’s ever-evolving. I generally don’t think we fit into any one genre, since we all bring different influences and artistic visions to the table. Rod comes from a rock n’ roll base, I (Michelle) come from a more electronic style, Brie and Justin pretty much listen to everything.

VM: I’ve definitely picked up on that wide-range of influences, as it feels impossible to box Glove’s sound into one, fixed space. From how the music sounds on its own, to the videos and imagery, the band exudes a feeling that’s equal parts reminiscent and modern.

Glove: That’s exactly how we want it to be! We’ve taken from our individual influences that tend to range pretty far back, while adding futuristic elements to it. Something that’s really important for us too, is making all of the sounds ourselves. Not having computers on stage is a big thing—we’re playing everything; we’re learning everything. That’s something that tends to be happening less and less in modern electronic music—which is super cool, too, but the idea is to remain true to the rock band structure while adding these modern, electronic flares. In that way, we’re constantly adding new elements to change it up, like Rod just added a new synth on his side of the stage.

VM: On that same note, do you ever tire of music critics trying to rigidly define, or box in, these experimental styles constantly emerging from underground scenes?

Glove: We haven’t run into any problems with it, per say, but it is something I do think about. Like with the three singles we’ve put out, Justin sings the first one, “Glass,” Rod sings the second, “Behavior,” and Brie sings this third one “Modern Toy”—and we kind of did that purposefully. A lot of bands have one ‘lead singer,’ one person routinely on each instrument, and that’s definitely a mold we’re trying to break out of—by not having one “main person” in any sense. We all just want to feel comfortable doing whatever we want on stage, so it helps to not be strictly defined. So yeah, we’re constantly throwing curveballs to the critics that try to box in our sound.

VM: I found that Glove’s vision initially formed from a shared love for bands like B-52s, Wire, New Order, Joy Division… How has the vision for your music evolved since Glove emerged as a primarily 80s post-punk inspired band?

Glove: We did initially want to be a band that sounded from that era. Over time, we learned to adopt our favorite elements, and purely find inspiration from those styles so that we can evolve it into our own version.

VM Where do you draw inspiration for your creative expression outside of music?

Glove: (Brie): I take a lot of inspiration from fashion—pretty much all things avant-garde fashion. I’ll watch a bunch of old fashion shows from the 90s, and that’s where I’ll draw visual inspiration. I don’t want to always take directly from music, so I tend to implement a lot of creative elements from fashion into the band’s image.

VM: Do you think there are any social, cultural, or thematic indicators to explain a rather concentrated resurgence of post-punk in recent music?

Glove: Post-punk is definitely making a big revival recently, with all the really heavy lyrical content and strong delivery of distinct social messages. I think post-punk stems from wanting to evolve that (punk) anger into something more direct and curated. No matter what, the art always reflects the political climate, and we’re definitely going through that right now.

How does Glove fit into this new movement of politically or socially charged post-punk?

Glove: I wouldn’t say we fit into it too much, since we’re not a political band at all, and we don’t make much of an explicit statement. We do have our strong beliefs and messages, but we like to communicate them through our music in other ways, and not so directly stated in the lyrics as you’ll find with other modern post-punk bands (comparative examples being IDLES, NOV3L, Black Midi).

How do songs like “Behavior,” and “Modern Toy” speak on nonconformism?

Glove: That’s the underlying, subconscious message with those songs. It wasn’t so much “we want to write a song about this,” it was rather the way that our experiences got expressed in the end. But yeah, there’s definitely themes of nonconformism, and being watched, but it wasn’t intended to be a social or moral message, it just kinda came out that way. So far, I think anyone who listen to our music can relate the songs to anything, which we really like.

Vinyl: Any inspirations from the modern rock and post-punk scene?

Glove: There’s so many, and from so many different genres. IDLES, Nation of Language, NOV3L, Gustaf, Crack Cloud, to name a few.

Vinyl: Glove quickly caught the attention of Brad Shultz in the midst of touring, who went on to produce your forthcoming album. How did all that come about?

Glove: We actually met Brad through a friend during tour with Broncho. He came to our shows, we linked, him and Rod became best friends immediately… He asked if he could produce the record at one of his studios in Nashville, and it was a complete no-brainer. It was a really beautiful experience, and also our first time being in a studio. Brad really became equal parts Dad and cheerleader through the record-making process.

Vinyl Mag: Tell me more about what it was like crafting your record with him in the studio!

Glove: He was such a hype man; Brad being a true cheerleader throughout the whole thing was everything we could’ve asked for and more. He’s such a good and encouraging energy, and allowed us to try things that we normally would never have tried, making our creative eye a little bigger than it would’ve been. We actually did a show with him recently and it was life-changing.

Photo by Citizen Kane Wane

Vinyl Mag: How was that show with Cage The Elephant?

Glove: It was, for one, the biggest show we’ve ever played, 3,000+ people! Truly the most beautiful and transformative thing we’ve ever experienced. It was a huge sea of people that we felt we could really interact with—with all those people it’s easy to have the best time on stage. They have really amazing fans—we were so grateful and it still feels unreal. Cage The Elephant are the most inspiring, energetic, kind, and creative people. They don’t have to take these younger bands under their wing and help them out, but they deeply really care about the future of music, and it shows.

Vinyl: And how excited are you for this record to be out?

Glove: SO EXCITED!! We really can’t wait, it’s been two years coming! It’s also been really thrilling to play the few singles we already have released live, and watching the momentum for the music grow. Seeing the audience already singing along to the songs we do have out, has made us all the more anticipative and stoked.

Photo by CJ Harvey

Glove have instantly proven themselves to be an innovative and probing young band. With musicality that captivates and transposes any audience, they’re the ideal solution to an ever-fleeting era of the past. Toying between post-punk, dance rock, and synth pop, their potential will only become more explosive as they rise to prominence in music scenes local and abroad.

Catch the rising stars in a city near you this Spring! Glove are hitting the road with Nation of Language in March. Check out their released music on all streaming platforms, + stay in the loop via their socials in anticipation of their debut record, Boom Nights, set to be released early 2022. Upcoming tour dates below.

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