Birmingham psychedelic rockers Cut Glass Kings have just released their latest single, “Here Comes The Light”, a massive tune with huge fuzzy riffs made even more remarkable by the fact that there is only two of them in the band! GIGsoup’s Jane Davies went to discover how they do it and more.
Hello Cut Glass Kings, can you introduce yourselves please.
Paul Cross, Guitar and Lead Vocals and Greg McMurray, Drums and Vocals. We both grew up literally round the corner from each other in Stourbridge, which is a small town just outside of Birmingham.
There’s quite a history to Cut Glass Kings isn’t there? You were named something else before?
Yeah we were in a different band before called Circles.
How did James Skelly at Skeleton Key Records find you?
James heard some of our demos and then saw us play a gig up in Liverpool. He basically approached us after the gig and said he’d like to get involved. And obviously, being huge Coral fans, it was a no-brainer.
You are now a two piece outfit as opposed to a trio, how did you adapt your sound, minus a bassist, in the studio and how does it affect you live?
Basically one day we tried sending the guitar signal through an octave pedal into a bass amp a swell as a guitar amp, and it sounded great. So from that point we
decided to go on without a bass player and wrote a load of new songs quite quickly based around that sound. We set up the same way in the studio and live. It just sounds heavy and raw.
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How would you describe yourselves to someone who had not heard your music?
If Jack White and Black Sabbath played on The White Album. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing really…
Who are your musical inspirations? I detect hints of early Oasis and T Rex.
Yeah, I don’t think you can be in a band and not be influenced by Oasis really, especially in this country. We love T-Rex, Electric Warrior is one of our favourite albums. Albums we were both obsessed with as kids were the black Nirvana best of and Songs For The Deaf by QOTSA. Then we both became obsessed with The Beatles and all the good 60s stuff. More recently we’ve got into stuff like; Howlin Wolf, Junior Kimbrough, Black Sabbath, The Black Angels, The Kills, BRMC. First and foremost we just love great songs really…
What do you prefer, recording or playing live?
Well the band started out as a recording project between the two of us really, so I think that will always be our favourite part. We’ve always loved great albums and the whole mystery of how they were made. Playing these new songs live as a two-piece has definitely been a lot of fun though.
Your new single, “Here comes the light” was recorded at Parr Street Studios. Does Parr Street have a special buzz about it? What was it like recording there with James?
Yeah, well a lot of new bands associated with Skeleton Key have recorded there over the last couple of years, so there’s definitely a bit of a buzz around the place. Working with James and Rich Turvey is great, they like to get things done quickly, there’s no time to over think anything. Which is good, cos otherwise we’d just end up obsessing about a particular guitar tone for 8 hours.
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Where can we find the new single?
All the usual online streaming places, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and it’s also available to purchase on iTunes.
Any plans for an EP or album in the pipeline?
Yeah we’re in the process of putting together an EP at the moment, it’s just about choosing the right songs.
You are due out on tour very soon as part of Skeleton Key record’s artists on tour. What’s it like touring with the Sundowners and Edgar Jones? Are you all one big happy family?
We’ve played with Sundowners a few times before, so it’ll be good to be on the road with them again, it’s always a good laugh. We’ve never played with Edgar before, but we’re both big fans of his work so we’re really looking forward to it.
Your label is based in Wirral, courtesy of the Skelly brothers and as we have said you record in Liverpool. What do you make of the current Liverpool music scene? Do you ever have a chance to go and see local bands when you are up?
To be honest, apart from the bands who are on Skeleton Key, we haven’t seen or heard a lot. But I’m sure there’s loads, there has always seemed to be great bands coming out of Liverpool. It’s part of the mystique of the place.
What musical ambitions to you have? What’s your philosophy?
We just want our music to be heard by as many people as possible really. As soon as we started writing songs together the overwhelming feeling we had was that these songs needed to be heard. We’ve never sat down and decided on a philosophy or anything, but I guess we both have a strong belief that the songs are always the most important thing. Which sounds obvious, but I think there’s a lot of bands at the moment that look cool or have big labels and management behind them but there aren’t really many bands who actually have good songs.
Catch the band live as part of Skeleton Key Records on tour
25 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
25 Newcastle, Think Tank
28 Barnsley, Opium 10
29 Manchester, Jimmy’s Bar
1 London, The Lexington
3 Brighton, Sticky Mikes
4 Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge
5 Sheffield, The Rocking Chair
7 Glasgow, King Tuts