In Which We Chat Up Turnpike Glow [INTERVIEW]
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There’s not too much out there about Turnpike Glow… yet. They’re starting to get some stateside love, since dropping their EP, Inflatable Optimism, back in June. This quartet of indie poppers are Londoners by way of Rome. While they cite their influences to include the Flaming Lips, Phoenix, Pavement, and Broken Social Scene, it would be cursory to classify them as any one particular sound. Sure, Inflatable Optimism, may have the markings of the above-mentioned indie faves, but it has also found a niche. It taps into the things you love about britpop, while harmonizing jagged guitar chords, distorting falsetto vocals, Pixiefying drums, and sparing no expense with the upbeat synth.
We recently chatted up vocalist Giuseppe La Mela to find out how they got their start and when we can hear more. We also found out the band they listen to on repeat happens to be ours, as well (present company excluded, of course).
BOWERY BOOGIE: How did you guys get your start?
GIUSEPPE LA MELA: It all started when we met at Uni in Rome and decided to form a band after listening to endless hours of Pavement. We played the local indie circuit there for a while, until one day we uploaded a few tracks on the internet, which led to some very encouraging feedback from London based promoters and managers. Moving to London seemed like a crazy and exciting thing to do and so we did. Here we met Anthony through our previous guitarist and the band slowly found its way. We finally found the fourth Turnpike Glow when Tom joined the band a year ago. And here we are.
BB: First gig you attended?
GLM: Interpol in Rome. Right after the “Turn On Your Bright Lights” release. Intense and unforgettable.
BB: What’s the story being “No More Dancing”?
GLM: The title itself is a bit of an ironic and surreal statement. Whilst the lyrics are about the end of a relationship – the sort of one that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth – the upbeat vibe and the melody are clearly of an uplifting nature. The mood of the track purposely clashes with the lyrics and the title. We thought ‘No More Dancing’ was the perfect title for a song that is actually begging you to dance.
BB: Is there any band you listen to on repeat?
GLM: The National. We really got stuck on ‘Boxer’ for more than a year. There’s something about them that triggers pure addiction.We actually had to make a real effort not to listen to it. But then ‘High Violet’ was released and it happened again. Their next release is coming out in May and we’ve started fantasising about what it might sound like.
BB: What do you want your fans to take away from your music?
GLM: The curiosity and desire to come and see us live.
BB: Who do your fans comparing your sound to?
GLM: We get all sorts of comparisons. Some of the bands we get associated with have never visited our iPhones, but that’s the fun of it. There seems to be a consensus on a shortlist of bands including Phoenix, Broken Social Scene, Flaming Lips.
BB: What can we expect from your full length?
GLM: We don’t know ourselves. A few song ideas have been knocking about and we’re curious to see which direction it will take. We’re experimenting a different approach by working backwards. Try and focus on arrangement ideas first and then add melodies only later on in the process. We’re used to start with a melodic line so this forces us to a re-think the whole process and it pushes us out of our ‘melodic’ comfort zone.
BB: Is a tour in the works? When are you coming stateside?
GLM: That’s the plan. We are getting lots of love from the US and can’t wait to fly over there and reciprocate. It’s hopefully going to happen when our first full length gets released. We will keep you posted.
BB: Please do! Best gig story?
GLM: Something hilarious that happened to us in Rome: the sound engineer made himself scarce as soon as we started our set. His favourite football team AS Roma were playing a Champions League game that night and he could not help it – he left the venue.
BB: Do you have a favorite football club?
GLM: Sandro is a big fan of Juventus and has a past as a semi-professional ping pong player. He would probably say ‘professional.’