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studio11 on 08/23/2014 at 10:28PM
BY ALEX GROSS
Some of my fondest Studio 11 memories date back to the late nineties when studio manager Dan Scalpone and I would embark on our yearly trip to Cannes, France to attend Midem, the world music convention. Here we would meet with labels worldwide on behalf of Chicago musicians to sort out licensing and label deals. Notably, I remember meeting with the Donato brothers of Italy in respect to their Full Time music label and catalog. As innovators in the late wave of disco and house music, they emphasized that there always stood a unique and deep connection with Chicago and Italo music. Kindly, they had gifted us their entire catalog on CD's notably all "The Very Best Of Full Time" volumes. While building the second recording studio at Studio 11 in Chicago we were limited to a CD Boombox on the construction site. Needless to say, the whole Full Time catalog became the music of choice and I fondly recall hearing the classic "Spacer Woman" by Charlie over and over. Upon attending the early shows in Chicago by Studio 11 friends and musical sensation Glass Lux, I was blown away upon hearing their supercharged cover version of "Spacer Woman" and absolutely thrilled to hear the fabled Chicago Italo connection come back to life.
The latest Glass Lux single "I'm A Machine" was mixed down at Studio 11 in 2014 as a re-release of the bands original demo release. The song is not only an infectiously catchy ride through an electronic whirlwind, it is lyrically clever and in every sense fashionable.
Interview with Emily Morse of Glass Lux and Alex Gross of Studio 11:
From what I understand, "I'm A Machine" was the first Glass Lux song written, how did it come together?
I'm a Machine came together the first time Fonz and I came together to write. At that time I was working 3 jobs while partying and living a pretty hectic time in my life. I literally felt like a robot- or machine. So I started thinking I'm a machine I can do this whatever it was. And I did. So then I wrote a song about it. I like to say the songs I write have nothing to do with my personal life but in the backround ..like deep in the lyrics they all directly have to do with what is going on with me at the time even though the words don't directly say so. It's almost like code. Which is appealing to me.
When did you become involved in music?
I first became involved with music when I was young. I'm half filipino and my people are OBSESSED with karaoke. So my mother would make me sing karaoke and then record the songs I'd sing along to then send it to my dad who lived in another state. Those tapes were most defiantly embarrassing and I would give anything for them to surface where ever they are.( Fonz ) I became involved in music when I was young. My friends and I started a band and I only started playing drums because we couldn't find anyone else to play. So since then I've always been playing in bands of all genres.
What best describes the Glass Lux sound?
Tough one. I guess right off the bat you could say we are very dancey..new wave.. electronic.. italo disco.. pop -ish. A real mix of everything. We don't totally fit in one genre and we like that.
I very much enjoyed your cover of Charlie's "Spacer Woman" at the recent shows, what inspired you to perform this cover?
I initially wanted to do a cover of something but Fonz HATES doing covers. He's weird like that. So we compromised and he was like IF we do a cover lets do this. I heard Spacer Woman and was like hell yeah this song is rad.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Vocally I'm totally influenced by Stevie Nicks, Ann Wilson, Robert Plant, Lene Lovich, Patti Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. I'd sing along to songs I liked and experimented with my voice it's range and what I could do with it. I never wanted to sound like anyone else so I took bits and pieces of inspiration from who I loved and played around with my voice to see what I could do. (Fonz) I used to hang out at a record shop called hot jams and got very into new wave, italo disco type music. In my early days I was in some metal and punk bands so I guess you could say that that's always been in my head and influences the sounds I produce.
What are some of your favorite venues in Chicago?
We have a few favorites.. but right now whats sticking out is Lincoln Hall. We played there recently. Other than the crowd being awesome the people that work there were really great. We were having issues with sound and the guys working sound were very determined to get everything perfect. I was just impressed by their level of professionalism. We've played shows where theres a "we don't really give a fuck about you" attitude.
Right now there's an act called Gemini Club and a project called HOLT. They both have great production and are on the up and up right now.
What's your craziest band story to date - that Spinal Tap moment?
Craziest? hm I feel like we all party so much that crazy has to top crazy. One situation that sticks out is when we were at SXSW and Fonz spent all of our band money at a strip club so we wasted a day having to get money wired. That was just annoying but I'm sure it was totally worth it for him.If I was a dude I might have done the same thing
What's on the horizon for Glass Lux in the near future?
As the year is near it's end the horizon is looking quite nice. We're entering into a part of the year were Fonz and I do a lot of writing and recording. Also going on a mini east coast tour. We have a feeling rad things are in the works for us and we're super stoked on seeing what's next.
Visit Glass Lux on the web at:
studio11 on 03/13/2014 at 11:14PM
Inspired by the rotating flux of Chicago hip hop and rap artists that come into Studio 11, this collection of beats written by engineer/producer Kris Anderson was meant to touch on the sounds of everyday big city and urban life. While the drums for each beat remain street in flavor, what makes this collection stand out is the many music influences Kris incorporates from Dub to Poppy Electro and even Industrial. Whether you are looking for that next potential hit song or the perfect music bed for your commercial or video, this collection will bring the streets to your beats. Also be on the lookout for additional volumes by Kris as well as Studio 11 producer/engineer Alex Gross on Free Music Archive.