DATE OF INTERVIEW:
KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES
27th September 2013
METAL DISCOVERY: I’ve been looking at some of the YouTube comments under the new videos for ‘Peace’ and ‘Drive’… do you go online much and look at what people say?
PHIL: I used to look at the comments a lot but it’s just full of internet warriors. You forget all the compliments as well – you just take on board all the negatives. I’ll read it and laugh it off, but…
(Phil Jenkins on supporting Bon Jovi, in the rain, at Cardiff City Stadium)
"...our gear got ruined. We were going through microphones every two songs. I played the drums with a tarpaulin over it and all the microphones were in sandwich bags!"
Phil Jenkins backstage at the Engine Shed, Lincoln, UK, 27th September 2013
Photograph copyright © 2013 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Official Kids in Glass Houses Facebook:
KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES DISCOGRAPHY
Smart Casual (2008)
Official Kids in Glass Houses Website:
Thanks to Sarah Maynard for arranging the interview.
In Gold Blood (2011)
MD: ...it still hurts a bit, I guess. You can have a hundred great comments and one bad comment but it’s that one bad comment you dwell on.
MD: Under ‘Peace’, one of the top rated comments is where someone’s said: “That key change”. People seem to be making a big thing about that.
PHIL: Yeah, back on the key changes, man!
MD: It’s kind of Eurovision, in one sense, to have that near the end of a song so, hypothetically, if you had the opportunity to represent the UK at Eurovision, is that something you’d succumb to?
PHIL: I don’t know, man. I feel like that competition is a bit of a joke itself.
MD: You could go there and mock it!
PHIL: I wouldn’t want to poke fun because I’m sure everyone who takes part really enjoys the process but, whenever I watch it, I always take it as a bit of a joke. It’s probably an awful thing to say, but…
MD: Well, you know, Lordi won it one year…
PHIL: That’s pretty cool.
MD: When you get a known rock/metal band on there, they’re probably destined to do well.
PHIL: Gina G gave it a pretty good go. That was a class tune!
MD: Also under ‘Peace’, someone wrote, “Saviours of rock!” Do you see that as your role at all, in any sense?
PHIL: It’s funny because it’s a poppy song and the chorus is… what does Aled say?... “but we made it rock ‘n’ roll”. It seems very contradictory to me that it’s like a pop song but he’s singing about rock ‘n’ roll! You can interpret that as you will! Yeah, I mean, we do have guitars so I guess we do rock so, yes.
MD: Under ‘Peace’, somebody wrote, “Aled you sexy motherfucker” and under ‘Drive’, somebody wrote, “Aled you lovely bugger”. Do you regard yourselves as sex symbols at all?
PHIL: Definitely for Aled, yeah, he’s a sexy guy. He’s got a girlfriend so…
MD: Under ‘Drive’, someone said, “this is a fucking amazing comeback, love the song!” Are you cool with some people regarding this as a “comeback”? Do you regard this as a comeback album, at all?
PHIL: In many ways, yeah. Our third album, to us, we kind of steered off from the route we were taking with our first two albums. We experimented quite a lot in the studio and it did shock a lot of our fanbase. And, I mean, we needed to make that album to sort of realise what we… we love that album but it wasn’t quite as well received as our other records. We don’t regret making that album but, this album, we upped the benchmark on just everything, really. We wanted each song to be literally a single, as catchy as possible… we did have something to prove when we were writing it.
MD: Do you see yourselves diversifying your music again in the future as you did on ‘In Gold Blood’?
PHIL: Yeah, well, I mean, I feel like we’ve done that with the new record as well. We’ve taken into consideration what people loved about our band when we started and what they expect from us but then, also for our own sakes, that’s why we experimented with the integration with putting in some synths into our band. It’s just exciting for us to learn new things and just progress as a band. There’s no point in regurgitating the same album over and over. Even though that’s a formula that does work for a lot of bands, for our own sanity, we need to do something different each time. And I think with the way we’ve done it this time, maybe compared to the last time, it’s focussed in the right direction. It’s a good balance of progression and what people love about our band in the same package.
MD: You got to support Bon Jovi earlier this year in Cardiff City Stadium… in the rain, I gather…
MD: How was that experience, that must’ve been quite unique?
PHIL: Yeah, when I was younger I used to listen to Bon Jovi, growing up, and I never thought I’d ever play a show with Bon Jovi, but it was really cool. The coolest thing was that it was in our home town; it’s like a massive stadium at home. And we hadn’t been touring for a while so it was like the start of our… we got to play some new songs in the stadium and we were all really excited and, when we got there, it seemed like a normal day and then it just started raining terribly when we played. The funniest thing was they had this stage which was this really elaborate Cadillac shaped stage and it was fine for them because they were completely under cover. But, because it was such a peculiar stage, it didn’t have an overhang so, when we played, there was nothing to shelter us at all so we just got rained on. We had an hour long set and we played in the rain! I don’t want to whinge about it because a lot of people must think, “what have they got to complain about because they’re in a band?”, but our gear got ruined. We were going through microphones every two songs. I played the drums with a tarpaulin over it and all the microphones were in sandwich bags! So it’s pretty funny but memorable and, luckily, we didn’t have to stop playing or anything. So that was cool.
MD: Great stuff.
PHIL: We’re the only band who’s played that stadium twice because we played there with the Stereophonics and we played there with Bon Jovi. We’ve never headlined it, but…
MD: …one day! And you said you hadn’t toured for a while so nothing like a small gig to ease yourselves back into it!
PHIL: Yeah, we haven’t done a headline tour for two years, pretty much. We’ve been touring but never a run to promote an album. We’ve done support tours and we’ve done festival slots but it’s really crept up that it’s been two years since we’ve done our own headline tour.
MD: So is Jon Bon Jovi a fan of yours; did you get any feedback from him?
PHIL: Sadly, we didn’t get to meet him. I think he was strictly in and out.
MD: A couple of random questions then – what’s been the most embarrassing Spinal Tap moment you’ve had as a band in recent times?
MD: …probably covering drum mics with sandwich bags!
PHIL: Yeah, and I went for tarpaulin over my sampler. Erm… I’m trying to think… there must be some…
MD: They’re the kind of things you blank from your memory!
PHIL: We encounter funny things every day; I’m just trying to think what’s the most ridiculous one. Sometimes, I can’t think for the life of me…
MD: Anything funny while walking around Lincoln?
PHIL: Anything weird in Lincoln? I just saw a guy trying to sell… he wasn’t selling ‘The Big Issue’, he had a big box of tissues and was selling big tissues! So that’s pretty funny.
MD: And what’s the most random thing you’ve ever been asked to sign?
PHIL: I’m pretty sure I’ve signed a prosthetic leg.
MD: A few bands have said that, bizarrely!
PHIL: I signed a baby.
MD: Sorry, you said you signed a baby?!
PHIL: Yeah, I think that happened. I don’t like signing boobs, though.
MD: Isn’t that a perk of the job?
PHIL: No, I don’t think it’s cool. I mean, I have a girlfriend at home so I just feel really, like… I don’t want to do it. Say that happens, like “will you sign my breasts?”, I’m just thinking, people probably think I’m a nice guy and they’ll look over and see me doing such a douchebag thing and then, if someone captures that image, it might rub off in the future, like me being a douchebag.
MD: The final thing – hypothetically, if you had to change your band name in the future, what would you want to change it to? Like, when you get a bit older, ‘Adults in Glass Houses’ or ‘Pensioners in Glass Houses’ if you’re still rocking in your sixties…
PHIL: I don’t really mind that aspect of it because it’s youthful and, in a way, you can kind of stay a bit younger by keeping it but I just think it’s too long. You can’t fit it on any t-shirts; it doesn’t look good on a backdrop… we struggle with that one! I mean, I don’t know what we would call it but…
MD: I ran your band name through an anagram generator online and there are some interesting alternatives. 'Adhesion Slugs Kiss'…
PHIL: That’s a good one, yeah.
MD: A ‘Godless Sushi Skin’ came up too. ‘Anguished Skis Loss’ as well. And ‘Ladies Shoguns Skis’. There you go, some suggestions there.
PHIL: Okay, I quite like them. Still a bit long!
MD: Exactly, the same amount of letters, so back to square one.
PHIL: It’d be better to ditch the letters and go for something fresh.
MD: Indeed. Right, thank you so much for your time.
PHIL: No, thank you very much.