Glassjaw (sometimes stylized glassJAw or GlassJAw) is a four-piece post-hardcore band from Long Island, New York. The band is fronted by vocalist Daryl Palumbo and guitarist Justin Beck, and have undergone numerous line-up changes since their inception. The band has been influential in the progression of the underground music scene in the eastern United States and United Kingdom and on the post-hardcore genre (often being referred to as "legends" and even "kings"), and are known for their intense live shows and constant line-up changes. Fans have been waiting for their third full-length release for seven years.
Early years (1993 – 1998)
The band formed in the summer of 1993 after Palumbo and Beck met each other at camp. Of the band name, Beck has said: "We had a list of names, and we were just like, let's pick one of these band names which ones the coolest. At the time there were a bunch of bands coming out with two names in one like that, like mouthpiece, curbjaw, stuff like that. We were going down the list, and the first name that I liked was Swiftkick. I'm all like, that’s a sick name. But for some reason Glassjaw stuck. There's really no reason behind it; it just sounded cool." The band played their first show in 1994 in Oceanside, NY. In the early days, Beck and Weinstock were also playing with Jewish straight edge metalcore band, Sons of Abraham. Sons of Abraham constitute an important influence on Glassjaw, songs such as Hurting and Shoving (She Should Have Let Me Sleep) by Glassjaw drawing particularly on earlier Sons of Abraham releases. Palumbo was in his own straight-edge band called XbustedX. The group's line-up changed constantly in their early years while they played in the local New York hardcore scene. Beck's primary instrument throughout this time was drums, but switched to bass guitar when Ariel Telford left the band in 1998, and then switched to lead guitar when Kris Baldwin left and Manuel Carrero joined the band in 1999. From 1994-1999 the band did several demo recordings of some songs that would eventually appear on their official releases, as well as several other compositions that would not see official release. The band recorded the five-song Kiss Kiss Bang Bang EP in 1997. The record was released independently on the label 2 Cents a Pop, and saw a re-release in 2001 without label affiliation. The line-up on this record was Daryl Palumbo, Justin Beck, Todd Weinstock, Kris Baldwin and Ariel Telford. "Star Above My Bed", from the EP, is still in the band's set lists to this day. A significant recording came in 1999 working with Don Fury (Quicksand, Snapcase, Orange 9mm), showcasing songs that appeared on their debut LP Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence (1999 – 2000)
In 1999, the band entered the studio at Indigo Ranch in Malibu, California with producer Ross Robinson (At the Drive-In, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, among others) to record their first full-length album entitled Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence, which saw release in 2000 through Roadrunner Records. On being signed: "Ross showed up at a practice," Beck recounts. "We start a song; 5-4-3-2-1. Ross stands up, waving his hands and he's like, 'It's over, it's done. I want to do this, you've got a deal!' The line-up on this record was Palumbo, Beck, Todd Weinstock, Manuel Carrero & Sammy Siegler (who would leave the band prior to the subsequent tour). Robinson has said of it: "Our goal at the time of that record was to destroy Adidas rock", a self-deprecating reference to the Adidas-sponsored bands (Korn, Limp Bizkit) Robinson had produced and championed as part of the nu-metal movement. The music was aggressive and unrelenting, but also included spacious songs like "When One Eight Becomes Two Zeros", "Her Middle Name is Boom", "Piano" and the epic "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence", the latter of which deals with Palumbo's problems with Crohn's disease. The music, accompanied with Palumbo's lyrics—which were often bitter and resentful towards particular characters he was discussing—and his singing style in itself—powerful and aggressive guttural screaming along with a melodic touch—created a unique dynamic. Although EYEWTKAS is often cited as a milestone post-hardcore album, it saw little push from Roadrunner, causing the band to garner an ill-will towards the label. Matters were somewhat worsened when Palumbo started to have bouts with his Crohn's disease on tour, as his aggressive performance style sometimes triggers a relapse, which has the potential to be fatal. It is alleged that Roadrunner would not allow Palumbo to leave the tour to rest.
Larry Gorman of Orange 9mm officially took over drumming duties part-way through touring, which saw dates with Deftones and a six-week European tour with Soulfly. The line-up continued to rotate following the conclusion of the tour when Manuel Carrero was kicked out by Roadrunner for being the only member to have date conflicts with touring.
The album will be pressed on vinyl for 2009, limited to 10,000 copies.
Worship and Tribute (2001 – 2003)
In 2001, the band entered the studio in secret with Ross Robinson and began recording their follow-up album Worship and Tribute, which would see release the following year. They left Roadrunner, finding them problematic, and shopped the album to other labels and ended up signing a deal with Warner Bros. Records. The line-up on this record was Palumbo, Beck (who also provided bass duties), Weinstock, and Shannon Larkin of Amen and later Godsmack, who provided drumming duties due to recording time constraints, as he had worked well with producer Ross Robinson in the past, although Larry Gorman was composing parts and officially the drummer of the band. It should be noted that Ross Robinson does not use a 'click track' (automated metronome) when recording drummers, as he believes "it takes away from the true essence of the music". This album showcased a more melodic and mature Glassjaw, as they started to further incorporate jazz and ambient influences, particularly in tracks like "Ape Dos Mil", "Must've Run All Day", "The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports", and "Convectuoso" (which did not appear on the official release due to a publishing dispute with Roadrunner). Palumbo said of it: "It's a mélange of influences, a collage is what this band is all about. This record pays tribute to everything from Bad Brains to Anthrax to The Cure to Squeeze and so much more." Lyrically, the more confrontational elements heard on 'Everything...' were reined in, with Palumbo taking a more cerebral approach.
Dave Allen joined the group as bassist following the recording of the album. The band then toured extensively throughout 2002-2003, playing all over the world, including festival tours such as Warped Tour, Ozzfest and Snocore. In October, 2002, dates in Germany and the UK were cancelled when Palumbo was hospitalized in Paris after suffering a relapse of the Crohn's; he underwent intestinal surgery. The dates were rescheduled to December, but he suffered another relapse. On their return in April, 2003 he was hospitalized again in Glasgow, Scotland, which led to cancellations including the Kerrang! Weekender and a date at the London Astoria.
Hiatus and rebirth (2004 – 2008)
The band took a hiatus in 2004, while Palumbo was composing and performing with his new group Head Automatica -- which included drummer Larry Gorman—and Beck worked on his clothing line. In late 2004, Todd Weinstock, Dave Allen, and Larry Gorman were all booted from the band for various reasons, and the future of Glassjaw became uncertain, amidst "intense speculation about trouble in the [band]" and rumors that they had split up. Indeed, the band's website displayed "RIP GlassJAw" in the header for a time, though this may have been in jest. The band denied that they were splitting up and cited Palumbo's ongoing problems with Crohn's as one of the reasons for the hiatus. Amidst clear breakdown in communication between members, a show—which eventually fell through—was booked without at least Weinstock's knowledge, which assumingly was 'notice' of him, and possibly the others, being excluded from the band. Todd, in a statement released on the band's website, said, "People start asking me about this Glassjaw show in December that I know nothing about. So I look on the computer and find that there is a confirmed show. After thinking this was a mistake I called Beck and just wanted to clarify. I found out Beck's vision of Glassjaw these days is vastly different than mine. As far as I know, Beck plans to play the show with only himself on guitar, Daryl, and two hired musicians on drums on bass. After seeing Beck's vision of Glassjaw I realized I was not part of it anymore [....] I didn't expect it to end like this but I have to move on." He went on to found his own band, Men, Women & Children.
After a two-year hiatus, the band played three shows in 2005; two at The Downtown in Farmingdale, New York, with proceeds going to charity, and a spot on The Used's tour at the Hammerstein Ballroom. They were initially meant to be main tour support for The Used, but Palumbo had further problems with his Crohn's (Head Automatica also cancelled all their US shows). Manuel Carrero, who had been playing with a band named The Jiant, replaced Allen as bassist after nearly five years away from the group. Durijah Lang, who was also a former band member from their early years, replaced Larry Gorman behind the kit. The band did not fill its vacant guitarist role and continued as a four-piece.
In October, 2005 the band released a B-side EP of songs not used on Worship and Tribute, entitled El Mark. Their official website became active once again in November, 2006. The band would go on to tour in December of that year as support for Deftones, and a few headlining shows of their own (dubbed the Fucking Tour 2006). Palumbo said, 'The best thing about the tour was just having it happen'. Also, on New Year's Eve of 2006, they played at two-day festival Stillborn Fest in Connecticut, alongside Hatebreed and others. Along with new material was the confirmation that a new album would be released in 2007, with the new songs introduced at the shows included.
Glassjaw's official site homepage showed "7.7.7." in large bold text, referring to a one-off show at the Carling Academy Brixton in England. It was then announced on fan site Glassjaw.net that they would be playing a warm up show at the Camden Barfly on 6.7.7. These shows were the first in the UK for six years. At the end of 2007, Glassjaw for the first time headlined in southern California in various venues such as the Avalon in Hollywood, the House of Blues in San Diego, and the Glasshouse in Pomona. This was dubbed the "100% Maybe" tour, a joke referring to the uncertain nature of their tours due to frequent cancellations. The band was one of the headlining acts of 2007's Saints & Sinners Festival at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey, along with Against Me!.
Around this time, the songs on Glassjaw's MySpace music player were taken off, and a track called "Yum Yum" was put up. The track was a loop of a distorted drumline, however the last few seconds featured undistorted drumming. Six days later, this track was removed and replaced with a track called "Last Lisp". Unlike "Yum Yum", it is a looped bassline with no sample at the end. These were snippets from the recording process for the next album.
Future third album/extended play rumors
Glassjaw's next album is highly anticipated, not only due to their last full-length release dating back to 2002, but also the delay and lack of information regarding its status and/or release. In an interview with Palumbo in the July, 2006 issue of AP magazine, he stated that the band were in the process of writing and recording new material for the next album, which they hoped to release in 2007. Palumbo hinted that there could be a unifying concept behind the album. In November, 2007, in the first Glassjaw interview in years, Beck revealed they had written "about eleven good songs -- seven i love, and four to six half-baked ideas we need to finish". In an interview with Kerrang!, Palumbo stated that the new album should be released by "The end of this year or early 2009...I hope." Details emerged from The Grixer in May, 2008 that the album was "awaiting vocals" and "should be wrapped up and completed in the coming months". In a May, 2008 interview with Verse One magazine, Beck said: "Right now I’d just be happy to finish up this record. I’m sure if it’s not a giant pile of shit, we’d love to play it live. Exact dates, plans, don’t know yet." In a June, 2008 interview conducted by Glassjaw.net, Beck stated, "As far as I am personally concerned, there will be a release well before the end of the year."
The album is not being produced by Ross Robinson, as with previous releases; Beck is co-producing the album with his friend Jonathan Florencio. Jonathan Florencio is also engineering the album. Drum, bass, and guitar parts of twelve songs have been tracked, but Palumbo has yet to finish the vocals. Vocals have been recorded for "(You Think You're) John Fucking Lennon", "Jesus Glue", the reworked "Star Above My Bed" (based on the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and not Don Fury version), and "Natural Born Farmer", all of which have been played live and which are expected to be included on the album ; however, tracks "Convectuoso" and "Midwestern Stylings" were not included on Worship and Tribute, despite media reports and announcements at live shows. A fifth, unnamed track has only freestyle vocals recorded, perhaps indicating that lyrics have yet to be written for the rest of the album. It has been rumored that the album will be self-titled, and Beck has hinted, though speculatively, at a possible digital release. He has also said he would like to release the record himself, but it's likely it will be released by Warner Bros., as with Worship and Tribute.
Fans speculate the album won't see a release until late 2009, possibly 2010: Palumbo is also finishing up Head Automatica's third album, House of Blow's debut EP, and production on Cage Kennylz's Depart From Me, as well as being involved in various other projects. At one point, rumors of Palumbo's ill health surfaced, with speculation of further postponement until he had recovered. If released, it should be noted that it would be the first Glassjaw release not to feature Todd Weinstock since early demos from 1995.
On October 14, 2008 bassist Manuel Carrero wrote on the Glassjaw.net forum: "I feel like a kid that's been asked to clean his room, but the room still isn't clean, and every time the kid peeks out of the room, he is immediately asked if it's finished. (And I've already cleaned my section of the room.) I wish I had an answer for everyone, but I am pretty much in the dark. I mean, let’s be frank, here. I just play the bass. I have no delusions about my role. I have no control of what happens with the band. I would love to tell you that the record is done. I would love to tell you when or if we are going to tour again. The sad truth is, I just don’t know. I don’t know if anyone knows."
On October 23, 2008 Tommy Corrigan of Silent Majority revealed he had heard recorded songs from the album, and that "it had a latin/spanish music feel to some songs [...] they were [...] HEAVILY groove/feel oriented". This has been affirmed in an October 29, 2008 interview with Beck, which also states the album has a split style, with the five songs featuring vocals sounding much unlike the rest of the album (indeed, four of these songs were played live as early as 2003, and possibly written in the previous year).
On November 22, 2008 the band posted the drum intro to "(You Think You're) John Fucking Lennon" on their MySpace page, naming it 'It's A Fucking Intro You Asshole' for the album 'Don't Ask Me' with release date '2022'. The teaser was deemed inadequate given the extended wait for the next release, and exacerbated tensions and discontent. Metal Hammer folded back on them with, 'the 3:08 track is not what you'd expect for a band releasing their first new material in six years. We'll give you a hint: the clue is in the title of this track.', and dissatisfaction filled various corners of the Internet, with fans feeling that they were being toyed with, and failing to see any funny side. In response, on November 28, 2008 the band posted the full studio-recorded version of "(You Think You're) John Fucking Lennon" on their website as a hidden stream. They removed all usual site material and links, replacing it with a Glassjaw flag backdrop (a green variant of the Puerto Rican flag), which linked to the band's official clothing line, waiting long enough the looped drums will then switch to a new, unknown song by glassjaw.
As of March 5, 2009, Manny replied on the glassjaw.net forums in regards to an article from Absolutepunk.net that reported "all but four songs are done"; "Just so the thread doesn't continue with more speculation, I will say now that I was misquoted. I said that only four songs, (ones that we have been playing live with this lineup), have vocals, but that's old news, anyway. I can't really discuss any more than that. I probably shouldn't have even discussed that." Manny has recently been playing shows with influential New Jersey post-hardcore band Thursday. Although consensus is that Manny is simply filling in for Thursday's bassist and has no plans to join the band or leave Glassjaw, this has still sparked considerable discussion amongst fans.
In May, Palumbo stated through his Twitter that he was demoing vocals on new songs, and that fans should be hearing new music "rather soon." In a post made on his Twitter on June 14, Palumbo said, "Beck and I are sitting in his car listening to the new Glassjaw EP that we've just completed. Shit SLAMS." It is unclear whether the EP is meant to be a promo for a full-length album, or if it will be the final Glassjaw release. EDIT: This has now been confirmed by Daryl himself that the EP is a promo for a full-length album via Twitter on June 23, in which snatcher2047 asked "Just read your interview. Are you saying there's gonna be a Glassjaw Album to follow the EP???" Daryl replied, "snatcher2047 of course.".
On July 20, Palumbo confirmed through Revolt that there will be a new Glassjaw EP and LP to be released in the coming months. He was quoted as saying "It's a five or six song EP, and the EP will be slightly different from the full-length. The new Glassjaw stuff is far more aggressive than it was previously. This is stuff that Justin (Beck) and I have been working on for a long time. It's far more aggressive than I ever thought it would be."
In the Fall of 2009, Glassjaw will be supporting Brand New in their upcoming tour.
Style and influences
Glassjaw's sound has changed over the course of their history, consisting of the genres; experimental rock, afro-beat, screamo, rapcore/nu-metal, hardcore punk, progressive rock, alternative rock and psychedelic rock. They have cited a diverse and wide range of influences; because of this, categorization is difficult. The band's sound has, however, always been rooted in the New York hardcore (punk) scene, with Bad Brains being a cardinal influence. Elements of the late 1980s Youth Crew style of hardcore are prominent in their earlier recordings, and Youth Of Today have been cited as an important influence. Beck has cited Faith No More's attitude towards making music as an influence, while Palumbo has specifically cited Mike Patton as a huge influence on him.
Their second album paid tribute to a greater number of influences, and ones outside of the hardcore genre, giving way to an eclectic experimental sound more associated with post-hardcore (elements of which were present on their first album).
Problems with Roadrunner Records
Both Palumbo and Beck continue to speak unfavourably of Roadrunner, years after the problems the band experienced with them. They openly advise people not to buy their first full-length so as not to give the label money. Palumbo has said of them: "Roadrunner is a joke. Roadrunner’s not even a real label. It has the power to be one of the superpowers in the heavy music industry. While labels like Victory Records, which is such a small hardcore label, is totally surpassing Roadrunner. Roadrunner is a joke. Its like the scourge of the music industry. Beck has said: "Seriously, don't ever support anything from Roadrunner -- they suck!" Palumbo has said that Roadrunner didn't put the band on enough tours: "We never toured half as much as we wanted to, I just wish we got to tour more in support of [EYEWTKAS]"; and "We were on Roadrunner for a couple of years and Roadrunner was a joke, a fuckin' joke of a label. They are a miserable fuckin' corporation that does not bend for their bands, does not give their bands anything and they're just terrible businessmen. They are a giant joke of a label. They had 2 cash cows, Slipknot and Nickelback, and every other project they had rode backseat to those bands, and then the second that the new Slipknot record came out and didn't go quadruple Platinum in the first few hours it was released they fuckin' turned their backs on Slipknot. That label just wants instant gratification where it sells its units and that's a joke. You can't run a major corporation with that as your business strategy".
In regards to the re-release of the remastered version of EYEWTKAS on March 2009 by Roadrunner, Beck was quoted by Alter The Press! in saying "It's complete shit! We had nothing to do with it. DO NOT BUY IT! It's embarrassing."
- Daryl Palumbo - Vocals (1993 - present)
- Justin Beck - Drums (1993 - 1998), Bass (1998 - 1999) Guitars (1999 - present)
- Durijah Lang - Drums, Percussion (1998 - 1999, 2004 - present)
- Manuel Carrero - Bass (1999 - 2000, 2004 - present)
- Nick Yulico - guitars (1993 - 1995)
- Kris Baldwin - guitars (1995 - 1998)
- Brian Mehann - guitars (1998)
- Mike Caleo - guitars (1998)
- Todd Weinstock - guitars (1996 - 2004)
- Dave Buchta - bass (1993 - 1994)
- Ariel Telford - bass (1994 - 1998)
- Mat Brown - bass (2001)
- Mitchell Marlow - bass (2001)
- Dave Allen - bass (2002 - 2004)
- Scottie Reddix - drums, percussion (1999)
- Stephan Linde - drums, percussion (1999)
- Sammy Siegler - drums, percussion (1999 - 2000)
- Larry Gorman - drums, percussion (2000 - 2004)
- Shannon Larkin - drums, percussion (2001)
EPs and singles
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang EP (EP, 1997, 2001 re-release)
- Pretty Lush (Single, 2000)
- Ry Ry's Song (Single, 2000)
- Cosmopolitan Bloodloss (Single, 2002)
- Ape Dos Mil (Single, 2003)
- El Mark (Digital EP, 2005)
- Untitled (Demo, 1994)
- Our Color Green in 6/8 Time (Demo, 1995)
- The Impossible Shot (Demo, 1996)
- Monster Zero (Demo, 1998)
- The Don Fury Sessions (Demo, 1999)
- Motive (Demo, 1995), feauturing the rare songs 'A Rockwell Portrait' and 'Pravada'
Other recorded compositions
- "Convectuoso" (track 12 from Worship and Tribute advance copy, taken off the record due to legal issues with Roadrunner)
- "Grasper" (b-side from Worship sessions)
- "Tewt" (b-side from Worship sessions)
- "Midwestern Stylings" (b-side from Worship sessions)
- "Midwestern Stylings (acoustic)" (Fadeaway Records sampler)
- "Midwestern Stylings (Bright & The Defdefier Remix)" (The Best Comp In The World)
- "Star Under My Bed" (reworked track from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
- "Last Kiss" (Don Fury outtakes)
- "Harlem" (Don Fury outtakes)
- "Family of Five" (Don Fury outtakes)
- "String of Pearls" (Don Fury outtakes)
- "Our Color Green" (live bootlegs exist)
- "Pravada" (live bootlegs exist)
- "Neo Spacian Grand Mole" (live bootlegs exist)
- "Faust" (track 7 from 516: A Long Island HC Comp)
- "Modern Love Story" (Youth of Today cover featuring Ray Cappo of that band. Appears on single for 'Ry Ry's Song'.)
- "Pravado" (track 8 from 516: A Long Island HC Comp)
- "(You Think You're) John Fucking Lennon" (Released online, taster for alleged new record)
- "Siberian Kiss" [video edit 3:51] from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence (2000). Directed by Steve Pedulla.
- "Pretty Lush" [video edit 3:04] from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence (2000). Directed by Steve Pedulla.
- "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss" [video edit 3:23] from Worship and Tribute (2002). Directed by Patrick Hoelk. (Versions of this video vary; the band gets shot at the end in one version.)
- "Ape Dos Mil" [video edit 3:51] from Worship and Tribute (2002).
- "Tip Your Bartender" [video edit 3:00] from Worship and Tribute (2002).
There is a video online of Palumbo and Beck playing acoustic versions of Glassjaw songs at The Apple Store in New York on February 5, 2003. The video features "St. Alex" (a guitar-based version of "The Number That No Good Things Could Come Of"), "Must've Run All Day", "Convectuoso", and "Ape Dos Mil". Palumbo mentions that it is the first time they have played acoustic versions of their songs live.
"Home video"-style videos were shot for "Must've Run All Day" and "Ape Dos Mil" and distributed on Worship and Tribute with an interactive CD. However, neither were intended for release.
Biography from Wikipedia