Monday, August 30, 2010

Music Monday - Glide Magazine Talks Billy Bob Thorton, Fleet Foxes, and Elvis Costello

Glide Magazine is more than just a music website. The site has so much information, it actually has its own blog Hidden Track, which is filled to the brim; that's how much music they cover. From breaking music news, live show reviews, CD reviews, mp3s, and more, Glide is one of the few independent music sites that honestly evolved from jam bands into every genre. Literally in one day you could read about both Disco Biscuits and The Swell Season, or Umphrey's McGee and Chromeo or Norah Jones. Glide's Shane Handler gives us the scoop.

Music Monday Q&A

1. How long has Glide been operating?
Glide began in the fall of 2002, and we officially launched the site in early 2003. At that time we were a monthly online magazine, in that we posted news and reviews daily, but would publish a new batch of features and columns monthly, following the more traditional print-model. As we grew, we eventually moved to a daily updated site. In October of ‘06 we moved into the blogosphere with the launch of our popular blog, Hidden Track, which has a similar focus, but a voice and identity all its own.

2. What makes Glide different from other websites?
We’ve never shied away from bands or styles or genres, and always felt that if it was good, it was good...regardless of the pocket a band gets wedged into. Ironically, that wide range of coverage followed a parallel to the ever-changing music landscape that’s been morphing and growing since we launched seven years ago. When you look at the inaugural Bonnaroo from ‘02 and follow that up to the age of the festival and crossover genres and acts we’re currently in now – where any authentic act or genre is a plausible booking - we’ve kind of been living in that same vein since the beginning. So as our audience has grown, discovered new sounds, and moved into various musical territories, we’ve been growing and absorbing all of it right alongside them. Since that’s always been the mission so to speak, it’s given us a great sense of credibility to continue to expand our coverage and push boundaries without seemingly like we’re trying to hop on the next buzz band or genre and be something we’re not.

3. Do you think Glide has a specific musical niche?
Yeah, we cover it all, but our roots are in the jam scene...so at the end of the day, everything stems from that.

4. What albums are you looking forward to coming out?
Neil Young (TBA Daniel Lanois-produced album; Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, Hawk; Black Mountain, Wilderness Heart; Fleet Foxes (TBA), Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Pt 1; Dr. Dre, Detox; Elvis Costello, National Ransom.

5. How does Glide support independent music and what's important about doing so?
We’ve always sought to discover new music and find innovative artists, and the independent music community is obviously a great place for that. And as independent publishers, I would imagine most bloggers and site editors feel like they are a part of something larger - pouring hours of yourself into the site, devouring new music, tapping into an exciting band no one has stumbled onto yet, nudging their exposure a little and watching the buzz begin to build. It’s fun to be part of the process from the ground level.

Our Hidden Track installment, Blips, features bands under the radar and oftentimes focuses on independent artists. Fleet Foxes was actually a Blip spotlight at one time, so as I noted above, its great to discover these bands, help get the word out and watch the story unfold.

6. Do you think online publications are taking precedence over print magazine? What kind of effect do you think that has on bands?
Online is just such a dominant medium for music discovery – it’s immediate, it’s efficient, it’s innovative, it’s sharable, it’s adaptable and it’ll continue to be a focal point for social media. Print is a different beast...it’s a solitary relationship you have on a train or on the can, and it’s great for long-form content. They are equally as strong, with varying capabilities and potentials. We could really throw a third tier in here and talk about the social equity of a band as the distribution extension for print and online – not taking precedence, but an essential in the viral exposure and integration into a fan base’s extended community.

7. What blogs/publications do you read other than your own?
There are so many great sites, but Hidden Track has a blogroll that’s pretty indicative of what we keep in the bookmark folder.

8. What has been your most definitive moment since you started Glide?
When we were granted a phoner with Billy Bob Thornton, I was both elated and justifiably, somewhat terrified. I prepared (and psyched myself out) more for that interview than any other I’ve ever done in my life. In the end, it ended up being one of the best times I’ve ever had speaking at long length with an artist. We covered a ton of ground, he opened up about a lot of different aspects of life and the conversation was genuine. Then a few months later he completely throttled that guy (Jian Ghomeshi) on Canadian public radio and I realized how bad that interview could have gone for me. I’d like to think that I had something to do with bringing out his good side, but I’ll never know.

9. If there is any musician/band you could interview (dead or alive) who would it be?
Any of these: John Lennon, David Bowie, Neil Young, James Brown, Ray Charles, Robert Johnson, Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, or George Harrison.

10. If you could be in any band (of all time), who would you rock with?
I’ll say AC/DC. They were the first band that melted my face, sitting on the baseball field at recess in fourth grade. Twenty years later, in the middle of the night, on a highway in Tennessee, listening to "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll" and the rest of High Voltage with the faint lights of Bonnaroo coming up in the distance, it still resonates like no other.

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    good call, it's a daily read...

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