Somewhere in an east-bench office, Glacial singer-guitarist Taylor Williams is munching pretzels and contemplating the task he left in order to take his lunch break. The daytime copywriter was previously struggling to describe something.
“I was writing about swords,” he says. “I write about swords, my work sells swords. Sweet ninja swords and Dungeons & Dragons-type s—t. It is awesome. I love writing about swords, but I recently was told that I can no longer suggest in my copy that the D& nerds who buy them go out and fight each other; some legal issues, apparently.”
It’s much easier to describe Glacial and how it/they formed—because in rock band interviews, D& analogies fly. Williams begins the “long and ponderous tale,” mercifully skipping any iceberg analogies. Glacial did, however, form in icy winter, 2003, “Like, November or something.”
Williams’ last band had splintered, so naturally the guy was looking for something new: “Fresh beginnings, you know, like the feminine product commercials?” (Note: Not two weeks ago, Queens of the Stone Age main man Josh Homme made the exact comment in an interview—coincidence? Or savvy marketing via band endorsements?) Williams expected to form a band from his many musical pals … only to discover they were all otherwise engaged, sometimes twice and thrice over. He resorted to the old standby—a want ad via the message board on TheRockSalt.com. Guitarist Mike Caviness was first to respond.
“We got together and clicked right off the bat,” Williams recalls. Shortly thereafter, the pair received an e-mail from SLC-bound Arizona drummer Mikey Coatney; he arrived six months later. The band promptly recorded an EP, but then was forced to jettison their “weirdo” bass player in favor of Williams’ friend Daryl McClaren (Pushing Up Daisies).
“Daryl joined the band and all was well in the world of Glacial,” says Williams. Well, indeed—er, almost. Local indie Sickboy Records offered a deal and Glacial began recording The Captains of Industry with local engineer-of-choice Andy Patterson. Captains saw the band’s original poppy sound losing its pop, taking on a heavier more abstract tone more like doom/sludge, even grunge—this displeased Caviness. After Captains was complete, Williams says, “We had a talk, a good talk, and decided that we should part ways.” They plucked another daisy, Mike Morgan, and planted him in Caviness’ place.
Glacial will play its first show with Morgan on Friday at Kilby Court—as release party for The Captains of Industry (MySpace.com/Glacial). It hasn’t been this writer’s pleasure to see the band live—not for lack of trying—but Captains at least provides a preview.
Williams’ vocals run a wild gamut from a smart indie-‘rawkwardness’ to a raw biker-bar brogue to an intensely manic Chris Cornell yell. His and Caviness’ guitar parts conjure an array of bands from Television, Failure, Sonic Youth and Fugazi to any Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. The songs are dynamic and huge—epic, even in three-minute jams like “Tango for Charlie.” Some, like “Springtime Girls” bear residue from the band’s pop beginnings while wearing an almost unstable intensity. Or is it instable untensity?
If it sounds hard to peg, it’s because it is. Even Williams can’t quite put his finger on it.
Asked to describe Glacial live, he offers a D& analogy, something about the mythical Sword of Nandemore and hoards of Chaos minions and charisma that would result in a “crazy bloody love orgy.” He mentions once hearing Glacial compared to Creed (“I openly wept”). The word “killer” is tossed out. His best description, though, is pretty simple. Not as simple as “killer,” but simple nonetheless.
“How about this?” he asks. “We melt faces. We are loud. Really, really loud and we rock pretty hard. If people in the front aren’t squinting as I melt their eardrums or they aren’t telling me that I need to turn down, then we are not rocking hard enough.”
GLACIAL CD Release, Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, Friday April 15, 7:30 p.m. 320-9887