I first met Glass House Point on a slightly chilly March evening in Tallahassee, Florida. They were on tour and set to play a show at one of the local bars the next night, so, being college students trying to save money, they were spending the night crashing on a friend’s couch. I had been invited over to meet them and do a pre-show interview, and when I walked into their friend’s apartment to say hello, I was struck by how much older they seemed, and by how much confidence they exuded. Though the apartment was full of people I hadn’t met before, I immediately knew which four human beings I was scheduled to talk to, though I let their friend introduce them to me anyway.
Two of the band’s members, Dylan Graham and Jansen Valk, sat side-by-side on a couch next to the one that I was occupying, and gave me a little bit of background on them and the rest of their band while the other two members laughed and helped their friend cook and do laundry. As we talked, I felt the need to interrupt and ask, “how old are you guys?” They laughed, and I was shocked to hear that they were all 19 years old (younger than me).
When I arrived at their show the next night, they greeted me with hugs and hellos, and we shared scattered conversations throughout the night as we all went back-and-forth between our own friends and each other. Though they’d never been to Tallahassee before, they looked comfortable and natural among all of us locals, and they commanded the attention of the room during their set just as well as the other local bands had. They were good. That they knew, and now everyone else did too.
As I was leaving that night, I circled the bar to give hugs to my friends, and congratulate the bands. I said goodbye and gave hugs to Dylan and Jansen and felt almost sad. Though we had just met, they felt like friends already, but with their talent, I knew it wouldn’t be long until we all crossed paths again. And I was right.
Flash forward to July and I am driving to Orlando, Florida to meet with the members of Glass House Point at Phat Planet Studios to talk about their upcoming album and tour. I arrive and am greeted by three of the band’s members, Valk, Graham, and Dylan Methot (Ian couldn’t make it into the studio that day). Again, hugs are shared and they usher me to the studio’s lounge area so that we can all talk without distracting their engineer.
The members of Glass House Point have changed a few times throughout the years. What started out as a folk-rock band with a banjo player, quickly turned into a more folk-indie band–in where they traded their banjo player with a violin player–before finally settling into the more alternative-indie band they are now. Having Valk step in for their old drummer over a year ago, the band’s lineup as it is now is how it will remain, and the four are excited to fast track their college careers and see where their music can take them.
“Music has always been ride or die,” says Graham, all of them laughing.
“We’ve always sacrificed skipping school or something to make a show or go to a practice or something,” adds Valk.
“I realized that music was something I wanted to do even before I was like any good at playing,” says Methot. “I was shit at mandolin, shit at guitar, couldn’t sing, and I was like, (changing his voice) ‘We got so much potential.'” Everyone laughs. “That’s what I would tell everyone.”
“We’ve always had really high expectations, and we always just kind of stuck to those,” adds Graham.
“You can never put in as much time as you need to in order to get to the level you want to be at,” says Valk.
“Yeah, and the music industry is such a weird thing where it’s always against you, so you’ve gotta be like, ‘fuck it!'” everyone laughs again.
As previously mentioned, I was talking with them at Phat Planet Studios in Orlando, where they are currently recording their forthcoming album. Whereas their previous EP (linked earlier on in this article) is more indie-folk, their new record will be much different, and will be, what Graham described as “phase two of Glass House Point.”
“We had a string quartet come in, because we kinda wanted to push ourselves as composers,” says Graham. “So, the first track of this new record is the only track on this record where there’s a little bit of acoustic guitar and strings, and though there are strings hinted throughout the album, it’s a very new strings sound and sounds completely different than the strings did on the last album.”
“It’s like a theme,” offers Valk.
“Yeah, it’s like a theme that’s recurring throughout our music, and it’s a bridge we’re still trying to build between what we used to do and what we’re doing now,” says Graham.
But though the strings are there to provide a bridge, Glass House Point wants it to be made clear that they aren’t indie-folk anymore. They’ve traded mandolin for synths, and have incorporated the use of reverb to make their music sound more “spacey” and “ambient.”
“The biggest difference between this album and the last, is that the last EP was kind of like a collection of songs that went well together and reflected a time period, but this one is lyrically the most consolidated and focused that we’ve ever done,” says Graham. “And with that, which even takes it to a whole other level, is the music that we wrote around it is very thematic.
“It’s very cool because you can take the lyrics and look into them and see how there’s a story and this evolution throughout the entire record, but if you were to take the lyrics completely out, that story is still reflected into the music,” he continues.
But if working on a new album wasn’t enough, Glass House Point is currently scheduled to begin a two-week tour of the east coast. With dates in Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York City, the foursome are both anxious and excited to take their band to the next level, so to speak.
“The pressure is on for us this time around to take it to the next level,” continues Graham. “We don’t want to be just a local band touring the country, but be an unknown national act touring the country.”
But while touring and making money is important, the members of band seem to define success for themselves in a much different way than most.
“Success in music is kinda weird,” says Graham.
“Yeah, I would definitely define it differently,” adds Valk.
“We’re not rolling in the big bucks, but I’m grateful that we’re to the point as a band that there’s a lot of money going in and a lot of going out, and we get the opportunity to tour and do that stuff,” says Graham. “I always wanted to tour as a kid, so I mean…it’s like fuck, we made it.”
“Hopefully people respond well to our music,” says Valk.
“Yeah, and hopefully our van doesn’t break down,” adds Graham.