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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Glossary


Photo by Tara Kneiser

Tennessee-based rock band Glossary got its start over 15 years ago. Although the group has switched lineups since inception, original members Bingham Barnes and Joey Kneiser remain, with Kelly Kneiser, Todd Beene and Eric Giles rounding out the current lineup.

The band has three upcoming Arizona shows, Jan. 15 at the Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff, Jan. 16 at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix and Jan. 17 at Plush in Tucson.

The Spec caught up with Glossary guitarist Todd Beene, read what he has to say and listen to some tunes below. Like what you hear? Check the band out during its three-show tour of Arizona.

How long have you been making music?
Long Live All Of Us is our 7th record. Glossary has been making records since 1997. Bingham, Joey, and I have all been playing in bands since high school, so for about 20 years or so. We got a head start on Eric and Kelly, they’re young’uns.

Who/what are your influences?
Obvious influences are Springsteen, The Band, Dylan, 90’s alt country, etc. But our formative teens and early twenties were spent on Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, The Clash and the tail end of the college radio heyday. Joey and I first bonded over J Mascis and our desire to be able to solo like him.

How did you come up with your name?
To hear Joey tell it, they just liked the sound of it and it’s a name that gives you no bias up front as to what the music is like. Band names are weird. Over time, the actual meaning of the word or words kind of slips away as a band becomes more identified by its moniker. I don’t even think about the word Glossary anymore.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
We want to keep doing what we’re doing. When we finish this West Coast tour, we’ll take a short break and then it’s time for SXSW. From there we head east, jump on a plane, and tour UK and Europe for a month. When we get back, we’ll start scouting places to record our new record and get started writing and recording by the middle of May. After we finish the record, we’ll head north to tour the Midwest and Northeast. So we’ve got our year mostly planned until fall when our 8th record (hopefully) comes out.

What inspires your music?
I think living and growing up in the South is a constant theme in our songs. People in the South are complex and there are lots of things to talk about when you think about the duality of living in a Saturday night/Sunday morning kind of world. For the latest record, Long Live All Of Us (2011), Joey was especially inspired to write an antithesis to our apocalypse obsessed culture– a celebration of the good parts of the folks in all of our lives. 2012 was especially cynically hip, and popular culture reliant on empty perception. We wanted to offer something real and honest, devoid of irony that would hopefully make you feel good when you listen to it. We’re completely aware that this is totally un-cool, but that’s just fine. Attitudes will ebb and flow, but this record will always be there for anyone who wants to hear it and we are very proud of it.

Why do you make music?
We do this for a myriad of reasons from love of music in general to personal gratification to trying to be self sufficient through doing something we love. But after touring for years, my personal goals changed the first time somebody came up said “Please keep doing what you’re doing, you make a lot of people really happy.”

Anything you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
I like looking at pictures of cats on the internet, but in reality I find them to be selfish and uncooperative.

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