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InterviewsHaving A Word (or 5,000) With Glass Hammer

Posted on Friday, July 09 2004 @ 14:53:04 CDT by Dean Pierce
Progressive Rock

2004 is the year the Glass Hammer has given the world of Progressive Rock a new studio album (Shadowlands), a new live DVD (Lex Live), and a new live CD (Live At NEARfest). Now Glass Hammer provides what could well be the world's longest interview!

Much as the Roman Centurion in the Lex Rex story, Glass Hammer appears to be on a quest for musical glory and with all of the new products out this year and rave reviews around the world they seem to be well on their way! All of this would not have been possible without the contributions of all of the amazing musicians and vocalists that comprise the Glass Hammer group.

Recently Dean Pierce (aka "Dragonflame 713" at Progressive Ears) had the opportunity to interview Glass Hammer for Sea Of Tranquility and Progressive Ears. Keyboard virtuoso Fred Schendel and bass master Steve Babb (band leaders), the fiery guitarist/vocalist Walter Moore, the talented and beautiful vocalists Susie Bogdanowicz and Bethany Warren, acoustic guitarist/bassist Eric Parker, the new demolition man behind the drum kit Matt Mendians, and NEARfest choir director April Bower all share their thoughts with Dean in this epic interview!

So please open your web browsers and welcome to this webpage in the year 2004, America's leading prog band... Glass Hammer!!!



Dean Pierce – Sea Of Tranquility/Progressive Ears: It says in the expanded liner notes for the upcoming Live at NEARfest CD that Glass Hammer semi-officially retired its status as a live act after a particularly difficult show in 1997. What went wrong at this particular show? Did something happen, that completely soured you on playing live?

Fred Schendel: I don't remember any specific horrible thing happening. It was just that we had to spend so much time and energy to do a single show, energy that might have made sense for a tour but didn't for a one-off gig. It takes the same energy either way, and if the one show you play happens to not go well it feels like a real waste. Plus, even though we were playing with great people the live band wasn't gelling like it should. Not like it does now.

SoT/PE: Despite problems such as a non-existent sound check and other headaches at NEARfest, the Glass Hammer band performed a very tight set. What are the some of the memories and thoughts of the band members who no doubt were playing the biggest show of their lives?

Steve Babb: Actually, some of us have played much bigger shows with audiences of around 25,000 people. But as a band, this was a big event for Glass Hammer and certainly the most important show we have done to date.

I can remember the lonely feeling I got just before the curtain went up. It was very surreal. But the stand out moment for me was when I looked to my left and saw Rich Williams (Kansas) walking on stage, then looked behind me and saw the choir had taken their places behind us. Looking back to the front I saw the entire NEARfest crowd on their feet. You cannot buy a moment like that. Suddenly, all the work had become worthwhile.

Susie Bogdanowicz: I recall being quite surprised at the amount of attendants for the festival. I had no idea that progressive rock had such numerous and dedicated fans. People literally traveled from all over the world to experience NEARfest. I don't believe I have ever been in one place where so many different cultures and countries were represented. It was amazing.

I must say that I enjoyed being recognized as one of the singers from Glass Hammer. I was elated to actually see Glass Hammer fans, instead of just hearing about them. Because we don't tour and perform that often, it is easy to be under the impression that our music isn't out there. Steve had always told us we had a lot of fans, and he wasn't lying. Seeing is believing!

The experience of the performance was explosive, but it was also over so quickly. The audience was very gracious, and the band had a blast. I will never forget it.

But, my favorite memory of NEARfest was our previous night's rehearsal in the hotel room. The band has always had such a good time together, and that night was no exception. We were all excited yet relaxed, so we just had fun doing what we do best – music. I remember sharing inside jokes with the other girl's, Walter and Eric's immense sense of humor that kept us in stitches, Matt's crazy antics, the image of Fred playing only one keyboard (that's not right), and the fact that 'Daddy Steve', who normally is very good at keeping us on task, was able to have a good time too. But even through the laughter and fun, the music itself was the most memorable.

Bethany Warren: I have a very vivid memory of waiting to go on stage as the band was performing. It was the fullness of the music and the appreciation of the crowd that overwhelmed me (in a positive way!).

Eric Parker: Well for me, it was definitely one of the highlights of 10 years of doing this sort of thing. I've played for bigger crowds, but never better crowds. Two days of bands with very different styles, and the crowd came back for every band. I played a smaller role in this tour than most of the group, but it was a thrill and an honor to play with GH. I honestly don't remember much about the show itself, being on stage I mean, but watching Rich Williams and GH perform 'Portrait' from just off stage was a real thrill.

I think the fondest memory of the NEARFest trip has to be our acoustic rehearsal in one of the hotel rooms before the show (you can see some of that in the Bonus Material on the DVD Lex Live). I think that was the first time I had realized just how great the vocals were, both in performance and content. In a live performance and even in a mixed CD, some of the vocals get buried, but when we rehearsed those songs in the room, you could hear every part. At times, Susie, Flo, Bethany, Walter, Steve and Fred are all singing simultaneously and it is just beautiful.

Walter Moore: My first memory of Nearfest would be Alex (my 11 year old son) and I getting on the loading elevator backstage and Roine and Hasse from The Flower Kings are in there as well. I love the guys! Man, they are some of my heroes!

So I was standing there thinking, "What can I say to them that won't sound incredibly stupid" Of course by the time I thought of something the ride was over and they were gone.

Alex looks up at me and says, "Dad why didn't you say something?" I told him I didn't know what to say.

Alex says, "Well how about this, Hi! I'm Walter Moore of Glass Hammer and I love your music. DUH!"

Matt Mendians: NEARfest was a dream come true. It was the first time in a long time I have performed in front of an audience that really paid attention to the music. It made me feel appreciated as a person and as a musician. I loved it!

I enjoyed making new friends and hanging out with GH fans, but my best memory was right before the curtain opened up. I remember the anticipation, and then it was like "Yeah, lets rock!" It was awesome.

SoT/PE: The majority of the NEARfest show was from your critically acclaimed album Lex Rex, what determined the other choices of material added to the set such as "Chronos Deliverer" and "Heaven"?

Fred: Heaven was a song that fans and the band loved. We had tried to play it ever since we recorded it but it never worked live. It's like our "South Side Of The Sky". When we came up with the idea of the choir we knew we had to try it again and with this band and the newer keyboards, it worked. It's pretty much the same story for "Chronos Deliverer"; it's a logical choir song. "Chronotheme" was a fun song to play and we knew it would be good for an opener. After that, we felt it was best to fill the remaining time with newer songs from Lex Rex, and we imagined that playing almost all of it would come as a surprise.

SoT/PE: The appearance of Rich Williams brought down the house at NEARfest and was the icing on a brilliant performance by Glass Hammer! Can you describe the feeling of sharing the stage with a prog legend?

Fred: Well, you'll hear me say it on the NEARfest album after "Portrait He Knew"; "It was once in a lifetime!"

When I played along to Kansas albums in high school I just never imagined that one day I'd actually play onstage with someone from the band.

We didn't really have time to meet before the show because he arrived in town that day- literally getting there about when we went on stage. So seeing him walk out to play "Portrait He Knew" was as exciting for us as the audience. Rich is an excellent guitar player who is really one of the torch-bearers for the prog epics that are still in the live Kansas sets. I hope we get to do some recording together in the future. In fact, I want to talk him into doing a real prog solo album.

SoT/PE: The NEARfest performance featured a choir made up of Glass Hammer fans, and featured April Bower as the choir director. Unfortunately many who attended the show (myself included), had trouble hearing the choir. What do you think may have caused this?

Fred: Just the reality of doing a festival where there are 5 bands on the program, and finite time to set up and even less time to get the bugs out of the system. Like I said before, eventually they throw the curtain up and you do what you can.

We could have responded like another band that was there by just acting like prima donnas; refusing to play until everything worked and to hell with the schedule. Maybe we should have; because the other band sounded better. But I think we had more friends on the crew than they did.

April Bower (Choir Director): Fred's right; we were already 30 mins over our allotted setup time and sound check, finally we felt like we had to just go with what we had. Maybe someone needs to figure out a formula that predicts adequate setup time based on instruments x no. of musicians x # of monitors or something!

However, the one thing that I think would have made the biggest difference was the placement of the microphone that was to pick up the choir. The way the risers were set up, with the singers off the floor on the risers, and me the director down on the floor, the singers had to look down to follow me, which they did; but the microphone was above their heads, and so they had to sing away from it to stay together and with me . If the mic had been placed better, lower and more centered in front of the choir, I think the audience would have heard us pretty well.

Steve: I know for a fact that one of the choir mics was never on. Our poor sound engineer never got a check on those mics. He kept turning them up during the show, but the only thing getting through was the overall stage volume. In effect, the choir mics just amplified the band, which was already too loud.

It was one of the worst sound checks I've ever seen. The monitor mix engineer wanted to make certain that he had signals running to his board. As soon as he found a channel, he'd move on to the next. At the end of his checklist, we were told that was it for the sound check. If I hadn't begged, we wouldn't have had the chance to play a note for a warm-up. We played about 2 minutes of one song, told the crew we couldn't hear anything, and that was the end of it. The curtain rose about 5 minutes later.

April: that is the first I'm hearing that one of the choir mics wasn't even on -- and I thought we only had one mic anyway.

Steve: The good news is that we have a great recording studio here. You will hear the choir on the live album, and everything else for that matter. That is all that matters at this point.

April: I concur , hearing the recording and the choir coming through so well and sounding so great is even sweeter now since we were so frustrated then

SoT/PE: This drummer Matt Mendians made quite an impression with his performance at NEARfest. To me he sounds a lot like Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy! Where did you find this guy?

Fred: Well, he'll be pleased to hear that because Portnoy is one of Matt's heroes! He was referred to us by a good friend that sang and played drums for one of Steve's earlier bands. We trusted his judgment enough that we basically met Matt at our first rehearsal for NEARFest. If he hadn't been good we would have been in deep trouble, but obviously it all worked out.

SoT/PE: Following NEARfest, you performed at Rhythm and Brews, which was filmed for the Lex Live DVD. Could you tell us a bit about the making of this, and the thoughts behind some of the delightful bonus footage?

Fred: That gig came out of our inability to film NEARFest. Basically, you're dealing with a lot of Union stuff in New Jersey. You know, you're paying 8 guys because the union says you have to. What do they do? Nothing, apparently. But you're out thousands of dollars before you even get started. It was utterly unfeasible, and that's why you won't be seeing any Camel At NEARFest DVD's, or Flower Kings At NEARFest on DVD, or anything else.

But we absolutely had to take advantage of the fact we were doing shows again and sounding pretty decent. Doing something at home was the best way to pull it off.

Most of the bonus footage was stuff from the vaults that we were hoping could turn up on a DVD someday. We have tons more; but we used all we could fit in.

SoT/PE: Following up the critically acclaimed Lex Rex must not have been an easy task. What ideas on how to do this did you have in preparation for the current album Shadowlands?

Fred: Essentially, our idea was not to stray too far from the Lex Rex sound because it was working well, but not to make "Son Of Lex Rex" either. To borrow a phrase from Sesame Street, do something "different, but the same."

SoT/PE: Glass Hammer albums prior to this one all had concepts, yet this one seems to tell several different stories. Was this something you planned trying this time around?

Fred: Very much. I kind of begged to not be locked into a concept, just one time. The funny thing is a lot of people seem to sort of see a concept of some sort in there anyway.

Steve: Lex Rex just seemed like such a big and important story, at least to me. I had no real desire to try and 'top' it. Lyrically, I didn't have any burning desire to tell a full-length story either. It seemed the time was right to free GH from the concept album 'trap' for awhile.

SoT/PE: Could you tell us a little about each song on this album?

Fred: "So Close So Far" was unusual because I wrote most of it on guitar, which I find difficult. I thought that made it sound a bit different from a lot of GH music. I wanted it to both flow and be smooth and melodic and also be kind of weird and angular all at the same time. To me it's sort of a tiny epic, with three main parts.

Steve: "Run Lisette" was built around the pipe organ sound, and the desire to retell a really bizarre story about a horse and rider during one of the Napoleonic wars. The horse had a nasty habit of killing people, and kills at least two during the course of our song! We used a real pipe organ on this track, and a lot of vocals!

"Farewell to Shadowlands" was just a really fun, big sounding song that was inspired a little by C. S. Lewis, and a lot by another author from long ago named Lord Dunsany; specifically his book "The King of Elflands Daughter". It is sung by Fred and myself, but features Susie as a soloist.

Fred: "Longer" was a not so subtle attempt to rework a song that many people would think was not suitable for a band like ours, just as an exercise in proving that melody is everything. "Longer" has an incredible melody, and once you have that, you can prog anything.

"Behind The Great Beyond" just evolved well into a long song. I always felt a bit bad that we got so far with "Further Up Further In" on Lex Rex but that song just didn't want to get over the magic prog 20-minute finish line. BTGB evolved into a long song without feeling padded out, or at least we felt that way. I like epics that don't necessarily sound like 4 short songs that you just wrote good segues for- not that there's anything wrong with that. We have one of those coming up on the next album.

SoT/PE: Glass Hammer seems to be firing on all cylinders in 2004 with a 3-pronged assault on the prog market with a new album, concert DVD, and a live album! What are your plans to take Glass Hammer to the next level?

Steve: Another studio album and possibly some more live concert appearances. It's basically all that we can do. There is nothing we can contrive or manipulate to help the GH audience grow larger or faster.

Our fans are really helping us by spreading the word, and organizing street teams. And I encourage that, as word of mouth seems to have been our greatest promotional asset over the past decade.

We do not have a large label working for us, it is just us. An indie band can't afford to place full-page ads in every prog magazine on earth, and we can't do major tours, and we can't get distribution in the big chain stores. Rule out the things you can't do, and get to work on the things you can do. In our case that is probably best.

Making great albums while trying to cultivate loyal fans is perhaps the best thing any band could concentrate on. And it's all we've got!

SoT/PE: To Eric, Walter, Susie and Matt, What are some of your influences?

Eric: Well, if by musical influences you mean who has affected the way I write, then the list is pretty short. I suppose I have been most affected recently by Steve and Fred. When I went to Sound Resources (Glass Hammer's studio) two years ago to record my first album, I was really writing within the bounds of what I saw as marketable for popular radio. Steve and Fred have both helped me begin to write without the constraints of what people expect to hear. I have also been greatly influenced by groups like Rush, Jethro Tull, Kansas and the like. My stuff doesn't sound anything like them, but they have always inspired me. Lately, I have been influenced greatly by the ancient hymn writers. I think some of the most powerful words ever put to music came from these guys.

Walter: My musical influences are Rush, Yes, UK, Pat Travers, Pink Floyd, The Who, Montrose, Steve Babb and Fred Schendel.

Susie: I grew up listening to mostly church music, but in my teens I enjoyed bands like Weezer, Flemming and John, and Six Pence None the Richer. Groups like this were pretty influential in me seeing a different side of music – the cool side. It was around then that I knew I wanted to sing in some sort of rock band.

Bethany: Fleming and John, U2, Jewel, Bjork

Matt Mendians: Rush, Dream Theater, Journey, Queensryche, and Dave Weckl to name a few.

SoT/PE:Is Glass Hammer currently working on a new album? If so, could you tell us some about the ideas you have for it?

Fred: The big idea is that we are using everybody from the NEARFest / DVD band, so it will be more of a band album than probably anything we've done. We have one long piece almost finished and it has all the intensity and drive of GH Live.

I'm really excited to get a chance to do an album that will hopefully really rock, while retaining the old GH melodic sensibilities. We won't put it out if it doesn't turn out to be our best album ever.

Also, I think it will be a very live sounding album in the sense we'll try and keep away from doing a million overdubs, since we'll want to play it live. We'll probably follow that up with a huge choir/pipe organ/full orchestra heavily produced never-play-it-live monster album in the future.

Steve: Yes, we've got a big one planned! But for now, we're not so much doing a follow-up album to Shadowlands, as we are doing a follow-up album to the DVD and live album.

Here's something that always sounded clichι in the past, but now sounds even more so. We always say that 'this is our best album yet', every time we do a new album. But we really do feel that way, and I especially do this time! We're really involving everyone a lot more. They're getting to work out parts with us, and they have time to learn those parts and adapt them to their sound and style. The vocals are really under the microscope this time. But the addition of Matt Mendians has totally redefined our studio sound. He learned our new 23 minute long epic in two weeks, and finished his drum tracks in one afternoon session. We gave him three takes to do it, but he essentially nailed it every time. This new album is just going to rock! (Whilst retaining its proginess of course! We certainly haven't forgotten who we are and what we do. We're a prog group first and formost)

SoT/PE: Will the NEARfest Glass Hammer line up be appearing on the upcoming album?

Fred: Oops, already answered that one. Everyone from NEARFest will be on it. I have fired myself from playing anything but keyboards! OK, and maybe the steel guitar. No one else gets to touch that.

Steve: Flo Paris may be missing from the lineup however. She, her husband and new baby have just moved to California. We're finishing up her solo album though, so you'll be hearing from her one day soon I hope.

SoT/PE: You have done some great works that deal with J.R.R Tolkien, such as the Journey Of The Dunadan album, and the The Middle Earth Album. Will Glass Hammer be doing some more Tolkien inspired work in the future?

Fred: Probably. We've made a lot of fans because of our Tolkien music. We don't have concrete plans as yet, but there was a show recorded in Toronto at The Gathering Of The Fellowship in front of about 1,000 hobbits and elves that is waiting to be released when there is time.

Steve: There are some new Tolkien tunes that were performed at that show, so I am really hoping we can release an album from that show one day. Either way, Tolkien continues to inspire me. I'm really into his Silmarilion now, and it would be challenging to do something musical from that. In other words, no definite Tolkien plans at this point!

SoT/PE: What are every band member's favorite song and album by Glass Hammer?

Fred: It varies. Usually that answer is whatever we're currently working on. I personally have a soft spot for Chronometree because it brought a really good organ sound back to GH music. If we play again next year I plan to get us to do more music from that album. Perelandra is hands down my favorite of what could now probably be considered the "early" albums. But I enjoy hearing anything we've done from Chronometree on. I hope the album we're working on turns out to be the best though.

Steve: Lex Rex is probably my favorite GH album to date. As for songs, I can't narrow it down to one choice. The currently untitled 23 minute long track we're working on now tops the list I suppose. "Junkyard Angel" (On To Evermore), is another. "When We Were Young" (Lex Rex / Lex Live / Live at NEARfest) is special to me because it was written on the day my wife told me she was pregnant with our first child. In fact, she actually came to the studio while I was working on it to tell me. We took a lunch break to talk over the good news, then I went back to work and wrote the last section. I think the joy I was feeling managed to effect the work I did that day.

Susie: My favorites list changes every other week, but I must say that I am most moved by "When We Were Young" for a number of different reasons. (1) I know the circumstances around the writing of this song – so I love it. (2) The music is so beautiful and emotional – so I love it. (3) But it is the lyrics that tell of a man who comes to grip with the undeserved love of a King who would die in his place, and the scene at the tomb so glorious and majestic, and the triumphant cry that "Death is defeated!" – I practically weep when I hear it. So that's why it is my favorite. "Behind the Great Beyond" (Shadowlands) rocks my face off, too. You know, the whole Shadowlands CD is pretty darn incredible!

Bethany: Further Up and Further In, because of its depth, not only musically, but lyrically. There are so many tempo changes, instruments and musical flavors incorporated in the song! Lyrically, it's my favorite because it speaks so honestly - we might have a taste for a flowery sense of earthly love, but it is only a shadow in comparison to the love of God.

Eric: I suppose my favorite GH song would have to be Behind the Great Beyond (Shadowlands). I listen to it every time I have a spare 21 minutes and 40 seconds. The music and the lyrics work about as well together as I think is possible. Plenty of writers have pondered the big questions of human existence, but never like this. It just has a raw honesty to it.

Matt: I think "Further Up and Further In" (Lex Rex / Lex Live / Live At NEARfest) In because I just love all the movements and the way I get to play on it.

Walter: My favorite song would be all the ones I sing. No, I`m kidding! That is a tuff one. Right now I really like the new song we are working on, but you can`t hear that song yet so, I would have to say "Arianna" (On To Evermore). It is just a beautiful song, a masterpiece, and one that has been overlooked.

SoT/PE: To some of the members who we seldom hear from, what is it like being a part of Glass Hammer?

Eric: Working with GH is a lot of fun. It has made me a better musician, and also changed my name (Walter thought my name was Keith the first two times I practiced with them). Seriously though, this is one of the greatest bands I've ever been part of in terms of everybody getting along and just working well together. As a songwriter, as I said before, this has been a priceless experience. GH has given me a new perspective on what can be said and accomplished with music. I love being part of it.

Matt: You never know what's next. You may go for a long time with no new news then all of a sudden you're asked to do something really cool. It's also very rewarding as a drummer because I get to play my real style and get rewarded for it!

Walter: Being a member of GH has been a dream come true, I have always wanted to play guitar in a prog rock band and Fred and Steve have that possible.

Susie: It's great to be able to make music with people that are my friends. And not just any music. It is quite a challenge to sing this style, so it stretches you, and makes you a better musician. When you surround yourself with people who are good at their craft, it tends to elevate you as well. So playing with these guys, who are at the top of their game right now, makes me want to strive for excellence with what I do.

More than anything, the members of the GH band are good friends. I have known Steve and Fred for some time now, and I greatly enjoy our friendships. We purposely schedule in time to our recording sessions just to catch up. (Some great conversation goes on before those recordings.) When we do get together as a whole, we have a lot of fun. I also love that my sister Bethany is a part of this band, and know that she is getting to be a part of a really neat and unique opportunity.

Bethany and I have a blast hanging with the GH boys. So, to me, the best parts of being a member of GH is the not only the opportunity to make music with some really cool people, who I really admire and appreciate, but getting to be with my friends.

Bethany: The musical geniuses of Glass Hammer are an inspiration, and put some of us who call ourselves musicians to shame! They can pull the most incredible sounds from their instruments that speak to the ears, and they can pen the most poetic of lyrics that speak to the soul. Plus, the members of Glass Hammer are like family. (Besides Susie, who is, well, to me, family. Literally!)

SoT/PE: The Internet can be a powerful tool in promoting a band. Sales can be made from websites, and the word can be spread through webzines and discussion forums. On the flip side, artists have to deal with music piracy and the forums can often be a haven for ridiculous debates about who's music is better. What are your thoughts on all of this?

Fred: I've learned to stay away from the forums and newsgroups. It's just not a place for someone who is too close to it all. It's like people discussing your children in front of you. As far as the Net as a marketing tool, that's pretty simple. We wouldn't be here without it! We are so lucky to be living in a time when we have the ability to record and sell our music independently, that there aren't words to describe it. Musicians should erect a shrine to the team at Alesis that designed the ADAT (digital multitrack tape recorder). It made musicians equal the same way that Samuel Colt is generally said to have done so for everyone else.

Steve: Downloading music without the artists implied or direct permission is stealing. I know that isn't a popular opinion, and I've heard the reasons why it is justified. Bottom-line – it is stealing. It costs me a great deal of time and money to get GH albums done, and we haven't raised our price on albums once in over ten years.

However, please download the free tunes we make available on our site. There is something there from every album. If you like it enough to want the entire album, please purchase it from us or one of our distributors. That's all I ask.

As for the forums and news groups – it is nice to see that people are talking about GH. But reading negative criticism over your first cup of coffee some mornings can be hard to take. I try to steer clear of it, but I'm curious about what people think of us. It usually comes down to a genre discussion – those who love symphonic groups like The Flower Kings and Spocks Beard, usually love us too. Those who hate them don't care much for us either!

That's the bad. Here's the good. Fred is right; we wouldn't exist without the Internet. Prog certainly wouldn't be thriving without it.

SoT/PE: Continuing on the subject of the Internet, what are some of the websites members of Glass Hammer like visit?

Fred: Like I said before, I tend to stay away from prog websites. I do drop in at Progressiveworld from time to time. Also, Phantom Tollbooth and Virtuosity. Sites that I like that aren't music related are http://www.avsforum.com/, a very knowledgeable forum for home theater which is a big hobby of mine, http://www.dvdfile.com/, my favorite DVD review site, http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/, a great site for film buffs, and of course, www.till.com/articles/moog, a Moog resources site that links to a bunch of great keyboard websites.

Steve: I love Sea Of Tranquility of course! I also check out Progressive Ears for the latest buzz, and I read a good deal of WorldNetDaily every day. The GH forum is a very busy place lately, and I've been spending as much as an hour a day just catching up on posts!

Susie: When I had more free time, a favorite site was Homestarrunner.com, where I could encounter mind-numbing entertainment for hours. My sister Bethany introduced me to this hilarious site.

SoT/PE: What is currently on all of your music playlists?

Fred: Nothing. It sounds crazy probably, but I work around music too much to listen to it at home. I tend to read and watch movies. I did recently pull out DVD-Audio versions of Toy Matinee (Kevin Gilbert and Patrick Leonard) and Magnification by Yes and enjoyed them a lot. I'm completely sold on multi-channel music and I hope that maybe GH will have some kind of 5.1 release in the not-too-distant future.

Steve: I listen to Bjork in snippets. At least that is what I've done this week. Otherwise, I'm like Fred. I'm too busy listening as an occupation to enjoy listening for recreation. The good thing is, I like my occupation.

SoT/PE: Glass Hammer has covered much musical territory in their musical career. Are there some other ambitions musically, that Glass Hammer would like to explore?

Fred: I have a solo album in the works that is a bit jazzier and wackier than GH usually sounds that I might finish someday. And if I had the time I'd join a big P-Funk/Ohio Players band with the horn section and the whole thing. But GH is the main thing for me. Most of my energy goes there.

Steve: GH is where I direct all of my creative energy. I have an idea for a solo album whirling around in my head. But I work between 10 and 12 hours a day at the studio and in my office. I have no idea how I'd pull it off! For now, I am content.

SoT/PE: Are there any last comments the members of Glass Hammer would like to make to our readers?

Fred: Mostly that I think our best years are ahead of us, so stay tuned.

Susie: I just want to say a sincere "thank you" for your support of GH. I love getting feedback from people all over the world that enjoy listening to our music. I hope we continue making music that elevates, inspires, and transcends. Thanks again for sharing with us in this experience!

Steve: Visit our website and check out the free mp3s and streaming video. Go post something flattering or at least positive on our forum. And by all means, if you haven't got our DVD or Live At NEARfest album yet, get one fast!



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