Preston Glasgow Lowe perform at The Verdict in Brighton on Saturday 16th April.
We talk to guitarist David Preston (pictured above, middle) about their debut album released on Whirlwind.
You release the debut album of Preston Glasgow Lowe on 29th April. Tell us about the album and how it all came about.
“We had the goal of making an album together since 2012 when we first started playing small gigs around London. It was simply a matter of getting the material and playing up to a standard where we all collectively felt like we had a real original statement to make as individuals and as a unit.”
“We could have made the album in 2013, but it wouldn't have been as good, so we really wanted to take our time with it (perhaps too much time) and make sure we were all happy with it.”
“We knew we didn't want to feature guests, didn't want a producer (or anyone to tell us what or how to play) and were going to write all original music as a trio of bass, guitar and drums. The only real proviso to anything ending up on the record was that it had to be really good, which is a simple enough concept, but it made things at times incredibly difficult and one of the most challenging musical experiences I've ever had.”
What are your favourite tracks from the album?
“I really like Colour Possesses and The Priory for their compositional elements and Within You (p3) probably has the best example of group interplay and collective improvising.”
“We tried to write every tune with a different goal, theme and feature in mind so I like them all for different reasons.”
A lot of the tunes on the album are ones that I recognise from seeing you perform live. Have you managed to capture the same energy and feel of a live performance?
“I'm glad you recognised the tunes! I feel the album accurately captures what we do live, but a studio album (with the exception of a very few) is never going to have the same feel or energy as a live performance in front of an attentive and listening audience, and one of the things I really wanted to get away from was to make a record with an exclusively live feel to it.”
“I think there's a huge disconnect in the live vs. studio 'debate' which unfortunately seems to come mostly from improvising musicians that can't, or won't separate the two disciplines. Improvised or not, one of the most boring things to me as a listener is hearing an album that is the same live, or vice versa.
A studio record has benefits to it that would never be possible in a live environment, and I'm not just talking about overdubs or fancy production techniques. I feel we really used the studio to our advantage in a way that is just not possible to do live, with the goal being that hopefully, if we did it right, people will want to listen to it for what it is, and when they hear us live they'll get something much more and a completely different experience from say, listening to us on YouTube, iTunes or even a fancy hi-fi system.”
“I think that if we do eventually make a live sounding record, we are going to make a record live, on stage in front of an audience.”
The band are touring during April to promote the album. What plans do you have for the rest of the year?
“Straight after our tour we have a couple days off and then are playing two nights at Ronnie Scott’s in May 4th & 5th supporting Simon Phillips which we're all really looking forward to.”
“We're hoping to play some festivals throughout the year, maybe featuring some guest soloists (if we can afford them).”
“Myself and Kevin are in the initial stages of writing a bunch of duo music together which we want to tour and release at some point which could feed into future PGL projects.”
We have an albums worth of new material, which is not on the album that we'll be playing on the road which will need recording at some point too.”