Glacier – Interview –

Country: USA

Genre: Heavy / Power Metal

Interview with: Glacier

Interviewer: Speedskullcrusher

Hello and welcome to Acier Doux, how are you? Are you ready for a little nostalgic trip in the past?

Michael Podrybau : Hello, doing great. We always love the past, but the future is looking great for Glacier.

Mas: Good good! You talking the majority of the bands past or Pod’s past? I don’t remember much of my diaper years in the 80’s honestly.

Did the musicians of Glacier play in other bands in the past? Did they record demos or maybe albums?

Alex-: We’ve all been in previous bands before. Currently I play in a more thrash influenced band called Axxios. More Recently I also tracked the bass for Idol Throne’s 2022 debut album” The Sibylline Age”. Beyond that I’ve been playing in various bands even outside of metal for over 17 years.

Michael Podrybau : My first band was during High School, and it was called Vision. My next band was called Harlot. It was the band before I joined Glacier, and I reunited with them after Glacier. One of our songs, called “Don’t Stop,” received some radio play and was later released on a compilation record. Harlot had enough songs for an album, but the band members parted ways, and that was the end.

VI: My other main project is a black metal band called Panegyrist, which has one album out on I, Voidhanger Records, and another is about to drop this year. As a producer I end up in a lot of album credits for lots of different reasons, and I’ve been recording almost everything I’ve worked on since my late teens.

Mas: I was in a symphonic black metal band called Veneficum with Mendoza who used to be with us back in the Devil in Disguise days. My other main band in my 20’s was a progish instrumental band called Centaurus. Neither band went anywhere obviously. I’ve helped out a few local buddies bands here and there, Lonesome October which is a doomy thing, Against the Plagues helping them with live shows (which is how i met Marco), and then i joined Marco’s band Deadhand System for a while. As for recordings I was on the Veneficum album called “In Tranquil Absurd”, Centaurus “Pulse”, A few songs i helped with on the Lonesome October album “In search of llost time”, did a guest solo for my buddies band Withering Soul on one of their albums. I’ve been around the Chicago metal scene for a while. 
AK: Yes, we’ve all former projects, some also current. I’ve had too many bands to list here but the most noteworthy would be Trials, which can still be found on Bandcamp.
In the first compositions of Glacier one could find old school Heavy Metal side, while it’s not the case in your new music I could listen to. It seems to me your current style is sometimes more “modern” in the way of playing, yet with a good old school side… Do you confirm this feeling?

Alex: I think this is inevitable as new musicians come into the band and bring their influences as well as music and metal itself constantly shifts and evolves.

Michael Podrybau : When we first started working on new songs and recording, I was really worried that the “old school” fans would hate it because I thought it sounded more modern. But I eventually realized that no matter what the music sounds like, it will sound more modern just from the newer technology involved with recording. I also listened to the new music, and I think it holds true – I believe it sounds like Glacier would have sounded as the years go on.
VI: I can see how some people might think that, especially with the popularity of the first EP. But when I listen to the ’88 material back-to-back with “The Passing of Time”, it feels like a natural progression of where the band was going. Even the newer stuff still feels like King Diamond to me more than any modern type of metal. We do like to hear old school elements and feels in the new music, but for the right reasons.
Mas: Definitely, I don’t think any of us have a desire to copy and paste 80’s heavy metal. Plenty of other bands do that. It’s important that every member can express themself musically.
AK: I think that’s fair. We are collectively younger than the traditional scene, though all of us fans, and we try to keep our writing fresh with dynamic song structures. The aim is to keep the iconic elements of what made Glacier’s style throughout the earlier years and use them in a naturally evolved manner.

Do you have plans to release a full length or new music any time soon?

Alex: Yes, we’re currently hard at work getting ready to go into the studio this year for a new album

Michael Podrybau : In 2022 we released Spears of the Empire, a two song EP, and then a couple of months ago we put out a new, two song demos. We are currently working on the next full-length LP, which should be released in early 2025 and so far the new songs are sounding great.

VI: Yes! We’ve been working on a new album since the middle of last year, and we plan to begin the recording as early as this spring when we get back home from Starlet Stock in Switzerland. Some of those new tracks can be found on the 2-song demo tape, “As the Giants Play” & “Spin Statistics” that we’ve been selling on the road.

Mas: Much to the dismay of the old school fans, yes!

AK: Absolutely! We’ve had no shortage of new material in our back pocket and will be in the studio later this year, working on the second full album. Titles are still in the works.

Inspiration can be awakened by very different things, what usually “clicks” inspiration the more often for you?

Alex: For me it’s often hearing a novel concept or a unique feel in a song, then taking that idea and seeing how it applies to my style and with my note choices.

Michael Podrybau : The fans and friends we meet along this journey – they are my inspiration.

VI: For me personally it comes down to a certain pulse or rhythm that I can’t get out of my head. I’m always tapping out drum beats and playing riffs in my head. I just hear something in my brain and have to find a way to actually listen to it, so I end up recording it. It helps that I play multiple instruments, so I can write a lot of things with other instruments in mind.

Mas: Listening to music. I think its important to have other musical styles to draw influence/inspiration from.

AK: The largest inspiration in writing for me is the audience, in a way. The reception we’ve had from Glacier fans new and old has made the process far more thrilling to know our work will be heard. It’s easy to get inspired with that in mind, and easier still when we get working together on ideas. The music almost seems to write itself when the right atmosphere is achieved.

Who composes the most in the band? Very often the musicians contribute to the arrangements, but one of them brings more riffs ideas than others… Is this the case with the band? Are the musicians of Glacier perfectionists?

Michael Podrybau : I would say that Adam Kopecky, our drummer, composes the most, but we all contribute our ideas and work together to make the music.

VI: At some point we all have a time to put our mark on the music of Glacier, but Mas and Adam are riff machines, and Adam sends MP3’s of arranged instrumentals to the band chat most often. After working with the band in the studio and as an active member, I would say that Glacier are not perfectionists, but the music that we create does need to feel and sound right or accurate to how it sounds in our heads, if that makes sense.

Mas: Adam definitely! I contribute solos, add harmonies/layers and have a few riffs here and there but its nothing compared to what Adam throws in.

AK: The majority of writing has been handled between Maselbas and myself since we started working together in 2016. I do most of the song structuring while the guitar ideas come from both corners, solos being all his (and now Vince’s as well). But our current group is getting stronger all the time and these upcoming songs will have everyone’s input by the end. Working with Podrybau on lyrics/vocs has been a fun and creative process with these newer songs.

Which year did you discover Heavy metal? Which bands did you listen to the most at the beginning? And which formats was it: Cds, vinyl’s, cassettes? Do you still listen to some of them?

Alex: Around 2003-2004 a couple of friends of mine started getting into metal bands and would burn CDs for me to check out, and then in 2005 we started going to live shows including a spectacular live show by Queensrÿche. That pretty much cemented metal as a lifelong passion for me. In those days I was collecting any CD I could get my hands on. Nowadays, I mostly use Spotify but I still make sure to always have a couple of CDs in the car.

Michael Podrybau : As a kid, I was always listening to music and singing along to bands like The James Gang, Elvis, Dr Hook, and many others, but my introduction to Metal was probably Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Iron Maiden. I had vinyl and cassettes. I definitely listen to my vinyl collection. I still have all my vinyl from growing up.

VI: My mother got me into heavy metal for sure back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. She was a massive Maiden fan, so that was always playing somewhere, but one of my earliest memories as a young child is sitting in her car listening to a metal mixtape. There was this song that sang about “Kraft Dinner,” which I later learned was from Annihilator’s “Never, Neverland.” From there I was hooked and got into all different kinds of metal over the years. If the band had guitar and double bass, then I was definitely interested! I still have my first copy of “Number of the Beast” on cassette tape, and I still listen to it in my car.

Mas : I’ve always liked Sabbath, Ozzy (love Randy Rhoads playing), Maiden, Priest. I think all of us are all over the place musically and don’t only listen to one style of music all the time. I was buying vinyl when I was a teenager and still have all my old stuff. Then the hipsters came along and hiked up the price of used vinyl. Cassettes, I have no idea why people like them. Horrible sounding.

AK: My Dad was a rocker in his day so I grew up with vinyls of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, and many more as my musical world. But it was around 1990 when my older brother started bringing home the metal. I was 8 years old, totally immersing in Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Megadeth as the prime three. Tapes at first but cds not long after. Later on came Slayer, Pantera, Sepultura… a bunch of random death and black metal… but most of my knowledge breaks off around 2000.

Which recordings come back the most often in your playlists these last months ?

Alex: My musical taste is shifting all the time, lately I’ve been checking out Judas Priest-Invincible Shield, Frank Zappa-Joe’s Garage, and Between The Buried And Me – Colors II.

Michael Podrybau : I listen to DIO quite often, mostly his Rainbow era – and all the Sabbath material with Dio on vocals. Other bands I listen to include Vicious Rumors, Raven, Fates Warning, OZ, Tygers of Pantang, and Judas Priest, but Savatage is my #1 favorite band of all time.

VI: Honestly I became a big fan of the band Iron Kingdom, with whom we just had the pleasure of sharing some time on tour. I’ve also been really enjoying deep diving into all of Motörhead throughout their years, The Birthday Massacre’s “Pins & Needles” is spring/summertime ear candy for me, Sepultura’s “Beneath the Remains” and “Monolith” by Sylosis have been reminding me how much fun it is to play fast, and a copy of Helvetets Port’s “From Life to Death” keeps making it’s way into my car’s tape deck. Honestly, if you have a cassette tape deck in your life (or any other kind of obsolete media player), you end up listening to all different kinds of stuff that you normally wouldn’t reach for, like a copies of “Back in the High Life” by Steve Winwood & “Peter Gabriel III” that I found at a garage sale. I’m all over the place, to be honest.

Mas: Mainly guitar stuff. Al Di Meola, Malmsteen, Satriani, Paco De Lucia, Lawson Rollins, Gordian Knot. Some other bands would be Rotting christ, Blackfoot, Of the Wand and the Moon, Mitch Murder, Riot is always great. Also a lot of classical guys like Gustav Holst, Akira Ifukube, Takashi Yoshimatsu, Clint Mansell.

AK: Well…honestly, I’d have to say David Bowie, specifically the album Reality from 2003. I also recently discovered Goldfrapp and have been jamming the album Head First a lot lately. (maybe I should just let the others answer this).

Which equipment do you use to have such a great sound on your music?

Alex: I use a 4 string Specter Euro 4LX model and Darkglass Amp Head.

Michael Podrybau:I use a Sennheiser wireless E935 microphone for live performances.

VI: Low output pickups through high gain amps, and I’m a sucker for Japanese guitars in particular. I’m easy to please for live sounds, but I get really picky in the studio.

Mas: I use modded Music Man Steve Morse Y2D guitars mainly. As far as amps go we never play our own stuff except when we do a Chicago show so we stick with the Line 6 Helix as our main live sound because its the only way we can get any consistant sound. At practice/the occasional Chicago shows I play my own head/cab which for me is a Mesa Boogie JP-2C (which serves these days as a power amp mainly) along with a V30 loaded Engl cabinet.

AK: I’ll definitely let the others answer this!

Any upcoming tour?

Alex : We are currently getting ready to play Starlett Stock which will probably wrap up our live shows for the time being. We’re hoping to put our focus on a new album this year.

Michael Podrybau: We are headed to Switzerland to play the Starlett Stock festival, which will end our tour for this year. We are going to finish up the new album before we start thinking about adding more live gigs to our schedule.

VI: Since we just finished with a mini tour through France & Spain last fall and almost 3 weeks on the road through Europe in March, we want to focus on recording the new record until 2025.

Mas: 2025 maybe? Who knows.

AK: We are just about to finish up our live performance phase for the year. We will be looking into future booking once the album is near complete.

What are the next projects with Glacier ? Something delightful to announce to the readers? Thanks for the answers.

Alex: A new album in the works

Michael Podrybau: Just the new album!! Can’t wait to go into the studio and get it done. We played one of the new songs on our tour, and the fans loved it. Thanks so much for the interview and thanks to our fans!!! If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be doing this.

VI: This year is all about finishing up the writing & recording of the new Glacier album and making plans to be in Europe for a tour in 2025. It will be very exciting to bring new music on stage with us next time we are out on tour! So many Glacier fans new & old have been reacting really well to the new material that we’ve been releasing & playing. Next year we hope to see all of our friends again with some more new stuff, some old stuff, and hopefully something really special featuring a couple familiar faces. It is a distinct honor of mine to be a part of this band’s legacy, and I want to thank all of our friends that we’ve made out there for helping us feel at home so far away from home. Thank you so much!

Mas: A new album is the most important thing right now. There is another album besides the new one in the works but we aren’t going to say much about that one right now as its on the backburner at the moment. Thanks for the interview!

AK: We have a few new ideas for pins and patches in the making. But the next full album is our next primary objective. We’ll be looking into the artistic direction on that when the tracks start taking shape and we’ll surely be making new merch of all kinds when the album is ready.


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