Exclusive Interview with Glass Hammer: VALKYRIE, The Best of 2016

 

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Glass Hammer’s Latest, VALKYRIE–2016’s best album.

From the beginning of this, let me [Brad] note that I think that VALKYRIE is not only Glass Hammer’s finest achievement, but it’s the best album of 2016, thus far.

Questions

PROGARCHY: Steve and Fred, after so many years of writing, recording, and producing, what motives you?  I ask this, because most bands go the other direction.  They start strong, and they lose it.  You, however, do just the opposite.  You started very strong, and you just keep getting better.  Why, how?  What’s your secret?

Fred: Luck, perhaps?  It may have a little to do with the fact we’re easily distracted and move from one thing to the next like butterflies so we never have a chance to get too stale.  We are always interested in trying something different.  I think in this case we benefit from having little bits of stuff fly by on the wind and stick to us- post rock, ambient video game music; things we don’t necessarily know well enough to emulate too specifically, but that influence what we’re doing at any given time.  The other thing is surrounding ourselves with the right people and I think that has a lot to do with the new album working out as well as it has.

Steve: We’re driven and we just don’t stop. Momentum is important. We have awesome bandmates who invest themselves into our vision and a support team that keeps everything behind the scenes running smoothly. I’m with Fred on the butterfly theory. There are a million things I’d like to try with Glass Hammer. We’ll never get to the end of my list or Fred’s.

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PROGARCHY: What do you think Glass Hammer means as a band, a concept, a project?  Where do you see Valkyrie in your personal history, and where do you see it in the long tradition of rock and prog?

Fred: I don’t know what it means.  I feel like I have to leave those questions to the people on the outside looking in; people that have an objective view of it all.  My perspective is kind of mundane.  For me Glass Hammer is an outlet for the music I write and Valkyrie is the latest work we’ve done and that’s it.  Time will tell us where Valkyrie fits in the history of the band and of prog in general.  I have high hopes though that it will be remembered as an important album in our catalog but it’s not my call.

Steve: For me, Glass Hammer satisfies the need to create and share the work. We’re a musical expression of a world-view as well, and I guess I’ve driven that idea. Valkyrie is or was quite personal. The story of the soldier and the girl started as a way for me to deal with trauma from my own experience. The hope being, that as I wrote it I could build the story toward a hopeful ending, and thus, find answers to my own dilemma. What happened was that I realized how insignificant my experience was when compared to others. It helped me mend. My Valkyrie has already arrived and guided me home so to speak. What happened to me was no battlefield experience and we need to confess that unless we’ve actually been in that situation there is no way we could possibly be able to relate to those who have, or even write music about it. I can’t reduce that sort of horror into music or lyrics. Still, trauma takes many forms in many lives. I just hope Valkyrie helps others, and especially encourages family and friends of trauma survivors. Survivors don’t make it home without help. As for Valkyrie’s place in history I can’t say. We just hope everyone enjoys it and that it has as much or more impact as other important albums in our back catalog.

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