Pop Shop Podcast: Glass Animals Will Make You Sing Along to Lyrics About Mayonnaise & Pork Soda

Jessica Xie
Glass Animals

Welcome to the new episode of the Pop Shop Podcast’s Headliner Interview, Billboard's weekly long-form talk with a compelling, inspirational voice in the world of music, hosted by staff writer Chris Payne. This week’s subject is a band that spent 2016 taking on a variety of compelling, yet not always inspiring personas: British indie pop group Glass Animals. Their wonderfully wonky sophomore album How To Be a Human Being was a dramatic study in 11 different characters -- one for each song -- which found the band exploring the minds of a mayonnaise-eating stoner and a codeine-abusing, space-obsessed loner. Somehow, it's not at all depressing.

The band came by New York’s Billboard office to chat about these bizarre character studies and what it’s been like performing them across the world. “People started singing the words from the very first time we played these songs,” says bassist-keyboardist Edmund Irwin-Singer. Says keyboardist-guitarist Drew MacFarlane, “The stranger the lyric, the more people seem to like relish screaming it at you. Like people love screaming about mayonnaise. And they love screaming about being filthy and loving it.”

Since the album dropped in August, Glass Animals have been tossing all TMI inhibitions aside, performing these fascinatingly zany songs across North America and Europe, including their native U.K. Along the way, the Englishmen picked up some insights on less-celebrated American musical hotbeds like Raleigh, N.C. and Missoula, Mont., which they were eager to share on the podcast.

Other topics of discussion include collaborating with Joey Bada$$ on a 2015 track, their favorite hip-hop album of this year and why frontman Dave Bayley got sick and had to miss the podcast.

Click here to subscribe/rate the Pop Shop Podcast on iTunes. The Headliner Interview runs every Thursday; previous episodes include Vampire Weekend’s Chris Tomson, Dawn Richard and the Ringer’s Robert Mays discussing the new Metallica album.