Glass Animals Give Fans a Look at Their Stormy Red Rocks Set in 'The Other Side of Paradise' Video: Exclusive
It was the English indie rock band verses nature as the skies opened up, but if anything, that was just an invitation to party harder.
Glass Animals fans got more than a little wet during the band’s July 2017 show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Rain fell so hard that the band had to take an extended break between songs so the venue crew could do damage control, and it seems like a miracle that their equipment worked at all.
But if you've ever been to a live Glass Animals show, then you know it would take more than some rain to stop Dave Bayley, Drew MacFarlane, Edmund Irwin-Singer and Joe Seaward, who are stupendous performers on any given day. Billboard is exclusively premiering the rain-drenched video for "The Other Side of Paradise" from the band's soaked set today (May 31).
Singer Bayley still can’t believe they were able to pull it off. For one thing, when he arrived at the word "thunder” in the bridge of the song, it actually thundered.
Who planned that?
“Um, God? I don't know,” Bayley tells Billboard, laughing. “It was so weird. The strangest thing that's ever happened. Part of me wanted to burst out laughing.”
The band was concerned when they heard bad weather might be on the books, as they’d been looking forward to playing Red Rocks for ages (“It’s an iconic place”). The band was told they’d be given 20 minutes warning and pulled off if it got too dangerous, and with that promise, they took the stage.
“About two songs in, I can see some of the people in the crowd looking concerned and putting on ponchos,” Bayley says. “All of a sudden, these golfball-sized raindrops start pouring down. Everything is instantly soaked. It was dripping into the lights and coming through the roof, somehow, even though the local people said it was totally impossible for that to happen!”
Bayley describes how the water came down the mountain, going down the staircases into the amphitheatre: “It felt like the apocalypse. It was pretty full-on.”
Still, the band’s performance is flawlessly captured, and if it weren’t for the visibly pouring rain in the video, you wouldn’t know that anything was amiss with the band’s gear. But Bayley says otherwise: “Some of it was definitely broken. I remember pulling one of our MPC pads out after the show backstage, and pouring water out of it. Like, half a cup of water. Some of the keyboards were just... it was good stuff.”
Watch the impressive performance below, and check out the rest of our Q&A with Bayley.
You have a few tour dates coming up with Beck this summer -- how's that feel?
Total lotto. To do Madison Square Garden with him is totally bonkers. He's a legendary artist who's managed to keep his sound evolving for so many years. We're lucky to be on the bill, squeezed under him. It'll be wicked.
You have other headlining dates as well. Do you plan to change up the show at all from your previous tours?
We're bringing out a similar set design and everything. We're keeping the pineapple. But we're mainly playing places we haven't played in a long time, like Florida.
I feel like the aesthetic of your most recent album How to Be a Human Being is so Florida.
Yes! There are loads of mentions of Florida. We talk about Pensacola [on "Take a Slice"], which I've got a funny infatuation with. I have a weird infatuation with Florida in general. I find Miami to be an interesting place. I just built a new studio and I can set the lighting to be really Miami, kind of pink and blue. It's full of palm trees and kind of feels like Florida.
About half of the songs on the album have videos, but what about tracks like “Mama’s Gun,” “Poplar Street” and “Other Side of Paradise?” Any plans for visuals?
We have ideas for them and stuff, but we're signed to a really tiny label in England... and we got away with a lot [of videos]. There's no Katy Perry on the label or anything to fund us, no Beyoncé. I think they've had enough of us making videos and they want us to make a new album. [Laughs]
Same. Are you working on next album yet?
Not yet. There are always ideas floating around, and some of us are doing other writing and production projects outside of the band, for other people. We'll get to it at some point!
You said on Instagram that when you were in Cambodia, you "nearly died driving over a bridge that was essentially just a single plank of wood." Can you elaborate on that?
Oh, yeah. [Laughs] I've got a photo on that bridge somewhere. It was quite a mad trip. We were on these motorbikes and picked up these two hitchhiking children in the middle of nowhere, in the woods. They wanted us to drive them home, which is what I gathered, they were maybe 8 and 9. They waved us down and got on the back of our bikes and pointed where to go. They made us take this turn down a not-very-main road, basically a walking path in the rainforest, and there was a bridge that was just one piece of wood. They were like, "It's fine, go!" We did it and we survived, somehow.
The kid on the back of my bike also had a slingshot and was shooting monkeys in the trees and some other people going past on motorbikes -- shooting rocks at them! Cheeky dudes.
Now, not to be creepy, but your schedule looks a little blank after this summer. What are your plans?
There might be a little more touring happening. Possibly. We need some new music. It's about time. I'm not sure when it's going to happen, but starting in the fall seems like a decent time.
I'll be spinning this record on repeat until then, and probably after, and possibly until I die.
[Laughs] I'm glad you like it that much, but you should branch out a little as well.
Finally, are you still against pigeons?
Uh, yeah. I hate pigeons. In general, I don't have a problem with birds, but I heard some disgusting stories about pigeons that cemented my hatred for them.
Well, now you have to share.
Okay, so, have you ever seen a pigeon that has one foot? In England, they mainly just have one foot left and it's really sad. But apparently, the reason they lose their feet is because they accidentally poop on their own leg and it rots their foot away. Isn't that so gross? It's so awful.