2010 Artist Survey: Westin Glass of The Thermals | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2010 Artist Survey: Westin Glass of The Thermals

Dec 08, 2010 The Thermals
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For Under the Radar’s 8th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2010. Pick up a copy of Under the Radar’s Year End issue for interviews with: The Antlers, Bon Iver, Caribou, Club 8, Delphic, Rose Elinor Dougall, Gayngs, Hot Chip, Lost in the Trees, Love is All, The Love Language, Mogwai, of Montreal, Okkervil River, Yoko Ono, Owen Pallett, Plants and Animals, Mark Ronson, Superchunk, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Sharon Van Etten, and Vivian Girls. Here’s a survey from Westin Glass of The Thermals.

Top 10 Albums of 2010

1. Jason DeRulo: Jason DeRulo

2. Past Lives: Tapestry of Webs

3. Telekinesis: Parallel Seismic Conspiracies EP

4. Explode Into Colors: Quilts

5. Shrag: Life! Death! Prizes!

6. Marnie Stern: Marnie Stern

7. Grass Widow: Past Time

8. Boom!: Boom!

9. The-Dream: Love King

10. Superchunk: Majesty Shredding

What was the highlight of 2010 for either you personally or for the band?

Releasing Personal Life, our album! It’s very exciting for me, as it’s the first record I’ve done with the band. I’m really happy with how it came out and I am super excited to do the next one.

What was the low point of 2010 for you?

The midterm elections.

What are your hopes and plans for 2011?

We have a California/Arizona tour coming up. That should be really fun, and a nice escape from the Portland rain. I’m also looking forward to stuffing my face for the holidays.

What are your thoughts on President Obama’s job performance in the last year? Has your optimism, if you were an Obama supporter, waned?

I was disappointed that Obama and his Democratic majority didn’t use their brief window of power in the executive and legislative branches to force through some progressive legislation that we desperately need. The right wing spent the last two years throwing a temper tantrum and instead of ignoring them, Obama coddled them. You can’t reason with a spoiled toddler! You just give him a spanking and send him to the corner, and get on with your day. Now it’s too late—that window is closed and we’re fucked.

What are your thoughts on the Tea Party movement?

Psycho racist wealthy whites.

With the Internet making every artist’s music potentially available to a wide audience, is it now easier to find listeners or more difficult because you have to compete with so many other musicians?

It’s easier to find listeners, but harder to keep their attention. People can’t even sit still for an entire three-minute song anymore!

Who would you rather listen to—a totally original musician whose compositions are groundbreaking but difficult to listen to or a musician whose songs are immediately enjoyable but derivative? Why?

I always go for the ear candy! Not that I don’t appreciate the avant-garde—I really love it. But I am a sucker for a sweet pop hook.

In the race to find new bands, are too many unworthy bands being hyped up by music blogs and websites? How are music fans supposed to filter through all these new bands being hyped?

The online indie music economy is based on elitism—you want to discover bands that your friends don’t know about yet. Therefore novelty and obscurity are the most important qualities a band must possess, with quality lagging far behind. Sadly, the very nature of the Internet is such that obscurity disappears almost instantaneously, and novelty wears out faster than ever before. Music fans are still smart though, I believe, and there is still plenty of great music being made. Just use your ears!

If your house was on fire, what would you grab as you were running out?

My Furbys and ALF doll!

If you could relive one day of your life, which would it be?

The day I was born. I don’t remember it, and I bet it would be a pretty rad rush to experience again! Dude what’s all this light and noise! Shit, dog! I’m like, breathing air and shit! WAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

What’s the strangest fan encounter you’ve ever had?

It’s always funny and rad when someone I know from years ago shows up at a Thermals show, and isn’t aware that I’m in the band. This has happened a few times and the reaction is always priceless!

Is there anything that most people are able to do that you can’t (such as drive a car, swim, ride a bike)?

Feel emotion. But I hope to have that chip installed early next year. I expect it will be quite interesting.

Have you ever been starstruck when meeting another musician? If so, by who?

I’m a huge fan of Dan Bejar (Destroyer). I’ve been fairly starstruck on the occasions I’ve seen him in person.

What was the first movie you saw in the theater as a child and do you still enjoy it now?

The first movie I remember seeing in the theater was Bambi. I think I cried and also got really scared. I haven’t seen it since! I have a feeling I would really like it if I did see it again.

In 2010, what was the best movie you saw, book you read, comic book you read, video game you played, and/or TV show you watched?

The best book I read was Ultimatum by Matthew Glass (no relation). It’s a really credible and thoroughly frightening picture of the near/middle future for the Earth. Glass really understands geopolitics and human motivation, and writes a suspenseful and believable story of what the human race is heading for.



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