GLEESON – The Years Have It (Q&A)

Indie Music writes:

Austin-based rock band/collective Gleeson returns with The Years Have It – a dynamic collection of classicist guitar-pop-etc that by turns celebrates and defies convention, gives and doesn’t give a fuck.  

This dichotomy is perfectly illustrated by the album’s bookends: “Holding On” opens with the jagged charm of Twin/Tone-era Replacements; while the closer, a somber cover of “God Only Knows”, strips the original’s orchestration for gentle strings and lonely piano – transforming the Beach Boys classic into a heartbreaking ballad. 

In between you’ll find Superdrag’s heavy melodicism, AM-era WilcoBig Star’s gritty jangle, Jayhawks-ian twang, Peanuts-tinged jazz, a kaleidoscopic instrumental, and a choice Kinks cover. The resulting stew is a wild rock and roll trip – and quintessentially Gleeson.




The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?


We exist 100% outside of the industry. Not a single instinct we possess has ever lined up with the tastes of the average listener, so I doubt Gleeson will ever have an industry relationship of any kind.




The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?


Success for us begins and ends in the studio. Our goal is to make a great record, and if people like it that’s icing on the cake.


Which is the song you wish you’d written every time you hear it and why?


There are many, but “Tom Traubert’s Blues” by Tom Waits, “Born to Run”, and “Ambulance Blues” by Neil Young come to mind. They capture the energy, emotion, and passion without the typical modern-day pretense. They’re songs you can tell come from a real place, and lyrically, they’re off the charts. I’ve always been envious of that because lyrics are extremely difficult for me. I’ve never written a great lyrical song.


If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?


If we lived in a bizarre dimension within which worldwide demand for Gleeson existed, I would ask Prescott Curlywolf and Grand Champeen and try not to get blown off the stage every night.


If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?


Probably the same way we usually do, ourselves, but we’d all quit our jobs forever.

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