“Sometimes, just one member is a little bit off, and that’s all it takes to completely ruin a band. It’s nobody’s fault, really,” he says. “But chemistry can change everything.”
After four years of line-up changes, the bond between Glacial’s current members has resulted in an increasingly slow, dark and deep sound. Their easy camaraderie helps add another dimension and electricity to both their live shows and studio cuts.
“I often find myself with a big grin on my face when we play live,” says guitarist Mike Morgan. “We’re in this band because we love to play music together—not for rock & roll fame and fortune. Although, that would be nice.”
Vocalist and guitarist Taylor Williams founded Glacial in 2003 with no specific rock format in mind. Williams simply wanted to play music, he says, but, due largely to the mercenary guitarist who played with the band at that time, Glacial’s first batch of songs was fairly light and pop-influenced.
“In the early days of Glacial, I practically could have danced around the stage with a headset,” he says, referring to the ridiculous gear worn by slick divas like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. “Our sound has become a lot heavier over time. Although, I did recently have some guy in a bar who was watching TV with the sound off tell me that our music is the perfect accompaniment to 1980s WrestleMania with Hulk Hogan.”
Initially, Williams recruited musicians that he had never met before they walked into his rehearsal space. “Playing music with total strangers is a completely different thing than playing with your friends,” he says. “I’m actually surprised this band is still around. I think the only reason Glacial still exists is because my friends began to join.”
Eventually, bassist and longtime friend Daryl McClaren teamed up with Williams. Once McClaren joined the band, his distinctive, metal-influenced bass lines began to provide Glacial with some notable sonic direction. Several drummers and a handful of guitarists named Mike (Patterson and Morgan) joined as well.
“In 2006, we had a really talented drummer named Andrew Smith who died of a heart attack because of a congenital heart defect while he was jogging. I didn’t really know him that well, but he was a nice guy,” Williams says. “I booked some studio time shortly before he died, so he appeared on one of our records. Nobody wanted to record, but I’m glad I insisted on it.”
McClaren says the recordings the band did with Smith sound especially dark and downtempo. Although it was difficult to keep making music after Smith’s death, the band persevered and built on the creative momentum that Smith helped foster.
Glacial is currently working on a new full length album in Patterson’s studio, a perk that the other members agree is an unparallel luxury.
“I jokingly asked Andy to be our drummer, and I couldn’t believe it when he said yes. We were all so happy,” Morgan says. “[He] was really the only drummer we wanted, but we knew how busy he was, so we didn’t think he would agree to play with us.”
Patterson’s studio is in great demand locally, plus he’s a self-proclaimed “band whore” who drums for multiple projects including White Hot Ferrari and Kick the Dog. “I work long hours, but luckily I have a wife who is patient. And nonviolent,” Patterson adds.
Williams recently decided to move to Denver but says that he predicts his decision will not put an end to Glacial: “We’ve made it this far. We may end up doing fewer live shows in Salt Lake City, but we’re so good at writing songs together that we can send each other stuff on the computer. Denver’s close. I can still come practice with the guys and record some songs.”
“I’m 31 years old and 125 pounds and I’ve been drafted into the Denver Broncos. I can’t miss this opportunity!” Glacial
666 S. State
Friday, Aug. 3
Glacial drummer/Salt Lake City sound engineer Andy Patterson believes that basic human chemistry is one of the most vital components behind a band’s success and longevity—or its tumultuous, untimely demise.