The Scottish indie band from Glasgow were formed by cousins James and Rab Allan in 2003. Rab sat down before their gig at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago to discuss the new album Euphoric///Heartbreak.
Nightspots Magazine: Hi, Rab. Tell people who don't know Glasvegas about your music.
Rab Allan: That is one of the hardest things. I would like to think it is soulful and ethereal. I would like to think I am good looking also, but that is not true [ laughs ] . It is hard to describe our music. I guess we just make some noise.
NM: How did the band get together?
RA: Me and my cousin James started playing guitar around the same time. I was going to school with Paul Donoghue, the bass player then we met Caroline McKay, who used to play drums for us. We were all just friends and didn't play music really. We decided to start a band. We were signed with or first album. Then Caroline left and we got a new drummer Jonna, who is Swedish; she is lovely. The new album just came out here and in Britain a month ago. It is all going good so far.
NM: Great. Where does the name come from?
RA: I have asked James and he has give about ten different answers. I guess the best explanation is he didn't want the band to be named what it was. So for example the name Gothic Vampires would mean it would be quite dark. He says, "Glasvegas just rolls off the tongue."
NM: You have a track called "I Feel Wrong ( Homosexuality, Pt. 1 ) ."
RA: Yes, the song is about a guy not feeling comfortable about being honest about his feelings. Even in the modern age it's still very difficult for some people to feel comfortable about themselves.
NM: Any gay members in the group?
NM: Bono from U2 is a big fan of your group. He said, "That song 'It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry' is one of the best songs I have ever heard."
RA: It is one of those crazy things. I used to listen to U2 and then he says that in a newspaper. It is quite a nice thing. Then we were asked to do gigs with them. That was even more mad. Bono was standing on the side of the stage singing our songs!
NM: The new album is produced by Flood. So did you get involved with him through U2?
RA: It is funny how that happened. I was in Santa Monica one day running and had borrowed Jimmy's iPod. I was listening to Depeche Mode's Violator that was produced by Flood and it blew me away. Then I found he had done Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, Smashing Pumkins, PJ Harvey, everyone. When it came to picking a producer there was only one choice for me.
NM: Amazing. Can you describe a live show for people that haven't seen it?
RA: It is quite intense and energetic. It is all about Jimmy's vocals and songs. It is a bit like poetry and telling a story. As opposed to a bunch of drunk people jumping around, it is more in-depth than that. We put on a show not just play music.
NM: When are you coming back?
RA: We just did a huge tour in Britain, next there is Japan and we will return to the United States in September.
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