By W.T. Edwards
Raise high your disco balls y’all. Glass Candy’s new EP, Touching Without Feeling was released earlier this year on the Italians Do it Better label. Glass Candy, Consisting of Ida No on vocals and Johnny Jewel producing, have been linked to major names in the fashion industry, compared to pop greats (i.e. Debbie Harry and David Bowie), and have toured with some real indie gems. This Oregon based electropop, Freestyle, Italo Disco duo took a break from their current project ‘Body Work’ to further explore what they call on their labels website “the pop end of the rainbow.” Borne of this break were six tracks, sugary sweet and rich in pop texture.
In the meantime, Origivation had the opportunity to get to know Glass Candy a bit better (albeit by way of the e-interview with Ida No) to find out what makes them tick and why grocery stores and Dairy Queens are where it’s at.
O: Tell us how did Glass Candy came to be.
IN: John was working at the grocery store that I shopped at. So we met and started playing music together. First, we were trying droney, synth stuff, then John switched to bass and guitar. We tried a few different drummers as a garage-style band. We were really into the Back From The Grave comps at that time. Then we started getting into disco so we started playing with our first official drummer, Mark Burden, who is now in Dangerous Boys Club. We really didn’t have the musical competence of course to pull off any real disco. So I suppose that’s why we were referred to as Disco Punk. And that was the start of Glass Candy in 1998.
O: Prior to your music careers, what work were you doing?
IN: John was working at a grocery store in the produce department. I worked at a Dairy Queen for 11 years. My starting wage was $3.35 an hour. Then I worked at the grocery store with John for 10 years.
O: Who or what inspires your music?
IN: Other people’s music. There’s so much good music out there, and when I hear it, I’m so glad that I’m alive.
O: What do you hope you’re listeners get out of your music?
IN: Hopefully as much pleasure as kittens, puppies, grass and sunshine.
O: If you weren’t in the music business what profession do you think you would be in?
IN: I would probably be playing power forward for the New York Liberty of the WNBA.
O: Your music has been linked to the world of fashion, having been featured in several seasonal release productions. How did this come about? Was it something you pursued? Do you feel music and fashion are an inevitable pairing?
IN: I don’t exactly know how it came about. We definitely didn’t pursue it. When it first started coming up, people would send us an email and say, “hey, did you see your song being used at this Marc Jacobs run-way show?” Then Karl Lagerfeld, Gucci, Diesel etc… And we’d be like, “Wow, that’s cool.” But we are outsiders. I think they appreciate the visual quality of the music. And we are very flattered that designers and filmmakers want to color their work with ours. Artists are always trying to express themselves through any means possible, especially through their personal style of clothing. Designers are often looking at different music scenes for inspiration. I remember being really shocked when grunge became mainstream fashion and was featured in Vogue magazine. On the other hand, the artists’ inspiration comes from the world they are exposed to, where designers have made a major contribution. You can’t walk out your door without being exposed to it. So maybe in this way, music and fashion (design) have a symbiotic relationship. It’s so abstract and difficult to really know which comes first.
O: Who has been your favorite performer to share the stage with during your career? Are there any performers that you would really like to tour with?
IN: Architecture in Helsinki has been my favorite band to share the stage with. We toured the US with them in 2007. It was a grueling tour. We learned a lot from them and definitely came out of it slightly more professional than when we started. They are so energizing. Watching their show every night gave me the strength to go on. I had never seen a band before that knew how to transfer energy the way that they did.
O: When you’re not performing, working on tracks, or touring, what do you like to do? Does Glass Candy have any hobbies?
IN: I take walks for a few hours a day. My boyfriend and I like to go and explore the Columbia Gorge and the Oregon Coast. It would take a few lifetimes to see all the beauty in Oregon.
O: What song is currently playing on your iPod right now?
IN: Ariel Pink. “Good Kids Make Bad Grown-Ups”