Student Newspaper

An Interview with Glass Cave's Matt Hallas

Share Article
An Interview with Glass Cave's Matt Hallas

Originating from busking on the streets of York, Glass Caves are an indie rock band that has spent the last 12 years exploring the music industry in the hope of succeeding in the risky business of producing music. With Christian influence, the band has taken a step forward recording a new album with the aim to make an impact upon listener’s lives. I spoke with lead vocalist Matt Hallas to get an insight on the truth about entering the music field.

Can you explain a little bit about the origins of the band name, Glass Caves?

There was a band before Glass caves called ‘The Cellars’, which was the original four members plus me, and I joined their band and we spent a summer writing songs in one of the member's garage for probably three or four weeks. Then, when we had enough songs to release, we thought we’d change the name. To be honest, we spent probably four or five hours trying to come up with a name, and we landed on Glass Caves just because where I was from there was a place that begun with ‘glass’, and ‘cellars’ in French is ‘carva’ so we mixed the two to create ‘Glass Caves’.

How difficult was it to take the risk and form your own band?

I guess it wasn’t much of a risk to begin with because we’d already written songs and we just wanted to just get them out there. This was 12 years ago, which is crazy. It was a long time ago. There were a lot of bands around like ‘The Wombats’ and ‘The Cribs’ and loads of indie bands so it didn’t feel like a risk, and we were inspired by a lot of bands around.

What have been the biggest struggles so far?

I think the struggles as a small band that aren’t really known well, is just funding. I think when you’re away from home a lot, and you’re trying to make something from it but not getting a lot in return, it causes a lot of stress and anxiety over income and surviving. But right now, I think we’re in a good place. We’ve got a label that’s paid for a new album, and we’ve got jobs, so we have money. So, if it works and blows up, it’s great. If it doesn’t, it’s not like it’s our livelihood, so it’s okay.

How do you manage to balance home life as well as the music life?

It’s quite difficult, I think I’d say at the minute my balance is more heavily focused on family life, with a little baby who’s fifteen weeks old, so the focus is on family and getting him to a point where he’s just stronger and more independent. I think when you’re on tour it’s tough because you have to be away, and it’s the best way to earn money. But the focus will be on doing gigs to make money or that are really impactful for the band’s image, rather than what we were doing before when playing shows with no real return, with the small hope that they’d build a small number of fans, but I just don’t think that was worth it. I think the balance is spending a lot of time with family, and then when with the band, doing impactful things to gain more recognition.

Is there any specific message that you’ve been trying to give your audience?

I think we’ve only just written about experiences and just trying to get messages across. Our most well known song at the minute is about the guitarist leaving the band and I just sort of wrote it to him almost as a dialogue. But with the new album it’s quite spiritual, I think it leans a lot more into my experiences as a Christian and my experiences with God. It’s not explicit with worship songs, but it’s inspired by similar things, apart from 2 or 3 tracks. The main focus is my relationship with God.

Is there any advice you would give to people pursuing a music career?

Only God knows if it’s going to work or not, but I’d just say if you’re going to do it, do it; put everything into it but also have a backup plan and expect to struggle.

Could you tell me a little bit about the next album?

I’m really excited about it to be honest. We’ve recorded it over the course of a year, so it’s been quite a slow and sporadic process, but I’m really excited about getting it out there. My wife said its good which is always a good listener test because she’ll tell me if it’s bad, she’s very honest. And like I said, it's more of a focus on the spiritual side of my life, I guess love is what we’ve focused on in the past and challenges in relationships, but it’s good. We don’t know what it's called yet, and we don’t have any artwork for it yet, and we don’t really know when it's going to be released, but hopefully the back end of this year or the start of next.

Do Glass Caves have a big motive inline for the future?

I think the motive would for me personally, to be that our songs might speak to someone, and that they might explore something more. The producer we’ve worked with was an atheist, or at least agnostic when we started, and by the end he was considering there might even be a God. The drummer I’d say wants to enjoy it and have as many fans as possible, play big shows, and have fun. So, it’s quite different for us all. I think if we can make an income from it, that’s a big thing as well. For the first time this year we’ve made money from an advert, which was very rewarding; so if we can actually make money from it, it’d be a big bonus. We’ve started getting return for all the years we spent getting no money out of it.

Anything else you’d like to tell me about Glass Caves?

We have the new album coming out, but people don’t really know about it yet. We also have a gig coming out at the end of the year in Manchester but that’s about the only show we have booked in for the minute. I guess we’re all getting lined up for the new album we’ve got coming out which is pretty big news.

By browsing our site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out about cookies here Accept & Close