Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Apr 12th 2011 12:40PM by Julian Marszalek
Meeting Allan in person is in stark contrast to his public persona. For a start, he's ditched the black clothing still favoured by his bandmates in favour of an all-white ensemble that makes him look a photographic negative of his previous self. He's calmer and more relaxed then you'd expect from someone who recently confessed to missing Coachella festival due to overindulgence in jazz salt and a propensity for vanishing for five days at a time.
That Glasvegas have returned at all is remarkable. A punishing tour schedule saw the band lose original drummer Caroline McKay – latterly replaced by Jonna Löfgren – but against the odds the band consolidated, regrouped and recorded their second album, 'Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\.' Moving away from the social commentary of their eponymous debut, Glasvegas have looked inward for inspiration while expanding their epic sound into something clearly aimed at arenas and stadiums.
'Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\' is an optimistic sounding album that deals with affairs of the heart. What moved you there?
You're right. I might not have been thinking about it when I was writing the album but it's certainly more domestic with the things that I'm saying.
Coupled with the optimism that surrounds the album, you've got your mother at the end of the album offering words of reassurance. Are you trying to draw a line under the more tumultuous events that have happened between the release of your albums?
Maybe subconsciously, yeah. I didn't actually sit down and think of writing like that but I guess I was doing that subconsciously. I guess there were aspirational things as well. It was like an adult's wish list to Santa Claus; you know, things I'd wished for and things that I'd hoped for and things that I fantasize about. Things that I dream of.
Speaking of dreams, how did your dreams of making it as a musician compare to the reality of being a musician?
It's pretty close to how I imagined it to be. I'm sometimes oblivious to my limitations because there are some things that I'm not good at but sometimes it can work to my advantage. I try to escape my boundaries and bring any barriers down. And since I've been a kid I've always been like that. And without trying to sound like some kind of smooth f***er, I'm very much a romantic. By that, I mean I can get really lost in a movie and really believe it and get involved with it. I'm not a cynical person and I have a child-like perception of things. I have the mind of a child!
I think you need that when you're involved in rock'n'roll. I think it's crucial that you hold on to that. I know with other jobs that I've had that my personality isn't really suited to that. That can frustrate people but I think that now it's a bit more celebrated.
How well equipped do you think you are to cope the pressure of what you do?
Sometimes I think I'm the best person in the world to deal with this. I'm quite an optimistic person and I cherish the moment and I do that in some ways that are legal, some that are illegal, some ways that my mother agrees with and some ways which she doesn't. Sometimes I do things that aren't really me and you learn from that. But I try to be myself as much as possible. When I can be myself I find that that's when things work out the best. But it helps that I'm a total idiot.
Does the social commentator tag sit badly with you?
That phrase makes me feel like I should be on a soapbox or something; something self-righteous and it to me it doesn't have any meaning. But I guess that's just my perception of things and I don't want to suggest that I'm emphatic but these are my thoughts. I don't want to be in people's faces because sometimes they can feel like that. So not a social observer either but more like social nosy b*****d!
The album was written and demoed in Santa Monica. What does California offer you from a creative point of view?
It makes me even more childish! I think I can daydream there longer and get deeper into my thoughts. It's something tropical and it's like living in a Bounty advert! You know, when you come from places like where we're from these places offer you new opportunities. I never really travelled from Glasgow and it was like when we did that Christmas album in Transylvania. We did it because I was curious and to see what Transylvania looked like and I was curious as to how my surroundings would give me a new platform.
Do you worry sunny climes could blunt your edge?
I guess that's a good way of looking at it and I suppose it could. But California has the potential to do a lot of things to human beings but also in the same breath I would say that I've got enough optimism to believe that it's never the surroundings that truly define a person.