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A Dirty Dozen with KANDI MOON from GLITTER WIZARD – March 2023

| 11 March 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “For fans of platform shoes, vintage synths and sonic speedballs, GLITTER WIZARD have emerged with their brand new single “She’s A Star” (out today via Kitten Robot Records). Serving as an entry point to the band’s glam labyrinth, the single opens up the twists, turns, and hidden passageways, found on their new EP Kiss the Boot, out March 7th. From the opening drumroll of “She’s A Star,” Glitter Wizard pull out the stops, packing more shredding guitars, infectious hooks, tight harmonies and vintage synthesizers into their already-tight satin pants.” We get bassist Kandi to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your upcoming release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Kiss the Boot pays homage to the brief period of time (roughly 1971-1975, even though Marc Bolan declared glam rock dead in 1973) when big guitars, sequins, platform shoes and Top of the Pops ruled the airwaves. We looked at this EP as an experiment in songwriting and for the first time started with the vocal melody and built the song around that. Most 1970s glam songs are heavily vocal based with the other instruments built around complimenting that melody. Previously we just turned up, ripped it and let things fall where they fall, but this time was a bit more calculated in where everything landed. We also tried to branch out with the synth, guitar and drum sounds from our previous releases. A couple songs/sounds/bands we were influenced by are: the delicious synth textures on Chicory Tip’s “Son of My Father”, vocal harmonies on any Sweet song, The Glitter Band’s big drum sound, Slade, Angel, Marmalade, Bay City Rollers, David Bowie, Alice Cooper. I think the depth of the keyboard/synth parts can slide by on the first pass but light up a doobie, put them headphones on and let Doug Graves tickle your membranes. I don’t know if it’s necessarily hidden but we recorded a cover of “Suffragette City” and produced it in the vein of a different glam band. Can you guess which one????

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Growing up I don’t think I ever really thought being a musician was a possibility. My family is very sports oriented so although music was around, Queen & Bad Company were in heavy rotation growing up, it didn’t seem like something tangible to me. It wasn’t until I heard the Ramones and started to learn about punk rock did it click that you could just start playing music and that was that. I saved up and bought a guitar/amp combo from an ad in a magazine for like $100 or something, my cousin taught me how to play the bassline from “Smoke on the Water” and I haven’t stopped playing since.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Oof that is a difficult question. My tastes are pretty varied and are constantly changing. Two bands that have stayed with me from my teens are The Ramones and Black Sabbath. Pretty crazy right? It sounds cheesy but there is a reason a lot of people like them. They kick ass. I got super into hardcore and weirdo abrasive arty stuff like The Locust, Arab on Radar, Daughters in high school. I wouldn’t delve deeper into hard rock until later and listen to bands like Hawkwind, Blue Cheer, Sir Lord Baltimore, Hard Stuff etc. I saw Bauhaus the last time they came through SF in 2022 and was absolutely blown away by Daniel Ash’s guitar playing. The whole band was great but I’ve never seen anyone play like him. Not really sure what the hell he is doing up there but it sounds ethereal and grating and I’m obsessed.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

For a Glitter Wizard song??? If we are talking anyone/anytime I think it would be cool to jam with John Du Cann (Hard Stuff, Atomic Rooster), or Paul Rudolph (The Deviants, Pink Fairies, Eno, Hawkwind). They both have a punk before punk attitude and raw playing style that is prevalent in a lot of that early 70s hard rock. Twink from Pink Fairies is a wild man too. For a present day artist, Alia Spaceface, from Berlin glam band Travelin’ Jack, and I talked about collaborating forever and it has yet to happen, maybe someday though.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

When not wearing studs and leather I work in video production as a video editor and director, so I am a big film buff. I gravitate toward the dark, weird and disturbing variety. Some films I enjoyed recently are Mad God, X, Moloch, Opera, and The Menu. To unwind I usually like to ride my bike, it’s hard for me to chill out so I have to make myself tired.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?  What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Describing a band you’re in to someone else is always a punishing task. It never comes out right and you often sound like a turd. I usually just say we sound like Sabbath and look like Bowie. Most people know who both Sabbath and David Bowie are and although we don’t really sound like Sabbath or look like Bowie they get the idea. Heavy glam babyyyy. Probably the most cringey/best review we ever got was when we played at the Metalheads MC club in Tempe, AZ. We were hanging out after our set and one of the members excitedly needed to tell me a story. His review was as follows “So I saw you guys get on stage and was like pfft… f*ggots and went to the other room. Then I was playing pool with my buddy and asked ‘Are those f*ggots still playin?’ He said ‘yeah’ and I was like ‘Damn! Those f*ggots can wail!'” He was very proud of himself for overcoming his natural homophobic instincts and needed to share it with us. It was an interesting night. Germans/Austrians are particularly gifted in giving us strange reviews. Per example: “Your show location as described on the flyer was incorrect. We had to drive extra 45km to get here and you only play 45 minutes so we only buy the cd.” Another good one is “Your first two songs were good, everything else was questionable.” I am never sure how to respond to these statements.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Honestly we spend the most time together on the road. Lorfin likes to cook but he likes to eat more. I used to get all the drinks in but partied enough for several lifetimes and am sober now. I am also the only one who has touched an acoustic guitar in a Glitter Wizard setting. I have a couple acoustic songs “Sunlit Wolves” on Hunting Gatherers, “Sightseeing with Admiral Byrd” on Hollow Earth Tour and “Fear of the Dark” on Opera Villains.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Idk about starstruck but seeing Paul McCartney perform was pretty rad. I used to avoid listening to the Beatles because I wanted to hear all the ’60s bands nobody knew about. I used to do a lot of dumb things. Anyway, Paul McCartney was awesome and played like 6 instruments and for like 2 hours at 79 or 80. He’s a fuckin Beatle! There are only two left.

9. What is the best part of being a musician?  If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part about being a musician and the reason for all the hard work and dedication is the 30-60 minutes you are onstage and the room is full of energy. Time seems to go both fast and slow concurrently and you are locked into that moment with everything you have. Music is essentially free to listen to but expensive to create so it makes your life very difficult. You don’t get that onstage rush every time, but when you do it makes all the bullshit about being a musician worth it. To be a kept boy and to create whenever I felt like it.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer?  Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Could I give you a bunch of money? Yes, thank you. JK but I feel like the art of songwriting itself never gets talked about, or the process of songwriting. It’s such a complex and difficult process sometimes, and sometimes it just falls out of your brain and onto the paper. As soon as you think you have it figured out and try the same thing again and again you lose it. Creativity is a son of a bitch. That’s why they are trying to create it in a lab with AI so they can get perfect art that appeals to everyone, everywhere, every time. Idk probably to describe the band’s sound. I’d like to take the David Lynch approach and just let the work speak for itself. Don’t let me lead you into one conclusion or another.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Yeah, I would have stopped drinking earlier. Wouldn’t have broken my leg on tour, driven my band nuts and been allowed into Canada.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I mean to be at Abbey Road Studios in 1967 when Pretty Things recorded S.F. Sorrow, Pink Floyd recorded Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at the same time would have been pretty cool. I also think peaking in on how CAN would record would be enlightening. Hanging out in West Germany/Berlin in the 70s period would be interesting. Lots of crazy music coming out then from CAN to Guru Guru, Tangerine Dream, Birth Control to Amon Duul, Ashra Tempel and Faust to name a few. My favorite album for a long time was Captain Beyond’s self titled first record. Holy Shit is that gold from start to finish. Would just love to see how they worked together. How much was recorded live, how much was overdubbed. What production techniques they use. If there could be a seamless record that would be it. I probably listened to it every day for a year at least. When I first joined the band 11 years ago….our buddy made a reference to Captain Beyond and I had never heard of them. He said “You’re in Glitter Wizard and have never heard of Captain Beyond? Get your shit together.” He was right and I did, thanks Austin.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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