Interview: Glitchers “As much as we are a DIY punk anti-capitalist band, we always said that if a label supports what Glitchers is all about, or anyone does, then we have to let them in.”

Here at Devolution, we are delighted to introduce some extreme punk rock and as DIY as it gets guests. We have Glitchers in the house. We are honoured to introduce this dynamic duo, Sophie and Jake, who are here to discuss the story of their debut as a band, their punk rock ethos, and their forthcoming tour. 

How are you doing guys?

Jake: “I’ve been having a lot of time off recently to just write and stuff like that, but yeah, it’s been good.”

Fantastic well, to give our readers a bit of background, we first came across your band when we went to the Heavy Music Awards in London at Wembley; we left slightly early because it was all a bit major label and heard this unholy racket and thought, that sounds cool as fuck! Where’s that coming from? And we looked across the front of Wembley Arena, and you were rocking out on the side of the street! Jack, one of our Foodinati UK cameramen, said, “You’ve not heard of Glitchers? That’s Glitchers, mate!”

He knows everything going on; he’s on the cutting edge. We were so impressed. By then, it was about the time security guards were getting involved. So, we thought, we hope we see them again. And then, when we reviewed Enter Shikari in Leeds, you were rocking out outside there, too!

Jake smiles: “Leeds Arena is one of our favorite spots because they never stop us. We’ve actually done like I think a half an hour set there before because they just never stop us.”

So, how long have you been doing this? To give our readers an idea of what you do exactly.

“Well, back in, it was 2020,” Jake continues. “I didn’t have a drummer and lockdowns were happening, so I taught Sophie how to play drums to a few songs I’d written. And then towards the end of the year when they started to open shops, Boris said that the arts will have to go retrain. And I was like, yeah, fuck that. So, we hired a flatbed truck, we drove to Downing Street, and we played a protest gig on the back of a truck directly opposite Downing Street.”

Wow, what a debut.

“And that’s pretty much how it all kicked off.”

That’s incredible.

Jake continues, “2021 and the venues still weren’t open, but shops and everything else still were. So, we just hit the high streets. It was more of a necessity of, you know, music and arts can’t just be gone. You know, naturally our performance is very out there and energetic, so people stayed well over two meters away from us, you know. We lived together, it was absolutely fine, and no one was getting ill from coming anywhere close to us. And then, yeah, it just erupted, really. We never expected to still be doing it like this three years later, but we now rock up outside of venues and play after parties. So as people are leaving the gigs, they can have another gig on their way out.”

I love it because, in this era, people buy expensive PR campaigns for their singles. Some are getting the wrong idea and buying followers; we’ll forget about those guys! But you’re doing this the proper way, the punk rock way, the way we used to do! I remember back in the 90s when you just went out and played live. That’s how you get people interested in your actions, returning them to their roots. Just making a racket and saying hey, we’re here! I mean, it’s working!

Jake agrees “Yeah like when I came up with the idea of playing outside partly it was you know there was no venues but I was pissed off that if you want to start a band nowadays you have to you know if you haven’t got a big group of friends if you’re not in college or something like that they’re like well how many tickets can you sell I was like well I don’t know I’ve just started this band so you can’t get gigs and you can’t make fans. I was like well if we just play outside. Eventually some people might like us.”

Yeah, you take it to them…

“Stuff like Facebook is dead, even now trying to promote our tour. We might be outside handing out flyers because that would be way better. It’s far more effective.”

Yeah, the old ways. Back in the 90s, like when we used to have events in Leeds, we’d be out there on the streets, flyering, and fill the places because that’s how it worked. There was no internet. It was word of mouth. And what you’re doing is really important for young bands to look and feel; maybe we should rethink this a bit because Dave Grohl once said there’s no better promotion or way to grow your band than just playing live. You’re a testament to that, guys!

Sophie offers, “We really want other people to do it as well. Like we don’t want to gate keep it. We want to play on the streets because it’d be so much fun. Yeah, like I’ll see you get buskers, but like, you know, you don’t really get punk people throwing themselves about.”

I want to talk to you about the logistics of that because I’ve seen it, but this is for our viewers’ benefit, so you rock up in a van. What next? 

Jake takes this, “Well when we started it was in the Citroen Picasso and you’re the first to hear this, but our van died and we just had to make the decision of van or big car, van is so costly and we’re not sleeping in it anymore because we’ve now, thankfully, made so many friends doing this we sleep in all their houses. We’ve gone back to a big car because it’s so much cheaper. We just rock up; I have a caravan battery and an inverter that powers the guitar ramp I cut a hole in the Marshall cab I put the battery inside.”

So is the cab on wheels? Is it just like pushing it out and you are ready?

“No, it’s not on wheels Marshall has just given me one on wheels Which is a hell of a lot heavier for this tour, but no, my original cab I got off Gumtree for like 30, 40 quid, about 10 years ago. And yeah, I just lift it out, all the gear, quickly out onto the streets, set it all up and play. Like we’ve got it down to a T now that we can be set up in what, like minute and a half, two minutes flat if we have to. The fastest time ever was when, do you remember like the G7 that was happening in Cornwall a couple of years ago? We went down there, we’re doing protests, and we got a message from one of the groups being like we’re going to be in this place in five minutes we drove there as we started to get the gear out of the car the police must be the one fifteen of them entered the car park were walking towards us and with there was four of us and it was just get out out out and ready go! fuck it we knew that if we didn’t start before, they you know they got to us that we wouldn’t be able to do it. So, it was just quickly, soon as we’re playing, the police are just like, whoa, whoa, what do we do?”

Yeah, there must be that sort of stun factor where they go; how do I approach this? This has yet to happen.

They both agree, “Yeah, yeah, definitely.”

That’s amazing. Jake, you don’t have a PA, you’ve got a megaphone, right?

“Yeah, we tried, like I had an old little guitar amp, and we tried a microphone and the traditional style, but it it was never loud enough. And if I’m honest, because it was attached to a lead, we tried it at a skate park where we did our first gigs and I just kept pulling it over. The amps would fall over, and I was just gonna break stuff. I can’t even remember who suggested it, but someone was like, why don’t you just try a megaphone? And it was so much louder. When the batteries are getting low and I’ve thrown it in the air and it’s a bit smashed, yeah, it’s not perfect all the time. But again, it adds that punk element of just, it’s going in seconds, you know, there’s no set up, it’s just boom, done.”

We’re going to shift our attention to Sophie here. Right, we’ve noticed you guys have some friends in high places. You recently got yourself a new drum kit, didn’t you? 

Sophie confirms, “Yeah well basically that came about because we Jake got his endorsement of Marshall a year ago now about a year ago and they were like come down to the factory we want to meet you so we were like okay so we set up and played outside Marshall headquarters in their car park and we just so happened to play on the day that everyone was in like all the big guys were into this big meeting so thankfully I met George who runs Natal artist and yeah he kindly endorsed me with a drum kit which is crazy like absolutely so it’s such a cool drum kit as well. I haven’t posted online yet, but it gives me Rocky Horror vibes which is like so me.”

Excellent, so is that gonna be your kit for best? Your best kit, which goes on stage, and another one goes on the street?

“The one that’s a bit rusty and it’s a bit warped? Yeah I keep the nice gear off the street otherwise I don’t think I’ll have my endorsement very long!

You have some releases out. We went and checked you out on all their platforms and whatnot, including a really kick-ass version of Helter Skelter, by the way, which we really enjoyed. The production is proper old-school sounding and right up our street as well. Did you intentionally make it sound that way? Or is that just a happy accident that happened?

Jake smiles, “It’s just how it happened really. Like all of our stuff is recorded at home by us. The Helter Skelter one is the first one where Sophie is actually playing the drums on it. Normally she tells me what she does, I tap it in on GarageBand and that’s how it comes out. But on this one we actually went into a studio just to do the drums for you, didn’t we, for like a couple hours, because we wanted to do it properly. But yeah, it’s all just on GarageBand and I’ve gradually learned to mix and master myself. You know, we said if we do this DIY, we’ll do it DIY as much as we can, you know. If I’m honest, our first EP, we laugh about it even though it sounds horrible it’s like dribbly as fuck, but you can hear the progression of whereas musicians we’ve got better as like working in the studio you know. It has got better and better we’ve learned how to do this ourselves absolutely.”

So have you had labels come sniffing yet or anything like that?

Jake says: “Yes, kind of, Marshall Records are interested. We’ve had one meeting with them, but they’re very busy with everything at the moment. We’re about to go on tour, so I think they’re just letting us crack on with this.”

Absolutely, development.

Jake continues “We’re interested, you know what I mean? Like, as much as we are a DIY punk anti-capitalist band, we always said that if a label supports what Glitchers is all about, or anyone does, then we have to let them in. The hardest thing for people to get their heads around is that we do everything for donations. Everything is priced at the cost to make, and then the fans can pay what they want on top. It was our big, fuck you, to how capitalistic everything has become. Naturally, that puts a lot of these places off, do you know what I mean? Because they’re in it to make money. We’re not, although everyone needs money to pay bills and live. Of course. They want to make more money. But, you know, Marshall seemed very interested in supporting us with it. So, we had to put our hands up and go, you know what, if you want to help us, we’ll do it.”

Marshall also has Nova Twins, another band pushing the envelope, very DIY. There are literally two of them. There are a lot of parallels there.

They both laugh “Yeah. Fingers crossed. It’s just waiting time. Like we’d love to do something with Nova Twins.”

You guys tap into something deep within our punk rock roots, which is just if you are DIY and you do know how to do everything yourself, no one can take anything away from you because you’re not relying on anyone to do anything, and no one can let you down, only yourself. And I think that is a position of extreme power, especially in the music industry, where you go, fuck you, I’ll do it myself. 

“Yeah, yeah, literally that’s how the meeting felt, didn’t it? Says Jake excitedly, “Like, you know, it didn’t feel like we were going in there begging, like, please help us. We went in and went, this is Glitchers. Do you want in or do you not?”

It’s going to happen whether you’re here or not. That’s such a powerful place to be. And more bands should take your route because it breaks my heart when I see so many bands thinking, beholden to this whole idea of making it big. When the truth is, no one makes it big. If you pay your bills, you’re doing great. Many bands that have been in the top 10 still have day jobs. You know?

“So many do. And even people that have day jobs have second- or third-day jobs nowadays. Do you know what I mean? Like the system is rigged. It really is.”

Absolutely. And that’s because nobody puts any value on music anymore, which is how I got in touch with you. Right now, I’m not going to give away the surprise for anyone, but let’s just say we here at Devlog and Foodinati UK are getting a little annoyed with capitalist assholes thinking that they could just have music for free because, you know, we should be honoured to come and play at their hallowed venue, honoured. So, we’ve hatched a plan to stick it to the man. 

They laugh and we plot, “Yes, in an incredible fashion.”

We can’t give it away, but yes, you will be hearing more from DeVlog and Glitchers in the future. Before we go, is there anything we and our readers should know?

“We go on tour next week. All tickets are at cost, so we put it at like five pound minimum, which means each band gets a pound and like the venues get a pound, so everyone’s getting paid and then people can pay what they want on top, you know, keeping costs low, but we’d love to be able to do it where it was just no minimum at all but you know, we’re working with people like Marshall now and they’re like no people can’t have it for free. Like you said we need to put value to it. We’re going on tour for two weeks. So, if you’re in one of the cities come check us out.”

So what are those cities? Where are you going to be?

“Right?” says Jake,

” I’ll read out the first half, Manchester Sheffield, Newcastle, York and London.”

Sophie takes up the list here, (Deep breath),

“Plymouth, Birmingham, Huddersfield, Cambridge, Reading and Lincoln.”

That’s a hell of a tour; you’ll be busy. So that starts next week.

“Yeah, it starts next Wednesday in Manchester,” clarifies Jake, “although our shows have always been 15 minutes on the streets to make sure we don’t get arrested, these are full hour?long sets and we’re both planning stuff that although they’re still relatively small venues, we’ve always said to ourselves we want to put on a show. You know, when we play on the streets, we play like we’re playing in venues. So now when we play in the small venues, we’re going to make sure the show is like you’re at a big venue. Do you know what I mean? Including stuff into the sets to make it next level.”

So, is there anything else, anybody else you want to shout out or anything else to tell us? 

“Oh your wigs you have to give them.” Jake nudges Sophie,

“Oh, the wigs? Yeah, Lush Wigs, they’ve sponsored me for over a year now and they send me all amazing wigs, so they’ve helped me out on this tour. I’m going to have different colored hair every night.”

Are you still doing the crowd funder for your van? Should we shout that out as well?

“Yeah, give it a shout out. Like we’re going for a car instead of a van to keep costs cheap because, you know, emissions zones and all that palaver now, it literally makes it easier to be in a car, but the van still sat on our drive dead. So, at the moment, any help. Again, we do everything for donations. So even if the GoFundMe is not up, if people see a video of us playing on the streets and you want to chuck us something, just pretend that that is our bucket.

On the streets we literally have a bucket where people can chuck money in. If you enjoy what we do, just chuck something in because every penny just gets straight back into making sure we can keep on doing this. Do you know what I mean? We’re not going on posh holidays or anything like that. We just go and do another gig, go to another town and just play to whoever’s there.”

You’re truly living it, man; that’s the thing. You’re absolutely living it. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you. We’ll talk to you more obviously behind the scenes, and Devlog watchers, stay tuned! 

Sophie and Jake, thank you so much!

Take care, guys….

We actually mean that!

Interview By George Miller –