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It's no secret that Incendiary guitarist Brian Audley is a diehard Glassjaw fan. His love of the Long Island, New York, group's soulful and chaotic post-hardcore may not be readily apparent in the sound of his own longstanding hardcore band — but he does feel a deep connection to the group. See, Audley grew up in the tight-knit Long Island hardcore scene — in fact, Glassjaw played the very first hardcore show he attended.
In celebration of the band's 20+ anniversary tours and the limited-edition vinyl reissues we've teamed up with them to release, we spoke with Audley about how much Glassjaw mean to him.
HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER GLASSJAW?
BRIAN AUDLEY I discovered Glassjaw based on the company they kept. Recurring names on flyers were one of the ways I would find out about new bands when I was first getting into hardcore. Glassjaw were always on show flyers with all the local bands I loved, namely Mind Over Matter, Silent Majority and Vision of Disorder.
In 1998 Glassjaw actually played the first hardcore show I ever went to. The show was alongside One4One, Motive and Shutdown at the VFW in my hometown of Centereach [in] Long Island, New York. I'd be lying if I said I remembered their set well among everything else that blew me away that night, but that show put me on a path I would follow for the rest of my life.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SILENCE AND ALSO WORSHIP AND TRIBUTE?
I was anticipating EYEWTKAS after hearing early versions of some of the songs at shows leading up to the release. The final versions that appeared on the record had evolved from what they had been playing live and still retained the familiar Long Island Hardcore sound I expected of them. I enjoyed it instantly. What stands out even more to me were the first Glassjaw shows before and after the release of EYEWTKAS. I remember seeing them get a strong response supporting Snapcase at a venue called the Swingset in Bay Shore earlier that year. A few months later, they sold out the same venue headlining for the EYEWTKAS record release show. It felt like they had reached, and connected with, a whole new crowd that began coming to their shows immediately after the release of that record.
I think the first I heard of W&T was some kind of early digital format, like a Quicktime file on an "enhanced CD" you loaded into the computer or something. The song was definitely "Tip Your Bartender" and I remember loving the guitar part and the key change in the chorus at the end.
WHAT DO THESE ALBUMS MEAN TO YOU?
Both records represent the Long Island Hardcore sound being taken into the spotlight it deserved. Influential LI bands like Mind Over Matter and Silent Majority never got much national exposure or traction, but you can hear them live in Glassjaw. Glassjaw expanded on these influences to create something completely unique to them, yet still rooted in the scene they came from.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRACK FROM EACH ALBUM AND WHY?
"Motel of the White Locust": Logically, you would expect the record to end with the soaring, epic title track. I always loved that they went back in and finished it off with a hard, heavy, pounding, angry hardcore song. And "Must've Run All Day" — I remember feeling like I was in on some kind of secret handshake when I first heard the lyrics at the end of this song.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SILENCE AND WORSHIP AND TRIBUTE AFTER ALL THESE YEARS?
EYEWTKAS hits just as hard now as the first time I heard it, and I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. They played "Siberian Kiss" at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn in 2017. I've seen some crazy shit at that place, but the reaction that got is at the top of the list.
I always considered W&T the first look at what would become [Justin] Beck's signature style that really sets him apart as a guitar player. The guitars had gotten less riffy and more linear. Almost like stream-of-conscious leads that just flowed over the whole part or song.
GLASSJAW WERE KNOWN FOR THEIR INTENSE LIVE SHOWS. WHICH ONE DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOST?
Glassjaw played as a special guest at the last Silent Majority show in 2001. EYEWTKAS had been out for a while and they were actively touring to support it. They made the time around that schedule to play a hometown show unannounced, with a set of exclusively pre-EYEWTKAS songs for what was likely the last time. It was a special night made even more special by the energy felt when everyone recognized what they were seeing.
HOW, IF AT ALL, DID GLASSJAW INFLUENCE YOUR OWN CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT OR THE WAY YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING MUSIC?
I'm sure Glassjaw's influence has made its way into Incendiary's music somehow subconsciously. They are one of the few bands we've all always agreed on. Personally, I think I'm most influenced by Glassjaw from an administrative perspective. The way they present — and don't present — the band is something I have always found interesting and inspiring. As Glassjaw became a less active band, they always found ways to create unique experiences and generate excitement around their limited supply. Their hands-on approach with the releases, shows and merch adds a level of gravity and significance that is difficult to manufacture.
ARE THESE ALBUMS SOMETHING YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO? OR DOES IT REPRESENT A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME IN YOUR HISTORY?
Glassjaw's sound has matured with me as a listener, making them a band I can always keep in rotation. I find myself reaching for the more rhythmic material they released after EYETKAS and W&T the most recently, but usually revisit the LP's at least once a year. I always joked that [2017's] Material Control was created just for me. It perfectly captured a very specific moment in time in hardcore that is personally one of my favorites.