Getting Weird With The Band: An Interview With Glass Animals

The British indie rockers muse about cannibalism, finger modeling, and thongs.

By Jessie Schiewe

You never really know someone until you start asking them random, stupid questions. (Art:   Jonathan M. Hall  )

You never really know someone until you start asking them random, stupid questions. (Art: Jonathan M. Hall)

Since releasing their psychedelic-pop debut album Zaba in 2014, British indie-rockers Glass Animals have come a long way. Their next record charted at #20 on the Billboard 200, and they’ve played pretty much every major music festival across the globe, including Glastonbury, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza.

In recent years, Glass Animals has also contributed to a spike in interest in pineapples, which make an appearance in both the lyrics and visuals of their song, the deceivingly titled “Pork Soda.” It became so popular that fans started bringing the actual fruits to their concerts, incorporating them into their outfits or using them as dance floor props. As a result, festivals and venues started banning the tropical fruits from events.

At San Francisco’s tragically rainy Treasure Island Music Festival in 2016, a writer for OK Whatever — which admittedly didn’t exist but was in-the-works — ran into a couple members of Glass Animals who had just played a set. Luckily, that happened earlier in the day, before the torrential rains, intense winds, and mud baths that made the 2016 festival infamous began, leading people to flee the island and acts to cancel their sets.

We managed to corner bandmates Drew MacFarlane and Edmund Irwin-Singer for an interview, while Dave Bayley and Joe Seaward frolicked elsewhere. Here’s some of the goofy, random shit we asked them.   

If Glass Animals was stuck on a desert island, which band member would you eat first?

Edmund Irwin-Singer: Umm, probably Joe [Seaward].

Drew MacFarlane: Yeah, Joe. He’s quite lean, though. He might be very sinewy.

EIS: But he's muscular.

DM: I think Dave [Bayley] would be quite tasty as well.

What celebrity do you want to bone?

DM: Good lord.

EIS: David Attenborough.

DM: Donald Trump just so that I could fuck him in the ass.


If you had to get plastic surgery, what would you get done?

DM: The idea of plastic surgery literally makes my face hurt.

So maybe you'd do some body-modifying surgery?

DM: Yeah, maybe body.

EIS: Get some fake boobs.

DM: OK, I’d get some fake boobs. Or an ass implant.

EIS: I would definitely get the old … (gestures to his chest) … And then you can have them taken out when you're bored of them.

DM: Wait, can I change my plastic surgery? I would get a cyborg implant, which I think technically would count as plastic surgery because they would have to use similar techniques to put it in.

EIS: What would it do?

DM: Well, you could get an implant that meant that you could see infrared. Or you could get an implant so that you listen to your iPod in your head and it would play against your cochlea bone. Or you could just have your telephone in your wrist.


What’s your spirit animal and why?

DM: My spirit animal would probably be the duck-billed platypus, I reckon. They're very weird animals. They lay eggs and they have fins, so they’re a weird combination of lots of different attributes that you wouldn’t normally consider for a small, furry animal, that also swims. But I also like the combination of them being nice little furry animals that can lay eggs but then they can fucking stab with you with their poisonous spurs.

EIS: My spirit animal is a meerkat, because I look like one.


What’s the most recent thing you've eaten today?

DM: Oh, an ice cream sandwich. We don’t have them in the UK properly, so that was nice.

EIS: I ate an avocado, with a spoon.


If you could have any superpower what would it be?

EIS: Wait, we've had this one before. What was the good answer? Um, I’d like to be able to fly. I’d like to fly around and see stuff. That’s kind of a boring answer though isn’t it?

DM: Well, it could create a lot of problems. If people saw you flying, they would freak out and the government could intervene and shoot you down.

EIS: Well, then I could fly past the bullets.

DM: My superpower would be. ... Hmm, I guess it would be quite fun to be able to read people’s minds if you wanted to.


If you had to be a model, what kind of model would you be?

DM: I would like to be an earlobe model.

They're not pierced, I see.

DM: Yes, they're nice and intact.

EIS: I’d be a finger model, because I have a deformed finger.

[He wiggles the ring finger on his right hand, which is considerably shorter than the others.]

DM: My god!

How did that happen?

EIS: My mum cut the end off with garden shears when I was a baby.

Why did she do that?

EIS: She was teaching me the ways of the world: Don’t stick your hands in gardening shears.


What’s your least favorite fashion trend?

EIS: Jeggings, those jeans-leggings things. I hate wearing those. Actually, thongs — I hate wearing thongs.

DM: I don’t know if I know anything about fashion. I think I’m just blissfully unaware of that kind of thing. Sorry.


Since you guys are from Oxford, did you ever have any sightings or run-ins with any Harry Potter actors?

DM: My best friend when I was a kid went on a date with Hermione Granger when they were like 12.

EIS: My brother is actually in one of the films as an extra in a dancing scene. You can see like the back of his head.


This is kind of a dark one, but what would your last meal be?

DM: Definitely a burger. There’s a really good burger called a “benekassean” that my friends make. I think it might be named after him. He cuts a hole in the top of the burger and cracks an egg into it and cooks it. Also, I’m a vegetarian, so that would definitely be my last meal.

EIS: Mine would be an avocado. Yeah, just an avocado, so I could die now happy because I just ate one.


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