Broken Glow, as an entity, is about as fluid as their sound. From Connecticut to New York to Savannah, through numerous members, living situations, and climates, the rock band has thrived—but in its eight years of existence, the project never birthed a full-length album.
All that’s changed. With Garrett Deming on vocals and guitar, Paul Burba on drums, Christopher Horton on guitar, Sara Clash on bass, and Donald Moats of Habitat Noise Studios in the producer’s chair, the band is ready to unveil Filament in a celebration at Southbound Brewing Company.
A monster of a rock ‘n’ roll record, Filament offers something for everyone, from blues to riff-rock to prog to metal. At their release party, with special guests BBXF, the band will perform the record in its entirety. There’s a special beer created exclusively for the event, food from Chazito’s Latin Cuisine, a live broadcast from Rock 106.1, and visuals from Planetary Projections.
We caught up with the band on their musical and physical journey, their influences, and the fun of making Filament.
On the band’s storied history:
Burba: Technically, it was 2007. Me and two of my best friends from high school reconnected after college. I moved back to New Hampshire and the lead guitarist, who was the brain of the entire thing, Brenner Eugenides, called me up and said, 'I can't keep playing in this cover band. I want to make my own project. Do you want to play drums for me?'
I said, 'When do I move in?'
He had gotten our other good friend, Jon Connors, who met Garrett in college. When Jon moved back from Ithaca, we started the whole thing and realized we needed more, so we called up Garrett, and he moved down.
Deming: We moved into this house in backwoods Connecticut as a band, then in September of 2008, moved to Brooklyn, because Brenner had gotten a job running a studio in Greenpoint.
That's where I met Sara, actually. Some of the other local bands around—Omingnome, Culture Vulture—all lived in the same building. I met Sara at their apartment, early 2011. We were in New York for a couple of years, then Brenner tragically died. I moved down to Savannah—Sara was playing down here.
Clash: We were touring up through the Florida coast and came through Savannah on accident. I moved, then most of our friends moved down.
Maxine Florio had gotten a house down here and used it as a place for bands who were traveling. That’s how we met her, when we came through on tour. It all started at her house.
On recording Filament on reel-to-reel tape:
Deming: We're a rock band, but we're not the rock band that's going to be playing to a metronome and every measure of the song is dissected. We're a bit more improvisational.
Burba: We've always loved those old recordings, like those Led Zeppelin albums that were recorded in like, 36 hours. We wanted to get back to the roots of what rock really is: a bunch of people getting in a room, loving their instruments, and doing something that speaks to them.
Deming: There's something about the air in the room: you can isolate all the instruments, you can triple-track guitars, you can do drum machines, but there's something about the energy of the band that's like when you see a live band. Yeah, you hear all the instruments, but there's something about the chemistry. The bands that have always stuck with me are the bands you can almost hear that as an element in the record. It's not just the song, the vocals: it's the whole package.
On Filament's cross-genre appeal:
Deming: If you look through our record collection, we listen to The Pointer Sisters, Roberta Flack, Jerry Lee Lewis...I think that, because we have a lot of different interests musically, that shows up on this album.
Our last album we recorded with Tyler Cutitta, just me and Paul. We wanted fresh recordings—there was so much tragedy, our friend had just died. We wanted to get new material out. We recorded that thing in nine hours. Those six songs all sit in the same wheelhouse, but it’s very clearly a definitive sound.
On [Filament], we wanted to showcase all we can do. So, ‘Iconoclast’ is probably as close to metal as we get, but then you have ‘Smoke’ which is almost a radio pop song, to ‘Well,’ which is straight 12-bar blues.
Burba: This is our influence-based album.
Horton: If you listen to it all the way through, it doesn't sound like anything's out of place. They all flow together and it all sounds like us, but totally different genres.
Deming: I think in naming the album Filament—we've always used lightbulb imagery, but the filament is the part of the bulb that actually produces light. It's about getting to that essence. This is what we're about, without pretense, at the core.
On the band's signature beer, a pale ale with hints of biscuit, honey, and oats, brewed with Southbound for Friday's release party:
Deming: We picked out the malts, barley, and mash—it's going to be a Belgian saison infused with coffee. The cool thing about being a part of the brewing process is, it's not a Broken Glow beer named after us—we had a part in brewing the whole thing.
Horton: It's kind of like, the album is our baby, but the beer is our baby, too!
Broken Glow Album Release Party with BBxF
When: Friday, February 19, 7 p.m.
Where: Southbound Brewing Company
Cost: $15 via brownpapertickets.com (includes beer, pint glass, drink tickets)