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THE SUM OF ALL INFLUENCES Interview with Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw


Glassjaw, the hardcore/emo outfit from Belmore, Long Island, are finally getting the respect they deserve within this crazy, cynical and often twisted music industry. Catch them at Ozzfest in Castle Donnington. Words by Don Sill.


Daryl, Justin, Todd, Larry & Dave are already being declared as one of the hottest bands to watch for at Castle Donnington's Ozzfest 2002 and are an highly anticipated draw from this years Vans Warped Tour as well. They're unique blend of punk, hardcore, metal and emo has earned them bones throughout the entire U.S. winning over kudos from both metal and punk rock crowds alike. "We gained a lot of fans that are fans of Soulfly and Deftones fans and Slipknot fans and all those nu-metal kind of bands cus'f our affiliation with Roadrunner, so it makes sense for us to do Ozzfest." Palumbo raves, "Just because I hate a lot of the bands that those Ozzfest kids listen to doesn't mean that I don't want them as fans, ya know.. They're great people, great kids and it was smart for us to bring those kids into the whole Glassjaw family. Also, because we're a hardcore band with a melodic side we also gained the fans that go to the Warped Tour, you know those kids who wear the skater gear and shit, power to those kids.. (Laughs) I just knew that by serving a little bit of time on both of those tours would be totally beneficial and we're very excited to do it."

The 5-piece underground band paid their dues within the Long Island, NY punk scene since they were young teens. Although they couldn't play any instruments when they first began they knew one thing for sure- It makes more sense to stand out like a sore thumb then to bend with the pack. Their theory was right and their unique brand of hardcore- punk was completely different then anything else that was going onat the time and as a result they were snatched up by Indy label Roadrunner Records.

The now legendary Ross Robinson, (the guys responsible for Korn & Limb Bizkit) heard their demo and knew that Glassjaw was something special. He envisioned them as "The new post-millennial destroyers of Adidas rock," yes the music he helped create, Robinson now wanted to destroy and he knew that Glassjaw were the right cats for the job. "Ross is a legend," gleams the 23 year-old vocalist. "He is the greatest producer in rock history, I'll easily put Ross Robinson, who is one of my closest friends, he is a member of my family and a member in the band, I'll put him right next to George Martin who produced the Beatles records."

Ross brings not only the best, but the worst out in me and that is what is needed to create a record that spans the spectrum of human emotion. A lot of bands will do a pop record and it's run of the mill, straight down the middle pop record and it sounds like this one plateau Uni- dimensional entity. It has no real emotion and the thing with us is that we do bare emotion from all the way to the left to all the way to the right of the spectrum. In order to sound that way we actually have to be exhibiting that in the studio and Ross gets us everywhere from happy to pissed to the most rabid and angry." Robinson earned such enourmous priase because of his uncanny ability to draw out deep inbedded emotions from the band and project it into their music. His knack for getting the best out of the band became a staple of the final product and by 2000 they released their debut, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Science" and Glassjaw's raw, intense emotional outlet would create a major buzz throughout Hardcore punk circles.

Fans from all over the place quickly became believers in Glassjaw's music and would soon build a cult-like following. Things could have gone even further says Palumbo, if Roadrunner would have added them to more national tours. "We never toured half as much as we wanted to, I just wish we got to tour more in support of that last record," he said, "It's just a shame that we never had the opportunity to really get out there and tour."

Although they were signed and had released their first record Palumbo and the boys still were not satisfied and felt wronged and cheated by their label. "We were on Roadrunner for a couple of years and Roadrunner was a joke, a fuckin' joke of a label. They are a miserable fuckin' cooperation that does not bend for their bands, does not give their bands anything and they're just terrible businessmen. They are a giant joke of a label. They had 2 cash cows, Slipknot and Nickelback, and every other project they had rode backseat to those bands and then the second that the new Slipknot record came out and didn't go quadruple Platinum in the first few hours it was released they fuckin' turned their backs on Slipknot. That label just wants instant gratification where it sells its units and that's a joke. You can't run a major corporation with that as your business strategy."

This year, Glassjaw had finally left Roadrunner Records after 3 years of feeling slighted and unappreciated. They found a new home with the folks over at Warner Brothers Records and took the giant leap from an Indy to a major. "It's 2 totally different worlds," says the Glassjaw front man, "I, myself am not usually friendly towards major labels, I'm not really an advocate of underground bands with a sub-level mentality signing to majors, but if you find someplace that you feel at home then do it.. If you find a label where you can call home and not compromise any of your art or compromise any of your integrity and never have to give in to any 'Big-Label-Bullshit' then take advantage of it and do it. We managed to find a spot where we call home right now.. Warner Brothers feels like fuckin' home to us."

Their Warner Brothers debut, "Worship and Tribute" is a unique post hardcore hybrid with a tight original sound that is expected to bridge the gap between all genres of hard rock music. Their sound is blunt and in-your-face, yet at times, soothing and calm; imagine Fugazi meets Elvis Costello or Bowe meets The Deftones. Their influences are many and this record is a statement to pay tribute to all of those they worshiped throughout their lives. "You are only a sum of all of your influences and that's what we are," Palumbo says. "Look, I think that we're original and I think that what we're doing is different and that's something I always knew we had on our side, but no matter how original you are you're still just a sum of your influences."

Glassjaw falls under a new breed of bands that pay homage to the traditional old-school NYHC (New York Hard Core) and punk as well as nu-metal and emocore. Thier music is a roller coaster ride of emotions and rhythms that will have you dizzy mid way through the record. Although "Worship and Tribute" carries an Indy aesthetic songs like "Pink Roses," "Ape Dos Mil," "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss" and "Must've Run All Day" are much more complex and sophisticated than "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Science." This record sets aside negativity tackling more positive subject matter and certainly logs their growth as if in a journal. "We've grown tremendously since that first record," Palumbo explains, "It's not like we did that first record when we were 30 and now we're 35.. We did that first record when I was 19 when we started writing it and I'm 23 now. It's like, imagine 4 years of your life gone by and it wasn't just any 4 random years, this was the 4 years where you get shaped who I am as a human being and I became an adult."

"The last record was like, 'everything is bad, everything is bad. I'm miserable and it's not gonna get better, I'm gonna loose and it fuckin' take myself (Laughs) and this record is more like, 'no matter how bad it is, I'm gonna work to make my situation better,' it's optimistic. Unfortunately the way I conducted myself on that first record, I wasn't mature enough to know how to handle being in a band that anybody in the world can listen to and I should have been more positive and guide people in a positive way. But, at the same time, you have to grow up and learn."

Their new album, "Worship & Tribute" is out on stores now and for more info on Glassjaw check their web site at:

Playing Ozzfest 2002 - Castle Donnington, England, UK

Don Sill for Crud Magazine© 2002

04/02 1 Giant Leap - My Culture
04/02 Elfpower Interview - Andrew Rieger - Creatures
04/02 Frou Frou Interview - Guy Sigsworth/Imogen Heap
04/02 Gomez Interview - Ian Ball
04/02 Idlewild - Live - London Astoria
04/02 K's Choice Interview
04/02 Leaves - Live - Camden Dingwall
04/02 Longwave Interview - Exit
04/02 Lucy Mongrel Interview
04/02 Oasis - The Hindu Times
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04/02 Unwritten Law - Interview
04/02 VUE - Coordinates Interview
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05/02 Moco - Live - London Monarch
05/02 Need New Body - Interview
05/02 The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Live - Soundhause, Northampton
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06/02 Fleadh Festival - Finsbury Park
06/02 Frou Frou Coordinates Interview
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06/02 Papa Roach - She Loves Me Not
06/02 Proud Mary - Live - Northampton, Soundhaus
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06/02 Soinc Youth - Interview
06/02 The Burn - The Smiling Face
06/02 The Coral - Live - Roadmender, Northampton
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07/02 Glassjaw - Interview
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07/02 Leaves - Interview
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07/02 Super Furry Animals - Interview
07/02 The Beatings - Live - Metro Club London
07/02 The Bellrays + The D4 - Virgin Megastore, Oxford Street London

January 2001

July - August 2001
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