Interview: Broken Glow Is A Band of Bros
Broken Glow is a real rock band. When I think of rock I think of the guttural feeling that good guitar playing can stir inside of me. I think of drums that don’t overwhelm the sound, but work with a song, making me understand its lyrics and feel a message that’s more than just words.
The boys in Broken Glow – Brenner, Garrett, Paul, and Andrew – love rock music. They appreciate blues and jazz, classic rock, metal, and grunge.
They even appreciate Beyonce for the instrument that is her voice.
Music is their passion. It called to them, they answered, and making rock and roll is their life.
Each of the guys maintains a full-time job (because, let’s face it, that’s the world we live in, and boys gotta eat) while committing 100% to their group; rehearsals, recording, gigging, and touring.
But it wasn’t always such a solid arrangement. According to Paul and Garrett, in 2008 they played for seven months without a bass player. Brenner would argue, but he can’t actually remember. From their start in 2008, Broken Glow has gone from five members to four, been through about four bassists, and switched their rhythm guitar/back-up vocalist to the position of front man. Earlier this year founding member John made an amicable departure from the group. He still comes to shows whenever he can; his support for his friends and their sound is evident.
Broken Glow’s lyrics are in your face; powerful and relatable. Their songs manage to melodically kick life’s ass, and provide you with sweetly placed breaks, hits, and solos. In an inde-scene where experimentation is lauded, and very much appreciated and enjoyed – don’t get me wrong – it’s still good to know that when I want to head bang, real rock & roll is not dead.
I first met the guys last fall. Brenner, the apparent mastermind behind the group, had just returned from touring with Hot Hot Heat. At the time all five members (ex frontman, John and ex-bassist, Alec included) were living together on the 5th floor of 255 McKibbin. Garrett had been attending Potion Open Mics for a few weeks, playing covers to keep his fingers and soulful voice active.
Their apartment was a tree-house of books, records, movies, and band posters. On any given evening I’d stroll in to find Brenner and Garrett on the couch playing a tune together. This was rehearsal. If two or more members were home (usually these particular two) they’d be playing music. And when there weren’t guitars in their hands the fellas were on their laptops, either finding new sounds to study, or booking gigs, and outlining possible tours.
But how did they knew music was for them.
Garrett tells me he used to sing on top of a Lego box in his front yard when he was a toddler, and was always in choir growing up. He followed this path until college – where he trained for a very short while to be an opera singer. Alas, this was not where his heart was.
Similarly, Brenner attended “regular college” and barely two semesters in, realized one night, as he sat at the dorm room desk, that school was not for him. Instead of doing homework Brenner found himself seated before his father’s stereo writing charts of chords.
Andrew grew up with guitars and music. His father and older brother both played, and he’d played bass for more than a decade. He always knew he wanted to be involved in music.
For Paul, music is his very real purpose for living. He says, “I really don’t think I’d be here, on this Earth, without music.”
A shared passion for music – arguably the more addictive of the creative arts – is what binds these “bros” in sound, in life. Aside from the fact that they’re just super chill and fun to be around (dry sarcasm, contrariness, and all) they just play good music. They bring it hard, and they bring it consistently, and they mean it when they do it. The boys just want to rock, and they do.