Better late than never: Despite having been founded in 1979, U.S. metal veterans GLACIER took 41 years to finalle release their first full album. Following the release of their self-titled EP things rapidly quieted down for the Portland metal outfit. But since one can never really be done with metal GLACIER have returned and finally present ther first full-blown album. For us this presenst an ideal opportunity to talk to singer Michael Pordybau and Drummer Adam Kopecky.
Hi and thanks a lot for taking time for this interview! How are you doing? I hope that you and your family are well in these strange times!
Adam: Thankfully, I’ve not been too heavily affected by the strangeness, yet, as I have a job in the trades. No kids or wife, so there’s been no change there either. It’s been a good incentive to put in time on various other projects. We all miss the concerts though, both playing and attending!
GLACIER first emerged on the scene in 1979 and released one self-titled EP in 1985. For the past 30 years, the band has been all but non-existent. How did you know that now was the right time to come back?
Michael: A promoter from Chicago had gotten a hold of me about doing a reunion show. I gave him Sam Easley’s contact information to talk to him about it. Sam and I had discussed putting something together. However, with one of the original members having relocated to the other US coast, and another just getting married, it would have been very difficult. But there was definitely a following, and other festivals that wanted us, so we made it happen.
With “The Passing Of Time” your first full album is about to be released. What can you tell us about the record?
Adam: More than you’d wish to print, ha. In short, the album took shape in a fairly unconventional way, and it wasn’t even intended to be a full album when we initially began writing new material. We were aiming at another EP when somebody told us, „What? Nobody does a come-back EP. It’s got to be a full album!“ or something like that. So we expanded our target, and that’s when Loren and Tim supplied us with some additional unreleased options. The thematic direction really took shape when we received the artwork from Daniel Charles, which is featured on the cover, back, and inlay.
For the release of the new record you signed to No Remorse Records from Greece. How did that come to pass?
Michael: Chris and Andreas from No Remorse are good friends of mine from Greece. They hit me up when we first started looking for labels. They are both great guys and very good to deal with. We went back and forth a few times and came up with a fair deal.
The title The Passing of Time seems rather fitting. How does it feel to release your first full album 40 years after the band’s initial formation?
Michael: Our drummer, Adam Kopecky came up with the title, and we definitely found it fitting. I’m not even sure I can find the words to express the awesomeness of this experience. When I stop to reflect upon everything that has happened with Glacier in the last three and a half years, I am completely astounded. Never did I ever imagine that we would be back on stages around the world, cutting an album, and going out on tours. I definitely feel fortunate to have had this opportunity present itself and unfold as it has.
How did the songwriting and recordings for your new album go down?
Adam: We used our individual home studios for most of the writing, but everyone got to put their stamp on the final product. Some songs started as just a guitar riff or two, some as a full structure of bass and drums. All songs were passed around and sculpted into a relatively final shape in demo form before taken into studio. As a fun bonus, Tim Proctor and Loren Bates were able to join us for the first weekend of recording to lay down some guest tracks on the previously unreleased songs.
The current GLACIER line-up contains exactly one member who also appeared on the 1985 EP. Would you say that the spirit of the band is still the same as it was “back in the day”?
Michael: I’m not sure if the spirit of the band is the same as it was back then or not, but I do know that I’m working with great musicians who they love the band what we are doing. We are all great friends, and we love the music.
I really like the album’s artwork. Who drew it?
Adam: The artwork is fantastic! Daniel Charles painted it for us, after having done an initial
rendering. We liked it so much, we had to have him expand the scope to include the back panel. He really nailed it. The inlay art was an afterthought. I whipped up a concept sketch based on the cover, and he nailed that too.
Having been part of the first wave of heavy metal bands, what’s your take on today’s metal scene?
Michael: When I re-entered the metal realm, I was very surprised how great today’s metal scene is. There are loads of new young bands who are forging new paths in the traditional metal genre, and there are many older bands that are still kicking ass. Europe and South America are incredible. We can’t wait to go back. In the US, the metal scene is hanging in there and the metal fans are great as well, just not as widespread as it was in the 80s.
The COVID-19 pandemic affects all areas of life but venues and touring bands seem to be hit especially hard – even more so when you’re in the middle of restarting a career like it is the case with GLACIER. How do you feel about this situation?
Adam: It’s very inconvenient in terms of touring and festivals – we’ve developed an appetite for it now and are very eager to get back out there – but so many have been hit that it seems ungracious to complain. I’m mainly thankful that we’ve been able to do what we have done, far more than expected from the outset!
Once touring is possible again: Any chance you might come to Germany?
Adam: Abso-blanking-lutely. Germany is an excellent place with an fantastic metal scene, not to mention the food and beer! We’ve made some good friends there, and we very much hope to be able to return. I haven’t seen nearly enough of it yet.
Thank you for the interview! Please let us do a short brainstorming in the end of this interview. What comes in your mind first reading the following terms:
Keep It True: Incredible, my first time back on stage since 1985.
Election year: I dislike politics.
Lockdown: We definitely don’t like it, but it’s necessary until we find out what is really going on.
True Metal: I think there are tons of great new and old bands that are making great metal music today.
Future of physical music media: I think the Internet has become a great way to promote your own band and music, however, the bad parts, like stealing downloads and scammers are beyond frustrating. Another good thing is because of YouTube, I have discovered bands that I never heard of back in the 80s, bands I really love and bands with whom I have become good friends.
GLACIER in 10 years: I have no idea, but hopefully we will still be going strong.
Once again thanks for your time. The last words are yours – is there anything left you want to tell our readers?
Adam: Personally, I’m still blown away by the interest and support that’s been shown since we started working together in late 2017. It’s been one hell of an inspiration to be a part of this and to experience so many metal fans from so many places showing their love for the music. This has already grown beyond anything I dared hoped for, and I intend to keep the energy flowing for as long as I can!