Author: Moorman, Trent
Date published: November 4, 2010
THE GLASS NOTES: ACCREDITING JULIETS
The Glass Notes are the latest offering from Seattle musician Robb Benson. Bassist/ writer Jake Uitti feeds Benson words and poems that Benson sits with, ingests, and fashions into songs. The tunes are snug, up-tempo, and marksmanlike in their well-crafted lit-rock phrasing. Benson constantly creates, and has been for his 20- year musical history. His previous work can be heard in the Nevada Bachelors, Dear John Letters, and more recently with Dept. of Energy. The Glass Notes recently put out a full-length on Seattle-based Roam Records called Dust and Hours. If Benson were anything else, he'd be a college English professor lecturing on the magnetism between Romeo and Juliet. His class would be full of Juliets, 30 of them. Juliets cloned from Verona's original Juliet. It's Juliet University, JU, where Benson is tenured and occasionally plays a lyre. At JU, hundreds of DNA-cloned Juliets are taught the art and skill of being Juliet, the musing muse. Through a two-year program, the Juliets become fully accredited Juliets, and are dispersed across the world to find true love and Leonardo DiCaprio.
What part of your sonic self is new in the Glass Notes? Are you taking new drugs? New pets?
Robb Benson: The biggest difference is the number of songs we write. We've written about 70 songs in just over one year. Drugs? No, man, beer. IPAs, and keep 'em coming. Pets? Hell, yeah-French bulldog/ Boston terrier mixes, two of them. Frankie and Johnny. They're my best friends. I love my pups.
You spent time at the illustrious NAF Studio back in the day and knew Layne Staley?
I lived at NAF for about two years in the early '90s, helping out and doing whatever they needed. It was a massive artist warehouse that included bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. Tons of bands rehearsed there. The first time I was ever played on the radio was because Layne Staley from Alice in Chains loved the demo tape of my band Mean Tangerine. Layne went into KISW on his birthday and demanded they play it. We listened live back at NAF and had our ears glued to the radio. The DJ sounded a bit annoyed that he had to play a demo from some band he didn't know, but he loved Layne, so he did it. Layne was a really cool dude. So was his bass player Mike Starr.
If the Glass Notes were an element, what would they be?
Probably rubidium. The symbol, Rb, is my initials. Rubidium is a soft, silvery-white metallic element and it's highly reactive- like the Glass Notes...
Read the rest of this interview at thestranger.com/music. The Glass Notes play Thurs Nov 4 at Cafe Racer. With God's Favorite Beefcake.