Q&A with Electro-Pop Producer, Multi-Instrumentalist & Vocalist – PENGUIN PRISON
Posted On 08 Feb 2016
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Amanda Warner, Bonnaroo, Broods, Budweiser, Budweiser Made In America, Calling Out, Chris Glover, Coachella, Culture Collide, Dance, dance music, Dirty Vegas, DJ, Downtown Records, Electric Forest, electronic, electronic music, electronica, Ellie Goulding, Everything's Not Lost, Festival, Firefly, Firefly Music Festival, Full Moon Fest, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Girl Talk, Governor's Ball, Hollywood, Hot Chip, Idolator, Imagine Dragons, Kylie Minogue, Lana Del Rey, Made In America, Marina And The Diamonds, Maroon 5, Miike Snow, MNDR, Music, Music Festival, Never Gets Old, New York Times, Oliver, Penguin Prison, Peter Wade, Phoenix, Producer, RAC, Rolling Stone, Scissor Sisters, Splash House, Sundance, SXSW, The Temper Trap, TomorrowWorld, Try To Lose, Virgin Free fest, Wakarusa, Youngblood Hawke
Electro-pop producer/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist PENGUIN PRISON (aka Chris Glover), released his second album, Lost In New York , May 5, 2015 via Downtown Records and on February 5, 2016 he released, Show Me The Way Remix EP. You can download a copy via iTunes HERE .
Penguin Prison’s self-titled debut album garnered substantial critical acclaim across both mainstream and indie media:
Rolling Stone cited his “excellent” songwriting and “sleek, modern production style [that] recalls Phoenix, Scissor Sisters and Hot Chip,” while SPIN called the album, “one of the catchiest concoctions” and KCRW said he’s “so damn good.”
Since releasing his debut LP, Chris has been praised by BBC for “turning out immaculate remixes for Lana Del Rey, Kylie Minogue, Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Broods, Marina and the Diamonds to name a few” as well as for his DJ sets with live vocals which have been described as “some of the most engaging on the Williamsburg scene” by the New York Times. Chris added a full band to his live show, playing high profile shows all over the US, Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe, including multiple showcases at the world-renowned SXSW, sold out dates with Girl Talk, Temper Trap, and Miike Snow and festival appearances at Bonnaroo, Governors Ball, Firefly Music Festival, Virgin Free Fest, Fun Fun Fun Fest, TomorrowWorld, Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Budweiser Made In America, Splash House, Full Moon Fest, Culture Collide and more.
Penguin Prison also released a “Never Gets Old” Remix EP on iTunes and Spotify, featuring remixes from Blende, Jeffrey Brodsky, Solidisco and a collaboration between Allan Kingdom, Casey Veggies and A.J. Crew. Check out the “Never Gets Old” Remix EP here .
First single “Calling Out”: Co-written with DJ/production duo Oliver
Second single “Never Gets Old”: Co-written with Amanda Warner and Peter Wade of the electronic duo MNDR
Third single, “Try To Lose”
Lost In New York album sampler
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to catch up with the PENGUIN PRISON. Enjoy their chat below!
Hi Chris! Where does this interview find you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hey, I’m doing good. My album, LOST IN NEW YORK came out today and I’m doing a couple more interviews, then band practice and off to play a couple shows. I’m just so happy that the album is out!
For those not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start in music? Who or what was the catalyst for you?
Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a musician and I never really wanted to do anything else. I was in a choir when I was a kid and that got me into singing and then I started learning how to play instruments and I can pretty much play anything now.
I was in lots of bands when I was growing up. I was in a punk rock band and we play a bunch of clubs, like CBGB’s in New York. When I went to college, I went to a place called Bard College and I was in a band called, Smartest People At Bard, which was obviously kind of a joke. (laughs) It was kind of making fun of boy bands at that time. That’s how I kind of got into pop as a joke. It was interesting as I went further into the direction of pop when I came from a punk rock background.
You released your latest, second studio album, LOST IN NEW YORK on May 5th via Downtown Records. What did you learn between your debut album, playing live and remixing for others that you felt you wanted to infuse into the new record?
For the first album, I learned a lot about what I wanted to do when I got back into the studio. I wanted to make it easier to play the music on stage, so I would keep that in mind as I was making the music. I wanted to make it more organic, so it was easy to translate on stage and it would make more sense to see human beings playing the music. It’s all guitar, bass, drums and we were able to translate that sound on stage, whereas with the first album, I really didn’t put any of that thought into it and there would be some things that were harder to replicate.
How did you come up with the name of the album?
The title of the album is called, LOST IN NEW YORK and I came up with that after the album was done. It made sense in light of the songs and it gave all of the subject matter a new life. Because if you title everything, it casts a different light on all the songs and subject matter.
All the songs kind of have the same theme and direction. Since I was born and raised in New York, and haven’t lived anywhere else, I’m sort of grappling with my place in this city and whether or not I should still live here or go live somewhere else. A lot of the time, you hear about people leaving New York, like a lot of my friends and then they post things on the internet and they’re like, “Why I’m Leaving New York,” and they post a whole diatribe of why they are leaving. (laughs) I’m still here and I don’t plan on leaving but it’s about trying to understand, why I am still here and what I expect to happen in the future.
I mean I’ve been to many places around the world, but for some reason when I think about living somewhere else, I just can’t wrap my head around it. (laughs)
You just played Coachella alongside fellow musician, Andre and his band RAC. How was that?
Yeah, I played with RAC on the first weekend of Coachella. It was an awesome experience. Coachella was really cool. Festivals are interesting…I mean, I couldn’t go to one everyday. Every once in a while is good as I get a little claustrophobic with big crowds, but it was definitely awesome to play on stage at Coachella for sure. I hope to play there again with my band.
RAC is very awesome…I played two songs with Andre from RAC. I went to his studio in Portland and we made two songs in two days. It was really quick and we were on the same wavelength creatively and we just worked really fast…much quicker than I’ve worked with anyone else. We both have good instinct. We knew the next thing to do all the time. We would start something and then we would naturally know what to do next and just kept going and going.
You just released your new single, “Never Gets Old.” How did that song come about and what was the inspiration for that song?
We just finished the video for “Never Gets Old”. I wanted to make a music video with my 90-year-old grandpa who lives in a retirement community in Florida since the song is called ‘Never Gets Old.’ He is a really cool guy–he was in World War II and received three purple hearts and now he plays bocce everyday and rides around in a two-person bicycle with his wife Alice.
The concept is that I live at the retirement community in the house next to my grandpa and we do all kinds of crazy activities everyday like playing bocci, riding a tandem bicycle, riding around on a golf cart. I get into a pool with all these old ladies and do water aerobics, playing bingo with like a hundred old people. Later on we bust out in a convertible and drive to Miami and crash a pool party.
Making this video was a good excuse for me to go visit my grandpa and do a bunch of crazy things with him and document it all on film. When we were driving around Miami in the Mustang, the top was down and then there was a torrential downpour out of nowhere. My grandpa got drenched but he thought it was funny to tell everyone about it later. We crash this party and my Grandpa is in the DJ booth with his headphones on. (laughs)
Since releasing your debut LP, you have been praised by BBC for “turning out immaculate remixes for Marina and The Diamonds, Lana Del Rey, Kylie Minogue, Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, BROODS, Miike Snow just to name a few…” Who would you love to collaborate with next?
I’d love to collaborate with Lykke Li. I really like her voice and her whole style. One of my favorite bands is Hot Chip, so it would be awesome to work with them. I love Haim as well and would love to work with them too.
You have been praised for your DJ sets with live vocals which have been described as “some of the most engaging on the Williamsburg scene,” by The New York Times. What has been your most memorable show so far?
We’ve done ALOT of shows, but I think the best places to play are places like New York, L.A., Washington D.C. I played in the Dominican Republic in Santa Domingo and Punta Cana and I played right on the beach and that was pretty awesome. Mexico is always awesome too. Playing at this festival in Monterrey, Mexico was one of the best days of my life! We just hung out all day. There are certain festivals that have a nice vibe and not as big as Coachella and you get to meet like almost everyone there.
Who is in your current playlist? Any artists, musicians or genres we might be surprised to find in there?
I like Mac DeMarco. He actually came to my house and bought a synth from me! I didn’t know who he was…I posted the synth on Craigslist and then I recognized his name on the email later. (laughs) That’s the thing about New York too. There are so many creative people here and all this same people in this small musical world with you.
What was the first album you bought for yourself?
I remember when the day an album came out, it was crazy. I would camp out the night before at the store before midnight when the album would go on sale and get it the second it came out. (laughs)
The first album I bought was probably Weezer, and then their second album, Pinkerton. Back then, I would get an album and listen to it every day. I would play my guitar along to Pinkerton, everyday after school for like a year. (laughs)
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
I don’t know…something by The Beatles probably. I really like Abbey Road. I remember my Mom playing that and I think it’s probably one of the best albums ever made. She would play The Beatles, Ann Murray, Nat King Cole, Carly Simon and stuff like that and that’s how I got introduced into that kinda world. The I got into my own kinda music. I really got into Led Zeppelin. For like a couple years, I only listened to Led Zeppelin and nothing else. (laughs)
What’s on tap next for you, Chris? What are you most excited about in 2015?
I’m excited to have the album out now and start touring all over the place! I can’t wait to see everyone come to the shows and have as much fun as possible! I’m also excited to start producing and writing for other people too this year as well.
To stay connected with PENGUIN PRISON , visit the socials below:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | YouTube