Looking Glass & Vio/Mire Two Peas in an (i)Pod

vio mireVio/Mire is Brendan Glasson and while there are shades of Bright Eyes behind his beautiful folk music, he is definitely a man with his own vision.

When did you write your first song?
I think when I was 13 or so. It was a really sappy punkrock song.Actually now that I think about it I think I’ve pretty much been rewriting that song for the last zillion years.

There was another one right at that same time that I wrote with my friend Chris Ryan that included that great lyric “and I do one last thing to let you go! Ahhhh!” And then you scream your head off.

Would you term your music as Folk Music?
Sure. “I ain’t never heard no horse sing a song.

Are you writing songs all the time, or do you need to set aside time to do it?
I’m usually writing one or two songs. It takes me an unreasonably long time to write a song, so I am constantly revising and adding to whatever I’m working on for usually a couple of months before it is finally done.

You use a lot of analogue and vintage gear, what is your fav piece of kit?
I’m very much not a gear guy, but I tend to accumulate a lot of stuff that is maybe one step up from trash. I have a pump organ from 1904 that folds up into itself to be a suitcase that I really love.

A lot of the things I have I found at the salvation army and bought them because they are particularly handsome but aren’t necessarily pleasant-sounding or functional. Almost everything I own is broken.

vio mire

Who is in your live band?
It’s very loose. I’m on tour right now and playing solo sets every night, but the live band has included at various stages Chris Ryan, Emily Thomas, Liz Isenberg, James Falzone, Scott Alario, Þórdís, Björt Sigþórsdóttir, and Paul Marandola playing, respectively, bass, cello, guitar, piano, synthesizer, violin, and drums.

Do you prefer touring or recording?
Recording. No, touring. No. Recording. I find that I get energy from the one to feed the other, so both feel equally essential.

How did you get involved with Tip Top Recordings?
I did a three or so week tour in Europe last summer and played a concert in London with Looking Glass. I believe that Looking Glass and Tip Top were in communication about doing a release and Jim thought of Vio/Miré when the idea of a split came up.

Do you write better songs if you are happy or unhappy?
I don’t know, really. My songs might sound like I am unhappy but I don’t think I am. Not to herald melodrama, happiness and unhappiness are weird and abstract to me and I’m not certain I can really tell the difference. I write the best songs when I am happily unhappy, I think.

Looking Glass vio/mireCan you cook? if so .. what is your signature dish?
I love cooking. It is nice to think about now, having been on tour for five or six weeks because I never have the opportunity to cook. I cook for one a lot, so I’m not convinced that anyone else would enjoy it, but I can make really nice vegetarian food. I usually like to eat really simple and fresh foods that don’t require all that much preparation in the first place.

What is the best song you have ever written?
Always the one I’ve just finished for those couple of weeks that feel like newly-wedded bliss. Now it is one called “a snake” but the magic might already be fading. That sort of thing is always accelerated on tour because you
play it so many times for many weeks straight….So brief is the honeymoon.

What song do you secretly like that people might be surprised by?
Dear Mama by 2Pac. It’s the sweetest and cutest ode from a Gangsta Rappa to his mama. It makes me so happy to hear.

When are you coming back to the UK?
Dream scenario is November 2011 or so. Lots to do before then to make it happen.

You can hear Vio/Mire’s ‘Much That Could Be Found’ on the latest Flush the Fashion Music Sampler, click HERE to listen.

More info on the record can be found at www.tiptoprecordings.com