Eugene musician Derek Sibert identifies as synesthetic, meaning that when he hears music, he sees colors. He sings, plays bass and is the primary songwriter in a new Eugene post-prog and indie-rock trio called [glazier], and when it came time to think of a video for his band’s first single “down.up.down,” yellow was the first color he thought of.
The song is taken from the band’s debut EP, which is expected digitally sometime this summer.
Sibert developed the video idea with his bandmates: Andrew Srack from the popular Eugene band Muscle Beach Petting Zoo on guitar, and Grayson Andrews on drums, a longtime local musician for whom [glazier] is his most high-profile project.
Directing the project was Jordan Blaisdell, a skilled amateur filmmaker and musician with The Critical Shakes. The video is out now on YouTube.
In the carefully orchestrated song, Srack’s guitar lines intertwine in ways both mathematical and beautiful. And over a propulsive backbeat consisting of Sibert’s searching bassline, Sibert and Andrews platoon rhythmically behind Sibert’s melodic singing, stopping and starting in ways both aggressive — like metal or hardcore punk, perhaps — but also precise, like Rush.
Run “down.up.down” through the comparison machine and you will receive many hits. To all of them, though, the song calls for the post-prefix: post-punk, post-prog, post-math rock, but with song structure too traditional to be considered post-rock.
In a time without live shows, the music video is [glazier]’s introduction to the world. The loose narrative concept involves “hacking into” several natural biomes, represented by various locations on the Oregon coast. There’s the band carrying a triangle shape, using second-hand computer keyboards painted yellow and wearing Star Trek-style “scanner” sunglasses.
“It’s post-apocalyptic,” Sibert told me over the phone. “We just kept building.”
Post-apocalyptic: A mood which suits, after all, the year we’ve lived through. Our already tech-obsessed lifestyles made more so by the pandemic, stuck indoors doom-scrolling as if our lives depended on it, because in many ways, they do.
Sibert played with the Portland and Eugene-based instrumental post-rock band called Childspeak, and he carries much of that sensibility into [glazier].
He left Childspeak in 2019 and needed a new songwriting project to occupy his time. Shortly before the pandemic hit, he brought the songs to Srack and Andrews, and without the pressure of playing live shows, they decided to record the EP in Andrews’ tricked-out drummer’s garage. The band worked up about a dozen pieces, whittling them down to just five songs. This no deadline approach was a relief for Sibert.
“If we have all this time,” he thought, “let’s get these songs really, really solid. I don’t have to impress somebody right now,” he says.
When writing music, Sibert prioritizes songwriting over technical prowess, “but I don’t see them as separate,” he says. He almost always starts with the music instead of words. When it comes time to add lyrics, he begins with a concept rather than a narrative, such as the pandemic, or a desire to have children of his own, he says.
“I love music that does seem to have things connecting,” Sibert explains, “and the words come naturally from there.”
In the studio, the band first recorded live to an old fashioned metronome-like click track, commonly used to help musicians keep time early on in the recording process, and then overdubbed the bass, guitar and vocals. They also utilized a lot of room mics, blending them all together in the final mix. Sibert says, “Honestly, for a three-piece band, this is the fullest record I’ve ever been a part of.”
At the end of the video for “down.up.down” [glazier] is seen playing its actual instruments in an abandoned saw mill, discovered by Sibert on the Oregon coast, a refreshing release of analog human interaction against a digital backdrop. All the while, the natural world remains both virally menacing and our only real avenue for escape.
The music video for “down.up.down” from [glazier] is available now on YouTube. The band’s debut EP is expected sometime this summer, with live shows coming in the fall, COVID permitting. The second single from the EP, “club silencio,” is out June 11 on streaming platforms, with a new music video on Youtube. For more information search “glazier music” on social media.