The meteoric rise of Glass Animals was unexpected, especially for frontman Dave Bayley. In fact, the success of the indie-electro rock band feels much like a dream.
Bayley produced many of the band’s early original recordings in his bedroom in Oxford, England. He tells EW that he never expected anyone to hear his music, adding that he was at first “too shy” to sing over his instrumentation.
A few years later and Glass Animals has notched a whopping 82 million streams online. The band’s atmospheric song “Gooey” (which was the most blogged song by music website HypeTrak) has earned 33 million streams alone.
The band’s current tour stops at major music festivals including Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands. And the band’s recently announced fall tour goes international from New York’s Central Park to Poland.
“I don’t really get much sleep these days,” says Bayley over the phone while on tour in Mexico City. “It’s fun and the adrenaline keeps you going. The shows are exciting. We love doing what we do.”
There are only four members in the band — also Drew MacFarlane, Edmund Irwin-Singer and Joe Seaward — so the group is somewhat limited in their live performance, incapable of reproducing the signature sounds of the more layered studio tracks on 2014’s Zaba. And much like that album’s nostalgic namesake — a children’s book by William Steig called The Zabajaba Jungle — Zaba creates an unexplored universe of slippery, psychedelic grooves.
According to Bayley, however, the group still employs the “core elements” to perform live, improvising remixes of their music onstage whether the crowd calls for a more “dance-y fiesta” or a “chilled-out” vibe.
“The visual element of the project is very important,” Bayley explains. “When we were making the album, we wanted it to be something that could take away from your little piece of life and transport you away to the rainforest and the tropics.”
Glass Animals performs with Gilligan Moss 9 pm Friday, May 22, at WOW Hall; sold out.