The feeling that patience pays off rests at the core of what the Boston band Lesser Glow is about. Their brand of heaviness is deeply intentional and “patient,” as guitarist Ben Gram puts it. On their debut record, called Ruined and out now via Pelagic Records, the band members feel as though they have taken a step back from some of the more conventional heavy styles they grew up with and are now re-approaching the whole idea in a new, fresh way.
The idea for the band grew up from a demo initially written up by Andrew Nault, but all of the band members are truly invested in the core concepts of the group’s music.
As Gram explains, speaking at first of the time he was shown that initial first demo of music written by Nault: “I remember instantly being like — this is fucking awesome. I was like, this is exactly the stuff I want to be playing right now. Writing process wise at this point, it’s pretty organic and pretty democratic. It’s sort of a nice collective. We have a nice open forum. There are really no bad ideas, but nobody’s afraid to say “I don’t like that” to each other too, which is cool because it’s kind of created this nice space. It’s created this sort of heavy with patience vibe that naturally started, which was the theme that Andrew first began with but we all bonded over instantly.”
Gram and other members of the band as well have an at this point significant history in the heavy music scene. They grew up with heavy music and have been involved in the community for years. Gram himself has spent years working for Bowery Boston and other music venues, a time he points to as having led to an only recently revealed build-up of musical inspiration.
What at least Gram feels, though, is that everyone making music doesn’t need to indulge in exceedingly specific expressions of “heaviness.” Not every band needs to make their music ride on the strength of speedy guitar solos and leave it there. There’s a place for something more, which is what Gram and his band mates are going for on their new record. They’ve created something that is at once melodic and stirringly heavy. The sound of Ruined is huge, while not overwhelming.
Gram explains: “I think we all bonded without talking about it on this “less is more” vibe and through trying to write what we’re just generally calling heavy music but without trying to subcategorize it and pigeonhole it right away. I love doom, but I still wanted to write music that can get stuck in your head and that has melody. I like old folk music, I like post rock, I like post hardcore and stuff that overlaps with 90’s alternative, like Alice In Chains and things like that. It’s stuff that to me is heavy but still emotional and has hooks, things that you can still get stuck in your head, things that you can take away. There are still so many parts of heavy music that I love too. I think we all just naturally had this idea in mind, I think maybe in terms of just where we’re at, but we never really talked about it too hard. It just kind of started happening, and it seemed like vibe wise we all had that same mentality.”
Pelagic Records, Tours, & The Future
The mentality in question attracted the attention of Robin Staps of The Ocean and Pelagic Records, who, after hearing some progressed music from the burgeoning group, made an offer to the members of Lesser Glow within just a few days of first getting in touch with Nault while he was overseas playing with Arms and Sleepers.
The band, with Pelagic’s backing, now has their debut full length record out for the world to hear and is ready to take it further than before. They were waiting until Ruined was out to really rev up their activities as a band, but that concern is a thing of the past now.
In late June, the band embarked on a tour covering the eastern United States; Gram explains that although they are consciously distinct from certain major trends in heavy music, the thrill of being a part of the live music experience has not majorly changed for him and his fellow Lesser Glow members.
“The feeling is I’d say still the biggest part. You’ve got to enjoy playing your music and we all honestly have a blast doing it,” he says. “Getting to share that live is about as cool as it gets, and I think it’s something that is important to all of us. We take our performance seriously but still have as much fun with it as possible, kind of the classic leave it all on the stage thing.”
Going forward, Gram imagines tours both in the U.S. and overseas; he’s “excited” for his band’s music to be out — and he and the other members are already working on more.
Check out Ruined below.