The wait is over. Turnstile have dropped Glow On today. One of the year's most anticipated albums, Turnstile's third full-length is a forward-thinking, hyperactive blast of creative energy and expressionism. Preempted by a stellar collection of singles in Fly Again, Blackout, Holiday, Mystery, No Surprise and T.L.C (TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION), Glow On arrives at a time when Turnstile are hotly tipped to be ‘the next big thing’ in heavy music.
The band's seemingly endless vision was on display on the recently released TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION EP and companion short film, and that vision continues with Glow On, as Turnstile continue to leave no stone unturned in their quest to achieve their kaleidoscopic, genre-hopping intent.
On the eve of Glow On’s release, we caught up with vocalist Brendan Yates to talk about the creative process that led to Glow On and how it is that Turnstile seems to always be ahead of the curve.
We’re talking to you on the eve of the release of your new album, Glow On which I must say is a very adventurous listen. What inspired such a creative record?
We have been a band for many years now, and I think with any record that we make, we kind of always go in the same goal of kind of just reflecting where we're at, and trying to make the music reflect where we're at, personally and musically, and then bring those song ideas to life in the best way possible. So I think that sums up the general goal and the process of how it all came together.
On this record, it seems like you've found a real sweet spot between that DC hardcore energy of Nonstop Feeling and that free expressionism that was present on Time & Space. Do you feel like this is a good representation of where you want the band to be, right now?
Yeah, I think so. The cool thing about being in a band or making music is that every record you make, or every song you put out, is a reflection of where you are at that given point in time. I think this record is defining where I’m at right now. Turnstile is this constantly changing and growing thing, so I’m very excited about what we’ve been able to put together as a reflection of where we are at right now.
One of the most notable new stylistic elements on the record comes with the multiple features by Blood Orange. It’s a really exciting blend of styles, what inspired that collaboration?
It was exciting for me because I’m like the number one Blood Orange fan. We had the idea of playing together and working on music together in the past, so when it came time to put these songs together, I had already had Dev in mind for a few of the tracks. Once we got together and spent time in the studio it naturally led to what happened with the songs that you hear on the record. I couldn’t possibly be more excited about that opportunity to work with them or about the way the songs turned out.
Is that something you'd be looking to do more of in the future?
It is always exciting to be able to work with an outside person that's not in the band. It sometimes brings a song to life in a different way, one that you didn't or couldn’t have imagined in the first place, which is always an exciting thing.
That’s true and so exciting to hear. You've mentioned earlier that the only goal when you're putting together records is the band's own creative fulfilment. Is that also what inspired you to make the Turnstile Love Connection short film?
Yeah, definitely. I always love being able to pair a visual experience with a song, because essentially, when you're making a song, you're kind of creating this world. To be able to make a video that expands upon that, really helps to connect it all together. It was an exciting challenge to put it all together and make listening to the songs a real experience, and we kind of built a little bit of a universe around the songs.
It's pretty impressive. That type of vision and execution is another example of how Turnstile seems to always be ahead of the curve, creatively. Does that creative energy come from each other?
Definitely. I think the biggest inspiration is always the people that I'm around, pushing each other. As well as our peers who are also out there making things, it always gives this super beautiful way to see how you can connect to different people in different ways. Especially within the band, we can nerd out about things and try different ideas and really support each other.
When you’ve been knowing each other for so long, you speak a similar language. So you’re able to go into a room together and create with no judgement or no misunderstanding. If you bring a wild idea to the table, we all know where that idea is coming from and how it makes sense for the band. It makes the process easier to push each other and build these new ideas together.
Following on with the film, is that something you’re hoping to do more of in the future with Turnstile?
Definitely, when time allows. That's always something that's exciting to think about and to do. I think, right now, there's a lot of playing shows and touring plans and stuff like that, but I'm sure that when there's the appropriate window, it would be exciting to build more visual things like that.
Turnstile live shows are quite an uplifting experience. The thing that always stood out to me is that there's so much joy and fun present in your shows, you really create this super accepting and excitable vibe. Is that something that you're trying to consciously project?
I think it happens, because at the end of the day, why would you want to do something that makes you miserable? We genuinely are excited to be able to play music together and to play together in a live environment and connect with other people. We like to create an environment where you can kind of be yourself, celebrate and have a shared experience with someone else through the common bond of music.
Turnstile also seems to attract a much more diverse fanbase than the majority of bands from your scene. Do you think that's the authenticity of your band that's connecting with so many different people?
I'm not sure. I guess so. We like to be fluid, and kind of be able to just exist as ourselves and to be able to play in different scenarios. We are always grateful to have different opportunities to play different kinds of shows, in different kinds of worlds, to different groups of people. In some ways that's been the most exciting thing for us because we've seen that the more opportunities we’ve been able to take, the more we’ve been able to diversify and it feels like we could play pretty much anywhere, to anyone.
So we’ve got a few quick and easy ones for you before we let you go here, Brendan. The first one is what's the first album you remember loving as a kid?
The first album that I remember loving as a kid was The Fat of The Land by The Prodigy.
Amazing record. Do you remember what the first band you saw live was?
Tough one to answer but if I limited it to going to a hardcore show it might be this band Bloody Sunday from Virginia Beach.
Outside of music, what's one thing that you consider yourself to be a bit of a maniac for?
I like playing chess.
That makes a lot of sense because Turnstile does often seem to be playing chess while your contemporaries are playing checkers.
Ooh I love that quote. It makes me happy.
Now last one, if you could have any song play whenever you enter a room, what song would you choose? What song screams “hey I’m Brendan, I’m here, and you better pay attention!”
Let's Dance by David Bowie.
Incredible answer. Thanks for taking the time to talk to Maniacs, Brendan, best of luck with Glow On it’s a really awesome record.
Thank you so much. I appreciate your time and nice to meet my first Brenton. Another variation of Brendan to add to my list.
Glow On Tracklist
3. Don't Play
4. Underwater Boi
6. Humanoid / Shake It Up
8. Fly Again
9. Alien Love Call (FEAT. Blood Orange)
10. Wild Wrld
12. New Heart Design
13. T.L.C. (Turnstile Love Connection)
14. No Surprise
15. Lonley Dezires (FEAT. Blood Orange)
Listen to Turnstile now.