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Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo Reflects On Being Reluctant To Sign With Roadrunner Records: “We Never Became A Nü-Metal Band. We Didn’t Become A Weirdo Band With Dreads…”


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Glassjaw, etc. frontman Daryl Palumbo guests on the latest episode of The First Ever Podcast, which is hosted by Touché Amoré vocalist Jeremy Bolm. The friendly chat finds Bolm asking Palumbo about many of his first experiences from his early life and onward throughout his musical journey.

At one point Bolm asked if fellow Long Island natives Vision Of Disorder being signed to Roadrunner Records in the mid- to late-1990s influenced Glassjaw to sign with the label around the same timeframe—despite the label having already noticeably shifted away from its death metal and hardcore roots at the time.

The band’s eventual signing with that label came in part under producer Ross Robinson‘s I Am Recordings banner. Robinson himself was then reaping the benefits of his work with bands such as Slipknot, Korn and more, which afforded him considerable clout in the heavy music scene during that period.

Ultimately, Glassjaw‘s relationship with Roadrunner Records on the cycle of their debut album, 2000’s “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“, would deteriorate drastically, leading to their acrimonious departure from the roster and a bitter public feud that followed.

Speaking of signing with Roadrunner during a time where much of their focus was diverted to promoting artists from the then nascent nü-metal genre, Palumbo offered [transcribed by Theprp.com]:

“I remember feeling like [Vision Of Disorder] wasn’t doing good on [Roadrunner] at the time. I remember feeling, yeah like what you’re saying like, I get it, but at the same time there was the other side, [which] was nothing having to do with our world ever did good. So yeah, it’s from our world, this feels awesome, but also 65% of it was, it’s from our world, nothing ever does good from where we’re from. Nothing cool from where we’re from ever really pops off, you know?

I don’t know, I think we were probably like skeptical. Because first of all, I mean just honestly Roadrunner was just such trash, it was trash. Like it was never anything… Like it did made like really outrageously dope metal records in the formative years of like death metal and my formative years; records I listened to very much to this day, many fucking records. You know, like Malevolent Creation and everything, from Malevolent to fucking Obituary and every fucking great record, just like so many dope metal records. And I have no problem admitting that was huge to me, because I was a fucking metal head, like I’m not too proud to be a metal head; I’m still a metal head, fuck it you know?

But then a time came when it couldn’t have been any more the you know the total polar opposite of that. So it was like, we should not go anywhere near Roadrunner. That is completely… We’ve worked so hard for so long to remain to where… We wanted to be tasteful. We wanted to always kind of be tasteful—funny saying that in retrospect—but we always wanted to be tasteful, and we always wanted to be a little, like thinking man’s sort of hardcore, and then to like even just get close to Roadrunner, was like ‘oh man, this is ridiculous.’ But you know, Ross [Robinson], he promises us all this stuff—he didn’t ‘promise’—it’s just like he wanted to do something different and it just seemed like a very good opportunity to get the thing in front of people, to get it in front of as many eyes as possible.

And it wasn’t about getting big, it doesn’t matter what people say. If you ever met us in your whole life, that has never for 30 seconds been what me and Justin have ever said we wanted. We didn’t care. We were really pretentious hardcore kids, snotty jerks at that point. So there was no way we were like ‘we need to get big, and we worked this hard this all these years, let’s work with the guy that fucking did Korn.’ Like that never happened, obviously. Clearly that never happened.

But it just seemed like how do we get the thing in front of people? You know, like we got this thing. How do we get the thing in front all these eyes, and I think there was a lot of big opportunity. That was it.

But there’s probably a million other things we could have done if we didn’t do that for five more minutes. Maybe… But hindsight is always 2020, whatever. I don’t have to look back at it now. But we still did our thing, we didn’t make a fucking… we never became a nü-metal band. We didn’t become a weirdo band with dreads and shit. We’re a hardcore band. It was a hardcore record.”

When Bolm spoke of how during that time period, rabid music fans would check out other bands based on thanks in liner notes, shirts won by other bands and even those signed to the same label, implying that Roadrunner‘s association to Glassjaw could have benefitted them in the long run, Palumbo replied:

“I mean we knew that a lot of that metal on Roadrunner was fucking clown ass shit, but I’m an idiot to say that, because maybe you wouldn’t have heard it. And there was a lot of people that hear it sort of through this reverse engineering sort of thing.

There obviously is. That’s always going to be the case in all sorts of media, in all media, so I cannot get like… you know, who the fuck am I? I mean what did I do after fucking Roadrunner [laughs]? …You know ‘I made ‘The Godfather‘ after Roadrunner.’ I mean what am I really saying? Don’t listen to me. Sign to Roadrunner. You shouldn’t be listening to me.”

When asked if he and co-founding Glassjaw guitarist Justin Beck feel confident with the decisions they make now with Glassjaw after having undergone so much turmoil in their earlier years, Palumbo replied:

“I guess. I mean, there’s like two. There’s like two ways. Like confident as far as business? Yeah, I feel like we’re pretty… we know. We know what we do. I don’t think we’re trying to ever reinvent—I don’t want to say reinvent the wheel. That sounds so tiny, that sounds small, but like, we’re never trying to start from scratch and rebuild the entire universe we’ve put together again. I think we know what we do. I think we know the most efficient way to get there.

And I think we know what the niche audience who digs our shit wants and likes. And it’s a fun give and take. There’s no there’s no scam. You know what I’m saying? It’s not like we’re trying to, you know, ‘wait’ and then like we’re playing tricks. I know we know what they dig and I think we know what they would want. And I think and they give back and we have a good back and forth with them, as far as the way we do it. So I think we have a pretty firm grasp on what our our guys dig, you know? Yeah, I mean, guys as men; I mean, our people, you know what I mean?

And do I feel like we know what we want musically? Yeah, I mean, I probably would imagine even more so than business wise. Of course yes. Yes. Yes, we do… Yes. It makes sense. At this point. There’s a flow.”

The band are currently set to celebrate their aforementioned debut album its 2002 follow-up “Worship And Tribute” on the road this spring. They have the following full-album performances booked:

  • 03/02 Los Angeles, CA – 1720 (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence” set)
  • 03/03 Los Angeles, CA – 1720 (“Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/04 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence” set)
  • 03/05 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall (“Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/06 Pomona, CA – Great American Music Hall (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“/”Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/08 Denver, CO – The Summit (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“/”Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/10 San Antonio, TX – Vibes Event Center (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“/”Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/11 Austin, TX – Mohawk (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence” set)
  • 03/12 Austin, TX – Mohawk (“Worship & Tribute” set)
  • 03/14 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade – Heaven (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“/”Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/16 Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence” set)
  • 03/17 Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall (“Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/18 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“/”Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/19 Worcester, MA – The Palladium (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“/”Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/20 Silver Springs, MD – Fillmore (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“/”Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/21 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence“/”Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/23 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence” set)
  • 03/24 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw (“Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 03/25 Huntington, NY – The Paramount (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence” set)
  • 03/26 Huntington, NY – The Paramount (“Worship And Tribute” set)
  • 05/27 London, UK – O2 Forum Kentish Town (“Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence” set)
  • 05/28 Huntington, NY – O2 Forum Kentish Town (“Worship And Tribute” set)

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