In October of last year, garage rock band Cereal Glyphs put out a most excellent 10-song cassette, but aside from that release, I don’t know much about these folks. What I’m sure of, however is that their debut effort is fucking fantastic, as evidenced on their song “Belly of the Snake” which can be heard below:
When I saw that Cereal Glyphs were set to be a part of FREE WEEK, I was pretty excited that I will at last have the opportunity to see them play, as I’d already set some time aside to be at a few of the free shows. If you weren’t aware, CG will be playing alongside New Bravado and In Lightning this Friday (1/29) at Zanzabar, and the event will cost you zero dollars. Free is good, right? For more information on this, go here.
To get you hyped on this show, I reached out to guitarist Jake Philley for an interview, which he was kind enough to participate in. Read on as we talk about the story behind his band, what we can expect from the future, and more!
Never Nervous: First, tell us the origin story behind Cereal Glyphs. How did the band initially form?
Jake Philley: Andy (Myers) and I started playing music together in 2014 at sometime or another. We met via the restaurant biz, and I don’t remember exactly how it happened but I ended up hanging out in his little home studio one because he wanted me to rip a guitar solo over something he was working on. Around that time Joel Hunt asked my old band Mote if we wanted to play a show on Thanksgiving with the most excellent Purling Hiss and one of my very favorite bands (local or otherwise) State Champion, but Mote had already broken up at that point and I told Joel that I’d have a new band ready by showtime. I asked Andy to play bass in that band along with Mote’s drummer Jamie (Conkin) and my very excellent old friend Amber (Yates). We practiced a couple times played the show and the band fizzled out. Then sometime in spring of 2015 Andy and I wanted to put together a band to play all of his songs we’d been recording together and naturally enlisted most of the same folks.
NN: What’s with the name? What does “Cereal Glyphs” mean?
JP: I can’t remember exactly the situation, but I remember hanging out with Andy in his kitchen one morning talking about band stuff. He was throwing out band names and the one that he liked the best was “Serial Glyphs”. Our conversation being verbal rather than electronic I asked if he meant Cereal Glyphs like Alpha-bits or Serial Glyphs like symbols that come one after another. He said that he meant Serial but liked Cereal better. That was that.
NN: Your band isn’t particularly easy to describe, so let me ask you. How would you describe your band to someone that hasn’t heard you?
JP: Take equal parts Rolling Stones, Devo, and Ramones and shake vigorously with ice. Pour that into a hot skillet and and simmer over medium heat stirring in a hefty portion of 90’s indie rock a la Pavement or Yo La Tengo. Then once the solution is smooth, turn the heat up as high as it goes and go watch T.V. for an hour or so. When you get back, finish what ever is left in the skillet with a pinch of weirdo garage rock. That’s us!
NN: Adding to that, how would you describe the music your band makes to my mongoloid co-workers that continue to tell me about how great the “Kid Rock Concert” was on New Year’s Eve?
JP: We sound more or less like Kid Rock. All music sounds basically the same. There’s only 12 notes to choose from, right?!
NN: Since the release of your self-titled cassette back in October, what’s the plan moving forward? Touring? More releases?
JP: We are recording in mid February with mix master Jim Marlow. That will be an LP of some sort eventually. We are going to try to play some shows regionally eventually as well. Little weekends here and there, Chicago, Cinci, Nashville, Bloomington, ect. If you know a guy let us know.
NN: Is that release out of print right now? If not, how/where can I (and our readers) get our grubby hands on it?
JP: Not quite out of print yet, I know for sure there are a few copies left at Guestroom as of earlier tonight!
NN: Speaking of Guestroom… There isn’t really any right or wrong answer to this question, but fuck it: How awesome is it working at that place? Guestroom fucking rules.
JP: Its one of the best things that ever happened to me. Travis and Lisa are the best bosses in the world and its super cool having first dibs on all the used stuff that comes in. My record collection has probably tripled since starting to work there.
NN: Considering that you folks are playing this Friday at Zanzabar as part of FREE WEEK, I gotta ask.. Do you have anything special planned for the event?
JP: At practice on Tuesday we decided that I needed to do more talking in between songs, So everyone should prepare themselves for 15 or so minutes of top notch Jake Philley stand up comedy between each song. More importantly though, we are debuting the lovely Mr. Cutter Williams as our new bassman. He’s the man.
NN: Lately I’ve been on an Alien (film series) kick, as I’ve finally gotten a chance to watch Prometheus (LOVED IT, by the way). Have there been any films you’ve been watching lately that resonate with you?
JP: I don’t really watch a lot of movies. I spend most of my screen time watching silly TV shows that I would be embarrassed to detail in this interview. If anyone in internet land wants to know about my guilty pleasures we can chat about in person.
NN: Considering my revisiting of the Alien franchise, I’ve been considering getting really high and re-watching 2001: A Space Odyssey lately. I’m not one to use drugs to enhance my movie-watching experience, but I’ve heard this is a good idea. Your thoughts?
JP: Not really one for getting really high, nor have I seen 2001: A Space Odyssey. Seems like a pretty legit idea though.
NN: Before you go, tell us about one record from the month of January of this year that is already knocking your skirt up.
JP: A band from Vancouver called Nap Eyes is putting out a new record soon, not sure about the exact date. Its called Thought Rock Fish Scale and it is super good. Their last record Whine Of The Mystic was one of the Guestroom favorites last year.