R13: Gledhill have only been together since 2004, how did you all meet?
David: We'd all played in Sheffield bands for three or four years so we knew each other already from other bands and we kind of hung out at the same rehearsal studios and bars. Even though it's a big city you generally know everyone on the music scene.
R13: Why did you make the decision to form a band yourselves then?
David: It was one of those weird things really where I'd done some new demos and given them to a friend who worked in the industry and he started giving these demos out just using my surname 'Gledhill' and he was getting a lot of interest. A few of the others weren't doing anything; Tom the guitar player was playing with about five or six bands because he's generally perceived as the best guitar player in Sheffield and I just kind of pinched him and forced him to join me.
R13: Most of your big breaks seem to have come from London shows, do you think bands have to be prepared to spend a lot of time in London to get noticed?
David: I think it's probably different for every band; if you look at the Arctic Monkeys they had the luxury of not having to do that as they had such a good following up here. I think generally bands should be prepared to do it, but they should just be playing gigs all the time and everywhere anyway. I think the biggest mistake most unsigned bands make is that they get a London show, they get a promise of a few A&R men coming along and they think it's all going to happen in one night. The best course of action is to do as much as you can as a band; play as many gigs as you can, do as much self promotion as you can and the record company deals will take care of themselves.
R13: What's the best thing to come out of Sheffield, barring Gledhill?
David: Undoubtedly the Sandman magazine; they were the first magazine to do an interview with us, the Arctic Monkeys and the Kaiser Chiefs. They're becoming quite instrumental in breaking acts from the northern area, I think they've got magazines in Hull and Leeds and Nottingham now and it started off in Sheffield a few years ago. I think what they're doing is just fantastic.
R13: What's been the most exciting part of your music career so far?
David: This is a tricky one, there are lots and lots of things, but probably - and this is a bit sad - meeting Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin backstage at one of our gigs in London. It was very surreal, most of the members of the band are massive Led Zeppelin fans and were completely bowled over, so that was kind of nice and pretty weird.
R13: What's the worst thing you've had to do for the love of the band?
David: I'm going to sound such a miserable bastard but videos, photo shoots; I don't generally enjoy either, there's too much standing around doing nothing, make up etc. It probably sounds incredibly ungrateful because most unsigned bands probably dream of doing those things but it's funny after you've done one or two how they quickly lose their charm. I wish I could clone another one of me to do all the stuff like that because I hate it so much!
R13: Do you have much influence in your videos then?
David: With this particular song, 'Remain', we actually did our own video with this cool Sheffield video maker called Ben Potts. We did an arty video and Sony weren't massively keen, so we had to do another video for it, which is the video that everyone knows now. We get some input but I think that even though we're signed to an indie label [MX3] they're backed by Sony and you only get a certain amount of control. Fortunately for us we get a lot of control over the music, I picked the producer for the album, the studio and they've let us have control over the music, which is really the only thing that concerns me.
R13: Why did you choose to sign to a small label like MX3?
David: To be honest it was a simple decision to make because Nigel Haywood and David Trafford who are the two guys that run the label are so passionate about the band and were so into what we do that they put a good record deal in front of us that we'd have been stupid not to take. It was still early days for us, we'd just done a single with Fierce Panda and we were going to be doing another single with Fierce Panda but these guys were so persistent, and they were so passionate that I think it would have been stupid not to do it.
R13: Do you find live performance something that comes naturally?
David: Yes. I think that most musicians are egotistical and psychologically damaged and part of the reason that we do this is attention seeking. It's very of liberating. I always think that people when they get married it's like them being on stage for one day in their life because it's a very similar dynamic; you're centre of attention...and it's great, especially when the gig's good and people enjoy it obviously when it's miserable and nobody's there except one man and his dog it's not as much fun. I think if you don't enjoy it you'd be in the wrong business really.
R13: Which established performers do you look up to?
David: I think most of the established performers we look up to are people like U2, who've managed to reinvent themselves many times and consistently make good records. U2, REM, even Oasis really as I think it's testament to them really that they still sell quite a lot of records and still make good records.
R13: What's your favourite U2 era then?
David: It's got to be the 80s for me, just because I'm such a huge fan of that kind of sound. I like things like The Joshua Tree and October and things like that. I like some of the 90s stuff as well but I much prefer some of the records that were made in the 80s; I think if you play The Joshua Tree it probably still sounds as fantastic today as the day it was made.
R13: You must have played with a lot of bands that are also trying to make it, which groups would you recommend to our readers?
David: There are a few acts in Sheffield that are very interesting, there's one act called Granddad Bob who was signed to Southern Fried Records which is Norman Cook's label and they had a song on a Motorola advert about two years ago and they are a really, really interesting dance band. They're just finishing their second record and they haven't got the acclaim they deserve get. Probably the other one is a new guy in Sheffield called Tim Pare, he's kind of acoustic-y Ryan Adams, Damien Rice but it's very, very good and I think you'll probably be seeing more of both in the next couple of years.
R13: What are your plans for futures; do you have any news about your album?
David: Yes, we finished the album, which we did with Owen Morris who did all the Oasis records a few weeks ago, we recorded it in a nice kind of posh residential studio and it actually sounds fantastic. I would imagine it's probably going to come out April/May next year as we've still got to the finish the mixing and the mastering. I think our plan for next year is to do an awful lot of touring and release a lot of singles of the record; try to build up a fan base. Usually I think with music like ours it's more of a slow burner it terms of breaking into the charts, we see it that we've got a lot of hard work ahead of us to convert people to our music, cos we're never going to be super trendy or anything like that; we view our music as being more classic and timeless so I think you have to work a bit harder when you do music like that.
R13: Have you got any ideas for the title of the album yet then?
David: Yes, we do know what the title of the album will be. It's going to be called 'Constellations'. Basically the song that we always open our live set with is called 'Constellations' and it's the first song on the album, there's even talk of it being the next single. It's a huge song; it's very overblown and epic. And I've always been interested in all things space related, so I think that's probably why the album's going to be called 'Constellations' as well.
R13: How would you sum up the music on the album?
David: To be honest with you when we were recording it we tried very hard not to do anything that would date it; we wanted it to be a record that in 30 years time someone could put on and it would still sound good, like a lot of The Beatles' records. It's a very produced sound, it's very pop, it's very rock, it's very up-tempo. Generally we don't play the ballads live at the moment but there are three or four ballads on the album that have come out really beautifully. Basically it's very beautiful and very epic.
R13: According to your website, the band's name comes from a tribe of your ancestors who trained birds to peck peoples' eyes out so they could rob them (nice!), what would your perfect crime be?
David: I think I mentioned this before, but I think my perfect crime would definitely be to clone myself to do the bits of work that we have to do that I don't like as in videos, photo shoots...can't think of anything else...I enjoy the gigs, I enjoy meeting the fans and I enjoy doing interviews like this. There are just a few things that I really hate so I'd like to clone myself so I could stay in bed and send the other one out.
R13: Finally with pandas (in the form of Fierce Panda) and the aforementioned birds already forming part of Gledhill's identity, what kind of animal would you like to have as a mascot?
David: Probably a cat, I'm quite an animal person. No actually, I just came back from Scotland recently and I saw a real wild otter, which I just thought, was incredible, so it would be an otter because they're just so slinky and cool. They're the coolest creatures you've ever seen in your life if you ever get to see one!
R13: I think I may have seen one...
David: They're just so awesome, they're so fast, they just sit there and eat raw fish in front of you - it's fantastic!
R13: Thanks very much for your time and good luck for the future.
R13: Gledhill have only been together since 2004, how did you all meet?