Electronic duo creates magic

By HermineBloom

Electronic pop duo Glitter Bones released an EP in February and is already recording a full-length album. Both members of the Chicago-based band can’t easily compare their sound with familiar bands, which in essence is a combination of the gumption of hip-hop and an element of fantasy in regard to sampling.

Nick Donlin and Zach Vouga, a current Columbia student, comprise the up-and-coming band. The Chronicle talked with both members to learn about the vision behind their “Returning the Magic” EP, how they scored a gig opening for Deakin (of long-time indie darlings Animal Collective) and how their live performance greatly differs from simply listening to their recordings.

The Chronicle: Tell me about both of your roles in Glitter Bones.

Zach Vouga: When we’re writing, I’d say there’s no rules when we’re writing. It’s a big stream of consciousness of ideas. We’re constantly firing ideas back and forth to each other. Nick will send me something and it’ll depict a certain emotion, and I’ll pick up on that emotion and I’ll add something back to him. It’ll just kind of snowball until it becomes something. Sometimes the things that we produce will fall through the cracks and will later be renovated. That’s the process in which we collaborate.

Nick Donlin: Generally, we’ll come up with a core part each and just go from there. When we do that live, most of the time we play the core part—whoever wrote it—and then the other person plays whatever they laid over it.

The Chronicle: What was your vision for the “Returning the Magic” EP and how long did it take to write and record?

ND: Honestly, I’d say it took about two weeks.

ZV: It took a good part of the month

of January.

ND: It was a pretty quick, painless process.

ZV: As far as vision, Nick and I are both pretty magical guys. [Laughs] As stated in the title of the album, it’s definitely something that we wanted to capture. I wanted to capture the vibe of a young girl’s fantasy novel and Nick was on the same page as I was. The kind of emotion we were trying to convey is some fantastical adventure but still highly emotional, but at the same time, very bleak.

ND: Yeah, that’s pretty accurate. I’m into a lot of fairy tales, witchcraft and things like that. I’m not into it, but I like to read up about that stuff. It’s very inspiring to me.

ZV: I’d certainly say that our music and our individual tracks can be looked at as a spell or incantation of sorts. Something’s being conjured in each track.

The Chronicle: How do your live performances differ from hearing a Glitter Bones recording?

ND: First and foremost, it’s very loud. I think when you’re feeling the bass and stuff, you’re more inclined to move and get into it and jam out to it.

ZV: And even something as simple as the sound quality. I mean, the maturity of listeners in today’s age are on MySpace, which is perhaps the lowest form of listening quality. So, [in a live setting] you’re experiencing it in an all-encompassing atmosphere.

The Chronicle: How did you guys land a gig opening for Deakin of Animal Collective?

ND: That show came about because I just started messaging him on MySpace and he’s a really cool guy. He has no problem talking with bands who are interested in getting their stuff out there. He’s just real nice about it. We ended up e-mailing the guy from the Empty Bottle. He’s cool and it all just

worked out.

ZV: It sort of fell into our laps and we were both very excited about it.

The Chronicle: Are you working on recording anything currently or are you just trying to get your name out there?

ZV: Yeah, it’s really interesting to see how our sound has evolved—even in the short run of the band we’ve been in so far. So it’ll be explored in the next release. With “Returning the Magic,” Nick and I were still freshly working together but with this new stuff, you can tell there’s unity and we’re exploring new sounds and new depths. We’re in correspondence with a few smaller labels about maybe pressing our newest one into vinyl. There’s nothing for sure yet. We’re mainly concerned with getting the material finished in a finite manner that we’re happy with.

Glitter Bones’ next show will be at Ronny’s Bar, 2101 N. California Ave., on March 2. For more information, visit MySpace.com/GlitterBonesBand.