How Everything From Hip-Hop to Psychedelic Rock Influenced Heavy Glow
If there's one thing that can be said about Jared Mullins, singer/songwriter/guitarist for San Diego rock/soul trio Heavy Glow is that he's single minded about the duality he wants to express.
"I've always been drawn to heavily guitar based rock and roll mixed with soul," he says. "Guitar riffs based on Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, even some Motown stuff. The only thing that I really wanted to do with Heavy Glow was keep it in the tradition of bands that try to cover a wide variety of rock 'n' roll subgenres, like Led Zeppelin or Iron Butterfly. Bands where you get the yin-yang, you get the light and the heavy, violent and beautiful at the same time. That's where the band name came from. I wanted to keep it in that tradition."
Mullins formed the band in 2008 after relocating to California from Cleveland, Ohio. He quickly met bassist Joe Brooks.
"I moved out to San Diego and met up with the bass player, and I was the drummer at the time. I wrote the songs so it made sense for me to move to guitar rather than teach somebody else to play the songs," he explains.
After solidifying the line-up with drummer St. Judas, the nascent group found an unexpected break. Mullins recounts how Heavy Glow "made a couple of demos and Stevie Salas, who is a pretty well-known guitar player for Mick Jagger and George Clinton, found the demo somehow. He found it and it was super rough, but he took me over to Carlsbad and we hung out for a day and he played me some of the albums he's worked on. I really liked his guitar playing and he had some really good tones, and he had the same set up we had - he played with a lot of three pieces back in the day. He eventually took us up to Velvet Revolver's studio. We recorded another demo with him, and that became the first EP, in 2009."
Since then, Heavy Glow has released another EP, and 2012's full length Midnight Moan, before getting to work on the just issued Pearls & Swine And Everything Fine, which found them working with producers Michael Patterson and Nic Jodoin, who, individually and as a team, have worked with artists as disparate as T.I., Beck, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. According to Mullins, the collaborative results are the culmination of all that the band has been attempting since those first sessions with Salas five years ago.
"Mike, in particular, has a lot of background in mixing bass heavy records that have a lot of things going on," Mullins says. "He's worked on a lot of hip-hop records. I always felt that the bass guitar on the Heavy Glow records never really came out the way I wanted it to, and that's why we chose to work with Mike. Mike and Nick work together. ... They bounce ideas off of each other.
"The soul influence comes out more on this album although I think it's on all the albums. The new songs are a lot different than the songs on our first album. The first album was more murky. It was muggy and a lot darker and this one's a bit more...happily dark."
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