Music News

Q&A: Glass Heroes on Phoenix and their new album Liars Cheats & Thieves

Phoenix punk band Glass Heroes has been around for more than 17 years. They performed with Nirvana at the long-lost (but not forgotten) Sun Club, and have played with and become friends with a host of other famous folks, including the Sex Pistols, the MC5, the UK Subs, and Motörhead. The self-proclaimed street rockers deny any type of establishment or compartmentalization. They represent the original alternative to the mainstream, and cry out that rock is not a fashion, but a passion. They've received acclaim from people like Marky Ramone, and have a new album slated for release later this year (produced by Rat Scabies of legendary punk band The Damned). Here we talk with Heroes frontman Keith Jackson.

New Times: Of all the places you could've gone, why did you stay in Phoenix for over 17 years?

Keith Jackson: Everyone asks me that — all the people I've worked with. I don't know. It's a life of mediocrity here. There are no real ups and downs in Phoenix. So when you come from a city like Detroit, it's just kind of on a level keel, 'cause not a lot goes on in this city. You can always get out of here and do your thing. It's a strange, strange music scene here.

NT: Tell me about the new album, Liars Cheats & Thieves.

Jackson: It's a great album. It's really depth-y. It's not like the first record. There's a lot more movement to it. It's a little darker than the first album. That's probably cause Rat was here.

NT: How was it working with him?

Jackson: It's great working with the guy, just outside of [his] being a legend. We had some friends in common, like Joe Strummer . . . great stories and great producer. He spent most of the time sleeping on the couch in the studio — literally. But it's amazing, 'cause he'd be snoring, and we'd be doing playbacks, and he'd be, like, [in British accent] "That part. Do that part again." And I'm, like, "You were just snoring!" And he was right! It was uncanny.

NT: Your former band, The Beat Angels, is reuniting after several years to play at the 14th annual George's Day Celebration.

Jackson: Yeah, it's gonna be the Beat Angels and the Heroes. And we played together a couple years ago, so it's gonna be a lot of fun.

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Sarah Ventre