Alternative-pop band Glades visited Hong Kong for the first time on February 20 for their Asia headline tour, following the release of their debut album To Love You. Vocalist Karina Wykes, and multi-instrumentalists Cameron Robertson and Joseph Wenceslao, met in high school and formed Glades in 2015, their name inspired by a ski run. From the sleek signature bass line of Do Right to Wykes’ ethereal harmonies in breakout single Drive, the Sydney-based trio have made a name for themselves as expert creators of invigorating tunes suited to all occasions, whether it be on a morning commute or a lazy afternoon.
With their sold-out Australian tour in May, followed by tours with American indie pop band Lany and British dance trio Clean Bandit, the past year has seen the group’s rise to success. Before their Hong Kong concert, Young Post caught up with the band to talk about their musical journey and future aspirations.
While he used to be an athlete, Robertson knew music was his greatest passion. “I grew up doing both music and sport until I got injured really badly – that was the turning point [for me],” he said.
Wenceslao also took an unexpected turn to becoming a musician. “For so long, I was going down the medicine path, studying to be a doctor, and everything. And eventually, I was like, ‘This isn’t the way’.”
As for Wykes, music was always her Plan A. “If this didn’t work out, I’d have no idea what I’d be doing,” she said. “It’s cool that we get to be here now.” Having released a synth-pop rendition of Troye Sivan’s Fools early on in their careers (with the approval of Sivan himself), the band acknowledge the YouTuber-turned-singer as one of their biggest influences.
“When Fools came out, we were like, ‘This is so cool, we have to do our own version of it’,” Wykes told Young Post. Other musical inspirations include pop band The 1975 and New Zealander Lorde.
The trio, who will be performing in Singapore and Bangkok, and wrapping up the tour in Kuala Lumpur later this month, write and produce their own music. They talked about their favourite songs on the record. “I think right now, my favourite is Nervous Energy,” said Wykes.“I think playing it live and doing this tour made me love the song more, seeing the way people connect with that song.”
Wenceslao, whose favourite is Sweetheart, added: “As a producer, [Sweetheart] was really fun to make. It feels really good to play it live as well; it’s a little more band-y and indie.”
When asked about what they liked about the music industry, there were some very different responses. “Free food!” was Wenceslao’s first, instinctive answer, his eyes lighting up. Robertson echoed his enthusiasm, then added that he enjoyed learning about the business side of the industry, too.
“At the start, it was quite businessy and for me, getting into it, it’s a lot of growing your brand and growing your profile.” Wykes said: “I think it’s really cool that with music, it connects between languages and countries. Like how we’re here right now – and that’s so crazy.
“And it’s also awesome to have the opportunity to say something and be heard for what you say. For us, that’s been this album,” she explained. “For people to hear it ... it’s been really cool to hear their response and to be part of that.”
Glades are happy with how well they’ve done so far, but are looking forward to performing to even more people in the future.
“I feel like we kind of have the dream job in this sense,” said Wykes, “[so I hope to] continue what we’re doing, but grow it.”
Edited by Karly Cox