In Spring 2017 I had the pleasure of interviewing Wendy Stonehedge from 70s-influenced rockers Glitter Wizard. One of the coolest bands going today, they’re cutting out a reputation as a fun, engaging live act on the scene. When I spoke to Wendy, we talked about the band’s origins, influences, their album Hollow Earth Tour and touring among other topics.
Jack: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you?
Wendy Stonehedge (Vocals): Not bad. Not bad at all.
Jack: How did you all meet?
Wendy: I conjured the band with a magical spell involving hot lava, BDSM, and unicorn’s blood.
Jack: What makes playing a 70s style sound so appealing?
Wendy: Music peaked in the late 60’s/early 70’s. It’s been pretty much downhill ever since. I’m ready for something new and good to come along but so far there hasn’t been much.
Jack: Why do you think this style of music is making a comeback?
Wendy: I think people are tired of music made on laptops. New music is so over-polished that it has no soul. They’re looking back to a time when music still meant something and was made by actual people who played actual instruments.
Jack: Has being from San Froakland, CA influenced you at all?
Wendy: I’m sure it has but it’s hard to put a finger on exactly how. I spent the last few years moving around northern California and living in the sticks and it definitely changed my attitude. It made me mellow out a bit. Now I’m back in the Bay and I’m getting my edge back.
Jack: What bands have influenced your ‘progressive punk’ sound?
Wendy: Blue Oyster Cult, Hawkwind, Queen, Neil Merryweather, Alice Cooper, MC5…
Jack: What’s the music scene like in San Froakland, CA?
Wendy: There’s always rad bands here. Hot Lunch, Shannon and the Clams, Dealer…
Jack: You’ve just released your latest album Hollow Earth Tour last year. Are you happy with the response?
Wendy: It was a released on an Italian label so it’s been hard to gauge the response because we have to translate most of our reviews! I think it’s positive though. My mom likes it.
Jack: The album is a concept album of sorts: chock-full of reptilian overlords, underwater fascists, and inner-earth explorers. What inspired this decision and have any films, books or works art inspired it?
Wendy: When I was living the country life, I got pretty deep into conspiracy culture. I was reading a lot of David Icke and Robert Anton Wilson when we wrote the album.
Jack: Do you believe in any conspiracy theories such as the reptilian overlords or the hollow earth theory?
Wendy: Yes. It’s all true. All of it.
Jack: What was the recording process like?
Wendy: We run a tight ship in the studio. We’re on a limited budget so we don’t have time to mess around. We know exactly what we want ahead of time. We get in there and knock it out. We’ve recorded all three album with our good friend, Donny Newenhouse and he always understands exactly what we’re trying to do.
Jack: You’ll be celebrating your tenth year as a band this year, did you ever expect to last ten years?
Wendy: The life expectancy of your average wizard is 150 years so ten is really nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Jack: What’s been a career highlight?
Wendy: This latest album. It’s the best album I’ve ever been a part of. Playing Roadburn a couple years ago was a blast too!
Jack: You’re touring Europe soon, what can we expect from this tour?
Wendy: Hot riffs and frilly costumes.
Jack: A lot of bands say there are major differences between Europe and the US, what are the biggest differences?
Wendy: As far as touring goes, Europe is waaaaaay better than home. In the US, you’re lucky make enough money to fill up your tank and get you to the next show. You gotta eat shitty food and sleep on floors. In Europe you get fed, you get a bed to sleep in, and you usually get better guarantees. People take music for granted here.
Jack: Do you have day jobs outside of the band?
Wendy: There’s no money in rock and roll these days. Even the bigger bands I know have to get day jobs when they’re not touring. I feel lucky that I don’t have to sink my own money into music at this stage.
Jack: What are your plans after the tour? Any visits to the UK on the horizon?
Wendy: No big plans. We’re playing a couple of festivals in the States and writing our next album. As far as the UK goes, we’ll make it over there when we’re given a good offer.
Jack: Finally, as you’re influenced by Sleep, what influence do you take from them?
Wendy: I think it’s near impossible to play heavy music these days and be at least somewhat influenced by them. I’m pretty sure I did permanent damage to my hearing the first time I saw them, so I can partly thank them for that too.