TAMPA'S GLOVE is a really unique band, in that they very much look and feel like they come from another time. Perhaps it’s their distinct brand of post punk, which takes its cues from bands like Wire and Joy Division. Or perhaps it’s their aesthetic, which truly makes you think you’re looking at an English band in the early 1980s.
Whatever makes the Glove experience feel a certain way, it undoubtedly comes from a genuine place. In talking to guitarist Rod Woolf, you get the sense that this music is truly a passion for him and his bandmates. There’s a chemistry between them that only comes from having the same musical goals.
The band is set to play El Rocko Lounge on Fri., July 19 alongside Early Branch and Youngster, and we chatted with Woolf ahead of the gig.
How long have you guys been together?
Woolf: We’ve been a band for about two years. Me and our drummer Brie used to play in a band that did some touring and released an EP, but that band didn’t work out. On our last tour with that band on the west coast, we had our friend Michelle come with us to take pictures. She was a photographer. But it wasn’t working out with the other members, so we started [Glove] kind of on that tour.
We asked Michelle if she wanted to play keyboards with us, so when we got home we sort of disbanded and formed this thing. It took us a minute to get it together, so we didn’t really start playing shows until about a year and a half ago.
I hear a lot of Wire and bands like that—the English post punk thing. Was this one of those scenarios where you knew what kind of band you wanted to be from the beginning?
Woolf: Totally. That was the thing—that’s mainly why we disbanded the other one. The influences with the other members weren’t matching what the other members wanted to do. When that band started picking up a little bit, we wanted to take things more seriously but the influences weren’t really gelling.
When we formed this band, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. We’ve always been big fans of Wire, Gang of Four, Bauhaus, Joy Division, all of that early post punk and new wave. B-52’s—there’s a lot of stuff that we like. Newer bands as well. I really like The Kills and bands like that. But yeah, we were sure that we wanted to do this thing.
It seems like there’s a lot of stylistic diversity in Tampa. Are there a lot of other people in the music community that do the post punk thing?
Woolf: Not that I’m aware of, to be honest. We personally have a lot of friends who are into this stuff. There are definitely some bands that are pretty cool. Most of the scene around here is more like psych bands, that sort of garage rock; more blues oriented. We love that, too. But with this band, we wanted to do something that we’ve always aimed for but were never able to present the right way.
Was there a chemistry right away once you found all of the right people for this project?
Woolf: When we first started, Michelle knew this girl who was really cool and she brought her into the band on bass. The chemistry was there and we got along really well, but then we went on a couple of tours and realized that it didn’t work. Eventually we went to another bass player, and then ultimately we found Justin. When Justin came into the band, it was a weird thing because we were playing with this other bass player as a temporary thing
For some reason it was missing something, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it was. We met Justin on a tour, and immediately became friends. We never had the thought of him joining the band. But when our bass player ended up leaving, Michelle said, “What about Justin?”
The first time he showed up, I had a song that I wrote and recorded a demo of. We messed around with it, he went home and the next day sent me a demo with vocals on it. We just heard it and said, “This is it.” You can’t pinpoint it—it’s a feeling, a chemistry. You can’t force it on people, it just happens. It happened with him.
What’s in the pipeline for y’all?
Woolf: Right now we’re finishing up a lot of stuff. We record everything to tape, at my house. I have a 16-track, just a small studio. A couple of preamps and things. But we’ve recorded everything in, like, four or five days. There are a couple of songs to finish, but we have two songs coming out in a month or two. We’re planning on releasing a seven-song EP late this year. We’re still trying to figure out what we want to do. We’ve been in contact with some smaller labels, but we might just do this one ourselves.
We’re doing an east coast tour in September, and then I think in December or January we’ll go to the west coast. Then we’re planning on going to Europe after that. We’ve met some people on the road, like at SXSW, who were hitting us up.
Europe would be amazing for you guys.
Woolf: That’s definitely a dream of ours. When we started the band, we had these goals that seemed unreachable at the time. We knew we wanted to tour, go to Europe, and release albums. Once we start releasing stuff, we’re just going to keep putting stuff out all of the time.
Just hit the ground running!
Woolf: Yeah, man. There’s nothing else to do other than that [laughs].