Melodic Hard Rock/Metal with Female Vocals, Progressive Keyboards & Heavy Guitars.
Glass Wolfe was formed in 1998 by vocalist / lyricist Maria Glass and keyboardist / producer Philip Wolfe. Their Debut CD, released in October 2001, has been reviewed in international rock magazines and is selling in Japan, Germany, Holland. England, Spain,
Melodic Hard Rock/Metal with Female Vocals, Progressive Keyboards & Heavy Guitars.
Glass Wolfe was formed in 1998 by vocalist / lyricist Maria Glass and keyboardist / producer Philip Wolfe. Their Debut CD, released in October 2001, has been reviewed in international rock magazines and is selling in Japan, Germany, Holland. England, Spain, Brazil, France, Italy and the USA. The band has been featured on 2 cable TV shows and has had airplay on the east and west coasts. The Internet Radio Show, www.suite108.com is also featuring the band, including one unreleased track. They are now promoting their second CD, "PREDATOR".
Maria Glass is from Rhode Island and left home and family for the rock music scene of LA. She is the vocal powerhouse and lyricist for the band. She has also written lyrics for Keith Emerson (ELP) and appeared in the movie "Say Anything" and the TV series "Houston Knights". Before forming GLASS WOLFE, she had played the local club circuit for several years with a Tribute to the females of classic rock as well as in her former band UV17.
Philip Wolfe is a veteran of the LA music scene and has played keyboards with WASP, KEEL, IMPELLITTERI (#1 in Japan 1988, MTV Video), VINNIE VINCENT, XYZ, ROX DIAMOND, DRIVER/NRG, ANGEL, IAIN ASHLEY HERSEY, DHL, and ATTAKK. In 1992, he embarked on a Monsters of Rock tour with IRON MAIDEN and BLACK SABBATH, and later recorded sessions with many, many others. He appeared on MTV's Headbangers Ball with IMPELLITTERI, and on video discs in Japan with IMPELLITTERI and ROX DIAMOND. Philip also has several CD Rom sound libraries reviewed and advertized for many years in Keyboard magazine, Electronic Musician, Sound on Sound, and in the Pro Tools Developers Catalog. They can also be bought online at Greytsounds.com.
Glass Wolfe's new CD, "PREDATOR", features many guest stars, including:
Neil Citron (Steve Vai, Lana Lane), Ray Schenck (Hellion), Stuart Smith (Sweet, Heaven and Earth, Ritchie Blackmore), Howie Simon (Jeff Scott Soto, Ken Tamplin, Graham Bonnet), Dennis Lotka, Iain Ashley Hersey (Graham Bonnet), Dario Sexias (Firehouse), Pat Cicinelli, Kurt Barabas (Under the Sun), Dave Norwoods, Stefan Svensson (Ken Tamplin, Graham Bonnet), Swan Montgomery (Led Zepagain), Paul Daniels (Rox Diamond), Steve Johnstad (Driver/NRG), Dyna Shirasaki (ThundHerStruck).
Here are excerpts from our Metal Maidens Interview in the Netherlands....
When we received the latest album by GLASS WOLFE, we decided that an interview with this band would be very interesting indeed. Mainly because GLASS WOLFE consists of some of the finest and high-skilled musicians, who have gained experience in this scene for many years already. Philip Wolfe for example has played with bands like XYZ, KEEL WASP and IMPELLITTERI, while Maria Glass has written lyrics for nobody else but Keith Emerson (EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER). Add to this the fact, that their new album, which is called “Predator”, is a real killer, it’s about time to introduce the band a bit closer to you. The band name is quite easy to explain, but all other things you need to know about GLASS WOLFE are explained in the following interview, where Metal Maidens enters the territory of this mighty predator....
When did GLASS WOLFE get together as a band and how did you actually meet each other? Maria K. Glass: “Philip and I actually met at FM Station, a L.A. nightclub which is no longer in existence. We formed GLASS WOLFE a few years later, after playing together in a couple of other projects.” Philip Wolfe: “Two years after meeting Maria, I got called to do a WASP tour with IRON MAIDEN and BLACK SABBATH. When I got back, I discovered the scene had changed and I started to work on my solo CD “Lifeforce” with Mark Weitz. I knew Maria was a great lyricist, so I had her contribute lyrics for that project. After that I put together my ELP tribute band. Maria and I started working together soon after.”
Maria, have you played in other bands before you joined GLASS WOLFE, and if yes did you record anything with these bands? (we will come to Phil’s work with IMPELLITERI later on in the interview!) Maria: “Well, I have been writing since I was seven years old, so that was my first passion. The singing came out of that. I had hooked up with a musician in the apartment building I was living in at the time and we began to write songs together. Nothing ever came of it, but it did get me thinking about how I could utilize my writing for my other passion, which was music. After meeting Philip, I started to pen lyrics for his songs, some of which ended up on the “Lifeforce” CD he did with singer Mark Weitz. “Liar” was actually one of the first songs we wrote together. After the “Lifeforce” project, Philip was in a duo with a female singer, who had a girlfriend who wanted to sing back up vocals in the project. I was approached to be the other back up singer and accepted. Even then my vocal power was evident. My voice not only eclipsed that of the other back up singer, but almost overpowered the lead vocalist. I guess, I didn’t know my own strength! After that project fizzled, Philip and I decided to continue to work together. As I honed my vocal chops on the various females of the classic rock era, it seemed only natural to do a tribute to them, which we called UV17. We kept writing original songs as well, many of which became the basis for the first GLASS WOLFE CD. We did record a rough demo of the classic rock songs, but mainly for the purpose of getting gigs.” How would you describe the sound of GLASS WOLFE? Maria: “I guess the best way to describe GLASS WOLFE is melodic hard rock that has emphasis on keyboards as well as guitar and has powerfull female vocals.” Philip: “In terms of sound, I’d say it is like RAINBOW mixed with IRON MAIDEN and QUEENSRYCHE with female vocals.”
Who can we see as the main influences of GLASS WOLFE, and maybe you can also tell us a bit more about the influences of each band members individually? Maria: “I have various vocal influences. I like a lot of the females of classic rock (obviously) such as HEART, PAT BENATAR and JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. I’m also a big fan of SARAYA, LACUNA COIL and have recently discovered NIGHTWISH. However, I am also heavily influenced by many of the male rock singers - Geoff Tate of QUEENSRYCHE is a personal favorite - as well as Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Joe Lynn Turner, Ronnie James Dio and Steve Walsh. Somehow, I ended up with a vocal style that is different from other singers. It’s interesting to me, when people try to compare me to others and I’ve heard so many comparisons - everything from Ann Wilson to Pat Benatar to Lana Lane to Grace Slick and even a female Geoff Tate (I liked that one!!).” Philip: “My influences are mainly progessive rock - including ELP, ASIA, GENESIS, KANSAS, STYX, JOURNEY, BOSTON, as well as the melodic metal influences of RAINBOW, DOKKEN, and 80’s Metal. I also love classical music - Bach, Beethoven and Chopin are among my favorites. I also have a little Eastern influence via THE BEATLES and RAVI SHANKAR. As far as the guitar players we’ve had on the CD, most had either a Ritchie Blackmore or Yngwie Malmsteen influence. The bassplayers influences ran from IRON MAIDEN to YES and the drummers from Cozy Powell to Neil Peart.”
How do you deal with negative critics in general? Do you try to learn something out of it, or do you try to forget about them as fast as you can? Maria: “I think it’s very unrealistic to expect that you are never going to get a negative review. It’s par for the course. Not everyone is going to like what you do. And that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and there are a lot of bands out there that are very successful that I really don’t care for. I look at every review I get - good and bad - and keep them in a notebook, even one I found accidentally on the internet as the reviewer neglected to send it to us ahead of time. I periodically read all of my reviews but try to keep an open mind about their comments as I am always striving to improve my craft. But I don’t dwell on any of them. I certainly will not let the bad ones get me down. That won’t be productive or do me any good in the long run.” Philip: “I try to think and ponder their words, but I will also look at other reviews of similar artists to see a comparison.”
Do you only play own penned material during your shows, or do you also throw in a cover or two? And if yes, which covers do you play then? Maria: “We mostly play our originals, however, at our last gig I did get to sing “Bad Attitude” - a DEEP PURPLE song - and “Diamonds and Rust” - the JUDAS PRIEST version. At one point years ago I was singing “Crazy Train” (OZZY OSBOURNE). My intent was to have a repertoire of cover tunes and to play one at the end of the show, but to switch them at each show. So the audience would get a different cover song at each show.” Philip: “I try to include a classical piece like theToccatta and Fugue in Dm or Night on Bald Mountain in the set just in case the guitar player needs to get his frets rescalloped or the drummer is changing his bottom tom tom heads."
What’s the metal scene like in the CA area nowadays? Are there many clubs where you can play? Maria: “It’s tough, because there are so many bands out there. Looking though the local L.A. entertainment magazine that comes out once a week and has all the club listings, there are names and names and names of bands. Most of the time, you haven’t heard of them and therefore have no idea what kind of music they do. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of bands. A band that plays melodic hard rock may end up on the same bill as a thrash metal or hip-hop band, which may not go together. A good deal of your audience tends to be musicians in other bands. And while they are wonderfully supportive, in reality they may not have even paid to get into your gig, so you don’t get any credit for them being there. In the end your band may have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to get little headway. Add in to the equation that there are a number of national acts that are playing nearly every day of the week somewhere in this town. Hard to compete with if you are just starting out. I guess that’s why so many good musicians we know are in tribute bands. It’s much easier to get an audience.” Philip: “I just played on 3/2/06 with IAIN ASHLEY HERSEY and our RAINBOW/DEEP PURPLE tribute at a small club and BON JOVI was also playing that same night at a much larger venue and a lot of our friends and fans went to see BON JOVI. Heck, I would have gone to see them too, if I wasn’t playing that same night. There are hundreds of clubs and thousands of bands playing them.”
Philip, you played in an EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER tribute band called KNIFE EDGE. What’s so special about ELP for you, that you wanted to play in a tribute band for them? Philip: “After I saw ELP tour in the late 70’s, I knew that I wanted to be a keyboard player and started practicing six to eight hours a day to make up for lost time. So for a period of several years I was immersed in all things ELP and even played a mini tribute in most of the cover bands that I was involved with. By the time I hit the LA music scene in 1984, I had expanded my influences so as not to be a clone of Keith. By the mid 90’s, I was bored with the music scene and wanted to challenge myself, so I recruited Jerry Beller on drums and John Rotondi on bass and vocals to form an ELP tribute band. We didn’t have any delusions of grandeur, we just wanted to play some really great music that we loved as younger players. Contrary to a LA scene, that was thick with rap and grundge.”
Is there any particular period of ELP that you like the most? And maybe you can also tell us your favorite ELP song? Philip: “I like the 70’s ELP the best. Some of my favorites are “Trilogy”, “Tarkus”, “Endless Enigma” and “Pirates”.”
You also met Keith Emerson. What was that experience like? Philip: “Several times! The first time backstage at a 1987 ELP show in California. The next time in ’98, he came to our Knife Edge show and later invited me to his rehersal. Another time on his birthday I played the “Take a Pebble” ostinato in the left hand and “Happy Birthday” in the right hand for him. He then pushed me aside and played the “Tarkus” ostinato in the left hand and “Happy Birthday” in the right. I am also friends with his son Aaron, who also plays keyboards.”
You released two solo albums called “Lifeforce” in 1996 and “Om TheCosmic Vibration” in 1998. What kind of music do you play on these albums, and must we see GLASS WOLFE as a continuation of your solo work? Philip: “Lifeforce” is melodic hard rock featuring Mark Weitz on vocals. I played all the music, including the guitar tracks on the keyboards and sequenced and programmed the drums and bass. “Om The Cosmic Vibration” was originally written for a documentary film as a soundtrack for what I thought was to be set in the Himalayas. I later found out that it was a mountain climbing expedition in Alaska “Climbing Denali”. So I wrote acoustic guitar and banjo music for the film and released “OM” as trancendental yoga and meditation music CD. I am also writing material for my new solo CD, that will be more of a progressive rock concept album.”
You also played on an absolute classic album named “Stand In Line” of Chris Impelliteri and Graham Bonnet. What was it like to play in IMPELLITTERI and especially working with - one of the golden voices of metal - Graham Bonnet? Philip: “It was a very memorable experience, that lasted almost three years. We were # 1 in Japan in 1988 and played the Tokyo Dome to almost 100,000 people as well as smaller shows in other parts of Japan. The video of “Stand In Line” is still played on VH1 and and the “Live in Japan” video is still around."
You played with so many interesting musicians. Among them are members from big names in the scene like OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, KISS and BLACK SABBATH. Please tell us a bit more about these experiences. We love to hear some wonderful stories about the people that you’ve worked with over the years. Philip: “I was in California for about two years (I had played for seven years in cover bands all over the western USA) and I was flat broke and living in my van (with my keyboard gear) in the parking lot of a music store. I had just got a job there and put an ad in the music connection with the store’s phone number. I got a call from Rudy Sarzo, who answered my ad “Keys Available”. I tried out the next day or so with Tommy Aldridge and Rudy and after a grueling two hour audition I had my first big break. Project Driver was renamed NRG, after we had Lanny Cordola on guitar and Steve Johnstad on vocals. We rehearsed, wrote and recorded for six months and showcased for all the major labels but for some inexplicable reason...no deal! Rudy and Tommy went on to WHITESNAKE and Lanny to HOUSE OF LORDS and I was recruited by Chris Impellitteri. I was also friends with VINNIE VINCENT and got to play some keys on “All System Go”. I arrived (before Vinnie) at Cherokee studios with my van of keyboard gear and proceeded to set up and soundcheck. After an hour I was ready to play, but some members of the band decided to have very unpleasant opinions about keyboards and decided that I should pack up and leave as there were not going to be any keys on the record. So...I packed all my gear up and was putting the key into the ignition, when Vinnie walked up to the van and asked me why I was so late. I explained and he told me to get my gear back in the studio and cut the tracks, so after over an hour I was soundchecked and tracking. During that era I worked with Paul Daniels and his band ROX DIAMOND and went to Japan with them in ‘92. In the dressing room Paul decided that he liked my shirt better that the one he intended to wear, so he asked me to trade my favorite shirt for his. During the show he proceeded to take off his jacket and throw it out to the crowd. A few songs later he threw my shirt into the crowd and it was ripped to shreds in a matter of seconds. I...