2012: The year of the Sugar Glyder

| January 19, 2012 | 0 Comments
Daniel Howie, Chris Rigo, Emily Aoyagi, and Bobby Matthews (from left to right) of Charlotte’s Sugar Glyder/ Photo courtesy of Sugar Glyder
















Following the band’s recent trip to the Austin-based music festival, South By Southwest, the indie pop five-piece had the opportunity to network with other bands and important people of the industry. Late last year, the band callaborated with Outerloop Management.

The much-anticipated news came last Sunday on 106.5 WEND Charlotte radio that the band had signed with the record label ORG Music, which is a part of Warner Bros Records. And the band continues to have an enthusiastic and realistic vision of the future of Sugar Glyder.

The guys and girl of Sugar Glyder were kind enough to talk to me about this vision.


Many are uncertain as to what being signed entails. What are the perks that come with being signed to Org Music?

Chris Rigo- ORG Music is an affiliate of Warner Brothers and with that comes better distribution of our music. Until now, we have been the only people pushing our music to new listeners. Touring a lot and trying to spread the word. The biggest thing that being signed entails for us is that there is now more people trying to spread the word about our music. We are also going to be working with a new producer for this album.

Daniel Howie- You’ve also got to think. There are millions of other independent bands out there. There are a few hundred thousand that play shows on a consistent basis; another hundred thousand that have it together enough to tour. Then about 70 or 80 thousand more that are “signed” bands. This puts us ahead of the curve and therefore automatically opens up more opportunities. More people take you seriously.

Bobby Mathews- Being signed lets you do what you do as a band on a greater scale. In a way, the Sugar Glyder name has more credibility now that it is associated with a label. Also, we will be on a larger budget which will in turn give us more freedom and capability to progress in the music industry.

Emily Aoyagi- Being signed with ORG is really great because we aren’t one of hundreds of artists that a label is trying to fit into a cookie-cutter design for a cookie-cutter target audience. It’s the same thing for working with Outerloop (you can see by the other bands working with Outerloop that we weren’t chosen because we fitted the mold!). They both really believe in us and our music, which I think is one of the most important things you can ask for in a creative industry like music.


The band is in the studio now working on new tracks. How has the recording process changed with a record label as opposed to the diy course?

Chris Rigo- We are finishing writing the songs for the new album right now at my house in Concord. We are currently recording demos for ourselves and making critiques and changes. We start actual recording for the new album in March. We will be working with a new producer this time. We have always really enjoyed the basement/living room recording style/space but this is something new and exciting.

Daniel Howie- This is actually the first time we’ve worked with someone other than Kit Walters of Scapegoat. It’s a good time for us to grow and develop our sound.

Bobby Mathews- We are all very anxious to find out what it will be like to NOT have a DIY process of recording! It will be nice to get away from our homes and live in the environment that we will be producing the record in. I think this will give us the opportunity to be 110% involved with the record with no distractions. This is something none of us are familiar with nor have done before.

Emily Aoyagi- It will be interesting and exciting to work for a producer for the first time in a studio outside of NC; I’m looking forward to an objective, creative perspective from someone who lives to produce/record/engineer music. I used to view recording DIY as being a method to getting your music to sound exactly the way you want it, in some kind of purist independent sense, but I now think it will be good for us to get input from a professional outside of the band and find the sounds that we want to hear through methods with which we aren’t familiar. We will also be able to stay in the studio for 4 weeks, which will be great since every other recording experience entailed us going to our respective homes and jobs in between recording sessions.


The band has been hard at work creating new tracks for an upcoming album. What can you tell me about the new album?

Chris Rigo- The new songs are extremely melodic! Many of these songs could get stuck in people’s heads for a long long long time! Many of the songs are based around very playful grooves. The new album sounds like Sugar Glyder, just the next step for us as song writers.

Daniel Howie- I’d say this record is going to be a lot of fun. The energy and excitement we’ve been containing while cooped up writing these songs with no release will show on the album. We haven’t played a show since August 30tht! It’s been really tough because we’re so used to getting letting that energy out on stage and on the road.

Bobby Mathews- The overall mood of this record will be more fun and playful then anything we have put out so far! Tons of infectious melodies will haunt your sleep after you hear this one!

Emily Aoyagi- It’s going to be a continued progression in our style; I feel like “Lovers at Lightspeed” is the closest we’ve gotten so far to fine tuning the direction we’re headed collectively, and I expect this next album to be the next step. Not to say that we’re shunning any experimental aspects to writing songs, but we’re getting smarter about our compositions and conveying our ideas/feelings musically.


When can we expect it to be released?

Chris Rigo- The new album will probably be released sometime in the summer or early fall of 2012.


“Poor Baby Zebra” and “We Cracked The Sky” are officially taken off the market. Are there plans to reissue these in the future?

Chris Rigo- As of right now there are no plans to reissue those albums but I feel very confident that they will come back at some point. I know there are some torrents for free downloads out there on the internet for those of you who want to hear our back catalogue but are unable to purchase it.

Daniel Howie- There are certainly a lot of great songs and moments on those records. I agree with chris, they will probably peak back out at some point.


Many might argue that Sugar Glyder might have rose to where it is now sooner and with more support if the band grew up in a city with a better music scene. What do you think cities like Nashville or Austin or Seattle have that Charlotte doesn’t?

Chris Rigo- First of all, we love Austin! We wouldn’t be signed right now if we wouldn’t have met ORG Music at the 2011 South By Southwest festival in Austin, TX. I think Charlotte just has a younger music scene than many of those other cities. I think it is a blossoming scene with some GREAT fans in it! I also don’t think that any local music scene can single handedly propel a band anymore… I strongly feel that it is very important to try to tour as much as you can, visit as many different cities and play as many shows as possible.

Daniel Howie- When artists look for inspiration, environment is a big part of it. We’ve always been dead serious about our music and what it means to us. I feel like uprooting and moving to “where the action is” is a little silly and for people like us being a charlotte band has made us what we are and we’re very proud of that. People here need music too. We’ve got people in a lot of cities that love what we do but Charlotte is home. Music cities like Austin, Nashville, New York, Seattle, Athens. Those are all great places and they produce a music scene that generally funnels in one direction. I think sometimes bands work too hard at the things that either don’t or shouldn’t make or break your career. Like wearing what other bands are wearing, or trying to hard to sound like something they’re not. We’re representing a part of the Charlotte Music scene. Doing our part to help craft it’s signature sound.

Bobby Mathews- I think growing up in a city like Nashville or Austin may have been a little harder for us to break ground than it has been for is here in Charlotte. With such a vast music scene, it is probably even harder for bands to get noticed because there are so many other talented bands in the same situation as you are trying to get their name out there. It’s a common thing to be a musician in those cities, so you don’t have any certain “edge” over anyone else. I think Charlotte’s music scene is great and we wouldn’t be in the position we are right now without it!

Emily Aoyagi- I can see pros and cons to growing up in and/or moving to a bigger city where things are happening faster and scenes are larger. I think we made the best decision for “us” by staying in the place where we grew up and learned to fall in love with music. I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences or friends for anything in the world; it’s made me who I am as a person and a musician. I think embracing what makes us unique is what leads to innovation and evolution. Without it, we’d all be doing the same things as the same person, playing the same music. However, for some bands, it might be the best path for them to take. Some people thrive attending large universities; some people do best in small, private colleges. We do best spending time surrounded by our personal collective of friends at home and then travelling to see and play for all of our friends in the big cities when we tour. I think that’s a good way to meet the dilemma in the middle!


The last Glyder concert was about five months ago in late August. When will the band be back on the road performing again?

Chris Rigo- August 30th was the date and it was at UNCC. We love playing at UNCC and hope to be back soon. We will probably start touring/playing sometime in the summer of 2012.

Daniel Howie- As much touring as we’ve done on our own, it would only make sense that we’d do more and more. I expect us to push as hard as we can once the record is finished, we also expect that from our Management and the Label. Part of that pushing will be banging on doors and kicking them in playing as many shows as we can. It’s a shame there are only 365 days in a year.


Now that the band has signed to a record label and new management, what is the next big step for Sugar Glyder?

Chris Rigo- I guess the next big step is to record our album which starts in March. We are really excited to be recording out of state and with an awesome producer at a fantastic studio. After that, probably “take over the world” (tour our butts off like usual).

Daniel Howie- We want to play the first show in space, or at least be the first band to webcast a show from space. We want to play a show for everyone on this globe. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?

Bobby Mathews- I think the next logical step for us would be touring with a bigger band who has a large fan base nation wide. Also, for us to play more of the major music festivals(Bonnaroo, Coachella, CMJ, ect.) and to get our name heard as widely as we can. Then move on to different countries and eventually, as Chris said, TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

Emily Aoyagi- I agree with Daniel, except I’m afraid of heights. I think aspiring to play outside of the US would be a fantastic first step before intergalactic music transmissions. I would love to play music in Japan or Australia, or really anywhere else around the globe! It’s not that I’m tired of playing music in Charlotte, but absence does make the heart grow fonder!

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Barry Falls Jr Barry Falls Jr is the former managing editor of Niner Times. His writing and photography has been featured in Niner Times, Yahoo! News, Radio Free Charlotte and Shutter 16 Magazine.

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Barry Falls Jr Barry Falls Jr is the former managing editor of Niner Times. His writing and photography has been featured in Niner Times, Yahoo! News, Radio Free Charlotte and Shutter 16 Magazine.

Author's Website