Their single Gooey was one of the biggest multi-million play hits of 2014.
It was enough to propel blissed-out synth-pop and hip-hop groove quartet Glass Animals to global success.
After almost two years of touring the world, they are back with their second album, How To Be A Human Being.
Dave Bayley, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist, talked about how a meth addict became an inspiration for the record, hip-hop heroes and a near death experience.
The band is just about to embark upon yet another seemingly endless tour, beginning with 18 dates in the US, which will bring them to the UK, including Manchester, on October 26.
“It’s going to be a long slog,” said Dave.
“We’ve already booked another US tour for December but we love it.
“This album came really quickly. We only finished touring our last album Zaba in December.
“We literally went straight from the airport by taxi into the studio.
“It took us two weeks to create the demo and a few months to polish it.”
Each song is a vignette based around a fictional character. It was influenced by the emotions expressed by ordinary people who shared personal stories with the band while on tour.
“I was recording people as I went around, not for album purposes, but because I’ve got a terrible short-term memory.
“People were telling all these amazing stories everywhere we went that I wanted to remember.
“We heard really sad, hilarious and gross things.
“Sometimes they knew they were being recorded but not always.
“I’ve not used their stories particularly. The songs are based on the emotions they expressed and different stories have evolved from them.
“One story was told to us by a taxi driver who used to be a long haul truck driver delivering packages.
“She would take crystal meth and drive for days without sleeping but one day she said she blacked out and woke up one month later in a strip club. She has this really bad feeling that she killed someone but she will never be able to find out what happened. She never found her truck either.”
The process of the album’s creation was starkly different from Glass Animal’s first.
“It has been the opposite.
“On the first we started off with beats but on this one we started with lyrics and melodies.
“I don’t listen to music when I’m recording because it allows me to be creative with the sound without accidentally copying something I’ve heard.
“After we finished I felt bad that I was so behind with music. I had to catch up on new albums by Beyonce, Kanye and Radiohead, which I’ve still not heard in full.”
Like their first, hip-hop beats are woven through the album–a nod to Dave’s love of the genre.
“I used to listen to what was on the radio like Doctor Dre, Timberland and Missy Elliot, who I’m a huge fan of.
“Then I got into the classic groups like A Tribe Called Quest and Biggie Smalls. Now I like modern hip hop producers like Ben Staples, DJ Dahi and Kendrick Lamar.”
The band did not feel cowed by the triumph of Zaba.
“We haven’t felt pressured externally. The pressure has come from ourselves.
“We wanted it to be a success so it didn’t fold but at the same time we had to separate ourselves from that thought to be able to put it out.”
The second album was almost never made.
“We went to Mexico for our first holiday in two years and to go to our friend’s wedding but almost died.
“We were driving down a valley and came across a line of cars close to a ledge and realised everyone was being held up.
My friend started filming a car that tried to drive past. These bandits appeared from nowhere and tipped the car close to the edge.
“They noticed what my friend was doing and threatened to tip our car over the ledge. It was petrifying.”
Glass Animals will play six dates in the UK before heading to mainland Europe.
“The lives shows have changed a lot. The first ones we did in England were terrible because we didn’t know what we were doing.
“None of us had been in a band before and we were really nervous.
“We made the mistake of trying to play the record perfectly.
“But we realised that if people wanted to just listen to our record they could do that at home so we started to use gigs as a chance to show off different sides.
We try make our arrangements bolder on stage, so exaggerate the heavy and quiet parts.”
The album’s positive reviews has made Dave’s old life as a medical student even more distant.
“I was in my fourth year of med school when we got the record deal. My mum wasn’t very happy when I dropped out.
“I think that part of my life is over now. I was getting a bit disillusioned with pursuing it as a career as I think you have to follow too many protocols.
I really like making something from nothing, which is what I get to do.