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Make Music Champions: Glass Bandit dreams of connecting with people all over the world and raising awareness about the importance of music for happiness

Glass Bandit is a funk-rock seven-people band from Kansas City. They started five years ago being a cover band, and two years later they started writing their own music. Currently, they do mostly originals. In fact, they just released an EP two months ago.

We’ve heard you just released an EP a couple of months ago. Could you tell us a bit about the songwriting process? Does everyone get involved in it?

Yeah! We work together to develop each song. Usually, one person comes up with a base idea, but everybody always gets involved in some way during the process. It’s awesome because everyone in the group gets to add a part of themselves to our songs.

How would you describe what music means to you?

I believe music is a beautiful language. It’s an unspoken language. I think it’s very crucial in society. As we’ve seen during the pandemic with live music not being around, it’s been a mood change around the world. Without music, a lot of expression isn’t heard or seen. I think music, in general, is crucial for livelihood. (Donovan)

Music is intrinsic. I’ve seen that if a person doesn’t have to worry about bills or having to do something for a living, they will often turn to art. And, as music is one form of art, I think it’s intrinsic to being a well-rounded person. For me, music is a way of living. There is no other way to live! (Josh)

Music is really cool because it is one of the oldest professions and one of the oldest consistent things that’s been around in terms of humanity. People have always been making music, through all the different periods and civilizations. For me, music is a way of understanding people. When you start playing music with somebody and you start listening to how they play, you realize their personalities behind the instrument and behind their talking incredibly match. You can get to know a person either through talking to them or by playing music with them. The way that they play and express themselves through music is tight so close to who they are as individuals. (Ryan)

Music is so powerful. You could have nothing in common with somebody and the one thing you can connect on is music. It’s just universal. It’s something that holds relationships together. It’s something that could brighten your day or make it sadder. It’s something that will always be there, and people don’t realize how powerful it can be until it’s gone. We realized that with the pandemic, because without live music we were kind of a depressed society. Music is extremely powerful in that sense. (Allyson)

What is your main goal in music?

I think my main goal is just to travel around the world and see places that I haven’t seen. (Donovan)

I have a few goals. My main goal is to continue to play live as much as possible. What excites me most about playing music is being on stage, performing and giving it my all, feeling the amp blowing in my pants, just rocking out, that’s honestly what I live for. (Josh)

My goal has been for a while to use music to express positivity and happiness through music and teaching. I enjoy teaching music and one of the things that I love about it is that if an individual doesn’t grow to be a professional musician, they can still enrich their lives and have more joy in life by doing music, appreciating it, and learning how to play it. So, by writing music, performing, and teaching we can have a bigger positive impact on the world. For me, music has been the best vehicle to do that and reach a wide variety of people. (Ryan)

I’d love for Glass Bandit to be an advocate of music in schools and of understanding why the arts are so important. Everyone talks about STEM programs, and I believe we need STEAM, adding an A for Arts in there. (Allyson)

And, how was your experience at Make Music Day?

It was awesome, really cool. The Make Music Day here in Kansas City got many local artists to participate and it showcased music and why we’re doing this and why it’s really important. 

Finally, just out of curiosity, how did you come up with the name of the band?

We have a couple of reasons why. One of them is we just put two names together and it sounded cool. The real answer has a story behind it… Around three years ago, we played at a show at a restaurant where we were treated absolutely awful. So, we had a band member steal one of their wine glasses, and so we became Glass Bandit.