Interview with Dominique Keegan of The Glass

Nicole: Not only are you a member of The Glass but you co-founded the Plant Music record label as well, is that correct? Which came first, The Glass or Plant Music?

Dominique: Plant Music came first, I started it in 1997 with Marcus Lambkin (Shit Robot) and we mostly did parties and Djed aorund New York. The first 12” we released from Dublin based DJ Wool, who ironically is the other half of The Glass.

N: What is your musical background, were you formally trained in music? When did you first start creating music?

D: No formal training, I started playing a little piano as a child but really got into it when I got a bass when I was 13. I played my first gig in a pub in Dublin when I was 14 and drank 3 pints of ale, good times!

N: You opened a club in NY called Plant Bar that was shut down do to a “dance-violation”, is that right? How long was Plant Bar open?

D: 1999-2004 approx. The last year it was not really a dance bar. Once we got closed down for dancing we had to re-open as a regular neighborhood bar and that did not really work so we moved on. 1999-2003 at Plant bar were very special years, I will always look back on them with fondness and a smile.

N: What kind of parties did you throw at Plant Bar and what kind of music was played? What impact do you think it had on the electronic music scene today?

D: Mostly dance music, we had everyone from Fatboy Slim, Felix Da Housecat, Darren Emerson to Ad Rock Dj’ed there. Pretty much everyone from the NY and international scene came through at some point, Metro Area, Richie Hawtin and Magda. 2 Many Djs, Dj Dan, Aphrodite, Z trip, James Murphy did his first Dj sets there and he built the soundsystem. I think it maybe had an impact to the people who worked there like Luke from the Rapture, Gorman from !!! and the likes. I think they all got more into dance music from being at Plant Bar and their bands went on to influence a lot of people.

N: Where did the “Plant” name originate?

D: It came from our original parent company, Plantain, which we used to be a part of. The DFA also started under Plantain and their office and studio is still in that building. Plant also refers to the fact that Marcus and I were big pot heads back then.

N: Do you ever consider opening another club?

D: Yes, anyone got $400 grand to lend me?

N: What is The Glass currently working on in the studio?

D: Glen is moving to California (from Berlin) next week for 3 months and we have started on new recordings that we will finish in Cali. We will also release one more single from our ‘At Swim Two Birds’ album in late Spirng with remixes by MNDR, Willy Joy, Tomboy, Clancy and many more..

N: Have any favorite synths?

D: I have always loved my Micro Korg for live shows but we don’t use that in the studio so much anymore. Glen has a MFB Kraftzwerg semi modular analog synth and MFB Urzwerg Analog Sequencer we use a lot now as well as a Roland 202 also, they sound really really good.

N: Do you think you will ever relocate out of NYC?

D: Possibly, Paris (I am half French) and LA are the towns that would be contenders but for right now I am keeping it strictly sidewalk.

N: Since moving to New York you’ve been an integral part of the modern dance music scene in America. How has this scene changed and developed over the years and where do you see of modern dance music going in the future?

D: I have seen it go from a very rave orientated scene in the early 90s coupled with the heyday of New York Latin House into the electronica era of Chemical Brothers and Underworld, through the French House explosion of the late 90s coupled with the big room sounds of clubs like Twilo and then that all got shattered by the advent of Electroclash which then got tasteful and evolved into Indie Dance and Electro House to where we are now. I think young US artists are starting to see the importance of their musical heritage of 80s Chicago and Detroit and I see a huge resurgence in throwback house (that we are already in the middle of).. Dance music has kind of taken over from Indie Rock in urban areas, at least where nightlife is concerned. I do think that dance music, for the most part, will always be somewhat underground in America but with every person under 30 having being raised on laptops I can understand that it will continue to grow as kids associate themselves more and more with studio based music.

N: Are there any new artists you are especially excited about in the upcoming year?

D: From Plant’s point of view I am super excited about new artists on the label like Danny Daze, Willy Joy, Grandtheft, Richard Richard and the ones we have already been championing, Eli Escobar, Clubfeet, The Glass, Tittsworth and Will Eastman.

N: If you were to create a list of your “All-time Favorite Songs”, what are a few songs that you would have to include?

D: Anything by David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, New Order, the Jam and 80s NY Hip Hop.

N: Any advice for new DJ’s or those new to the professional music scene?

D: Get a law degree, buy old machines, build a fanbase.

Catch the Glass live at BLISS Saturday February 26 at U Street Music Hall. The band performs at 10:00 p.m.