London, Ontario’s resident emo-Americana band, Charlie Weber & The Glorious Failures, are embracing change with their latest single, “I Will Be Better Than This”. The song is also the only-acoustic track off their new album, Gold Never Stays- which is set for release on May 25th.
Recently, I spoke with the band’s frontman Charlie Weber about the song, their upcoming album, Gold Never Stays and more.
Kyla Pearson: On May 11th, you released your latest single, “I Will Be Better Than This”. Can you share with us a bit more about the songwriting and recording process behind it?
Charlie Weber: Conceptually, I Will Be Better Than This is based on the time I went to a casual acquaintance’s New Year’s Eve party and had a (self-induced) panic attack. It caused me to lock myself into the basement bathroom with the lights off, where I had a long conversation with myself about my own ego.
When we went to record the song, I wanted to capture that same vulnerability and the feeling of solitude I experienced during the events that inspired the song. We recorded it in a big empty room at Halo Recording Studio all in one take. Just me with my guitar and a microphone playing live off the floor.
Kyla Pearson: The song encourages listeners to embrace change rather than reject it. What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone who is currently navigating a huge shift/change in their life?
Charlie Weber: Change is scary, but you can’t spend your whole life afraid of what’s around the corner. Eventually, you have to start rolling with the punches or you’re gonna get knocked out. Sure, you might get hurt along the way, but those cuts, scrapes and bruises are learning experiences that will help you navigate the next obstacle. “The seas I’ve weathered seem rather rough but not as rough as those who anchor to the shores hoping that the tides won’t pick them up” is ultimately a lyric about how hiding from change will keep you safe, but ultimately leave your life empty of the experiences that make life worth living.
Kyla Pearson: I Will Be Better Than This marks a shift back towards a more acoustic, intimate sound. What influenced this artistic change? How does it set the stage for what’s to come for you & The Glorious Failures’ future projects, including your upcoming album, Gold Never Stays ?
Charlie Weber: I Will Be Better Than This is actually the sole acoustic track on Gold Never Stays. The record has a more aggressive Punk Rock/Americana sound throughout, so it was kind of a detour for this record to have a track be just acoustic guitar and vocals.
From the beginning of my solo artist career, I’ve had this mantra when it comes to writing music: “No Starbucks’ songs”. When I was starting out, people used to compare me to artists like Ed Sheeran, Vance Joy and Rob Thomas–who are all great in their own regard. However, my songwriting heroes were people from the DIY scenes like Frank Turner, Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!) and The Gaslight Anthem. People who, even when they played with an acoustic guitar, it was with the ferocity of a full band.
IWBBTT is decidedly not that at all, it’s gentle, and it’s a “Starbucks Song”. Maybe it’s a fear of being too vulnerable by stripping away the band and singing softly enough for everyone to actually understand what I’m saying while I’m saying it. Gold Never Stays may not be a quiet acoustic record, but there is a gentle contemplative tone woven into the DNA of every song.
Kyla Pearson: According to you, what is the ideal setting to listen to the song in order to fully experience it?
Charlie Weber: I think the whole record is what I like to call “Headphone Music.” During the recording process, we went to great lengths to make it sound as good as possible, we drove to Halo Music Studio in Hamilton Ontario to record the drums and the room sounded so beautiful that we decided to record IWBBTT live off the floor, the track you hear on the record is one take: just me, a guitar and a microphone. You can hear every little crack and room noise and it really captures that vulnerable feeling I was going for when I wrote the song.
Kyla Pearson: You also released a music video for the song. Can you tell us a bit more about the creative direction behind it?
Charlie Weber: The original concept was to do an homage to the scene in Leaving Las Vegas where Nicolas Cage chugs a bottle of vodka while driving down the LA strip, but we were gonna do it on a longboard… Decidedly a bit of a bummer of a concept, so we kind of scrapped the idea during production. What we (Director Danny Dunlop and I) ended up cutting together was much more true to the lyrical content of the song, “a disillusioned man tries to find the beauty in the world around him while struggling to come to terms with his own regrets.” I think the video matches the quiet atmosphere that is reflected in the song’s production.
Kyla Pearson: What is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year?
Charlie Weber: Personally, I’d love to be able to keep the momentum up, play more places, meet more people and eat cool food in new cities with people we just met. It’d be nice to have this music thing become a little more sustainable, so I could rely less on my 9-5 job. All that to say it would be nice to sell out my stock of vinyl records by the end of the year.
Kyla Pearson: Do you have any upcoming shows where fans can hear you play “I Will Be Better Than This” live?
Charlie Weber: Yes! We have a couple of shows coming up:
June 1st- Bovine Sex Club- Toronto with Altered by Mom and Bryan Coffey
June 3rd- London Brewing Co-op- London with Gabi & The What’s
Kyla Pearson: Lastly, do you have anything you'd like to share with fans new & old?
Charlie Weber: I’m really friggin proud of this record– Gold Never Stays. I set out to make something intentional and I think I accomplished that. It’s been a super stressful process trying to independently release this record and I’m so happy to have it out in the world. My mom and dad really like this record and they recommend that you pre-order it through CharlieWeber.bandcamp.com to give us a helping hand.
Afghani, Joanna. “Featured: emo-americana band, Charlie Weber & The Glorious Failures.”. Photo courtesy of Charlie Weber. Accessed May 14 2023.
Afghani, Joanna. “Featured: the band’s frontman, Charlie Weber”. Photo courtesy of Charlie Weber. Accessed May 14 2023.
Unknown. “Featured: official cover art for Charlie Weber & The Glorious Failures’ upcoming album, “Gold Never Stays”.”. Photo courtesy of Charlie Weber. Accessed May 14 2023.
Weber, Charlie. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, May 11, 2023.