With a new name and new music to share, Glass Mansions, a female-fronted electro-rock band from South Carolina, kicked off their 10th self-booked and self-funded tour on March 3. Formerly known as Death of Paris, the band is scheduled to play at the Alley Cat Restaurant & Bar in Carrollton, Ga., on Friday, March 25.
The band, comprised of lead vocalist Jayna Doyle, keyboardist Blake Arambula, lead guitarist Patrick Breadsley and drummer Johnny Gornati, changed their name after the tragic attack in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015. Even with six years of history under the name, the members agreed it was the best decision for them moving forward.
“We did not want to keep talking about it and bringing attention to a terrorist attack, and being honest about that with our fans and family has brought us closer with them because they understand where we stand as artists and what we want to stand for,” said Doyle.
Along with the new name comes a new sound, heard in the single “Matches,” which premiered on SoundCloud and PureVolume on March 1. The band hopes releasing the song so close to the start of the tour will entice fans to come out and hear the new song live.
“We chose ‘Matches’ because it’s high energy and a lot of fun to play so we’re excited to finally be putting out new music again,” said Doyle. “We hope it gets people excited about our shows and hearing our new stuff live.”
The song continues the band’s practice of passionate and powerful lyrics, but veers away from the traditional definitions of “pop” or “rock” sounds, which led to some scrutiny from those who listened to the song prior to its official release.
“We let a few people listen to it, and a couple of people said ‘the song is too pop to be rock’ or ‘it’s too rock to be pop’, and a few told us not to even release it,” said Doyle. “But we would not write and record music just to not share it with our fans, so we stuck with our guns and released it.”
There is a definite change in style from their first EP “Gossip” released in September 2013, where songs were a bit lighter and more similar to other female-fronted pop bands, but the new single demonstrates the band’s growth and the development of their own sound. This new sound will hopefully continue onto their untitled EP set to release later this summer.
Doyle and Arambula are tasked with organizing the band’s tours; from booking venues to reaching out to local musicians who might be interested in joining them for a show, the band chooses to handle everything itself.
“About four or five months ahead of the tour, [Arambula] and I route out where we want to go and build from there,” said Doyle. “It’s a lot of hard work, but then, like right now, we’re getting to play every night and it’s worth it.”
To kick off their 10th tour, Doyle and Arambula scheduled a few of their past favorite cities.
“We decided to start with four shows in cities we love playing, so we hit up Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Columbia and Greenville,” said Doyle. “It was a really great send off for the tour.”
The tour will continue hitting highlights of Southeastern cities including Nashville, Tenn., Louisville, Ky. and Austin, Texas, but the group will also venture further into the Midwest than they have in past tours with shows planned for Chicago, Il., and Indianapolis, In.
Having played at the Alley Cat on two previous tours, as well as participating in The WOLF Internet Radio’s annual WOLFstock concert in 2014, Glass Mansions is no stranger to Carrollton.
“We are playing some cities for the first time and are really excited meet new people and see the different cities, and of course we’re excited coming back to places like Carrollton where we’ve started to build a fan base,” said Doyle. “We hope to be inspired by these places so when we get back from tour we can write some more music.”