Expand Partners San Diego Comic Con 2014 Expand Partners

Sugar Glyder

Sugar Glyder

Charlotte, NC surely has something to call their own in SUGAR GLYDER – a dynamic blend of pop, ambience, and grit. Some instant question marks might cross one’s mind, the first being – WHAT IS A SUGAR GLYDER? The answer: a primarily nocturnal marsupial with a pungent odor and bizarre noise habits; somewhat fitting for a rock band touring the country in a van. All joking aside, the real truth behind the name lies in its longevity and survival. Sugar gliders maintain the ability to glide for incredibly long distances with their legs stretched, giving them an advantage over the world at large. The real-life human SUGAR GLYDER – Daniel Howie, Chris Rigo, Robby Hartis and Bobby Mathews – share this life-advantage in their charismatic debut album The Eyes: They See (TETS), produced by none other than Steven Haigler (The Pixies, Brand New, As Tall As Lions). 

1. Are there alternate universes? 
CHRIS RIGO (CR): I love the thought of alternate universes and think there is a good chance the do (or should) exist! 
Being a comic book band im a fan of... Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Four, Earth-S, Earth-X, Microverse, Mojoverse, Counter-Earth, Earth-0000, Earth-665, Earth-689, Earth-S, Earth-811... and many other "alternate universes.
2. Do you wear a watch?
BOBBY MATHEWS (BM): Nope! We all carry cell phones with clocks on them . Technology is a beautiful thing!
ROBBY HARTIS (RH): I can't wear a watch because I hate having things around my wrists.  Makes me feel clausterphobic.  But pretty much anything makes me clausterphobic.
3. Have you ever been in a wedding?
DANIEL HOWIE (DH): Yes! My own, we were all in my wedding!
4. 1 habit you have that annoys people in your life:
DH: I forget pretty much everything that isn't attached to my body. Including my Iphone recently. I know the band loves it when we have to spend an entire day trying to track down my items of necessity strewn about this fine continent. Good times.
5. One thing you just can't get the hang of?
DH: I have a hard time not acting like a 13 year old boy. I'm told I'm supposed to be an adult, but it hardly feels like it.
BM: Skateboarding. Since I was a kid, I've never been good with wheels under my feet.
RH: I can't get the hang of putting away my laundry.  I can wash and dry it no problem, but when it comes to putting it away I just don't get it.  Which leads to piles of clothes that could be clean or dirty. Who knows! Guess that could have been my answer for my annoying habit as well.
6. What do you wish was at the end of a rainbow?
DH: I like to think that rainbows don't end. They live forever and give birth to more little baby rainbows. Then we learn how to domesticate them and use them on farms and for transportation. Like rainbow slides. This would make going to the grocery store a lot more fun... What? You asked.
BM: The meaning of life.
CR: Hulk #181, Action Comes #1 and half a dozen vintage Gibson L6 electric guitars. 
RH: Season 2 of Freaks and Geeks.
7. Avengers or Justice League? 
CR: Avengers all the way!!! Overall I just really enjoy the science (fiction) element of Marvel characters more than the magic element of DC characters. I love Captain America, Iron Man and Thor too! Also, I cant 100% trust any company that calls themselves DC comics... DC stands for "detective comics" so when you say DC comics you are really saying "detective comics comics" which is just a bit redundant for me. haha! This being said, the Justice League Unlimited animated series was done amazingly well!   
8. Story behind your band name?
CR: We were getting ready to play a battle of the bands when we were first getting started and we needed something fast. We didn't have a better name so it just stuck... we changed the "I" to a "Y" and it looked a bit better on paper (or screen). A "sugar glider" is also a marsupial that stays up all night, makes strange noises and smells bad... this is something we have learned to relate to pretty well. 
9. Your music differs quite a bit from Paper Route, how did you end up jumping on their tour for a few dates?
DH: I disagree, I think there are a lot of similarities. We tend to project a very clean and polished sound on record while still enjoying to explore the more experimental left brain approach in the live environment. I feel like both bands are closet art rockers who bury their treasure under shiny hooks and choruses. The best of both worlds.
10. Your producer, Steven Haigler, also produced indie rock royalty The Pixies. Did you find yourself learning anything during that process that may have changed the kind of music you output?
CR: Steven was great at finding the correct frequencies and tones for progressions and riffs. We really stressed fitting things in their right place. For example, even though a bass line might sound really cool the way it was written, he would ask us to shift it down an octave for the chorus of the song so that it "hit" more and meshed more with the drums. He also wanted to get the best performances out of us and was very honest about things which was very refreshing. 


Interview by Kara Johnson