Glass House shatters limits on local band scene

A descending guitar riff wafts from a house in Monterey, leading into a tonally rich major chord.

“I like that, let’s end on that one.”

“No, I don’t like that.”

“Yeah, that’s like the worst kind of nineties.”

“But I love it, though.”

“Okay,” a new voice suggests, “since the song is called ‘We F***ed Up,’ if at the end we slowly start f***ing up until it turns into a big ball of noise….”

Cramped in the corner of his bedroom is CHS senior and lead guitarist Wesley Kise having a spirited argument over how to end on an original song with the other members of the local rock band Glass House.

The band is composed of CHS graduates Meagan Hoch on vocals and guitar, Bryce Bishop on bass and Kevin “Bagel” Nagle on the drumset. A host of instruments, microphones, amps and other musical gear surrounds them. Blue Christmas lights hang over the whole scene to “turn on the aesthetic,” as Kise puts it.

Glass Haus

Glass House in their standard rehearsal space, guitarist Wesley Kise’s bedroom, with blue Christmas lights hanging for the “aesthetic.”

“This is literally every band practice,” Kise remarks about their back-and-forth discourse. Glass House exhibits similar energy on stage and has been doing so for the two years of its existence.

The band, whose genre Kise describes as “indie rock/garage punk,” traces its roots back to Carmel High’s Singer-Songwriters’ Guild.

When asked how Glass House got started, Bishop answers, “Stafford, basically.”

Carmel High APUSH teacher and Singer-Songwriters’ Guild supervisor Marc Stafford encouraged Kise, Hoch, Bishop and two other classmates—drummer Andrew Good and guitarist Day Gudmundsson—to play at the club’s 2013 end-of-the-year band show, Bryce explains.

“And so we got together for that and played a bunch of covers and an original.”

However, soon after their debut, Gudmundsson and Good left the band for various reasons, and though Hoch took up guitar to replace Gudmundsson’s contribution, Good’s absence left a void that needed to be filled. And then Nagle came to a jam session.

“Bagel showed up, and his kit was like broken,” Kise recounts. “He didn’t even have a bass drum pedal, he had one cymbal, half of a high hat…but it was really good, he had just started playing these metal beats.”

This was quite a change from what the other members were used to playing, both together and individually. Kise had been classically trained for most of his guitar career, and Hoch had only started really singing and Bishop playing bass for their first band show, which was pretty mellow in comparison.

“If you go back to our older recordings, it was so much more lower-key,” Bishop says. “It was way slower and quieter…[when] Andrew was playing.”

Hoch speaks of the transition from Good to Nagle as if it were the shift from night to day and the dawn of Glass House as it is now.

“Bagel kinda transformed us, honestly. Like, we had to adjust to Bagel.”

With their new lineup and musical idiom, Glass House was ready for their first gig, a show at Monterey’s East Village Cafe with four other bands, which 2015 graduate and drummer Patrick Kelley—who also inspired them to become more serious—got them involved in.

Since then, they have played various other gigs at Allegro’s Pizzeria in the Barnyard, where all members except Kise work, East Village, house parties and a show last month at Wave Street Studios that brought in an amazing turnout.

Now that their place in the local musical scene has been established, Glass House is looking towards releasing an EP sometime this month, before Bryce leaves for college in January and the band has to find a new bassist.

“Once our EP comes out, we’re gonna send it to a bunch of places…like a bunch of colleges, try to get it on college radio, and then we’re hopefully gonna do a little tour where we go to Berkeley, Davis, Arcata, San Fran and Portland maybe,” says Kise, who has possible connections in these places through his older sister.

Other than this, the future is currently unclear for Glass House, except that they want to keep it going, since, as Kise says, “This is life.”

“I just want to inspire more people to play,” Nagle says of their ultimate goals, “because honestly that’s what happened with us.”

-Ari Freedman