Oct 29, 2011
Glass Tiger's debut album The Thin Red Line was a force to be reckoned with in Canada. It produced two massive singles - "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" and "Someday" - songs which are still radio staples today. Whosarmy will cover "Someday" on Sunday's episode of Cover Me Canada, and Glass Tiger frontman Alan Frew will join them on stage. We chatted with Alan about the making of "Someday", and what he's been up to lately.
Can you tell us about the making of "Someday"?
On the very first day that we met (producer) Jim Vallance, he picked us up at the airport and to break the ice asked us what we were listening to. One was Tears For Fears (Songs From The Big Chair). We went to his house and drank tea and listened to some tunes. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" came on and we really liked the shuffle beat. So we went into the studo and based on this shuffle beat, we wrote "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)". First day, first song. Then we took a break. A couple of the guys were smokers at that time, so they left Vallance and I alone - we were non-smokers. He started this gaga gaga thing on the the piano and I started singing, "When I come home, you telephone..." By the time the guys came back, we had this song. So on the very first day we wrote "Don't Forget Me" and "Someday"!
I'll always remember I got this warm fuzzy feeling from the keyboard thing that he had going and it inspired me to write something. "When I come home, you telephone" came out immediately. Over the next few hours I wrote the rest of it.
What was the most rewarding thing that happened once it was released?
I like the fact that everyone made such a fuss over "Don't Forget Me", and "Someday" snuck up on everyone but ended up being a bigger song in some ways. In America it was all over the place on different formats. I like that feeling, that everyone was jumping on one horse but in actual fact the horse they were looking for was right behind it.
Can you talk a bit about the video? It came out when the music video industry was just heating up.
We were kind of Muchmusic's Duran Duran in Canada. At that time videographers were clamoring to work with us! I guess they saw that we were kinda hot. I remember [the video] had a typical boy girl thing going on, putting us in various situations where we could play.
What's your advice for Whosarmy to tackle "Someday"?
People tell me it's a tougher song to sing, so I'll be curious to see if they do it in the original key. I know myself, even to this day, it's a demanding song. Michael Hanson, we just got back together in a songwriting capacity. He had a band for a few years, and he told me that they tried to do it once and bailed on it, cause it's tricky! So if Whosarmy are in the original key, I'll be proud to hear them sing it.
You're otherwise a very busy man!
I penned the tune for the Olympics ("I Believe") and it caused a little bit of a fuss. Everyone kind of went, "oh that guy!" I signed a publishing deal and have been writing; I've got a new one coming out with Johnny Reid. So I've been doing a lot of song writing.
And you've got a book called Action Sandwich...
I always took great interest in the idea of my life, and why I did things the way I do them... the idea of writing a book came from it. I've always lived my life seriously, but I like to leave the door ajar a bit for some nonsense. So I pieced the book together - there is a message that I think equates to this notion of success, but I also do it hand in hand with some fun, goofy stories. Yeah, I've been successful but I'm not finished yet. I'm still a work in progress.
Any other words you have about "Someday"?
The greatest form of flattery is when a younger generation embraces you. I think we only released about 11 or 12 singles in our career, and 5 of them have attained the qualification of Canadian Classics. To me that's a statement in the legacy -- although it was short-lived, we got it out there. Fans will tell me, "My god, I heard you 8 times today on radio!" So it goes full circle - it's a warm and fuzzy moment for "Someday" to be performed on the show. I'm really looking forward to it.
Check out Alan Frew's website for info on his book, recent projects and speaking engagements.