Glen Power

Quick factsglen closeup smiling 4

Full name: Glen Joseph Power

Birthday: 5 July

Nationality: Irish

Trademark: blue eyes, wide smile, tight hugs

Plays: drums, guitar, vocals

Before The Script

Glen was born into a musical family, his dad was a musician as well.

“My dad is a singer. He also plays the accordion. When I was a kid and we would be sitting at the dinner table my dad would be tapping his hands along to what was on the radio. I would copy him and I really believe that was the start of it for me, that was the foundation of basic rhythm in me.”[1]

He started playing the drums when he was 8.

“I was actually quite shy. Maybe that’s why I ended up behind a kit of drums.”[2]

Being shy didn’t hold him back from sharing his provocative views. In school with his friends he started up their own society called T.F.A.T.A.J which stands for THE FEDERATION AGAINST TRUTH AND JUSTICE. They used to write anonymous stories about teachers and the Principal of the school and photo copy them and plant them all over the school. “We were never caught!”he recalled proudly.[3]

“I had a great childhood as a kid, but I have to confess to being a bit of a rebel at secondary school. I kind of hated my school, because there was no class for music and I wanted to learn music. Before the end of my Leaving Cert year I got caught on the bunk from school after I was spotted hopping over the gate. I was called into the principal’s office and told that if it happened again I would be expelled. My ambition was to go to the rock college. To get in there you had to audition on to a tape. I did that and got accepted out of 500 people, but I also needed a reference from my school to say I was a good pupil. I went back to the principal and did a deal with the permission of my parents. I told him that if I stayed in school I would probably get expelled because I wasn’t into academic subjects and I was just messing in class and disrupting people. I asked to be allowed to leave, but that I would come back and sit the Leaving Cert. He agreed and that day I stood at the gates on the way out and thought: “Onwards and upwards!” [33]

Another school experience he likes to recall relates to his career guide who advised him against choosing the career of a musician:

“Especially just looking at the videos, and Larry Mullen playing drums, I thought, you know, I really want to do something like that. And when I went to my career guide and teacher, he told me I COULDN’T do that! I said to him, “Oh yes, I can.” It’s so funny, because last week I managed to visit my old school, and wrote my old career guide and teacher a letter and left a signed CD for him as well. It basically said “Thank you so much for all of the advice you gave me years ago, I’m so glad I never took it. – Glen, The Script.” And it wasn’t done in a bitter way, but I was just doing it, it was kind of like coming full circle. All the other teachers and staff that were there thought it was brilliant they laughed their heads off and said “you gotta leave him a letter, we still see him! We’ll make sure he gets it.” It just shows you can do what you want.”[4]

He started studying drums at the age of 15, first with Jacques Metoudi and later with Conor Guilfoyle in Newpark Music Centre. By the age of 16, Glen was playing drums professionally on the Irish music scene. He played for many years in Dublin, doing sessions and studio work with various bands.

“I studied under three different teachers after my dad encouraged me to learn the right way and know what I was doing! It really paid off, because I learned a lot in a short space of time and through my Dad I was able to get out there and play gigs from the age of sixteen. I wouldn’t even know the band I was playing with, I would meet them in the car park and they would show me their set list and I’d go in there and just go for it![5]

He worked as a technician (got acknowledged in 1994 for Runrig – Transmitting live[6] and for playing drums for Brendan O’Carroll in 1991[7]) and as a session musician in many different venues and bands.

“I had played with just about everyone on the Irish circuit, I did all the toilet venues, played in places where people tried to rob the gear as you were loading into the van, played at a place once where, just before the gig, a guy had come up and poured a pint of Guinness into a bag full of leads and said: ‘What are you going to do about that?’ I’ve had knives pulled on me. I also played in the only venue in Dublin that hasn’t got any windows, but let’s not go there.”[8]

For Glen it was a way to soak up as much as he could from very different people: “I worked with everybody from Don Baker to Brendan O’Carroll”[9] trying to learn as much as he could of the craft. These were the years of learning, practising and stretching himself as far as it was possible.

Playing music is not only about learning the craft but also about playing with others. For a young musician learning about how to accept feedback is just as important as learning how to play the beat.

“When I first started in a band I was thrashing about all over the place, and the guys told me that I was a bit busy with my playing and I was speeding up. I was only 18 at the time and I was really offended. So they recorded me without telling me and gave me the tape. The next night in rehearsal, I hung my head down and agreed with them.”[10]

As a multi-instrumentalist, Glen played not only the drums but the guitar as well and also did vocals and credits a lot of his drumming success to that era.

“The best thing I ever did as a drummer was to sing. I sang with a band for about a year and played percussion, and sometimes I sang out front with the microphone and they had the drummer there behind me. When I got back behind the kit in my next band, my whole approach to what I needed to play had been changed and I understood what I needed to do to enhance what the singer was doing, because I had been a singer and I knew what was required. It changed my style because I knew I didn’t need to be pounding out a thousand strokes a minute, I could show a little, but not show it all in one go. I learned to enhance what the song is about. I know how to go with the singer and enhance his vocals with hi-hat touches, things like that. I do expand my parts on stage, but I keep within the proper boundaries, I won’t do a three- or four-bar fill, I will stay within the lines.”[11]

It was not all about music at that time. Taking a break from playing 6 nights a week in a basement nightclub in Majorca, or paying his dues in a similar rough-house European cover scene to the one where Sir Paul cut his teeth nearly 50 years ago, Glen recalls his most significant office experience:

“I worked in an office, and all I did all day was scan in files. A4 pieces of paper. All day. That was it. And it was so boring, I used to play tricks on the rest of the people there. I used to kind of rebel against society, if you will. One day I printed 600 copies of “There will be a scan-a-thon in the office this weekend, I will not be there.” I quickly exited out of the program, and everyone was like “who printed this!? This is terrible!” I used to have a bit of fun when I was in there, but it was very boring. Just sitting there, lifting the scanner lid, put the A4 paper in, scan it, take it out, do it all over again. All day, every day. I did that for like two or three weeks, and thought, hold on a minute, I am going to go back to playing music, it’s much better.”[12]

By the time Mark invited him to LA, he was running a small studio in Dublin, jingles and hypnotherapy tapes a speciality.[13]

His accident

Not long after the first album was released, Glen was out for a few pints with his parents. He popped into the toilet and slipped, smashing his head on the washbasin before falling down and banging it again on the marble floor. When he came to, Glen got up, and went back into the lounge, insisting that he was fine. His father, who knew someone who’d fallen into a coma following a similar incident, insisted on taking Glen to the hospital. It was a decision that saved Glen’s life. [14]

They went to the hospital where he was put under observation. A couple hours later something changed.

“I got the most unmerciful fucking pain in my head,” he recalled. “Then my nose started bleeding, my hearing went in my right ear. They scanned my head and said, ‘We need to operate on him right away’. I’d fractured my head in two places, which caused the blood vessels underneath the skull to burst and caused hematoma.” [15]

Glen was rushed to Beaumont for an emergency craniotomy. His father was told that he could slip into a coma or, worse still, might die if the operation wasn’t a success. [16]

“I went from having a pint to looking a doctor in the eye who said, ‘We need to do this fast; if we don’t you’re going to have a stroke or a heart attack. Will you sign this form?’ When they told me what they were going to do I cried and then I started laughing. I was like, ‘I don’t believe it! Things are starting to go well. I’m finally getting somewhere with the band and now this!'”[17]

“I was nine days in hospital and I was dizzy when I came out; I couldn’t walk in a straight line. The minute I woke up, I went, ‘I’ve got a gig next Thursday’. That’s the first thing I said (laughs). I have titanium plates in my head. It taught me a lot and has calmed me down. I don’t worry about things like I used to. For me, it’s like extra time. I feel like I’m in a football game with extra time.”[18]

He credits a lot of his quick recovery to Headway, an Irish organisation set up to help victims of Acquired Brain Injury and is an avid supporter of the charity.

glen with headway 2013

Family

His brother is also a musician and played the Eurovision for Ireland in 2010.

“Guys, Vote for Ireland tonight on the Eurovision 😉 My Bro is doing Backin Vocals! Gud luck to Niamh and all the gang 😉 G” [19]

Glen has a son and it makes touring hard for him from time to time.

“It can be really tough. I actually just had an incident – my son got very sick and was in hospital. That’s the worst thing that can happen on tour. I was on the brink of flying home yesterday but he was fine and it turned out ok. We have a day off tomorrow and I’m going to fly home, see him and then fly back into Copenhagen the next day to catch the gig. That’s the hardest part of what we do; everything else is easy. It’s a two-edged sword – we sacrifice for the gain, it’s our dream to do what we do so you just have to take it on the chin.”[20]

“It’s like you’re a clown in the circus trying to juggle all these balls – you’ve got your job, all the pressure that comes with that, and then you’re trying to get home as much as you can to see your kids, so it’s tough – but thank God for Skype! I got my son a laptop for his birthday so we’re in constant contact, I turn the camera on and show him where I am and what I’m doing. And when I get that day off I can jump on the plane.”[21]

Being teetotal

He has a chilled attitude about quitting alcohol.

“I think everything has a shelf life and I think I just used up my beer vouchers.”

He recalls the memory that’s made him make that decision:

“We did a show in the O2 in London in front of 20,000 people and that should have been one of the highs of my career and I was just feeling unwell. I remember standing on the edge of the stage looking out at all the happy people in the audience and I was miserable. I felt I was after spending the whole of my life trying to get to the top of the mountain and there was something wrong with the view. After the gig we went back to the hotel and I had a drink but when I went to get another one something in me just went click and it was over. And since that day drinking was over and the magic began.”[22]

After that he stuck to that decision:

“I wanted to see what it would be like to do things differently and it has changed my life – it has made me a more content person, I am healthier in every way. It has affected every area of my life in a positive way and now I know that I wish I had done it earlier.”[23]

It wasn’t always easy but he has no regrets:

“I am two and a half years off the gargle now – the first year was tough as you are learning a whole new life thinking how am I going to do this and that. But come year two you realise you can do more than you ever did before, you have all this time, you’re not sick, you’re getting up early.”[24]

Fun facts

Glen went down to the job centre with a camera to blog the event of getting their official job titles “chancers” – “recording artists” and it stirred a little bit of trouble; they all come down “why are you videoing here, that’s illegal” [25]

His favourite karaoke tune is Frank Sinatra.[26] or Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin.

He’s a Queen fan[27] and his favourite writer is George Michael.[28] He’s also a “massive fan” of The BeeGees, as he said on twitter:

He grew up listening to The Beatles and he wished he’d written “Yesterday”.[29]

‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ by Bobby McFerrin makes him laugh and ‘All by Myself’ by Eric Carmen makes him cry. ‘Misty Blue’ by Dorothy Moore reminds him of the first time he fell in love.[30]

He is good with gastronomy according to Danny, and his signature dish is curry:

“Glen is not that bad in the kitchen, I lived with him for a while and he’s actually quite good. Ladies out there you don’t have to cook Glen breakfast in the morning, he’d make it himself. Your curry’s pretty good.”[31]

If it’s about food, Glen is a big fan of all that’s Irish: brown bread, tea, burgers.

“I miss the chips and a good old spice burger. If you try and explain it to Americans they have no idea what you’re talking about”[32]

glen and teabags

 

Sources quoted above:

[1] (Behind The Hype, 2009 August)

[2] (Behind The Hype, 2009 August)

[3] (College Candy, 2010 January)

[4] (Cloture Club, 2010 February)

[5] (They Will Rock You, 2009 July)

[6] (Discogs: Runrig)

[7] (The Real Mrs. Brown: The Authorised Biography of Brendan O’Carroll)

[8] (Irish Times: Between rock and a hard place)

[9] (Hotpress: You Couldn’t Make It Up)

[10] (Drummer Magazine, 2013 August)

[11] (Drummer Magazine, 2013 August)

[12] (Cloture Club, 2010 February)

[13] (The Age Australia, 2009 September)

[14] (Hotpress: You Couldn’t Make It Up)

[15] (Hotpress: You Couldn’t Make It Up)

[16] (Hotpress: You Couldn’t Make It Up)

[17] (Hotpress: You Couldn’t Make It Up)

[18] (Hotpress: You Couldn’t Make It Up)

[19] (The Script facebook page)

[20] ( iVillage UK, What’s the story, 2011)

[21] ( iVillage UK, What’s the story, 2011)

[22] (Irish Mirror, 2013 November)

[23] (Irish Mirror, 2013 November)

[24] (Irish Mirror, 2013 November)

[25] (T4 Sunday, 2009 February)

[26] (BBC interview, cc 2009)

[27] (Nokia Music, 2008 August )

[28] (There Goes The Fear, 2012 November)

[29] (There Goes The Fear, 2012 November)

[30] (There Goes The Fear, 2012 November)

[31] (BBC Live Lounge, 2010 November)

[32] (Irish Herald, 2013 March)

[33] Source: private

***

Special thanks to Agnes, TheScriptNinja and Lynsey for the input and help with this post. You rock girls!

 

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14 thoughts on “Glen Power

  1. Pingback: The first biography page! | The Script Bible

  2. Pingback: #MeetTheScriptFamily proud to be supporting Headway! | The Script Bible

  3. Pingback: All about our Dublin event to support Headway and meet fans | The Script Bible

  4. Pingback: Celebrating Glen’s birthday with #7daysofGlenPower | The Script Bible

  5. Pretty sure, glen powers son just posted a song on youtube just recently its definitley new anyway looks like hes back anyway.

  6. I’ve had the pleasure of actually writing and performing with Glen as a wee acoustic, duo while I lived in Dublin… Absolute gem of a guy, talent just pours out this dude!

    Mango Chutney Bagels!!!!

    (Scottish Bob……I have a recording of that gig we did buddy, your singing is just epic!)

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