Certain tours are instant bucket-list missions for rising and emerging artists.
For those in the UK, for example, that first North American tour is often near the tippie-top of the essential ‘to-do’ list. A chance to explore the country we’ve grown up watching on the big screen and getting many of our mainstream influences from growing up, a US tour has been a rite of passage for bands and artists of all underground genres for as long as contemporary music has existed.
Meanwhile for counterparts across the pond, it’s exactly the same the other way. A chance to explore the country where some of the most longstanding and strongest musical movements and cultures were truly founded and thrive, the UK has just as much allure for US artists as the US does for UK artists. Especially when their sound takes root in British culture in the way that Hans Glader’s does.
Since emerging in 2019, Hans has flexed heavily on the UKG vibe. A strong musical swag, that natural, springy two-step groove and his ability to flip between sweet and soulful and more robust, rugged and raw sounds celebrates the UK take on the US-originated garage sound with a fresh perspective… It’s a signature he’s shown time and time again on the likes of Night Bass, Bite This, Local Action, Wub Club and, most recently, Steppers Club.
“I’m very appreciative of the Steppers Club crew,” Hans tells 1 More Thing just days after his recent release with Zefer’s label – Take Me Away / Nintendo. It dropped during his own bucket-list moment as he spent February and early March on the road in the UK on his first British tour taking in various bass spots in Manchester, London and Sheffield.
“I love how they’ve branched out globally with their Steppers Globe project, too. As an American it’s really sick to see the world coming together for such a niche genre, that’s making its way into the global mainstream.”
In the spirit of this momentum, and to mark such a pivotal moment in Hans’ own personal trajectory, we wanted to document his first UK tour. From chaotic crowds to classic carveries, these are some of his stand out memories…
Hans! How was it!?
The tour has been amazing… Seemed like the first show was forever ago. Having some holidays periodically was very refreshing, and made the UK feel even more like home-base. I spent most my time in the London area, however for shows I got to travel outside of London and see the lay of the land.
I know you were very excited about the tour before you embarked… Please describe how high your gas levels were for this!
I’ve been so gassed for this trip, and for years now! I’d planned on coming over years ago, if it wasn’t for covid and the pandemic, so certainly there was a ton of hype and excitement leading up to, and during my stay.
The UK take on garage definitely has an influence on the Hans Glader sound hasn’t it?
Ironically, I had my first sip of UKG about four years ago while on vacation with my family in Scandinavia… Just after leaving the UK! It was then that I changed my stage name to my REAL name, and started making a more organic sound.
I initially found Virji and TQD’s work, and that was the beginning of it all for me. Before electronic music, I grew up listening to a lot of jazz, Cuban, hip hop, blues and reggae. I think that’s where a lot of my ‘signature sound’ comes from… lots of the Marley family, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Kayote, etc. I think by coming at the genre from a completely different angle, I was able to unknowingly or accidentally create something a bit unique!
Yeah, you can feel that fusion! Did you have any preconceptions of the UK and how your tour would be before you arrived?
I was told that the UK was just a different beast. From friends and fellow musicians alike, I was told that the energy from crowds especially was something out of a dream. This was no lie… haha! From my first show in Manchester, it was obvious that the music I was playing was understood and wasn’t just some other DJ on any given night.
It blew my mind that I could play some tunes I made three years ago, and there were people in the crowd that sang every word. It felt more like home than the US! I’m also a sucker for rain and cooler weather. From being born and raised in Sunny California, the rain is few and far between. That was just a little icing on the cake.
Wow, not a lot of people see the rain as a bonus! Amazing. How about our culinary delights over here?
Before my Sheffield show I was able to have some chicken and gravy chips, which were stellar. Normally I’m a plain guy with chips… Just some ketchup and salt and I’m good, but the chicken and gravy was INSANE! Also got my first carvery, which was unreal. Meat, potatoes, mac n cheese, carrots, peas, gravy… I’m salivating now… It’s a bit like Thanksgiving in the states, but anytime of the year! And obviously the Indian food was crazy good.
Hell yeah! It seems like a rite of passage really… For UK artists, most would say the US is a big bucket-list touring ambition and from my US friends and interactions I feel it’s the same the other way and hitting the UK is a pivotal mission for them. What are your thoughts on this?
Going to the UK to play music is definitely a bucket list tick. A bit mad that it’s already over, and a month later I’m still not sick of it! I see myself coming back sooner than expected just to do it all over again. I got to meet so many of these familiar faces that otherwise were just Instagram handles, and really got to spend quality time with quality people. I think the UK was such a necessary trip for me, not only for music but just to experience DJing and the way of life abroad, and to understand that I’m not limited to the small (but large!) USA.
Love that. What comes next?
Up next from me is a series of self releases (EPs and singles) that is truly an authentic direction that I want to start heading in. In addition, I have some ‘dub-a-day’ style bootlegs and dubs coming out weekly, to hold you lot over while I rest a bit from the tour madness! Such an exciting period of my life, and I cannot wait to be back!