Ania Maliakina Dan Hammond
Bubblebury, United States
Wurlitzer eats the drums while high on bubblegum.
Who is Glen Landing?
Playing guitar and singing is the multi-instrumentalist Dan Hammond. Danelectro and SpaceEcho and Fender Reverb Tank are Dan's best friends :0
On Fender Rhodes Piano, Wurlitzer, Rhodes piano bass, and LogicPro Russian born and beautiful Ania. She studied classical music at Belarusian State Music School #15 in Minsk, Belarus for 10 years.
GLEN LANDING – ART, CRAFT AND EAR CANDY
BY JACK FIRNENO
dtown mgazine www.dtownmag.com
Glen Landing wants to be everywhere: across America and overseas. In your eyes, ears and mouth. Allow me to explain that last part.
The dance-pop duo hailing from Woodbury, N.J. – partly by way of the former Soviet Union – just recorded a new song entitled Bubblegum. And while they already have a few albums to their credit, this track, says piano-and- bass-player Ania, is a turning point for the group. “We wrote it so fast. First the bassline, then the piano, the drums and the words. Line after line – just, ‘boom boom boom,’” she explains. “Something interesting was happening, and I loved playing it. I’d never felt this way about a song before. We knew right away we needed to show this to people.”
Living up to its title, the song is both a simple ode to a certain gelatinous candy and an exercise in the sort of carefree, giggly pop music that also shares the sugary sweet name. Produced by David Ivory, whose resume includes working with such world-renowned acts as Patti Labelle and the Roots, Bubblegum is the sound of a band that’s finally found its flavor. “We’ve grown a lot as a band,” says Dan Hammond, who handles guitar, vocals and occasionally drums for the group. “The new song has a different feeling. It’s fresh for us, and we love playing it out.”
Nominally, Ania and Dancomprise Glen Landing, but they’re not doing it alone. Live, the band is rounded out by another guitarist and a rotating cast of drummers, most notably veteran Philadelphia musician Chuck Treece taking his turn on the skins. “Even from the beginning, that’s just how it was,” Hammond notes. “We’ve had other people come and go, but ultimately it’s the two of us.”
The lineup may call for a bit of a balancing act at shows. But behind the scenes, their opposite backgrounds inform their quirky blending of traditional pop and rock formats. For Ania, who was classically trained on piano while growing up in Belarus, a country in the former Soviet Bloc, writing music is a new experience. “When I was young, parents [in Belarus] were trying to give their children as much as they could besides school,” she recalls. “It was common for people to play, and we’d go to a separate music school for half the day. But it was all classical, sheet music, and for our own personal development. I never thought I’d be playing in a band or making a career of it.”
Stateside, Hammond was an aspiring songwriter, learning an assortment of instruments as he made his way through bands and various projects. The two met through mutual friends while Ania was attending college in the U.S. and soon realized they had found their respective muses. “She’s like my Slash from Guns N’ Roses,” Hammond says. “She just comes up with these riffs. She didn’t always understand how to put them together, but arranging songs is what I do well.” In the studio, they’re joined by a third collaborator: Grammy- winning producer David Ivory. “Meeting him was a big step for us,” Hammond says. “He believed in us and knew he could help us get where we wanted to be.”
But for Glen Landing, it’s not all about aural adventures. Along with their striking sound is a visual aesthetic created by Ania. With a passion for fashion that matches her musical prowess, she designs and creates the dresses she wears onstage along with visual cues like large bows dolling up amplifiers and large foam letters wrapped in fur. “I’d like to make this a cultural force: music and fashion. I love them both,” she says. Ania’s next step is to design T-shirts with women in mind. “Bands usually make the girls’ shirts from the male design,” she adds.
And whether it’s the sound or the look, Glen Landing, armed with their infectious new single, wants to blow up their bubble as big as it can get. Playing regularly in Trenton, Bucks County and Philadelphia, Dan and Ania are eyeing up an East Coast tour later this year and shows abroad in the future. “We’ve been doing this long enough to know what works,” Hammond says. “It feels like we’ve got all our ducks in a row. It’s do or die for us.”
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