Columnists :: Fame with Bebe Sweetbriar

Penguin Prison :: Will make you think... while shaking your ass

by BeBe Sweetbriar
Tuesday Feb 28, 2012

Chris Glover, better known as the new sound that is Penguin Prison, doesn’t mince words when it comes to the lyrics of his band’s music. On the self-titled debut album, Penguin Prison revisits a feel good sound that is reminiscent to what as been associated with the music of the 80s, and in addition, covers some pretty hefty topics like sexual liberation, corporate greed, and the 99% movement that has become known as the Occupy Movement.

But Glover is definitely no 80s-wannabe copycat. With a musical background that includes attending the same Performing Arts school as the likes of Alicia Keys, Penguin Prison has developed a sound that intends to make you think while you shake your ass on the dance floor. Currently on tour opening for the Swedish Indie band Miike Snow, I caught up with Penguin Prison’s Glover in New York and discussed his influences, the intent in developing a mega-hit album, the desire to have his music take him around the globe, and that name.

Making it fit together

BeBe: I am totally in love with your CD. I grew up in he 80s, and when people speak of your music, people and groups such as Chic, Michael Jackson, Prince and Human League are thrown around to describe your music. I definitely feel that, primarily because of the feel good beats behind the music, and, of course, the melodies are phenomenal. You do you a mixture of some pretty hard core messages in your songs , but the music is very feel good. Does that make sense?

Penguin Prison: First, thank you. And yes, I always try and combine having a good time with serious lyrics.

BeBe: What is also very fascinating about the CD is that every song on the album stands independently on its own. And that reminds me of MJ in that one of his main goals when producing an album was that he wanted every song to basically be a hit. And I feel that on your album. Was that your intention? And, how long does a recording process take to create a collection of potential hits like this?

Penguin Prison: I definitely tried to make an album where every song would stand on its own, and it would fit together as an album, but I didn’t want one song to sound like one of the other ones. It is so hard to do that. The whole album fits together, but each song says its own thing. And, I always try and make each song a "hit." The melodies are very important to me with substantial lyrics. Hopefully you come up with something that has some substance, but at the same time, has a pop sound.

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Watch the video to "Don’t Fuck With My Money":


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