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Interview: Penguin Prison in Austin

Interview: Penguin Prison in Austin


Chris Glover, who performs under the name Penguin Prison has been making music in New York Citty for over a decade now. While Chris has kept a steady stream of infectious eletropop hits flowing throughout the years, his latest EP, Turn It Up, signals an epoch for the native New Yorker. Hard-hitting dance beats light up in each new song with a vocal flare that exudes Chris’s signature style and his aloof nonchalance. On tour across the country for the new EP, Chris has proved himself an efficient tour machine that delivers a soul-freeing experience each night. We interviewed Chris in Austin and he would go on to talk about life on the road, potential remix collaborators, and his dog Maple’s instagram account.




You are a remix connoisseur.  Are there some artists that are on your remix wishlist?


There are so many people I would love to remix! Haim, Lykke Li, Hot Chip, Chromeo the list goes on and on. 


The newly released Turn It Up is a great EP. How long has this been in the making?


I worked on some of these songs with my friend Ben who plays guitar in my band and we would just go crazy in my studio and scream until we came up with something. That’s how the chorus of Turn It Up came about. Then I wrote and produced the rest of the song around that idea. 


You are coming to Austin, a city you've played a lot.  Are there any places or routines you have when you come to Austin?


Austin is one of my favorite places! We went to Taco Deli last time we were there which was good. Food trucks are always great and the weather is a nice contrast after coming from New York!


What are some jobs you had prior to doing music full-time?


I worked in a nursery school for the professor’s kids at my college, an after school running program teaching kids about running and a company that made music for Sesame Street and boxing matches!


Staying financially independent is tough for artists today, what is some advice you have for up and coming artists to make a buck?


Don’t spend money you don’t have to. Find deals and think outside the box. 



Have you ever/or did you ever have moments of self-doubt about doing music?  Did you ever have a 'plan B' in case it didnt work out?


Yeah I think a lot of people have self doubt in all industries. I am not sure I would be able to have a “normal” job if I wanted to. I’m a little too weird. 



Is NYC still a great city for artists to develop? How has it changed since you started?


There are still a lot of creative people who live in nyc and therefore it’s still a good place to be to be an artist. However it does seem to get harder to live in financially but it seems like people said that to me about Austin when I was there last!



What is the song "Dont Fuck With My Money" specifically about?


That song just came to me all at once one day and I was very surprised by it! I asked my friends advice and people said I shouldn’t make that song. But I did it anyway. 


What is your favorite country to play in outside of the US and why?


I love to play in Mexico! I’ve been there many times and I just love all the people there and the vibe and the food. 


What is your ideal day, from wake-up to sleep?


Wake up go for a long walk / run with my dog maple (mapledoodlegram on instagram), eat breakfast, work on music, exercise, see a movie, go to a good restaurant with my wife and friends, go home and play with my dog and go to sleep!


How do you handle your touring life to stay sane? Do you have a routine when on the road?


I like to travel so it’s not a question of staying sane but it can be hard to not get sick or lose my voice. Sometime I don’t speak all day and to communicate I have to type something and show it to my band mates. 


Do you have a moment in  your career where you realized you were going to be able to do music full-time?



I’m not sure if I ever had a moment like that. I think every day I am still just trying my best so that I can make a living making music and it just keeps being true somehow. 


What is your goal as an artist? Is it # of listeners? Playing a certain-sized venue? Cultural influence? Describe what you would consider a successful career in your own context?


I think it’s a combination of things. It would be nice to play certain size venues when I tour as well as have a certain amount of listeners. I also want to expand into producing and writing for other artists as well so I hope to be active doing that also. 


Do you think Trump's presidency is fostering a creative golden-era amongst musicians?


When he first won the election I had a feeling that art was over in away. But that only lasted for one day and then I realized it was the opposite of course. Life is just telling us all that we have to always remain vigilant because the obstacles will never ever stop. 


Published: April 24, 2018 |

This Emerging Artist is based in Austin,
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