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Sub Pop Signs Alabama-Based Lee Bains III & Glory Fires

January 15, 2014  |  4:00pm
Sub Pop Signs Alabama-Based Lee Bains III & Glory Fires

Sub Pop Records announced its signing with the radically southern rock ’n’ roll band Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.

“We, Sub Pop, just signed Birmingham, Alabama-based southern gentlemen, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, and if we’re being honest, we’re as stoked as Shaun White bringing home a gold medal for schralpin’ the pow, or whatever,” Sub Pop’s Sam Sawyer wrote on the label’s website. While the blog post doesn’t have much else to report other than the label’s sheer excitement (and some links to sample the band’s tunes), we caught up with Bains to talk about the signing.

“I’m still pretty stunned,” Bains told Paste. “And really, really grateful and excited.”

The band’s relationship with Sub Pop started as a result of cutting their latest record with Tim Kerr in Nashville. Bains said Kerr was buddies with Jonathan Poneman, one of the two founders of Sub Pop, so he sent it to him. That dose of southern charm won him over, just as it always does.

“I thought it was just a shot in the dark,” Bains said. “But he listened to us and really liked the record.” As Bains tells it, he was about to step on stage to perform at Green Bar in Tuscaloosa, Ala., when he got the news.

“I was reeling.” Bains said. “And we had to play 20 minutes later. I was in such a buzz that I don’t know how good of a set it was.”

“It’s weird. I have worked really hard with this band, but my work is in the songwriting and the playing and touring. I’m just not very good at networking, and so I was really sort of amazed that it didn’t happen as a result of him seeing a show.”

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ most recent album, There is a Bomb in Gilead, was released in 2012 after overwhelming praise of the album’s titular track. Their sound, a swampy rock with a dollop of southern grunge, is something unmistakably exclusive to the South, so Bains said the band prefers to stay in “a spitting distance” of home.

“The deep south is very crucial to my personal identity,” Bains said. “It’s part of the band’s aesthetic and vision in a cultural context.”

As for future plans, Bains said the band is wrapping up the final works of a new album. He didn’t confirm an official release date, but said he’d be able to announce it “within the next week or so.”

Check out Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires on tour with Turf War this winter and follow them on Twitter @TheGloryFires and on Facebook.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires Tour Dates:
January
23­ Charlotte, N.C. @ The Milestones
24­ Raleigh, N.C. @ Slim’s
25­ Durham, N.C. @ Duke Coffeehouse
26­ Charlottesville, Va. @ The Southern
27­ Washington, DC @ DC9
28­ Northampton, Mass. @ The Elevens
29­ Boston, Mass. @ Great Scott
30­ Wilmington, Del. @ Oddity Bar
31­ Philadelphia, Pa. @ North Star Bar

February
New York, N.Y. @ Shea Stadium
Columbus, Ohio @ Woodlands
Cleveland, Ohio @ Beachland Tavern
Chicago, Ill. @ Beat Kitchen
Normal, Ill. @ Firehouse
Bloomington, Ind. @ Russian Recording
Nashville, Tenn. @ The Basement

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