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Mini Mansions and QOTSA’s Michael Shuman on new solo project GLU

As new EP 'My Demons' arrives, Michael Shuman explains the inspirations behind his first solo project and exploring new sounds.

By Nick Reilly

Glu (Picture: Press)

Queens of The Stone Age and Mini Mansions’ Michael Shuman has opened up on the new EP from GLU, his latest solo project.

The project’s debut EP, MY DEMONS arrived last month and sees Shuman exploring new sonic territory – with subtle elements of hip hop and even funk subtly weaving their way into the EP.

Speaking to Rolling Stone UK, Shuman explained how exploring the new sounds led to understandable fears.

“I think that trying something different was the one thing I wanted to do from the get-go and doing hip-hop can be the hardest thing when you’re like, you know, a 37-year-old white male trying this new thing,” he said.

“It can be scary and I worried that people might think it’s a joke. The delivery was therefore extremely important, how the lyrics are put out and how they flowed. That was the thing I took the most time with.”

On ‘NIGHT SHIFT’, Shuman also speaks of “a never-ending crisis”, feelings partly inspired by time spent recording during the pandemic.

“I’m kind of a loner, so in some ways the pandemic was kind of great for me,” he said.

“I have a studio at my house, so I got to go in the studio and create every day. It was great, but the issue is I just, I’ve been touring my whole life, you know, and there is obviously, a high that comes with performing every night, being with people every night feeling that back on stage every night.

“And so for that to go away, like, immediately it’s tough. So, in a way, I was like, how do I continue on living the life that I’ve been living for the last 15 years? There was a lot of late nights and a lot of, introspective shit going on with me.”

As for the change in direction, Shuman said he was inspired by Damon Albarn and his chameleonic ability to switch between the alt-pop of Gorillaz and the Britpop sounds of Blur.

“I feel like I said it a million times, but I really, really respect Damon Albarn,” explained Shuman.

“I mean, obviously he’s not doing what I’m doing and I’m not comparing myself but what I respect is his decision to have this career with an all-time great band like Blur and then suddenly he decides to do something completely different and it still blows up.”

And while Shuman is hoping for more GLU releases in the future, it’s back to the day job on bass duties with Queens of The Stone Age this summer. Is new music on the cards?

“I don’t think we said anything, so I’m gonna continue to not say anything,” he diplomatically puts it.

“But you know, we’ve posted a bunch of festivals that w’ere doing, starting this summer and, I think if that’s any indication, you know, that there will be more to come.”

‘NIGHT SHIFT’ by GLU is out now.