Pop-punk rockers Glass Cactus move into The Mansion

Lead singer talks songwriting behind band’s new single

Glass Cactus will be playing the Mansion this Friday, Jan. 18. 
Photo provided by Glass Cactus

Glass Cactus will bring the edgy, emotive spirit of pop punk to town this weekend.

The Toronto-based, indie-alt band will be returning to Kingston this Friday when they play The Mansion. The evening promises to be a high-energy performance coupled with a playful, light-hearted atmosphere.

The band—composed of Aidan Fine as vocals and rhythm guitar, keyboardist Kai DeDonato, guitarist David Zimmer, bassist Ezra Sherman, and drummer Kabir Malik—reflects the outgoing guitar work and vocals of their pop punk inspiration.  

Today, Glass Cactus has found their creative niche as a five-piece, but their roots stretch back to high school in 2013, when Fine, DeDonato and Malik first met. 

Since then, the band has seen its sound evolve into a stronger, more confident iteration with layers  of relatable personal experiences softened by a self-described silly delivery. Following this newfound experience, Glass Cactus released their debut album This Morning Would Suck(s) Without You in December of 2016, and dropped a new single, “Anastasia,” in 2018.

In an interview with The Journal, Fine described the band’s musical style, revealing the story behind its creative process and  light-hearted dynamic.

“We always say that we’re kind of a pop punk influence at heart,” Fine said. 

That influence has seeped into their newest single, “Anastasia,” the lyrics of which describe a wronged lover’s insatiable feelings for his love interest.

Songs like “Mango Ice Cream” and “It’ll Be Okay”  showcase power chord electric guitar stylings and the upbeat, earnest melodies of pop punk, with speedy tempos and catchy choruses that’ve become hallmarks of the band’s music. Even their name, Glass Cactus, reflects the vulnerability the band works to achieve through their music. 

Trying to create a name that matched the addition of Zimmer and Sherman in 2016, the band struggled to find something that reflected the personal touch its members invested into the act’s sound.

“We were just shooting ideas back and forth and Dave shot the name Steel Cactus,” Fine recalled.

Eventually the band decided on Glass Cactus, which they felt better represented the vulnerability they hoped to deliver through their music.

Glass Cactus’ emotional authenticity comes directly from its members’ personal experience, demanding the ears of its listeners with driving instrumentation and tempos. But don’t mistake their sincerity: Glass Cactus isn’t above the fun of a performance. 

For those who attend their upcoming gig, there’s the chance to win prizes like shirts and stickers for participating in the show. 

“In all of our shows we’re trying to be silly and create an environment that everyone can have fun in,” Fine said.

Their show at The Mansion this Friday looks to be a fun, entertaining event—something that can’t be replicated over social media.

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